Founding member of Reedham Vikings tug of war team dies

Clive Cable at a recent Reedham Vikings reunion

Clive Cable at a recent Reedham Vikings reunion - Credit: Archant

A leading figure of a famous tug of war team has died.

Clive Cable, better known as Fred, died at the age of 81 on June 5, at the James Paget Hospital following a short term illness.

Mr Cable was a founding member of the Reedham Vikings team which in their glory days, took on and beat the best teams across England before making their final heave in 1995.

Generations of pullers amassed around 600 trophies during their 37 year existence.

Mr Cable was born in Reedham on November 5, 1934, and spent his whole life in the village.

After leaving school he started work at Stewart and Patteron Brewery in Great Yarmouth as an auto electrician before doing his national service based at Catterick.

On returning from national service he resumed his job at Stewart and Patterson, moving to Norwich and continuing when the company was taken over by Watney Mann, where he worked until his retirement at the age of 61.

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It was at Catterick that he first experienced tug of war. In 1958, he persuaded some friends to join him in training and created the Reedham Vikings.

After training all that winter they became county champions for the first time, beating Norwich City Police in the early final.

This early success spurred them on to join the Tug of War association, which allowed them to compete further afield.

John Burton, who was also part of the team and had been a friend of Mr Cable’s since 1969 said: “His training regime was extremely tough and included using a tripod formed with three telegraph poles, with a pulley system which was used to hoist concrete and steel weights.

“The team travelled many miles, taking part in competitions the length of the country throughout the summer.

“We were county champions for many consecutive seasons, East of England champions several times and in 1970, Fred was part of the team that won the Intercounties Championship of England.”

His role in the sport was more than just a player, as he was once also the eastern area chairman of the Tug of War association.

Over the years the club developed a thriving and popular social club running successful dart teams, which was also a big hobby in Mr Cable’s life.

In April of this year a Reedham Vikings reunion was held at the club.

Mr Burton said: “The reunion was attended by almost 70 ex-pullers spanning the entire history of the club. Everyone that ever pulled at Reedham had their own memories of Fred.”

No funeral date has yet been confirmed.