The sight of huge, padded up American footballers has yet again become a familiar feature of Sunday afternoons at The Walks in Lynn after a resurgence of the game in the town.
The Lynn Patriots were first established April 1984 by Perry Garner and ex-USAF airman Dick Tilley after a conversation at The Sportsman pub where Tilley was the landlord. From that the Patriots were born and went from strength to strength, but in a few short years they disbanded and players moved to other teams around the area, like Norwich Devils, Peterborough Hustlers and Boston Blitz.
In November 2014 the team was resurrected.
Matt Stone, a big fan of the NFL game who played four years as first string centre at Canterbury University, singularly rebuilt the team from nothing. Along the way he gained players, including former Patriots from the original team and secured three of them as coaches.
They now turn up every weekend and to teach tactics and sharpen the team’s skills and knowledge of the game.
The three and a half hour training session also includes an hour of gruelling fitness training and exercise.
News of the new Patriots, which has 22 kitted players, is spreading fast thanks to social media and becoming high profile through training at The Walks with the passing public taking notice. This year there are plans for some friendlies in the summer with teams like the Norwich Devils, Berkshire Renegades and Jurassic Coast Raptors.
The Patriots are currently affiliated with the British American Football Association (BAFA).
They plan to compete in the league in the 2016 season. They already have permission from Keith “Buster” Chapman to play the home games at King’s Lynn Town football ground in the 2016 season.
Stone and The Patriots have come a long way in a very short time, but are still looking for more players to come along and try this resurging sport. Currently there are 35 players, but ideally they would like a full squad of 45-plus. You don’t have to be experienced as any shape, size and ability (18+) are welcome.
For details check the website www.kingslynnpatriots.com. or search King’s Lynn Patriots American Football Club on Facebook for more information.