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Volleyball in Stowmarket had stuttered along in a pretty casual manner after Ron Ames, who had played on beaches on the continent, had persuaded the manager of the newly opened Stowmarket Sports Centre to run a volleyball course in 1972. No club, as such, existed but a group from the local caravan club and a few lads from RAF Wattisham knocked a ball about in a fairly wild manner.
By 1975 Ron was playing for the well established Sudbury VC in the North Essex League, when he met teacher Neal Sheppard at an inter town sports day in Bury St Edmunds, and after representing Stowmarket at volleyball suggested playing the game with a few teacher friends on the lawn of Stowmarket Middle School. And so, on a balmy summer evening over a badminton net with shirts for court markers the club was born.
By the winter of 1975 we had moved to the gym at Stowmarket High School briefly and then to Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre. Future stalwarts Alan George, from St. Josephs College, and Frank McCann from Stowmarket High, were training on a regular basis - Neal had joined Ron to play at Sudbury VC.
Come the Spring of 1976 Neal and Alan had completed a volleyball coaching course at Blackpool and the Tuesday night at Stow Sports Centre, which was to endure for 26 years, was the regular training slot, we had a smart (albeit basketball) kit, some tournament games played and a place in the North Essex League. Alan became the first club coach.
Around this time Neal got sponsorship from a local fruit juice supplier and we became the Jaffalux Jets,a name that became well known in volleyball and we are still asked about today!
1978 saw Mervyn Evans move to Stowmarket to work at the Sports Centre and, having played under George Bulman at Leeds, joined the club as a key member and became club coach after Alan moved away in 1982. Volleyball was becoming well established in the county mainly through the schools, with many teachers, playing and the Suffolk League was set up, Stowmarket had joined Div 4 of the National League.
Big Pete Taylor had got vollyball playing in schools in Bury, Alan in St.Josephs in Ipswich, and Ron at Stowupland, from these would come the players who saw the club through the glory years of the 80s.
The girls from the Stowupland High School group decided at this time that would also like to play at a higher level and formed the Ladies Club and also joined the National League in 1980.
At this time Alan George moved up North and Mervyn took over as coach and began the successful run that Dennis Tattoo inherited when he became coach in 1983. Under Dennis the mens club won Div4 East and promotion to Div 3 in 1984 and the club bounced between Div4 and 3 having been Div 4 runners up a couple of times.
The high point of the era was the winning of the National Kestours Cup in 1987, beating, in the final, a very strong Malory2 side boasting several players being groomed for Malorys Div1 side.
The 1990s saw injuries, careers, families and old age take their toll and despite attracting good numbers of quality players were unable to find winning form and pulled out of the National League after 17 continuous years and became founder members of Keith Nicholl's Eastern Region League. With Dennis taking a back seat after 17 years as coach, first Dave Taylor and then John Raffel had spells as coach before the wheel came full circle and Ron returned to coaching to take the club into its thirtieth year.
Following a successful 2004-2005 season in the Eastern Region Tournaments, and boosted by a number of youngsters, the club decided to re-enter the National League from the 2005-2006 season, with Ron playing and coaching and his eldest son Mark as captain.
Following five enjoyable years in the National League, with a team built around Mark Ames, Kevin Kent and Jamie Fullinger and featuring Hermus Pun, Andreas Koch, Dave Richards, Jacob Kruger and Louis Jayasuriya, a few players moved away from the area. The national league was restructured which would have meant more travelling, and so Stowmarket reluctantly withdrew. 2011-2012 saw the start of a new era, with Stowmarket invited to join the Essex League and Cambridgeshire Cup. This gave the club plenty of decent fixtures over the course of the season, without the travelling required to compete in the National League.