|Friendship between twin towns Fordingbridge and Vimoutiers.|
The Turks are so-called because the founders of the club admired the fighting spirit of the Ottoman forces defending the besieged city of Plevna (now known as Pleven, in Bulgaria) during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78. The club are reasonably well-known in Turkey and play with the Turkish crescent and star as their crest.
I was always going to feature them at some point on here, and an unexpected opportunity to do so arose on Saturday, when I heard they were playing a game against their French twin town, Vimoutiers (from Normandy).
The Turks are on the verge of celebrating their 150th anniversary, and they were also showing off their smart new dugouts. So why not pop along? The weather was good, the town itself is rather lovely, and there's no more competitive football locally until August. Oh, and there was a special programme being printed AND there were pies for sale at half-time!
Go on then!
Here's a few words and pictures from Saturday's game...
|The clubhouse and changing room block at Fordingbridge Turks.|
Fordingbridge Turks FC (5) 7 v 1 (0) Vimoutiers FC
Saturday 27th May 2017
Attendance: Varied between 60 and 80
Programme: £1.50 (very informative and colourful)
Colours: Blue and black stripes / black / black v Yellow and black stripes / black / black
National Grid reference: SU1413
|Brand new dugouts with the club crest proudly painted on the back.|
|A copy of the Basingstoke Cup.|
How do I know this information? Because I bought a copy of Norman Gannaway's book The Turks 1868-1993 from a table selling programmes and books in front of the changing rooms. Norman was present at the match by all accounts, as was TalkSport's Tony Incenzo, visiting his 2,138th ground. I have some catching up to do...
|The Bailey Cup (left) and a trophy donated to the Turks by Vimoutiers FC.|
|A close shave for Vimoutiers, as this chance trickles just past the post.|
|The ancient seven-arched bridge crossing the Avon at Fordingbridge.|
After the match, both sets of players retired to the clubhouse to watch the FA Cup final. I suspect Vimoutiers were cheering Arsene Wenger's Arsenal on, so they will have been pleased to see him lift the cup yet again. Their own trophy, the Bailey Cup, would have been presented to the Turks during the evening, but there was also another trophy on display - the French team had had a special cup made to celebrate the weekend, which they handed over to their hosts. It will take pride of place in the Turks' trophy cabinet from now on, I'm sure.
|Bale and Lloris discuss Tottenham's fortunes whilst the game carries on in front of them.|
The Turks hope to pay a return visit to Vimoutiers next summer. Should be fun!
I'll post some more photos from the day on Facebook shortly. They will be here.