A new football club is born
A new football club has been created in Ely following the merger of the city's two famous teams.
Ely City, founded in 1886, and Ely Crusaders, which was launched in 1965, have come together to form Ely City Crusaders.
The new club aims to build on the heritage and support of the two clubs to create a strong, sustainable community football club capable of developing the talent and enthusiasm for the game in Ely.
The changes will begin first with the junior, youth and colts teams becoming known as Ely City Crusaders and over the next few weeks and months a new website will be launched, plans will be developed to make better use of the club's facilities and a sponsorship drive will begin.
While the major changes are taking place at the junior level, the adult teams will retain their former names for this season.
Robert Button, Chairman of Ely City, said: "Since the club was founded over a hundred years ago, generations of footballers have proudly worn the red shirt of Ely City bringing trophies and creating folklore. However, football is an incredibly competitive world for players, support and investment. In order to keep creating history and stories to tell our friends and families of cup runs and league glory, we know we need to create a structure which can feed new players into the team.
"At its heart, the creation of Ely City Crusaders will give us the chance for a future where local players can come through the ages to eventually play for the first team. It also provides the opportunity to make better use of the facilities we have and explore new ways we can attract new funding to the club. This is going to be a very exciting season and I am sure all the off the field changes will only bring more success to Ely.
Paul Callaghan, Chairman of Ely Crusaders, said: "This is incredibly exciting time for all of us. At Crusaders, we have always prided ourselves on being a team for the young people in Ely but we have been a bit of a nomad club with our various teams playing on a variety of fields around Ely as we have explored different ways of moving forward. However, after many false dawns, Ely City and the Crusaders have together taken the brave step to realise we can be stronger and more influential together than we can ever be apart.
"We are at the very start of what I am sure will be a fantastic journey but to succeed we will need the support of our city. Whether it is players, cheering at games or fund-raising, we need the community of Ely to be at our side as we develop our new identity. This will help us to grow and fulfil the dreams of anyone – young or old - who wears the Ely City Crusaders badge."
For more information on joining or supporting the new club then contact Alan Young on 07702687295.