Cray Wanderers F.C.
- Not to be confused with Bray Wanderers A.F.C..
|Full name||Cray Wanderers Football Club|
|Ground||Courage Stadium, Bromley|
|Capacity||6,000 (3,000 seated)|
|League||Isthmian League Premier Division|
|2012–13||Isthmian League Premier Division, 17th|
Cray Wanderers F.C. is an English semi-professional football club based in Bromley, London. It is one of the oldest football clubs in the world. The club was established in 1860 in the twin villages of St. Mary Cray and St Paul's Cray, near Orpington, then in the county of Kent.
They currently play their home matches at Bromley's Hayes Lane ground (capacity 5,000). Cray Wanderers were Kent League champions four times, and have reached the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup once in their history. They are currently members of the Isthmian League Premier Division, having gained promotion in 2009.
|This article or section may be slanted towards recent events. (August 2009)|
Cray Wanderers F.C. was formed in 1860 by workers building a railway from London to the Kent coast. In 1894 they joined the first incarnation of the Kent League, where they were champions in 1901–02. At this time the club was operating on a full-time professional basis and also acted as a feeder club to Woolwich Arsenal. After World War I the team switched to the London League but returned to the Kent League in 1934.
In 1937 Wanderers lost the use of their Fordcroft ground in St. Mary Cray and were forced to drop into amateur leagues such as the Kent Amateur League whilst using various temporary grounds. They finally regained their senior status, and also rejoined the London League, in 1951, finding a new home at Grassmeade three years later.
Cray were London League champions in 1956–57 and 1957–58, and in 1959 became founder members of the Aetolian League, where they were champions in 1962–63. Shortly after this the Aetolian League merged with the London League to form the Greater London League, where Cray played until they moved to the Metropolitan League in 1966. This league merged with the Greater London League in 1971 to form the Metropolitan-London League, which in turn merged with the Spartan League to form the London Spartan League in 1975.
Cray were London Spartan League champions in 1976–77 and again the following season, after which they joined the reformed Kent League, where they were to remain until 2004. They were league champions in 1980–81 but then endured a long barren spell until they won the title again in 2002–03 and again in 2003–04, the second title win earning them a place in the Isthmian League, where they play to this day.
In the 2007–08 season Cray reached the play-off final after finishing 3rd in the table, but lost to Tooting & Mitcham United 1–0 at Imperial Fields. They also reached the Kent Senior Cup final, played at Hayes Lane on 26 July, where they lost to Ebbsfleet United 4–0. Cray again reached the play-off final the following year, in which they beat Metropolitan Police 1–0 and were promoted to the Isthmian League Premier Division.
Ian Jenkins, who had managed the club since 1999, was sacked in September 2013. Keith Bird and Mike Paye, managers of Bromley FC reserves, were appointed as manager and assistant manager respectively. Bringing a raft of new players from Bromley's reserve team, they won their first league game in charge 4-1 against Metropolitan Police.
|Season||League contested||Played||Won||Drawn||Lost||For||Against||Points||Final league position|
|42||10||13||19||60||85||43||17th of 22|
|42||20||8||14||74||55||68||9th of 22|
|42||20||9||13||72||46||69||9th of 22|
|42||14||9||19||54||70||51||15th of 22|
Division One South
|42||24||7||11||87||54||79||2nd of 22
Division One South
|42||25||11||6||87||42||86||3rd of 22|
Division One South
|42||14||12||16||67||69||54||12th of 22|
|44||20||8||16||80||74||68||11th of 23|
|42||19||16||7||95||54||73||6th of 22|
|2003–04||Kent League||32||22||4||6||88||35||70||1st of 17
|2002–03||Kent League||29||19||5||5||68||23||62||1st of 16|
|2001–02||Kent League||30||15||6||9||56||44||51||5th of 16|
|2000–01||Kent League||32||10||5||17||39||46||35||12th of 17|
|1999–00||Kent League||34||10||3||21||42||80||33||13th of 18|
|1998–99||Kent League||36||8||9||19||53||66||35||14th of 19|
Cray Wanderers currently play their home games at Hayes Lane, Bromley, Kent, BR2 9EF.
Cray started playing football at Star Lane, now a cemetery. After playing at numerous other grounds, Cray played at Grassmeade from 1954 to 1973, after which they moved to Oxford Road. Unfortunately for the club, in 1998 the Kent League ruled that clubs must have floodlighting. As Cray were unable to have lights installed, they were forced to move out and share the Hayes Lane ground of Bromley, although their reserve and youth teams still play at the former ground.
In the summer of 2008, Cray announced plans to move to a new stadium near Orpington by 2014. Official plans published on the club's official website on 18 February 2009 confirmed that the new ground at Sandy Lane would be open by 2014, for the 2014–15 season, subject to planning consent. The stadium, which is proposed to be part of a new "Sports Village-like complex" is set to be eco-friendly and be built to an initial Conference standard.
The bid was rejected unanimously, by all councillors on Bromley Council's Development Control Committee on Thursday 20 September 2012. This was for a number of reasons, but mainly because the Club was hoping to build a Football League sized stadium, using the profits from building nearly 200 houses and a large hotel on Green Belt land.
In the debate on the application, which was opposed by the Police and the GLA as well as other bodies, it was clear that Councillors were supportative of a proposal to relocate Cray Wanderers to a new home in St. Pauls Cray, but not to the building of houses, a hotel and another swimming pool, given that LA Leisure already have a swimming pool opposite the site, in order to fund it.
According to website
The Cray Wanderers Academy, based at Coopers Technology College, Chislehurst, was established in January 2009 by representatives of the club (Gary Hillman and Darren Anslow) and school (Oliver Hobbs and Shirley Puxty).
It provides the opportunity of full-time training and the prospect of a future sporting career, whilst also offering an educational route.
The Academy is for 16–18 year olds and competed in the Isthmian Youth League from the 2009–10 season, finishing second.
In its first season it already showed signs of success, with youngster George Porter breaking into the senior first team in the Academy's first season, impressing to the extent that he was signed by professional club Leyton Orient at the end of the season. Several other players have made first team appearances during the first season.
- Kent League: 1901–02, 1980–81, 2002–03, 2003–04
- Runners Up: 1979–80, 1990–91
- London League: 1956–57, 1957–58
- Runners Up: 1953–54, 1954–55
- Aetolian League: 1962–63
- London Spartan League: 1976–77, 1977–78
- Isthmian League Division One South: Runners Up, 2008–09
- Play-off Winners: 2008–09
- Best league performance: 9th in Isthmian League Premier Division, 2010–11
- Best FA Cup performance: 4th qualifying round, 2005–06
- Best FA Trophy performance: 2nd round, 2004–05
- Best FA Vase performance: Quarter-finals, 1979–80, 2003–04
- Best Kent Senior Cup performance: Final, 1900–01, 2007–08
- Record attendance: 2160 vs Leytonstone (FA Amateur Cup, 1969)
- Biggest Win: 15–0 vs Sevenoaks, 1894–95
- Biggest Defeat: 1–11 vs Bromley, 1920–21
- Biggest Isthmian League Win: 8–1 vs Corinthian-Casuals, 2008–09
- Biggest Isthmian League Defeat: 3-9 vs Kingstonian, 2012–13
- Most appearances: John Dorey, 500 (1961–72)
- Most goals: Ken Collishaw, 274 (1954–65)
League Only 2013- Keith Bird and Adam Housago
As of 7 July 2013
Notable former players
1. Players that have played/managed in the football league or any foreign equivalent to this level (i.e. fully professional league).
2. Players with full international caps.
3. Players that have achieved success in other sports or the media.
- Moses Ademola – Former youth player, went on to play for Croydon Athletic before going to Brentford along with another former Wand, Sam Wood. Had a trial with Charlton Athletic and appeared on Football Icon 2.
- Shawn Beveney – Guyana international, had 2 unsuccessful spells at the club in 2008 and 2009.
- Danny Chapman – Played for Cray for 2 years including their promotion season to the Isthmian Premier. Chapman played professional for Millwall and Leyton Orient.
- Joe Dolan – Played for Millwall.
- John Faulkner – Played for Cray before joining Sutton United, where he was spotted by Leeds United. Played 4 games in total before joining Luton Town.
- Juma Ibrahim - Ugandan International.
- Andy Martin – Former Crystal Palace and Hereford United striker had a spell at club in 2007.
- Thomas Moncur – Played in The Football League with Bradford, Wycombe Wanderers and Chesterfield.
- Simon Osborn – Played in The Football League with Crystal Palace, Reading, Q.P.R, Wolves, Tranmere Rovers, Port Vale, Gillingham, Walsall and Hereford.
- George Porter – Progressed from the academy to the first team. Went on to join Leyton Orient, before signing for Burnley for the 2012-13 season.
- Dave Quirke – Played for Cray in the early 1980s. Most notably at Gillingham, playing 230 games.
- Rob Quinn – Played in The Football League with Crystal Palace, Brentford, Oxford United and Bristol Rovers.
- Jim Sanders – FA Cup Winner with West Bromwich Albion. Started career at Cray before joining Charlton Athletic, then most notably West Bromwich Albion and Coventry City.
- Tommy Wilcox – Had spell at club in the early 20th century, also played for clubs such as Woolwich Arsenal and Manchester United.
- Sam Wood – Youth product who left for landlords Bromley before making the step up to The Football League with Brentford. Won several individual awards in first season, including Player of the Year.
- Adrian Paul – Former player turned actor, famous for role as Duncan MacLeod in Highlander
- Official website
- "Match Report: Cray Wanderers 0 Ebbsfleet United 4". Official Website. Retrieved 2008-09-20.[dead link]
- "Chairman has grounds for optimism ahead of play-off’s". Kentishfootball. 28 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-26.
- "Jenkins faces Cup Final selection dilemma". Kentishfootball. 13 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-26.
- "Cray Stop Wandering After 40 Years!". Official Website. 18 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-18.[dead link]
- "Club Squad". Official Website. Retrieved 2008-09-29.
- "Behind The Scenes". Official Website. Retrieved 2008-09-19.[dead link]
- Cray Wanderers at the Football Club History Database