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1950's Prospectus
 
 
 
 
 
According to information supplied by Mr K Still and recorded in ‘The Clarkonian” magazine, the Club was started in 1929. Mr Still was elected club secretary and the team in those days played in the Ilford Auxiliary League, Division One.

The Committee consisted of Hon, Sec. W Still, Treasurer R Porter, Captain L H Morden, and ‘others’ K Hedge and A Shaw. During the first season the team played 20, won 7, lost 9 and drew 4.

Progressing into 1932/33 the Club was promoted to the Premier Division and was strong enough to start a 2nd Eleven. In 1933/34 the Club entered the Essex Junior Cup both Elevens moved into the Ilford and District League, Premier Division and Division 3 respectively, with most of the original committee still active and the Headmaster, Mr H R Taylor as President.

During 1934/35 season our results were:
Team League Played Won Lost Drew Position
First Eleven Premier Division 24 13 8 3 5th
Second Eleven Division 3 19 8 9 2 9th

There followed a period of some stagnation. During 1935/36 both teams produced poor results and finished the season in the bottom half of their divisions, although both avoided relegation. However, during 1936/37 the outlook for the Club was poor. The 2nd Eleven had been disbanded and the First Eleven had to be reconstructed. League officials suggested that we should play in Division 3 but under the Captaincy of the energetic H E King, the team gained promotion to Division 2.

In 1937/38 a similar pattern followed the previous season and the Club finished runners up with a performance of: Played 24, Won 18, Lost 3, Drew 3.

The outbreak of World War II prevented further progress until the Club was reformed in 1949, with the active participation of Bert King and Geoff Wilde. Geoff applied to the council for a pitch and we were allocated Pitch number 6, Hainault Recreation Ground and the loan of goal posts! Geoff also got us into the Ilford and District League, division 5. All we needed now was a team.

Chas Bennett appeared on the scene and, having played a few times before the war, entered into things with enthusiasm and some new school leavers. The Club was soon up and running under the elected committee of: Chairman M G Wilde; Secretary G J Spate; treasurer B V Sarjeant; Captain C Bennett; vice-captain W H Shepherd, and ‘other’ member M S Burdon.

A Second Eleven was formed at a meeting on October 2nd 1950 and Ron Hope was elected Captain and Arnold Spence became vice-captain and Team Secretary. The Club’s second post-war AGM was held at the School on Friday, 18 May, 1951 and the elected committee became: President J T C Skellon; Chairman H E King, Secretary A K R Spence; Treasurer G Wilde; and Captains C H Bennett and J R Jack; ‘other’ member was R Hope.

The 1951/52 season was very difficult because the teams kept changing as players left to undertake their National Service but with the help of the School all fixtures were completed and the Club became established in local circles again.

1952/53 was a successful season with some new committee members and vibrant enthusiasm. The 1st eleven topped their league having played 16, won 13, drawn 2 and lost 1 but the 2nd eleven was disbanded and a youth team was formed.

1953/54. Having been promoted but facing the difficulties brought about by National Service, we struggled but managed to survive in the new division. Charlie Bennett and Alan Maylin decided to hang up their boots, and Arnold Spence resigned as Chairman because of his other business commitments.

1954/55. Ron Hope was Secretary and Treasurer. The 1st and 2nd Elevens just avoided relegation and, for the first time ever, captained by John Dixon, the School comprehensively beat the 2nd XI 6-0. Also during this season the Club had it first major injury when John Jack broke his leg playing against Ilford High Road Baptists.

1955/1956. Ron Hope reported in the Clarkonian, that ‘this season was satisfactory with some school leavers joining the club and the return of Charlie Bennett from retirement to bolster the 2nd XI defence. The return of members from National Service augurs well for the future with the possibility of starting a 3rd XI’.

The 1st XI gained promotion and finished runners-up to Barkingside while the 2nd XI finished fourth in their division. The Youth Team was also well established and had a good season.

1956/57. The Club acquired pitch number 5, Limehouse Playing Fields for the 1st XI and 2nd XI, and pitch number 1 at Clayhall Park for the 3rd XI. Ron Hope became Chairman and Mike Hardy was Secretary. A club scoring record was set by Johnny White, 72 in a season, and he went on to play for Tooting and Mitcham. The 1st ZI gained further promotion, again as runners-up, while the 2nd XI and Youth team finished fourth in their divisions.

1958/59. Another very successful season for the Club. The 1st XI gained promotion again from division 2 Ilford and District League, once again as runners-up. We played 22, won 17, drew 2, and lost 3.

The 2nd XI struggled but avoided relegation and played 22, won 6, drew 4, and lost 12. Meanwhile the 3rd XI won promotion to Division 1 Ilford Borough League after finishing top of Division 2. They played 12, won 11, drew 1, and lost 0. 1959/60. Probably the most difficult time since the Club reformed after the war. Eight of the 1st XI left us and it was difficult to field sides. But we survived, largely as a result of hard work by the committee and especially Bernie Deane. The 1st XI finished 8th; the 2nd XI gained promotion while the 3rd XI avoided relegation by winning the last game of the season. The Youth team again finished fourth.

1960/61. After the problems of the previous season the committee decided to field the 2nd XI as the 1st XI with a few adjustments and managed fourth place in Division 1. Unfortunately the 2nd XI was relegated to Division 4. Brian Lunn managed the Youth team through a successful season but Brian Cornish resigned as Secretary, ready to ‘take the plunge’ in 1962.

1961/1962/1963. We endured very troubled years during which we lost contact with many of our vice-Presidents and the Club almost folded. The League committee called us to account because they had heard that Brian Lunn had broken away from us and had formed his own club called “Borough United” consisting of two teams. With the help of Tony Adams we persuaded the League committee that we could field two teams and we applied for Division 3 and 5. We didn’t excel but both teams avoided relegation.

1964/65. We were encouraged by the unfailing support of our President, Chas, Bennett, and his lady, both of whom followed one of the teams every week. Both teams performed well and maintained their status in their respective leagues. The team spirit was excellent throughout the season and the 1st XI reached the semi-final of the League Cup only to lose to Roding Rangers 5-4 after extra time.

1965/66. This was probably the most successful season the Club had since the War. The 1st XI reached the Zone Final of the Essex Junior Cup, became runners-up in Division 2 and won the McMorran Cup, beating Manford Way Reserves 2-0 in an exciting final. The 2nd XI, with some new school leavers, finished fifth in their division and had an excellent team spirit.

1966/67. Another successful year during which the 1st XI topped Division 1 and was promoted to the Premier League for the first time since the war. The 2nd XI, although not gaining promotion, acquitted itself well and reached the semi-final of the St Mary’s Cup. The Club’s success was attributed to the fact that many players had played together for several seasons.

1967/68. This was a most rewarding season although the 1st XI finished low down the league. The team maintained a good standard and was only six points behind the winners at the end of the season. The 2nd XI had their best season ever, finishing as runners-up and again reaching the semi-final of the St Mary’s Cup. ‘Owing to the reorganisation of the league, the seconds will be playing in Division 3 next season.’

1968/69. After a poor start, the 1st XI managed to finish seventh in the Premier division and also reached the final of the League Cup. The 2nd XI had a better start but only reached sixth place in division 3. Unfortunately The Clarkonian ceased publication around this time and as a consequence I have no information about the last years of the Football Club. If any visitor to the website has additional information we would be pleased to hear from you.

John J Dixon (Valentine 1949-55)


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