History

A Brief History

Walton F.C. was formed in 1895, and in 1945, following World War II, amalgamated with Hersham F.C. to form Walton & Hersham F.C., the present club. They immediately joined the newly formed Corinthian League and followed a poor first season with a hat-trick of Championships and a runners-up position. They also won the Surrey Senior Cup for the first time in 1947-48, beating Isthmian League neighbours Kingstonian 2-1 at Crystal Palace. Election to the Athenian League soon followed and in their first season, 1950-51, Swans finished runners-up and again won the Surrey Senior Cup at Palace, defeating the much vaunted Dulwich Hamlet 2-1.

Great days, big crowds

These were halcyon days for the Stompond Lane side and the FA Amateur Cup Semi-Final was reached in successive seasons, 1951-52 and 1952-53, only for Swans to go out to Walthamstow Avenue and Harwich & Parkston respectively. During this period the club enjoyed a tremendous following, and a record crowd of 10,000 were at the Lane in 1952 when the famous Crook Town were the visitors for an Amateur Cup tie. Stars of this era included Swans’ most famous player, England and Great Britain Olympic defender C.R. ‘Jack’ Neale, and the prolific Reg Sentance, still the club’s all-time top scorer. Some lean years followed, although the FA Cup First Round was reached for the first time in 1957-58, Southampton winning 6-1 before 6,000 people at Stompond Lane. Don Stoker’s popular sides of the early 1960’s brought cup fever back to the Lane and their were fine runs again in the Amateur Cup. Two late goals by the prolific and popular Brian Jenkins beat the star-studded Wimbledon side in the Surrey Senior Cup Final of 1960-61, and the trophy was retained against Sutton United the following season. After several years of mid-table respectability the appointment of Allen Batsford as manager in 1967 heralded the beginning of the most successful period in the club’s history. At the end of his first season, a superb victory over a powerful Wimbledon side in the two legged Final secured the Premier Midweek Floodlit League title, the first of three, followed a year later by the winning of the Athenian League championship for the first time. The FA Cup First Round Proper was again reached in the following two seasons, only for Swans to lose to Barnet 1-0 in 1969-70 and Telford United 5-2 in 1970-71, both games being played at the Lane. The runners-up spot in the League was achieved in both those campaigns and the Surrey Senior Cup came back to Stompond Lane in 1970-71, Woking being defeated 3-0 in the Final. Election to the Isthmian ranks followed, with third place attained in the first season, 1971-72.

Wembley at last

Then followed the most memorable season in the club’s history, 1972-73. The FA Cup First Round barrier was overcome for the first time with Exeter City being defeated 2-1 amid tremendous excitement at the Lane, only for visitors Margate to win by the only goal in the Second Round. Kingstonian were beaten 2-0 in the Surrey Senior Cup Final and the runners-up spot achieved in the League. Then on the 14th. April 1973 the ultimate prize was gained at Wembley when 41,000 people saw a last-minute Roger Connell goal against Slough Town bring the FA Amateur Cup to Stompond Lane, the trophy being won without a goal being conceded, a record never to be equalled. Dave Bassett, Willie Smith and Roger Connell also had the honour of playing for the England Amateur side. The following season Brian Clough brought his Brighton & Hove Albion side to Stompond Lane in the FA Cup First Round, and following a goalless draw, Swans pulled off a sensational result in the replay at The Goldstone Ground, a Clive Foskett hat-trick included in a 4-0 win. Sadly, when Batsford left for Wimbledon the following season the fine team broke up, the crowds drifted away, and relegation soon followed in 1975. The FA Cup First Round was surprisingly reached in 1975-76, and a young side put on a battling performance at Selhurst Park against Malcolm Allison’s Crystal Palace, only going down 1-0 to a late goal. Barren years followed, with the club several times being close to extinction. In the mid 1980’s the club was proud to have Sir Stanley Matthews as President, but sides flattered to deceive and only a draw in the final game of the 1986-87 season prevented relegation to Division Two.

Promotion

After 20 years out of the top-flight, a young side under Neil Price at last gained promotion in 1993-94, and the following season the First Round Proper of the FA Cup was again reached, Swansea City winning 2-0 at the Lane. However Swans’ Centenary celebrations were spoilt by relegation after only two seasons back in the Premier. Under the management of Laurie Craker the team ensured the stay in Division One was as brief as possible, promotion being gained on the last day of the campaign. After a creditable first season back in the Premier Division it again proved to be a struggle to remain there, and at the end of the 1999-2000 season Swans finished in bottom spot and relegation again became a reality. Swans had to wait until the 2004-05 season before more success came to Stompond Lane after long-serving player Alan Dowson took over as manager in October. After defeat in his first match in charge, Dowson led the team to a record breaking 13 match winning sequence, fine runs in the FA Trophy and League Cup, and promotion as runners-up in the Ryman League Division One. The Surrey Senior Cup Final was reached for the first time in 31 years, the Swans only losing a thrilling game against AFC Wimbledon 2-1 after extra-time before close to 4,000 people at Woking. After a creditable first season back in the Premier Division a poor start to 2006-07 led to Dowson’s early resignation and eventual relegation yet again. Since then Swans have remained in Division One, facing relegation fights on several occasions. Former player Tony Reid took over the managerial reins at the end of February 2014.

Click here to see Walton & Hersham’s Year by Year history.

Club Honours

F.A. Amateur Cup: Winners 1972-3, Semi finalists: 1951-2,1952-3

Isthmian League Premier Division: Runners-up 1972-3
Division One: Third Place 1993-4, 1996-7 Runners up 2004-2005

Barassi Cup Winners: 1973-4

Premier Midweek Floodlit League: Winners 1967-8,1968-9,1970-1 Runners-up 1971-2

Surrey Senior Cup Winners: 1947-8, 1950-1, 1960-1, 1961-2, 1970-1, 1972-3 Finalist 2004-5
Runners up :1947-8, 1951-2,1959-60, 1969-70, 1971-2, 1973,4

London Senior Cup: Runners up :1973-4

Athenian League: Champions 1968-9, Runners up 1969-70

Corinthian League: Champions 1946-7, 1947-8, 1948-9, Runners-up 1949-50, 1950-1

Southern Combination Cup: Winners: 1949-50, 1982-3, 1988-9, 1992-3, 1999-2000, 2000-2001
Runners-up: 1998-99

John Livey Memorial Trophy: Winners 1991-2, 1993,4, 1996-7

Saft-Nife Shield: Winners 1996-7