Honour for Rovers stalwart Ted

A MATCH to celebrate Ted Zipfel’s 60th year with Thetford Rovers was played at Carrow Road – the home of his second favourite team Norwich City – on Saturday.

A friendly match was arranged by Ted’s family as a surprise to honour his achievements with the opposition being provided by Bedfordshire team Slip End Utd, managed by his grandson. A Rovers side involving past and present players won 5-2.

A club spokesperson said: “Ted has been an inspiration and role model for many players over the years. Well done Ted from everyone at Thetford Rovers, Slip End Utd, friends and his much-loved family.”

Russell Clark opened the scoring for the visitors before Rovers took control with goals from Craig Gibson (2), James Dean (2) and Steve Harley before Russell Clark added a consolation.

A healthy crowd made up of family, friends and past players saw an emotional Ted being presented with a signed Norwich City matchball by Stuart Draycot from the Norfolk FA, a sign which will be erected on the Rovers stand in his honour, a trophy to be played for annually between the two teams, and a silver salver to celebrate his achievements.

Ted’s journey with Rovers began in 1951 when he was one of the founder members. Starting out as a player the tricky outside-right’s career ended prematurely due to a knee injury. Since then Ted has been manager, fixture secretary, treasurer, chairman and secretary – a role he has performed for many years.

The highlight of his career was in the early 70s when Rovers reached the final of the Norfolk Senior Cup and finished second in the Anglian Combination Premier Division, under the guidance of John Fayers and Neville Bailey.

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Ted has overseen several players who have gone on to play professionally – Simon Milton (Ipswich Town), Dale Brooks (Cambridge), Keith Brannigan (Bolton), Dean Greygoose (Crewe) and Dick Scott (Norwich and Cardiff).

To cap a memorable weekend Thetford Rovers retained the Snailwell Cup with a 3-1 victory over Hundon on Sunday. Report is elsewhere in the Times sport section.