Former footballers have held an emotional reunion – half a century after their club disbanded.

Ex-players of Maldon Green FC came from around the country and across the globe to meet again.

In some cases, it was the first time they had seen each other since the club’s demise in 1969.

Stafford Chipperfield, 66, spent six months using the internet, as well as old match reports from the Maldon and Burnham Standard, to track down all 49 players who were involved in the two teams from that year.

They all gathered at Maldon Golf Club in Langford for the reunion.

Stafford said: “It was a brilliant day – we even had people from Canada, Botswana and Scotland

“It was incredible to have so many of us all together.

“I think 43 of the lads came to the celebration.

“Sadly, as far we could find out, three of the 49 had passed away, but despite that it was great to get together again and talk about everything we did.”

Maldon Green FC started in 1966 on the green in the middle of Orchard Road when a group of players who did not have a club to play for got together.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Photo: Stafford ChipperfieldPhoto: Stafford Chipperfield

Stafford said: “We used to get a football and have a kick around with jumpers for goalposts, and if we were lucky perhaps some road cones.”

They established Maldon Green FC without a ground and spent the first season playing friendlies against teams in the area.

The sides entered league football a year later, with the men’s team playing in the Chelmsford Sunday League and the younger players in the Dengie Hundred Minor League, now known as the Blackwater and Dengie Youth Football League.

They found success in their short time as a club.

The senior side won promotion in their first season and the younger side had a cup win which saw them lift the trophy at Maldon Town FC’s old ground in Fambridge Road.

Maldon and Burnham Standard:

Stafford said nobody seemed to remember exactly why the teams “packed it in”, but many former players have been friends for life as a result.

He said: “Quite a lot of us have stayed in the Maldon district and outside of the celebration, we have got together a lot over the years and catch up.

“Some of us even still see our sons playing in the league today.”