Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Nunhead FC

The Haberdashers' Aske's school playing fields on St Asaph's Road were once the site of a football ground. Not only that, but one of the greatest English sportsmen of all time started his career there.

Nunhead FC were formed in 1904 by the merger of Wingfield House FC (founded in 1888) and Honour Oak FC. They played at what was then known as Brown's Grounds. According to their Wikipedia entry, 'in the 1926-27 season, Nunhead reached the FA Cup second round, going out 2-1 to Poole from Dorset. The campaign was also notable for Nunhead setting a record for the highest victory by a non-league side in an FA Cup proper round match, they had beat Kingstonian 9-0, in the first round. In the league, the club rose to prominence by capturing the Isthmian League championship in successive seasons (during 1928-29 and 1929-30)... the Second World War saw the end of the club, they ceased day-to-day operations in 1941'. They were formally wound up in 1949.

The main stand burnt down in 1936, but as late as the 1970s a section of the terracing could still be seen next to the Athletics track.

A 1940s map at Southwark Council's excellent Historic Maps site shows that the ground stood approximately where the tennis courts are now, with its entrance seemingly on Ivydale Road. Note too that there was a 'miniature rifle range' there too.

Denis Compton started his football career at Nunhead FC in 1934 before moving to Arsenal. But he was best known of course as an England and Middlesex cricketer - and as the original Brycreem Boy:

There's apparently a book by Mike Blakeman called 'Nunhead Football Club: The Full History' (2000), will have to track it down.


Webby said...

Does anybody have an email address or contact details for the author of this book. My husbands Grandfather (Alan Thirlaway) played for Nunhead FC. My husband has a number of football programmes from home matches between 1934 and 1937. He has a teamsheet with not only his Granfathers name on it but both the compton brothers (Dennis and Leslie). He has some team photos one which is large and all the players names are typed on the mount. Someone may have a real interest in seeing these or talking about them, I know my husband would love to know more about the team (the items would not be for sale). He even has a programme from when Nunhead played Arsenal in the London Cup!

Transpontine said...

The book is available on Amazon:

Don't have the author's details, but if you were able to scan any of the documents you mentioned, I would love to put them up on this site.

Webby said...

Hm, not really computer literate! I think our printer is a scanner too, I'll give it a try later in the week. Thanks for your speedy response. I've ordered the book for my husband. If I do manage to scan the items how would I attach them to this forum?

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