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Home: Non League Football Information: History:
Clapham Rovers

 



BertD
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Aug 10, 2019, 5:55 PM

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Clapham Rovers Can't Post or Reply Privately

1879/80 F.A. Cup winners Clapham Rovers are quoted as "formed on 10 August 1869 by a meeting arranged by W. E. Rawlinson".

However, there are several fixtures for them in The Sportsman in the second half of 1869 and a first mention of them that I could find in the 02 January 1869 edition.

There is also a reference, also in The Sporstman (14 Feb 1914) to them being formed in 1868 at the Alexandra Hotel, Clapham Common.

It's possible that those earlier fixtures were played under rugby rules, and that the association matches started in 1869.

It's also often written that they disbanded in 1911, but they were certainly still playing in 1913/14 and, one suspects, limped into 1914/15 and disbanded then, perhaps without playing that season, like so many others, on the outbreak of WWI.

They played their early matches on Clapham Common (as, incidentally, did Wanderers prior to their move to The Oval) before moving to a field in Balham (Tooting Bec Common?) for the 1873/74 season, and it wasn't until 1877/78 that they moved into their Wandsworth Common ground. There were further moves, to another pitch in Burntwood Lane, Wandsworth, in 1902/03 and then to share the Brixton Cricket Ground with another F.A. Cup winner, Old Carthusians, in 1907/08. By 1913/14 it appears they had moved even further afield, to Beckenham.

I know there are some F.A. Cup experts around, so does anyone know the exact location of the grounds used in their glory days, ie Clapham Common, Balham and Wandsworth Common (or, indeed, any of the later grounds, apart from Brixton CC which was in Poplar Walk, East Dulwich)?


BertD
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Aug 11, 2019, 8:28 AM

Posts: 313
Location: South London
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However, there are several fixtures for them in The Sportsman in the second half of 1869 and a first mention of them that I could find in the 02 January 1869 edition.


However, there are several fixtures for them in The Sportsman in the second half of 1868/69 and a first mention of them that I could find in the 02 January 1869 edition.


BertD
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Aug 19, 2019, 11:37 PM

Posts: 313
Location: South London
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Re: [BertD] Clapham Rovers [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Digging a bit further, they played at home in Balham in October 1872, a season earlier than I'd previously thought, and the "field in Balham" can now be narrowed down to Bedford Hill, so almost certainly the previous reference to Tooting Bec Common applies.

Also, the Wandsworth Common ground is occasionally referred to as "near Wandsworth Common" or "near Wandsworth Common Station", so might not have actually been on the Common itself, but a private ground alongside.

Finally, Alcock's annual for 1881/82 apparently inexplicably shows their home ground as Lea Bridge, but all reports prove they were still playing at Wandsworth Common.


tandmwfc
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Aug 20, 2019, 8:38 AM

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Re: [BertD] Clapham Rovers [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

In 1908 they were founder members of the Balham & District league


BertD
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Aug 21, 2019, 4:01 AM

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In 1908 they were founder members of the Balham & District league

Thanks for that T&M. I wonder if any other club has naturally fallen from such heady heights to such lowly levels?


BertD
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Aug 21, 2019, 4:03 AM

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In 1908 they were founder members of the Balham & District league


Thanks for that T&M. I wonder if any other club has gone naturally from such lofty heights to such lowly levels?


Roger D
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Sep 14, 2019, 2:43 PM

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Re: [BertD] Clapham Rovers [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Could the Balham ground be the old Hyde's Farm ground. I seem to remember a fair few teams played there in Victorian times

Also I have seen a reference to them suspending fixtures for the duration in the early days of WW1. Presumably they were one of the many clubs not to re-start post war.


BertD
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Sep 14, 2019, 3:31 PM

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Re: [Roger D] Clapham Rovers [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

It's possible it was Hyde Farm, which was certainly used for a lot of football - as well as the enclosed Baseball Ground therein - in the late Victorian era (not sure how early, would have to dig a bit to find a more conclusive reference) but "Bedford Hill" implies the other end of Tooting Common to me.

I'd be interested to see the reference to them suspending activities. I think it's pretty certain that they were one of the many who failed to restart after WWI.

 
 


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