Hampton & Richmond Borough FC / Club History

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Club History
An overview of Hampton & Richmond Borough FC (formerly Hampton FC) history.

Hampton's early years were spent in the Kingston & District and the South West Middlesex Leagues. Although twice winning the Kingston & District title in the early 1930s the club never managed to capture the South West Middlesex League title during their 26 year stay. In 1959, upon gaining use of Beveree, Hampton entered the Senior Football ranks as members of the Surrey Senior League, despite being based in Middlesex.

In 1964 they won the championship and stepped up into the Spartan League where they enjoyed seven seasons of unparalleled success. The club captured the Spartan League title four times in 1965, 1966, 1967 and 1970 as well as finishing runners-up in 1968. They never finished outside the top four places. In 1971 they were elected to the Second Division of the Athenian League. After narrowly missing promotion in their first season, Hampton finished runners-up to Ruislip Manor in 1973. By this time, though, the Beavers had already been elected to the newly formed Second Division (now First Division) of the Isthmian League. The club remained in this division until 1990 when suffering relegation for the first time.

Worse was to follow as the two regionalised Second Divisions were split in 1991 to form a Second and Third set-up. The Beavers found themselves one place below the dividing line and were relegated to the Third Division for the 1991/92 season. Although missing automatic promotion by one place, the club was promoted at the Isthmian AGM to fill a vacancy in the Second Division and so began the recovery.

In 1996 Hampton returned to the First Division when they clinched the third promotion spot on the last day of the season. The club came close to a second successive promotion when finishing fourth in the First Division just one point off promotion twelve months later. In 1998 they went one better by gaining promotion to the Premier Division for the first time, finishing third once again and losing just five games in the process.

A gradual improvement was seen from a final 19th in their first season rising to 13th in 2000 and 9th in 2001, when victories were recorded over all but one of the top seven clubs. However, after only surviving relegation as a result of an increase, from 22 to 24, in 2002 the club suffered a disastrous campaign in 2002/03. This followed the loss of all the Chairman, Management and Playing Staff during the 2002 close season. The club quickly sank to the bottom of the table and remained there all season recording a meagre total of just three league victories. This included a final day victory at Billericay Town, bringing to an end a period of 17 months without an away league win.

Once again the Isthmian League, and Non League football in general, was in process of re-organisation and Hampton were placed into a regionalised Division One South. Hampton needed to finish at least as high as sixth to obtain automatic promotion to a new look Premier Division. A new Manager, Alan Devonshire, was appointed, and new players brought in. Hampton finished the season in fifth spot, once again securing promotion with a win in their last game (at Leatherhead) and were thus able to bounce back into the top flight of the Isthmian League for the 2004/05 season. The club won promotion into the Conference South after winning the Isthmian Premier in 2006/07, beating Slough Town 4-2 on the final day of the season to clinch the title.

Hampton have competed in the FA Cup since 1966/67, but had not reached the First Round Proper prior to the 2000/01 season. Following 3-0 victories away to Windsor & Eton and Merthyr Tydfil, a memorable 5-0 victory over Worcester City at Beveree in the Fourth Qualifying Round took the club into the First Round Proper. Although leading 1-0 for over an hour to Barnet (then members of the Football League), two goals in the final six minutes, including a winner in injury time ended the Beavers run.

The club wouldn't reach this stage of the FA Cup again until 2007/08, when they lost 3-0 at home to Dagenham & Redbridge (of the football league) infront of over 1,500 fans. The club's best run in the FA Trophy took place the following season when victories over Whyteleafe, Harlow Town and Newport County took the club into the Fourth Round (last 32) for the first time before going out at Hereford United.

During their spell in the Second and Third Divisions of the Isthmian League, Hampton competed in the FA Vase. The two best performances took place during their first and last seasons in the competition when reaching the Third Round Proper going down 0-1 at Beveree on both occasions in 1991/92 and 1995/96 to Newport (IoW) and Collier Row, respectively. In the FA Amateur Cup Hampton's best run saw them into the First Round Proper in 1973/74 when they lost at home to Leytonstone, 2-4.

The 1931/32 season saw Hampton complete a notable Middlesex County double by winning both the Junior Cup and the Junior Charity Cup. But this was to be their only County successes in Junior football. The Beavers have reached the final of the Middlesex Senior Cup on four occasions. In 1972 they lost a two legged final to Hendon, 1-5 on aggregate.

Their next two appearances in 1977 and 1996 have both resulted in narrow 3-2 defeats after extra time against Staines Town and Hayes respectively. In 2005 Hampton narrowly lost to Yeading in the Final at Staines Town's Wheatsheaf Park stadium. Hampton have played in nine separate finals of the Middlesex Charity Cup:

The first of these in 1969 met with defeat against Southall, but a year later Uxbridge were beaten in the final. After defeats against Hayes (1972 & 1973), Chelsea (1990) and Wembley (19950, the cup returned to Beveree in 1996 (Ruislip Manor), and was also won in 1998 (Waltham Abbey) and 1999 (Southall).

During the late 1980s, Hampton twice reached the final of the London Senior Cup. In 1987, neighbours Kingstonian recorded a 2-1 win over the Beavers. The following year the club went 2-1 down at Beveree in a replay to Fisher Athletic after holding the then G.M. Vauxhall Conference club to a 1-1 draw at their own Surrey Docks Stadium.

In 2001/02 Hampton reached the Final of the Isthmian League Cup for the first time after a two leg semi-final aggregate victory over Aldershot Town . However, in the final the Beavers were beaten 3-2 by Northwood after extra time. (Ironically, one of the Northwood scorers was Lawrence Yaku, who would later go on to become a key forward for the club from 2005!) The club have reached the semi-final stage on three other occasions, only to fall short.

In 1986 they eventually lost 3-1 in a replay to Sutton United after the two legs resulted in a 2-2 aggregate scoreline after extra time. A year before actually reaching the final in 2002 Hampton lost both semi-final legs 3-2 to Croydon and in 2004 Dunstable Town denied them with a 2-1 loss in the away leg and a comprehensive 3-1 loss at Beveree.

The Spartan League Cup was won during the club`s first four seasons in membership (1964/65 to 1967/68), whilst they were beaten finalists in 1969 and 1970. In 1961 Hampton had been beaten finalists in the Surrey Senior League Cup. Hampton have had great success in the Southern Combination Cup, a local cup competition for clubs with 25 miles of Kingston . Hampton have won the competition seven times (1969, 1972, 1977, 1982, 1984, 1986 and 1997( and beaten finalists three times (1978, 1980 and 1998). In 1999/2000 the Middlesex F.A. inaugurated the Middlesex Super Cup to be competed for between the previous season's Senior and Charity Cup Winners. Hampton, Charity Cup holders, beat Hendon, Senior Cup holders at Beveree. Hampton added another Middlesex Senior Cup to their list of honours in 2007/08, beating Hendon 3-0 at Uxbridge

Hampton achieved their record victory in Senior Football during the 1990/91 season with an 11-1 victory at home to Eastbourne United in Division Two(South) of the Isthmian League.

Ironically this was recorded on the final day of the season and came too late to stop the club dropping into the Third Division. The record defeat was suffered in the Middlesex senior Cup in 1962/63 when they lost 0-13 to local rivals Hounslow Town : the previous season's F.A. Amateur Cup finalists.

Some years ago a popular Football Magazine voted Hampton's nickname 'The Beavers' as the worst in Football. There is some debate as to its origins.

The ground is known as Beveree and it lies adjacent to Beaver Close, which would seem to suggest as to where the tag originates. With the renaming of the club from Hampton to Hampton & Richmond Borough, occasionally 'come on the Borough' is heard but in essence the fans prefer 'Beavers' to anything else