Wealdstone F.C.

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Wealdstone F.C.
WealdstoneCrest1-1-.png
Full name Wealdstone Football Club
Nickname(s) The Stones, The Royals
Founded 1899; 118 years ago (1899)
Ground Grosvenor Vale, Ruislip
Ground Capacity 3,607 (329 seated)
Chairman Peter Marsden
Manager Gordon Bartlett
League National League South
2016–17 National League South, 8th of 22

Wealdstone Football Club is a football club based in Ruislip, west London, England. The club is affiliated to the Middlesex County Football Association[1] and currently plays in the National League South, the sixth tier of English football. The team play in royal blue shirts, white shorts and royal blue and white socks, and are nicknamed "The Stones" or "The Royals".

The club appeared in the first televised football match in 1946, when the BBC showed part of their league match against Barnet. They were also the first club to win the non-League 'double', claiming both the FA Trophy and the Alliance Premier League in 1984–85.

History[edit]

Grosvenor Vale in March 2016

The club was formed at the start of the 1899–1900 season.[2] Their first game was a friendly match on 7 October 1899 against Northwood, which they won 6–1. They joined Division Two of the Willesden & District League, and were promoted to Division One for the 1900–01 season after Division Two was scrapped.[2] In 1903 they moved to the College Farm Ground in Locket Road In 1905–06 the club won Division One, but on 20 October 1906 a notice was posted in the local newspaper stating that the club was being disbanded due to a lack of interest from players and supporters.[2]

The club was reformed in time for the 1908–09 season, rejoining Division One of the Willesden & District League.[2] In 1910 they moved to Belmont Road, and won Division One again in 1912–13. Following World War I the club joined the London League and the Middlesex Senior League. They moved to the Lower Mead ground at the start of the 1922–23 season, when they also switched to the Spartan League.[2] The club had their record win on 13 October 1923, beating the 12th London Regiment 22–0 in an FA Amateur Cup game. In 1928–29 they switched leagues again, this time joining the Athenian League.[2] In 1929–30 the club won the Middlesex Senior Cup and the Middlesex Senior Charity Cup for the first time.[2]

During World War II the club continued to play, playing at Wembley Stadium in the final of the Middlesex Senior Red Cross Cup in 1943. The following year they recorded their heaviest-ever defeat, losing 14–0 to Edgware Town in the London Senior Cup. In 1946 the BBC showed part of Wealdstone's Athenian League match at Barnet, the first time a live match had been televised.[2] The club also appeared in the BBC's first two live FA Cup match broadcasts, with their games against Edgware Town in the third qualifying round and Colchester United in the fourth qualifying round being shown on television during the 1949–50 season.[2] After beating Colchester, Wealdstone reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, losing 1–0 to Port Vale.[3]

In 1951–52 the club won the Athenian League, and went on to win the Middlesex Senior Cup in 1959, 1963 and 1964. In 1964 they switched to the Isthmian League. In 1965–66 the club reached the first round of the FA Cup again, losing 3–1 at Millwall, but went on to win the FA Amateur Cup, beating local rivals Hendon 3–1 in the final.[3] The following season saw Wealdstone entered at the first round of the FA Cup, losing 2–0 at home to Nuneaton Borough.[3]

The club joined the Division One North of the Southern League in 1971, turning professional.[2] They were moved to Division One South the following season, and won the division in 1973–74, earning promotion to the Premier Division. In 1977–78 Wealdstone progressed beyond the first round of the FA Cup for the first time; after beating Third Division Hereford United 3–2 at Edgar Street in a first round replay, they went on to defeat Fourth Division Reading 2–1 at home, before losing 4–0 at QPR in the third round.[3]

In 1979 the club were founder members of the Alliance Premier League, the new national top division of non-League football. After finishing 19th in 1980–81 they were relegated back to the Southern League, but made an immediate return after winning the South Division of the Southern League the following season; a play-off ensued against Midland Division champions Nuneaton, with Wealdstone winning on penalties after winning the home leg 2–1 and losing 1–0 away.[3]

In 1984–85 the club won the Alliance Premier League, and also went on to win the FA Trophy, beating Boston United 2–1 in the final.[3] However, a period of decline set in; after finishing tenth the following season, they finished 19th in 1986–87, and were relegated the season after.

At the end of the 1990–91 season financial problems led to the club selling their Lower Mead ground, for which they eventually only received a small share of the sale proceeds.[2] They signed up to an expensive groundsharing arrangement at Watford's Vicarage Road, and at the end of the 1991–92 season the club were relegated again, dropping from the Southern League Premier Division into the South Division. In 1993 they moved to the Warren, Yeading's ground. In 1995 the club rejoined the Isthmian League, dropping into Division Three, and moved grounds again, this time sharing at Edgware Town's White Lion Ground.[2] After winning the division in 1996–97, they finished second in Division Two in 1997–98 and were promoted again, this time to Division One. After finishing third in Division One the 1998–99 they were denied promotion to the Premier Division after ground improvements at the White Lion Ground were made six days after the deadline.[2]

In 2004 the club were promoted to the Premier Division as a result of the creation of the Conference North and South and winning a play-off against Dulwich Hamlet.[3] In 2005 the club moved to Northwood's Chestnut Avenue ground.[2] In 2006 they were switched to the Southern League Premier Division for a single season, before returning to the Isthmian League.

In January 2008 Wealdstone bought Ruislip Manor's Grosvenor Vale ground, starting the 2008–09 season there.[2]With the ground share agreement at Northwood coming to an end and still no specific completion date in sight for the club's Prince Edward Playing Field project, Wealdstone instead decided to invest in the Grosvenor Vale stadium to upgrade the playing facilities as a priority, in order to meet the necessary ground grading requirements to play Isthmian League Premier Division football in the 2008–09 season. The Vale continues to be improved with the introduction of new terracing, safety barriers and in 2009 a new covered stand ('Brian Collins' Corner). In the Summer of 2012 a new club shop was added, along with a new Tea Bar located behind the dug-outs on the half-way line as well as additional raised terracing. In the Summer of 2013, the Supporters paid for and built a new mobile stand ('Bulla Stand') which has been positioned behind the goal at the old 'Tea Bar' end and more cover has been added at the Gun Turret end ('Roy Couch' stand) providing further covered accommodation for the fans.

In 2011–12 the club reached the FA Trophy semi-finals, losing 3–1 to Newport County. They also reached the promotion play-offs in the Premier Division, but lost 2–1 to Lowestoft Town in the semi-finals. The following season saw them losing in the play-off semi finals again, this time against Concord Rangers. However, in 2013–14 the club were Premier Division champions, earning promotion to the Conference South.[3]

Since moving to Grosvenor Vale, Wealdstone have seen steadily increasing home attendances year on year, and currently has the highest average home attendance for any non-league club in all of North London. During the 2013/14 season, Wealdstone had the second highest average home attendance in the Isthmian League (after Maidstone United) and the highest average away attendance (closely followed by Maidstone United and Dulwich Hamlet).

The summer of 2016 saw the club change ownership when Peter Marsden previously chairman of Accringtion Stanley took over the club in late July.[4]

Rivals[edit]

Wealdstone's main traditional local rivals for many years were Barnet, Enfield and Hendon, who were all leading teams in the Athenian and Isthmian leagues from the 1950s into the 1980s. However, these rivalries have lapsed over time with Barnet's rise into the Football League, Enfield's plunge down the football ladder and Hendon being regularly less successful than in its glory days.

Most Wealdstone fans now consider Harrow Borough to be their biggest rivals, owing purely to the clubs' geographical proximity. For several years the two clubs only met if they were drawn together in cup competitions, as they played in different leagues, but when they were both members of the Isthmian League Premier Division, they played each other regularly. In 2012–13 the rivalry with Enfield was resumed with the latter's promotion to the Isthmian League Premier Division.

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

As of Tuesday 20th June 2017

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

No. Position Player
Wales GK Jonathan North
Greece GK Paschalis Xanthos
Australia GK Luke Sheldrick

England DF Jack Smith
England DF Eddie Oshodi
England DF Tom Cadmore
England DF Ciaron Brown
England DF Josh Hill
England DF Ryan Sellers
England DF Benji Crilley

No. Position Player
Canada MF Elliott Godfrey
England MF Danny Green
England MF Ricky Wellard
England MF Matthew Whichelow
England MF Abobaker Eisa
England MF Nathan Mavila
England MF Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick
Guyana MF Sam Cox (captain)
England MF David Hunt

England FW Scott McGleish
England FW Dan Fitchett
England FW Elliot Benyon
Position Staff
Manager Gordon Bartlett
Assistant Manager Scott McGleish
Coach Steve Newing
Coach Micky Johnson
Coach James Gray
Goalkeeper Coach Jason Scannell
Physio Gary Strudwick

Notable former players[edit]

For all Wealdstone F.C. players with a Wikipedia article, see

The club's all-time goalscorer is George Duck. Duck scored 251 goals for Wealdstone in 370 appearances during 1972–79, and additionally set unmatched scoring records for penalties and hat-tricks. In all the seasons he played for the club Duck was top scorer in league and cup competitions

Professional players to have played for Wealdstone include:

Honours[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Find a Club Middlesex County FA
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Today's visitors: Wealdstone – club history" Boreham Wood Football Club
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Wealdstone at the Football Club History Database
  4. ^ http://www.wealdstone-fc.com/2016/posts/appointment-of-wealdstone-fc-chairman/

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°34′09.85″N 0°24′59.90″W / 51.5694028°N 0.4166389°W / 51.5694028; -0.4166389