Essex

Duckpond FC sees global demand for Sunday league champions' kit

Duckpond FC Image copyright Duckpond FC
Image caption Duckpond FC take to the streets of Harwich to celebrate

A Sunday league football team says it has received a global demand for its kit after a series of extravagant open-top bus title celebrations.

Duckpond FC, formed in Harwich, Essex, in 2011, are the current champions of the Colchester and District League.

The club said it sent shirts, scarves and memorabilia to nine countries, including the USA and Australia.

Club chairman and founder Michael Hammond said it proved "a love for grass roots football is infectious".

Duckpond FC became known for marking each promotion since it was formed with a bus parade and party in Harwich.

The team paraded through the seaside town for the third time in June, after winning 15 out of 16 matches during the 2018-2019 season.

Image copyright Duckpond FC
Image caption Duckpond FC celebrate their league win in the sought after kit and scarves

Mr Hammond, who has handed the captain's armband to teammate Michael Palmer, said interest had come from all corners of the world.

"I've sent shirts to America, Canada, Ireland, Australia - I've counted nine countries so far," he said.

"People want replica shirts and the new season's kit, which is gold to commemorate winning the league this year.

"I sent off 40 packages last week alone."

Image copyright Duckpond FC
Image caption Duckpond FC topped the Premier Division of the Colchester and District league

Mr Hammond spent £4,000 hiring a double-decker bus and a plane banner to toast Duckpond FC's success last month.

He admitted it costs him more to ship the merchandise abroad than for fans to buy the kit.

"I don't care how much it costs me," he said. "It makes me happy to spread the word about this club."

Image copyright Airads
Image caption Duckpond FC celebrated promotion in 2014 with a customary open-top bus ride

Mr Hammond added: "This is evidence that people love grass roots football, the love for it is infectious.

"It proves that with hard work, commitment and maximum effort, anything is possible."

Duckpond FC can go no higher in the Sunday league in the county, and are now calling themselves "champions of Essex".

The club is named after Cox's Pond in Harwich.

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