Vol 12.7 You have been Selected...

Non-Hampton & Richmond Borough related posts.
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Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2021 3:59 pm

Vol 12.7 You have been Selected...

Post by Les1949 »


Things you may not know, or didn’t know you knew!

How things worked in 1923

It’s August 1923 and W V Parker, living at 30 Belgrade Road, wants to play football on a Saturday afternoon. His favoured position is left-back and he secures a trial with Hampton FC, who play on a pitch in Priory Road (very close to what is now Bloxham Crescent).

There is a Trial Game on Wednesday, 22nd August at 7pm and he is invited to come along and ‘try-out’.

Remember, this is before mobile phones, there is no Internet, as far as can be known Mr Parker is probably a lodger, as he is not listed as a householder, and may not even have access to a telephone – not every house had a landline in the 1920s. So, having made contact with a club official, possibly E H Sharp who lives at 10 Milton Road, he gets the nod to come along. How? By the use of a postcard, presumably put through the door.

That’s how it worked. Match cards would either have been handed out at training or probably hand delivered as most players lived locally prior to the next game.

How did I come across this piece of club history? Well, I am happy to acknowledge the help of John Sheaf, writer and local historian, who lives Hampton and is a collector of post cards. John, knowing of the club’s centenary, kindly sent me this information from his own collection and has allowed me to share this with you.

In total, 14 of these match cards have materialised, covering both home and away matches with details of where and when to meet. Home matches were always meet at the ground whilst for away games meeting points varied. The recipient was instructed to contact the Players Secretary if they were unable to play. Very important as only 11 players could take the field and no subs were allowed, so turning up a man or two short would not make the missing player(s) very popular.

The cards advise the players of the arrangements for the next away game. Matches at Sunbury and Surbiton Old Boys meant meeting at Hampton Station, presumably to travel by train. For matches against Isleworth Brewery and Leatherhead Rose it was meet at the station to travel by char-a-banc.

A match at Hanworth was ‘Meet at the Brown Bear’ (opposite Hanworth Recreation ground, the Brown Bear is now a housing block). The Queen’s Arms in Hampton Court Road was the meeting point for a match against Hampton Court Palace on Hampton Court Green. Molesey, away, meant meeting at ‘Garrick Villa’ by the Tram Stop. The suggestion is that they crossed over the river using the Ferry.

The 1923/24 season is the only one for which these cards have turned up, it is possible that our Mr Parker only played for one season. In the following season, A Winslade, was left back (and captain) so maybe Parker lost out on a playing spot. We are unlikely ever to find out.

100 years on and it is still possible to discover something new about the history of our Club.

The Old Historian
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Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2021 11:51 am

Re: Vol 12.7 You have been Selected...

Post by Jamie »

Great insight into how things worked! thanks for this.

Would be nice to have a copy of one of the cards made into some sort of display in the bar at the club!
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