Johnson to return to Old Newton roots

PUBLISHED: 11:15 22 May 2009 | UPDATED: 14:13 04 March 2010

FORMER Ipswich Town and Colchester United star Gavin Johnson will return to his footballing roots on Saturday.

The 38-year-old midfielder, who now plays for Bury Town, will turn out for an Old Newton XI versus a Suffolk FA XI in the John Thorndyke Memorial Cup at the club's Church Road ground, kick-off 2pm.

FORMER Ipswich Town and Colchester United star Gavin Johnson will return to his footballing roots on Saturday.

The 38-year-old midfielder, who now plays for Bury Town, will turn out for an Old Newton XI versus a Suffolk FA XI in the John Thorndyke Memorial Cup at the club's Church Road ground, kick-off 2pm.

Johnson, who was born in the village, played for Old Newton before joining Ipswich, for whom he scored the goal that clinched promotion in the 1991/92 season and also the club's first goal in the FA Premier League the following season.

The match is being held in memory of John Thorndyke, a long-standing representative of both the club and the area on the Suffolk County FA committee, who died of cancer last summer.

Dave Shave, chairman of Old Newton, said: “John was a member of Old Newton in excess of 40 years as a player and then secretary, and also served on both the Suffolk FA and the SIL committees for over 25 years.

“He was a great supporter of the county youth team and so we approached Suffolk FA to ask if they would send along a team to play us.”

Andy Gould, who as manager led Suffolk to their FA County Youth Cup success in 2008, agreed to get together a side and has managed to reunite the whole squad that lifted the trophy at Portman Road.

He said: “I was delighted to be asked to get the team together again, and am equally pleased that everyone welcomed the opportunity to play together again.

“I consider it a privilege to do this in John Thorndyke's honour as he was involved with both Old Newton and Suffolk FA for many years.

“In my time in office both Danny Laws, who managed the side that won the FA County Youth Cup in 2005, and I thought a lot of him. He was incredibly supportive through both the bad times as well as the good times.”

John Thorndyke's son, Paul, who packed up playing due to a knee injury a couple of years ago and now manages the club's reserve side, is expected to play part of the match, while his daughters, Julie and Lisa, have been organising draw prizes.

Admission is free and proceeds from the match, and also Old Newton's end-of-season presentation evening that follows, will go towards the McMillan Ward at Bury St Edmunds Hospital.

Suffolk FA XI: T Ross, J Bloomfield, D Smith, L Bailey, S Marsh, S Manning, C Douglas, J Sargent, B Garnham, L Read, J Ward, B Seaman, C Henderson, R Gammon, D Lorimer.

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