A BIRTHDAY weekend festival will be held to celebrate the club's 100th year.

Beacon Hill Rovers is a community-based and classic grass roots football club who will be celebrating their milestone birthday with a party weekend on July 24 and 25.

The whole weekend is set up as a festival with fun and games, food and drink, stalls, and a kids play area.

The events will take place at Wickham Bishops Sports Field. 

Spokesman Merfyn Roberts said: "The weekend has grown from a football event to a 'football plus'" as the Rovers have joined with the village association to add the fete to the festival.

On Saturday from 11am there will be 5-a-side tournaments: Men’s Open Age and Veterans and Women’s.

In the evening is a ticketed music event for adults.

Sunday morning will see Beacon Hill youth teams playing their Centenary Matches and the second festival and fete day.

There will be a grand re-opening of the “Pete Mickelsen Sports Pavilion” at 1.30pm and the day will end with Beacon Hill Men’s First Team taking on Heybridge Swifts, managed by Julian Dicks at 3pm.

Beacon Hill’s new Clubroom will be open throughout for all to enjoy.

It will be a great chance for the community to catch up with old friends.

It was on March 26, 1921 when the club had their first ever match as part of an afternoon of refreshments, fun and games for returning soldiers of the First World War to thank them for their service and remember the lives of those who had fallen.

The sports field where they played had just been built as a place where "life could be lived and memories held dear".

There had been informal kickabouts on the new pitch behind the Mitre in previous weeks and a team of agricultural workers from Warren Farm near Witham had challenged them to a game.

Returning veterans Harry Stubbings and Bill Heaney arranged the players, Joe Bareham sorted a kit and referee and the village football team could genuinely “live life to the full” as they played the club's first match.

This year's weekend is a double celebration for the Rovers' female footballers as this summer is the 75th anniversary of the club’s first ever women’s team.

The team was formed in 1946 by women defiant against the FA’s ban on women’s football introduced in 1921 and still in place at the time.

In 2008 the Rovers were awarded National Club of the Year by the FA.

For tickets to the birthday weekend and more details visit https://linktr.ee/BHRFC100.

Any former Rovers who want more information can contact Merfyn Roberts on 0770 843 8867 or at merf.roberts@btinternet.com.