Hampton & Richmond Borough F.C.
|Full name||Hampton & Richmond Borough Football Club|
|Nickname(s)||The Beavers, Hampton|
|Founded||1921 (as Hampton)|
|Capacity||3,500 (750 seated)|
|League||Isthmian League Premier Division|
|2014–15||Isthmian League Premier Division, 15th|
|Website||Club home page|
Hampton & Richmond Borough Football Club is an English football club based in the suburb of Hampton, in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. They were founded in 1921 and formerly known as Hampton F.C. until 1999 when they changed their name in an attempt to draw a wider support base from around the Borough. In August 2007, the club started their first campaign as members of the Conference South.
The club has a core support base of around 200 to 400 people, average attendances have been steady for the past two seasons at around 350. The club remains the only senior level football club to represent the borough (which includes the towns of Hampton, Teddington, Twickenham, Whitton and Richmond), and is consequently seen as its football club. However, the club arguably struggles in attendance due to the popularity of rugby union in the borough.
The club's record victory is an 11–1 triumph over Eastbourne United in the division two South of the Isthmian League in 1990–91. Their record defeat is a 13–0 loss against Hounslow Town in the Middlesex Senior Cup in 1962–3.
At the start of the 2012–13 season, the club extended a 45 year old club record by going 7 consecutive games without conceding a goal; from the final game of the 2011–12 season in which they beat Thurrock 2–0, the team went a further 6 games into the 2012–13 season, before Lowestoft Town's Jack Defty scored in the 1–1 draw between the teams.
Hampton's early years were spent in the Kingston & District and the South West Middlesex Leagues. Although twice winning the Kingston & District title in the early 1930s the club never managed to capture the South West Middlesex League title during their 26-year stay. The following season they beat Arsenal FC 3–1.
In 1959, Hampton entered the senior football ranks as members of the Surrey Senior League, despite being based in Middlesex. In 1964 they won the championship and stepped up into the Spartan League where they enjoyed seven seasons of unparalleled success. The club captured the Spartan League title four times in 1965, 1966, 1967 and 1970 as well as finishing runners-up in 1968. They never finished outside the top four places during their stay.
In 1971 they were elected to the Second Division of the Athenian League. After narrowly missing promotion in their first season, Hampton finished runners-up to Ruislip Manor in 1973. By this time, though, the Beavers had already been elected to the newly formed Second Division (now First Division) of the Isthmian League.
Isthmian League to 2003
The club were to remain in Division Two of the Isthmian League until 1990, when they suffered their first relegation. Worse was to follow as the two regionalised Second Divisions were split in 1991 to form a Second and Third set-up. The Beavers found themselves one place below the dividing line and were relegated to the Third Division for the 1991–92 season. Although missing automatic promotion by one place, the club was promoted at the Isthmian AGM to fill a vacancy in the Second Division and so began the recovery.
In the mid-1990s, under long-serving manager Chick Botley, the Beavers began to climb up the leagues again, winning promotion from the second division in 1995–96, and then gaining promotion from the first division in 1997–98 after finishing in 3rd place. Hampton started 1998–99 in the Premier Division – now the top tier of Isthmian League football. In 1999–00, they became the first winners of the George Ruffell Memorial Shield. They remained in the Premier Division until 2002–03, which led to relegation and a return to Division One.
The Devonshire years
In the summer of 2003, the club invited experienced manager Alan Devonshire, who had just left Maidenhead United, to the Beveree. Alan signed as manager and had the task of winning promotion back to the Premier Division, this was achieved on the last day of his first season in charge with a 3–0 win at Leatherhead.
Hampton & Richmond subsequently spent three seasons in the Premier Division, each time coming close to promotion to the Conference South after finishing as runners up in the play-off competition in 2005–06, and narrowly missing out on a play-off place in 2004–05.
On 28 April 2007, Hampton & Richmond Borough were promoted as champions of the league to the Conference South after a 4–2 victory over Slough Town. The crowd of nearly 1,100 witnessed an epic match in which Hampton led 2–1 until a late Slough goal looked to have given the championship to promotion rivals, Bromley. This would have forced Hampton into 2nd place, meaning that they would have had to compete in the playoff competition for promotion. However, 90 seconds later Hampton retook the lead through a goal from Stuart Lake and shortly afterwards a penalty was awarded and scored by Elliott Godfrey, resulting in a 4–2 victory, and automatic promotion for the Beavers.
Hampton & Richmond Borough quickly established themselves in the Conference South in the sixth tier of English football. In 2007–08 they finished in 3rd position in the league, reaching the play-off final which was narrowly lost to Eastbourne Borough. The following season they suffered yet more heartbreak in the play-off final, losing 2–3 at their home ground to Hayes & Yeading United, having qualified as runners-up to AFC Wimbledon. A curious fact is that both AFC Wimbledon and Hayes & Yeading United found out they would be going up at Hampton's Beveree ground. The club also reached the First Round Proper of the FA Cup for only the second time in their history in 2007, losing to League Two side, Dagenham & Redbridge in front of over 1,000 fans.
The club recorded its first record attendance at the start of the 2008–09 season when Hampton entertained a full strength West Ham United side that included Dean Ashton, Craig Bellamy and Robert Green. West Ham ran out 4–2 winners in front of a crowd of over 3,000. Since then, several matches, including the Conference South play-off final in May 2009, have been played in front of capacity crowds. The play-off even recorded more than 1,000 people who couldn't get into the stadium for the match.
On 29 January 2009 the club received a record transfer fee for its 20-year-old striker Ben Wright as he moved to League One side Peterborough United. It had been widely reported that Wright was to make the move to Premier League Fulham, but Peterborough beat Fulham to the punch to sign up 'the hottest property in non-league football'. As part of the deal the club received a substantial cash amount and will receive further funds based on goals and appearances for the Posh, as well as a sell on fee. However Wright failed to impress, but now is at Conference National side Braintree Town, re-uniting with manager Alan Devonshire.
In May 2011, Devonshire accepted the position of first team manager at Braintree Town, who had just been promoted to the Conference National. In his place, Mark Harper, Devonshire’s assistant in the 2010–11 season, was appointed to the position of first team manager for the club’s 5th season in the Conference South.
In 2011–12, in progressing to the FA Trophy 3rd round, the club had had its best performance in England's premier non-league cup competition. However, they suffered in the league and were relegated on the final day of the season.
The following season, 2012–13, started off brightly in the Ryman Premier, as the club were looking for immediate promotion back to the Conference South. However, the good form disappeared and after a 3–0 defeat to bottom team Carshalton on 1 April, Mark Harper resigned his position as first team manager. The management for the remaining games of the season was handed to first team coach Paul Barry and player Darren Powell. The pair subsequently were appointed in the position permanently.
After a poor start to the 2014–15 season, Barry and Powell resigned on 13 September, following a 3–2 defeat away to VCD Athletic in the FA Cup. Earlier that week, the club had suffered a 6–4 defeat at home to Leiston in the Ryman Premier League.
The home of Hampton & Richmond Borough is Beveree Stadium, Beaver Close, Hampton, Middlesex, TW12 2BX. It has a total capacity of 3,500, with roughly 750 of this being seated and 900 in covered terracing. On 11 October 2005, that capacity was tested with a crowd of 2,020 turning out for an Isthmian League match between Hampton & Richmond Borough and AFC Wimbledon. The match ended in a 2–1 victory for the home side. On 18 April 2009, a record crowd of 3,225 turned up for the match against AFC Wimbledon which resulted in a 1–1 draw.
The Beveree, which can be shortened to 'the Bev', has been the home of the club since 1959. It is also the home of other affiliated clubs such as Hampton & Richmond Borough Women F.C., Hampton Under 18s, Chelsea Ladies FC before May 2006; and the Hampton & Richmond Borough reserve team, which was restarted in 2008 after a four-year stretch with no reserve squad.
Not just a football ground, the Beveree is also used for social events. The club's ground has been used as a polling station for all local, general and European elections for a long time.
In June 2006, work began on transforming the clubhouse and changing rooms at the Beveree into a more modern facility. Work was completed by the end of Summer, and the new look clubhouse was officially opened by FA Chief Executive, Brian Barwick, on 26 August 2006. The new facility has a pool table and flat screen TVs and is WiFi enabled.
In April 2008 the Club received a Conference B grading for Beveree, following several weeks of work, which included the installation of additional toilet facilities, an extra turnstile, new dugouts and the extension of the Main Stand with 60 additional seats and the purchase of 250–seater semi-permanent stand. The B grading enables the club to remain in the Conference South.
Should the club gain promotion to the Conference National, plans are in place for a new 250-seat stand and further turnstiles, segregation and catering facilities.
The club is nicknamed the Beavers and there is some debate as to its origins. The ground is known as Beveree – after the nearby house from whose grounds it was originally part of – and it lies adjacent to Beaver Close, which would seem to suggest as to where the tag originates. Furthermore, an ancient stream (which currently flows underneath the pitch) heads towards the river Thames some 200 yards away, which may indicate that the area could have been the habitat of the animal before it became extinct in the UK hundreds of years ago.
Following the renaming of the club from Hampton to Hampton & Richmond Borough, occasionally 'come on the Borough' is heard but in essence, the fans prefer 'Beavers' to anything else, reflected in the naming of the club's youth group as the 'Hampton Beavers' and the supporters, sometimes referred to as the 'Beaver Patrol'. An alternative and somewhat humorous chant often heard emanating from the crowds behind the home goal is 'Up the Beavers'.
Hampton & Richmond's main football rivalry is with Staines Town. The two sides have played against each other in the 'Thames-side Derby' many times, the most recent encounter being in New Year's Day 2012 when the Beavers won 4–1 at Wheatsheaf Park, Staines. The rivalry started around 40 years ago when the two sides played each other in a thrilling match. Thames-side Derby matches tend to attract a much increased crowd figure.
As of 08 August 2015: Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Hampton & Richmond Borough's most recent major honour is their Isthmian Championship victory of 2006–07. In May 2014, the club also won the Middlesex Senior Cup following a 3–2 victory over Wealdstone, that season's Ryman Premier League champions. Their previous trophy outside of this had been the Middlesex Super Cup, a regional cup for the county of Middlesex, whereby the winners of the previous season's two local tournaments face each other. Hampton & Richmond won this on 10 October 2006, they entered as the Middlesex Senior Cup holders, and were victorious over Harrow Borough, the Middlesex Charity Cup holders.
- Conference South
- Isthmian League Premier Division
- Champions: 2006–07
- Isthmian League Division One South
- Promoted: 2003–04
- Isthmian League Division One
- Promoted: 1997–98
- Isthmian League Division Two
- Promoted: 1995–96
- Isthmian League Division Three
- Promoted: 1991–92
- FA Cup
- FA Trophy
- Best performance: 3rd round
- Isthmian League Cup
- Middlesex Senior Cup
- Middlesex Super Cup
Famous scriptwriter Alan Simpson is the president of Hampton & Richmond Borough Football Club. Simpson is noted for the famous TV series that he co-wrote with Ray Galton, Steptoe & Son. Simpson and Galton were awarded OBEs in the 2000 Honours List for their contribution to British television. The seating stand behind the goal at the Beveree Stadium is named after Alan Simpson, the 'Simpson Stand'. Alan has been club president since 1967, making him one of the longest-serving club officials with over 40 years service to his name.
In 2009, the Former Chief Executive of The Football Association, Brian Barwick, joined the Board of Directors at Hampton, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience from the top levels of football.
For a period in the 1950s, famous pianist Winifred Atwell was club patron.
Television personality and comedian Paul Merton has been present at a number of Hampton & Richmond Borough matches. The Times newspaper reported in May 2007 that Merton had been to three matches, with the club winning on each occasion.
- "Hampton & Richmond Borough Attendances". Football Web Pages. Retrieved 4 February 2007.
- "Hampton & Richmond Borough Fixtures / Results". Football Web Pages. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
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- "Results". The Football Association.[dead link]
- "Club Statement.". hamptonfc.net. 2 April 2013. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- "Update on management positions for the rest of the season.". hamptonfc.net. 3 April 2013. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- Raeburn, Andrew (25 April 2013). "Barry and Powell stay on at Hampton". West London Sport.
- "Football Conference South Results". tonykempster.co.uk. Retrieved 19 April 2009.
- "News". MiddlesexFA. 10 April 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-21.
- "Hampton reclaim Senior Cup". Middlesex F.A. 5 May 2014.
- "The Times | UK News, World News and Opinion". Timesonline.co.uk. 13 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-21.
- "Santiago Cabrera: I’d love to make a film about Maradona". Metro. 14 January 2014. Retrieved 18 April 2015.