Cray Wanderers F.C.

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Not to be confused with Bray Wanderers A.F.C..
Cray Wanderers
Craywanderersfc.png
Full name Cray Wanderers Football Club
Nickname(s) The Wands
Founded 1860; 157 years ago (1860)[1] traditionally
Ground Hayes Lane, Bromley
Ground Capacity 5,000 (1,300 seated)[2]
Chairman Gary Hillman
Manager Tony Russell
League Isthmian League Division One South
2016–17 Isthmian League Division One South, 11th
Website Club home page

Cray Wanderers Football Club is an English semi-professional football club based in Bromley, London. Based on later reports, the club has a claim to have been established some time in 1860 in the twin villages of St. Mary Cray and St Paul's Cray, near Orpington.[3] Such a date would make it one of the oldest football clubs in the world.

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 Division One South of the Isthmian League.

History[edit]

The first origins of Cray Wanderers are linked to the construction of the London, Chatham and Dover Railway line during 1858 to 1860.[1] During their leisure time, migrant workers kicked a ball around, and that is how the club originated in the St Mary Cray village. The pitch at Star Lane is now a cemetery, and is located beneath the nine-arch railway viaduct that spans the Cray Valley. The industrial belt of the River Cray, especially the paper mills, provided much of the club's support up till the 1950s.

Cray Wanderers were a strong force in senior county football at the turn of the century. After being Kent Junior Cup semi-finalists and finalists in 1890/91 and 1891/92 they entered the first ever FA Amateur Cup competition in 1893/94. They had a spell as a professional club between 1895 and 1907. They were a nursery club for Woolwich Arsenal during part of this period. They were one of the founder members of the Kent League in 1894/95, and they won the championship in 1901/02. Other honours included Southern Suburban League champions in 1898/99, West Kent League champions in 1903/04, and Kent Senior Cup runners-up in 1899/1900.

After World War One, Cray switched to the London League where they remained till 1934. In 1930/31 they won the Kent Amateur Cup. Cray rejoined the Kent League in 1934/35, but their four-year stay came to grief when 1936 saw the loss of the Fordcroft ground in Cray Avenue, their home since 1898. Cray were forced to drop into a lower level of football, drifting from one temporary pitch to another while the club committee dwindled to a perilously small number. The team struggled badly in the South London Alliance and the Kent Amateur League.

1951/52 heralded a new era, and an upturn in the club's fortunes, when local businessman Mick Slater took over at the helm. The club was elected to the London League and regained its senior status. Cray moved to a new ground at Grassmeade in 1955. Their stay there was a very successful period in the club's history. Drawing extra support from the commuter town of Orpington, they played in the London League and then the Aetolian League. They were three times crowned champions, won the League Cup twice, and also won the Kent Amateur Cup three times.

Cray switched to the semi-professional Metropolitan League for five seasons commencing in 1966/67. In 1971/72 the Met London League was created by a merger of the Metropolitan League and the Greater London League.

Cray moved to Oxford Road in 1973/74. Johnny Biddle and Jimmy Wakeling proved to be successful managers. In 1974/75 Cray won the Met London League and League Cup, scoring 170 goals in all matches that season. In 1976/77 and 1977/78 Cray won the London Spartan League championship.

Cray decided to return to the Kent League in 1978/79. Success came quickly because Cray won the championship in 1980/81, having been runners-up the year before. Their powerful new team under manager Harry Richardson reached the FA Vase quarter-final and 5th round in those two seasons. After that, the 1980s decade brought only one more piece of silverware, the Kent League Cup in 1983/84. After finishing Kent League runners up in 1990/91, Cray had a lean period during most of the 1990s, with the exception of 1992/93 when they won the Kent Senior Trophy.

Kent League champions in 1981.

A new club chairman Gary Hillman arrived in 1994/95 and Ian Jenkins, a Cray player since 1993, was appointed manager in 1999. By now, Cray were tenants of Bromley F.C.. As champions of the Kent League in 2002/03 and 2003/04, also reaching the FA Vase quarter-final, they achieved promotion into the Isthmian League Division One.

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.[4] 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.

Cray Wanderers celebrated their 150th anniversary during the summer of 2010, including friendlies against the other two oldest clubs in the world, Sheffield and Hallam, in a three-team tournament.

Ian Jenkins, who had managed the club for 14 years, left in September 2013.[5] Keith Bird and Mike Paye, managers of Bromley's reserve team, were appointed as manager and assistant manager respectively. The team was relegated into the Isthmian League Division One North at the end of April 2014. Gary Abbott and Mike Paye became joint managers of the team at the start of October 2014. On 5 January 2015 the club appointed Tommy Warrilow as the new manager. Warrilow masterminded a dramatic "Great Escape" from a second successive relegation as the team won their last ten games of the season.

Former player Tony Russell took over for the 2015-16 season, guiding the team to fourth place in Division One North. Cray therefore qualified for the promotion play-offs but lost to Harlow Town.

League history[edit]

Information taken from club stats book.[6]

Season League contested Played Won Drawn Lost For Against Points Final league position
2016-17 Isthmian League Division One South 46 19 11 16 88 86 68 11th of 24
2015-16 Isthmian League Division One North 46 27 9 10 98 52 90 4th of 24
2014-15 Isthmian League Division One North 46 14 10 22 77 86 52 16th of 24
2013-14 Isthmian League Premier Division 46 7 5 34 40 137 26 24th of 24 Relegated
2012–13 Isthmian League Premier Division 42 10 13 19 60 85 43 17th of 22
2011–12 Isthmian League Premier Division 42 20 8 14 74 55 68 9th of 22
2010–11 Isthmian League Premier Division 42 20 9 13 72 46 69 9th of 22
2009–10 Isthmian League Premier Division 42 14 9 19 54 70 51 15th of 22
2008–09 Isthmian League Division One South 42 24 7 11 87 54 79 2nd of 22 Promoted
2007-08 Isthmian League Division One South 42 25 11 6 87 42 86 3rd of 22
2006–07 Isthmian League Division One South 42 14 12 16 67 69 54 12th of 22
2005–06 Isthmian League Division One 44 20 8 16 80 74 68 11th of 23
2004–05 Isthmian League Division One 42 19 16 7 95 54 73 6th of 22
2003–04 Kent League 32 22 4 6 88 35 70 1st of 17 Promoted
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
1997–98 Kent League 42 20 11 11 70 50 71 6th of 22
1996–97 Kent League 40 11 6 23 43 66 39 18th of 21
1995–96 Kent League 38 16 5 17 70 70 50 12th of 20
1994–95 Kent League 40 6 14 20 45 76 32 19th of 21
1993–94 Kent League 40 11 9 20 37 65 42 17th of 21
1992–93 Kent League 40 10 8 22 64 79 38 17th of 21
1991–92 Kent League 40 8 7 25 38 84 31 18th of 21
1990–91 Kent League 40 27 11 2 91 33 92 2nd of 21
1989–90 Kent League 38 7 11 20 48 74 32 18th of 20
1988–89 Kent League 38 19 7 12 67 53 64 7th of 20
1987–88 Kent League 36 16 7 13 72 51 55 7th of 19
1986–87 Kent League 34 12 8 14 56 48 44 10th of 18
1985–86 Kent League 34 9 12 13 34 51 39 14th of 18
1984–85 Kent League 32 17 2 13 59 51 53 5th of 17
1983–84 Kent League 30 14 7 9 66 40 49 4th of 16
1982–83 Kent League 32 12 10 10 65 53 34 8th of 17
1981–82 Kent League 30 13 6 11 51 40 32 8th of 16
1980–81 Kent League 32 24 5 3 92 27 53 1st of 17
1979–80 Kent League 32 20 9 3 80 25 49 2nd of 17
1978–79 Kent League 34 9 9 16 50 65 27 14th of 18
1977-78 London Spartan League Premier Division
(renamed from Division One)
30 21 5 4 74 30 47 1st of 16
1976-77 London Spartan League Division One 30 23 3 4 66 21 49 1st of 16
1975-76 London Spartan League Division One 30 11 9 10 55 55 31 6th of 16
1974-75 Metropolitan-London League 38 32 4 2 128 36 68 1st of 20
1973-74 Metropolitan-London League Division One 26 14 5 7 62 42 33 4th of 14
1972-73 Metropolitan-London League Division One 26 16 2 8 46 28 34 4th of 14
1971-72 Metropolitan-London League Division One 26 15 1 10 59 38 31 4th of 14
1970–71 Metropolitan League 22 12 3 7 45 36 27 4th of 12
1969-70 Metropolitan League 28 8 5 15 34 52 21 13th of 15
1968-69 Metropolitan League 30 11 5 14 49 49 27 12th of 16
1967–68 Metropolitan League 26 12 8 6 50 35 32 4th of 14
1966–67 Metropolitan League 32 14 6 12 60 75 34 9th of 17
1965-66 Greater London League Premier Division 26 19 4 3 57 30 42 1st of 14
1964-65 Greater London League Senior Division B 22 16 3 3 66 25 35 2nd of 12
1963-64 Aetolian League 22 15 5 2 76 27 35 3rd of 12
1962-63 Aetolian League 24 16 5 3 58 30 37 1st of 13
1961-62 Aetolian League 26 12 4 10 60 52 28 7th of 14
1960-61 Aetolian League 24 14 3 7 79 52 31 3rd of 13
1959-60 Aetolian League 26 11 2 13 52 56 24 9th of 14
1958-59 London League 28 15 4 9 79 51 34 3rd of 15
1957-58 London League 30 23 5 2 102 35 51 1st of 16
1956-57 London League 28 23 2 3 118 54 48 1st of 15
1955-56 London League Premier Division 24 14 4 6 50 37 32 3rd of 13
1954-55 London League Premier Division 22 16 3 3 53 29 35 2nd of 12
1953-54 London League Premier Division 26 15 6 5 66 46 36 2nd of 14
1952-53 London League Premier Division 30 9 6 15 56 60 24 12th of 16
1951-52 London League Premier Division 28 10 4 14 52 72 24 10th of 15
1950-51 Kent Amateur League (West) Premier Division 27 18 1 8 75 47 39 2nd of 15
1949-50 Kent Amateur League (West) Premier Division 26 2 4 20 24 88 8 14th of 14
1948-49 Kent Amateur League (West) Premier Division 25 1 5 19 27 103 7 14th of 14
1947-48 Kent Amateur League (West) Premier Division 26 3 4 19 53 107 10 13th of 14
1946-47 Kent Amateur League (West) Premier Division 22 5 2 15 55 81 12 11th of 12
1945-46 South London Alliance (South) 25 15 4 6 91 58 34 2nd of 14
1944-45 South London Alliance (South) 22 13 1 8 79 50 27 5th of 13
1943-44 South London Alliance (South) 23 10 7 6 56 46 27 5th of 13
1939-40 Kent Amateur League (West) Premier Division 24 13 2 9 61 56 26 6th of 13
1937–38 Kent League 32 5 1 26 39 130 11 17th of 17
1936–37 Kent League 32 3 4 25 55 164 10 17th of 17
1935–36 Kent League 36 16 7 13 62 83 39 7th of 19
1934–35 Kent League 36 13 1 22 63 106 27 17th of 19

Grounds[edit]

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 continued to play at the former ground until 2011, when it was taken over by Seven Acre Sports & Sidcup.[7]

Cray Wanderers at Oxford Road in 1997.

In the summer of 2008, Cray announced plans to move to a new stadium near Orpington by 2014.[8][9] 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.[10] 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.

On 3 October 2014 Cray Wanderers signed a conditional contract to purchase Flamingo Park Sports Centre in St Paul’s Cray on the A20 Sidcup bypass. The club had an 18-month period to obtain planning consent from Bromley Council for a new sporting community hub, featuring a new multi-sport stadium with a spectator capacity of 1,300. This was achieved in April 2016, when the Council approved the proposal. [11] There was disappointment when the application was later refused by the Mayor of London and a revised set of plans were being prepared in 2017. [12]

Current squad[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
England GK Nick Blue
England DF Jai McKinlay
England DF Timi Osibodu
England DF Jay Leader
England DF Ben Mundele
England MF Lea Dawson
England MF Sean Roberts
England MF James Duckworth
England MF Max Williams
No. Position Player
England MF Dean Carpenter
England MF Karl Dent
England MF James Duckworth
England MF Lee Prescott
England FW Anthony Adesite
England FW Brandon Scott
England FW Danny Haynes
Republic of Ireland FW Michael Power
England FW Luke Medley


Club staff[edit]

First team[edit]

Name Role
Tony Russell Manager

Academy[edit]

The Cray Wanderers Academy, based at Coopers School, Chislehurst, was established in January 2009 by representatives of the club (Gary Hillman and Darren Anslow) and school (Oliver Hobbs and Shirley Puxty).

It provided 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- to 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.

It was decided at the beginning of 2016 that this arrangement with Coopers School would come to an end. The club are looking at establishing another Academy setup in the next couple of years.

Honours[edit]

Records[edit]

Player records[edit]

  • Most appearances: John Dorey, 454 (1961–72), Jamie Wood, 461 (including some as non-playing sub) (1996-2010)
  • Most goals: Ken Collishaw, 274 (1954–65)

Managerial history[edit]

League Only. Information taken from club stats book.[6]

Dates Name P W D L Win %
1958–1960 Peter Long 54 26 6 22 48.15
1960-1961 Charlie Prior 24 14 3 7 58.33
1961–1966 Arthur Baron 131 81 23 27 61.83
1967–1969 Norman Golding 77 34 17 26 44.16
1969–1971 Jack Payne 68 34 9 25 50.00
1972 Jim Paris 8 1 0 7 12.50
1972–1975 Johnny Biddle 90 62 11 17 68.89
1975–1978 Jimmy Wakeling 90 55 17 18 61.11
1978 Bobby Sustins 8 1 1 6 12.50
1978–1979 Albert Dorey 18 5 6 7 27.78
1979 Alan Williams 8 3 2 3 50.00
1979–1981 Harry Richardson 64 44 14 6 68.75
1981–1986 Alan Payne 150 61 34 55 40.67
1986 Trevor Willis 8 4 3 1 50.00
1986–1991 Peter Gaydon 186 81 44 61 43.55
1991–1994 Eddie Davies 132 30 26 76 22.73
1994–1996 Alan Whitehead 66 21 17 28 31.82
1996–1997 Glen Cooper 40 11 6 23 27.50
1997–1998 John Roseman 42 20 11 11 47.62
1998–1999 Ian Jenkins 36 8 8 19 22.22
1999 Fabio Rossi 7 1 0 6 14.29
1999–2013 Ian Jenkins 546 245 117 184 44.87
2013–2014 Keith Bird 45 8 5 32 17.78
2014 Michael Paye and Gary Abbott 15 1 7 7 6.67
2015 Tommy Warrilow 21 11 2 8 52.38
2015-2017 Tony Russell 92 46 20 26 50.00
as at 23 April 2017

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Official website
  2. ^ Mike Williams & Tony Williams (2013) Non-League Club Directory 2013: 35th Edition TW Publications, p273
  3. ^ "Vain Games of No Value by Terry Morris". Author House. 2016. Retrieved 15 September 2016. 
  4. ^ "Match Report: Cray Wanderers 0 Ebbsfleet United 4" (PDF). Official Website. Retrieved 2008-09-20. [dead link]
  5. ^ Kentishfootball.co.uk
  6. ^ a b "Cray Wanderers - A Complete Statistical Record". Cray 150 Publications. 2014. Retrieved 2014-10-31. 
  7. ^ "Club History (brief)". Sporting Club Thamesmead F.C. Retrieved 2016-11-16. 
  8. ^ "Chairman has grounds for optimism ahead of play-offs". Kentishfootball. 28 April 2008. Archived from the original on 4 September 2009. Retrieved 2008-07-26. 
  9. ^ "Jenkins faces Cup Final selection dilemma". Kentishfootball. 13 July 2008. Archived from the original on 4 September 2009. Retrieved 2008-07-26. 
  10. ^ "Cray Stop Wandering After 40 Years!". Official Website. 18 February 2009. Archived from the original on 23 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-18. 
  11. ^ "Bromley Council approve planning permission for Flamingo Park". Official website. 19 April 2016. Retrieved 2016-04-30. 
  12. ^ "Stadium updates". Official website. 13 April 2017. Retrieved 2017-05-17. 
  13. ^ Cray Wanderers at the Football Club History Database

External links[edit]