Christian footballer celebrates 30 years on pitch
Tim Lovejoy from Fulmerston Christian Fellowship has clocked up over 500 games in a three-decade career with his local football club.
Tim moved from St Albans to Thetford in the summer of 1991 to take up the role of Eastern Counties Field Officer for the Christian organisation Frontier Youth Trust.
At that stage Thetford Football Club had only two adult teams, who both played in the Bury and District League. “I have many great memories of those days,” said Tim. “It was a good standard, but also a very physical tough league.”
“As a Christian it has meant so much to me to play in local football leagues,” said Tim. “I loved building relationships with local players. In that environment as a Christian club and player, I am an ordinary bloke known as Digger, who’s trying to represent Jesus well. There is nowhere to hide, and you just do your best, warts and all. I loved that challenge and hope people respected that. I occasionally still see old players around now and it’s great to recall games.”
Tim or ‘Digger’ as he was affectionately known by players, opposition and referees alike, was a combative midfielder, who loved nothing more than winning headers and tackles. He was not a prolific goal scorer but remembers his only hat-trick for the club against Helmsman and the two goals he scored at Hepworth.
A personal highlight was being picked in the Bury and District Representative side. “I was really honoured to play for the Representative team, with really good players that I had played against for years, and it was fantastic when we won 2-0 at Whitton. My Dad was there, it was a proud moment.”
Over his career Digger amassed 25 medals, and although he played for the three adult teams he only got booked once. “I was so disappointed to get booked and it was ironic it was for dangerous play when I made no contact with a player. My manager Andy Berry just laughed as I bemoaned what had happened and looking back, I guess it made up for the times when I should have been booked.”
During his time with the Club Tim also went on two tours with Ambassadors. In 1994 he went to the USA World Cup and previously travelled with them to Austria, Germany and Hungary in 1991.
Many comments have been made about Tim Lovejoy, but no one could ever doubt Digger’s desire and commitment to win.
Pictured above is Tim Lovejoy in action and below, some of the friends he made during his football career.