Cromer Town FC has played at its Cabbell Park ground since 1922, when local rich lady Mrs. Evelyn Bond-Cabbell bequeathed the land to the club in remembrance of locals who died in World War I. The kind donation, however, came with a slightly bizarre and utterly arbitrary stipulation: The land must pass back to the town 21 years after the death of Edward VII's last grandchild. That man was Olympic gold medal-winner King Olav V of Norway, who died 21 years ago Tuesday.
The Anglian Combination Premier Division side, therefore, is facing eviction and possible extinction if the meddling cartoon villains at Cromer Council get their way. Says The Telegraph:
A majority of the council want the club, which can trace its history back to 1898, to relocate to a new site on the outskirts of town, where youth team facilities could be incorporated.
Under that plan, Cabbell Park could then be redeveloped to extend a school, relocate a doctors' surgery and build new housing.
However, the club believes a move out of the town would increase costs and cut the income it earns from regular car boot sales.
The Norfolk side, however, is not resigned to its fate. In a twist that sounds like a first draft of "King Ralph," club lawyers are arguing that King Olav was not the last descendant of Edward VII. The Daily Mail explains:
The club does, at least, have the support of the town's mayor, Greg Hayman, who triggered the stay of execution by revealing the existence of the recently deceased royal descendant.
The legal documents state the lease on the land would expire 21 years after the death of all the descendants of King Edward VII 'now in being' and Cllr Hayman argues this includes the Earl of Harewood.
The 7th Earl, who died last year, was born two months after the club's benefactor died.
Cromer is being allowed to stay put until the legal wranglings are over, but if the Norfolk side's lawyers triumphs, it will be another 20 years before the situation arises again. (Of course, by that time Tim Tebow will be President of the World and soccer will be sacrilegious and illegal.)
- Sports & Recreation