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Club history - an introduction



Photo of a Sheppey game from the 1890s

It is my intention with this section to not only have a history of Sheppey United Football Club but, at some stage, to have a section that looks at some of the club's best players and also at each season in focus - with a personal touch from your's truly on any of the game's that I attended over the years (and I've seen quite a few Sheppey games in my time - about 300-400 by my estimation).

This section now has 2 subsections. If you click on the "Sheppey United - a club history" link below or at the bottom of this page, you will be taken to a page where you can either select to go to a section that goes into an in-depth history of the club split into differing periods in the history of the club or you can go to the "Season by season" section where I intend to list ALL the final league tables from Sheppey's history. This section is further split up by decade. So far, I've typed up just over half of the league tables and will type up the balance as and when I obtain them.

Aerial photo of Botany Road
A photo of the club's old Botany Road ground

In the meantime, here's a picture of the club's old Botany Road ground. I've also recently added a picture of a Sheppey teamshot taken before a game at Botany Road which can be seen further down the page. Not sure which year it was taken so if anyone has any ideas then could they drop me a line by clicking on the"E-mail the site" link?

From the day my dad first took me to Botany Road when I was about 6 or 7 and just getting into football, I spent many games watching Sheppey play both in the Kent and Southern Leagues here whilst also attending countless away games too (and I can tell you a tale about some of them - like getting into Chelmsford City's ground on a player's pass for one or being threatened with being thrown out of Billericay's ground during the club's best ever FA Trophy run as they thought they were going to thrash the Sheppey only for us to beat them 4-2 with Bobby Ashen scoring a hat-trick and we were being just a tad vocal in our support for another!).

Watch this space for some - hopefully frequent - updates on Sheppey United's sometimes colourful history.

Team photo of Greater London League Champions 1964/65

I have heard from one of the players in this photo (Alf Goldsmith, second from right in the back row) that this is a team photo of the 1965 Greater London League Championship winning side. The team, left to right back row first are:-
Peter Peters, Joe Keywood, John Laurel, Malcolm Bontoff, Alf Goldsmith, Jackie Bridge, Johnny Platt, Ray Corney, Albert Pounder, Roy Goodhew, Johnny Hutchins

Update:- Finding information on Sheppey's formative years and, more importantly, it's years in the Kent League up to the league disbanding in the late 50's are proving extremely difficult to find. As are details of the club's time in the Aetolian, Metropolitan and Greater London Leagues - though I have got the league table for the 1964/65 season and know that Sheppey drew with Eton Manor in the Championship final that year and consequently shared the title that year (the Greater London League was split into 2 sections with the winner of each section meeting to decide the overall winner). The photo to the left is a teamshot of that championship winning side from 1965.

I've now added names to most of the players in the teamshot to the left but I was missing first names for 2 of the players until e-mails from Roger Birkin and Jon King helped fill in the gaps for me - many thanks for that Roger and Jon. As a slight aside, Johnny Hutchins used to turn up weekly to my house when I was a kid as he was my parent's insurance man!

The Kent League website has provided little help as it only deals with the years since the league was reformed in 1969. I do know that the club has won at least 6 Kent League titles but little other information is forthcoming (I do have the years that they won the league now and have added this information to the "Club honours" page as well as a few other honours that Sheppey have won over the years). I will endeavour to provide as extensive a club history as I can. If all else fails then I will go back through the local library's records of local papers as I once did previously. If anyone can provide me with any information I would be very grateful. You can contact me by clicking on the "E-mail The Site" link.

Sheppey United photo ot team with Kent Amateur Cup in 1952
Sheppey after having just won the Kent Amateur Trophy in 1952 at Maidstone against Erith & Belvedere

Latest Update (11/10/2003):- I've now been down to the local library and have started going through the microfilm archives they have on local Sheerness/Sheppey newspapers. When senior football started out on the Isle of Sheppey there were 2 local papers - The Sheerness Times and The Sheerness Guardian. The Times doesn't appear to have covered local football at all while the Guardian did - to a certain extent. Even though it is now generally accepted that Sheppey United began life as a club in 1890 I started looking through the archives from 1885 to find the origins of the club. There is no records of any football on the island in the papers until October 1886 when the first mention of some island football clubs appears and it is here where I will start. Click on the link below to go to my account of the club's history.

 

 



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