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Chesham United Football Club - A FA Charter Standard Community Club
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Club History

The 2010/2011 season marks the start of a new era for Chesham United. For some time the club’s Supporters’ Trust has been the largest shareholder and in June 2010 the other two majority shareholders, including the club Chairman, relinquished control of the club and handed over their voting rights to the fans’ representatives ahead of the Trust securing sufficient funds to purchase shares for outright ownership.

So, we go into the new season as a truly supporters’ run football club looking forward to the challenge of re-establishing ourselves at Southern League Premier Division level after a four year absence. 

Following relegation to the Southern League South & West Division in 2006, Chesham were transferred to the Midlands Division after a single season. In 2007/08 United finished 6th and missed out on the play-offs by goal difference, and then last season, having finished 5th, they stumbled at the semi-final stage of the play-offs losing out to two late goals at Nuneaton Town having led 1-0 for much of the game. Last season a fourth place finish was enough to reach the play offs. A 1-0 victory away at Burnham set off a final at home against Slough Town with a crowd of 1,115 witnessing a 4-0 victory at The Meadow to secure promotion.

The story of Chesham United has many highs and many lows. The club was formed in 1917 following the merger of Chesham Town FC (who were founder members of the Southern League in 1894 when still known as just Chesham FC) and Chesham Generals (who took their name from the General Baptist Church in Chesham Broadway). The new club played it's first league season in 1919-1920 competing in the Spartan League and the Great Western Suburban League as well as the FA Cup and the Amateur Cup. (First season history, results and league tables).

Relative success in the following years paled into insignificance following the FA Amateur Cup run of 1967/68 when, against all the odds, little Chesham United went all the way from the Preliminary Round to the final of the FA Amateur Cup, finally losing 1-0 to Leytonstone in front of a 54,000 Wembley crowd. At a time when the population of Chesham was just 18,000 people, the club sold 22,000 tickets for this game.

PDF 40th Anniversary Wembley Article

Chesham United's best FA Cup run came in the 1979/1980 season when, as an Isthmian League Division One club, the side went from the 1st Qualifying Round to the Third Round Proper. A crowd of 5,000 was present at The Meadow as League Division Two Cambridge United eventually ended the cup run with a 2-0 victory.

The club went into turmoil on May 3rd 1983 when the main stand burned down. A new stand was officially opened with the visit of a Graham Taylor Watford side containing former United manager Luther Blissett in 1984. Season 1987/8 marked the centenary year of non-league football in the town of Chesham, an achievement commemorated with a match against a full strength Arsenal side on 18th August 1987.

In January 1991, promotion and the Division One title were secured. In its inaugural season, the Loctite Final was reached but the match was lost to Bishops Stortford on penalties. In October 1992, the Club went to the very top of the Isthmian league after a famous win at Enfield, where they remained until the end of the season, being crowned Champions on the last day of the season following a 4-0 win over Dulwich Hamlet. Witnessed by an average home gate of just short of 1,000, the season also saw the arrival of ex-Liverpool star Mark Lawrenson. Promotion to the National Conference depended on ground improvements that could not be afforded. So, the season ended in disappointment after so much hard work.

Since those days the club has been through many managers, including ex-England Internationals Graham Roberts and Luther Blissett, and literally hundreds of players, including a stint with Bruce Grobelaar between the sticks.
 
In the early 2000s the club again had an eye on promotion to the Conference as Bob Dowie led a strong Chesham side to 6th in the Ryman Premier, possibly an under achievement when considering the resources at his disposable. The team that year included Wayne Andrews and Fitz Hall, both players having progressed to enjoy professional careers in the higher echelons of football. Two years later and the club were once again relegated back to Division One.

With re-structuring on the horizon, the following season was all about finishing in the top six to gain promotion, avoid relegation, depending on which way you look at it. After a fairly disastrous start, the ever improving side climbed up the table to eventually take 4th spot in the Ryman Division One (North) and earn a place in the Southern League Premier Division.

United’s first year in the Southern League was certainly adventurous. At times they looked title contenders, and then they flirted with relegation and in the end were happy to finish in mid-table. The following summer the true price of years of over-achieving came to light. Nearly two decades of wealthy Chairmen helping to fund the club was over and it was time for The Generals to stand on their own feet, a task that proved too much.

By February 2006 the club was truly on its knees. The front pages of local papers were highlighting the sorry plight of the club that had seen so much. A public meeting was called at the Town Hall to “Save Chesham United” – it was a last desperate throw of the dice …

Fortunately the sorry tale had a happy ending. A local businessman, Charles Manchester, read the stories, visited The Meadow, showed an interest and helped get the club back on its feet. His intention was always to hand over the club to its supporters and he gradually brought more members of the Chesham United Supporters’ Trust onto the main club board whilst other Trust members took on many of the day to day tasks of running the club. Fittingly, after four years at the helm, he was able to stand down at the end of last season with promotion back to the Southern League Premier Division secured and the club back on a stable footing.

Chesham United's opening matches and first full league season

Date
Competition
CUFC team
Opponents
Venue
Score
Chesham goals
03/11/1917 Friendly
Friendly
Royal Artillery Halton
H
L 2-5
Unknown 2
29/12/1917 Friendly
Friendly
Royal Artillery Halton
H
L 2-3
Unknown 2
24/04/1919 Friendly
Friendly
Wycombe Wanderers
A
W 5-2
Unknown 5
31/08/1919 Great Western Suburban
Cup Team
Yiewsley
A
W 4-2
Barnes 2, Keen 2
13/09/1919 Friendly
Friendly
Aylesbury
A
L 3-4
Vine, Keen, Wright
20/09/1919 Spartan League
Cup Team
Newportonians
H
W 5-0
Vine, Keen 3, Barnes
27/09/1919 FA Cup
Cup Team
Tufnell Spartan
H
W 6-0
Keen 4, Carter, Stillman
04/10/1919 Amateur Cup
Cup Team
Uxbridge
H
W 8-0
Barnes 2, Keen 3, Carter 2, Stillman
11/10/1919 FA Cup
Cup Team
Enfield
A
W 1-0
Barnes
18/10/1919 Amateur Cup
Cup Team
Wealdstone
H
W 4-2
Keen 2, Vine, Barnes
25/10/1919 FA Cup
Cup Team
Leavesden
A
W 2-0
Gomm, Keen
25/10/1919 Spartan League
'A' Team
Great Eastern Railway
H
L 1-5
Gomm
01/11/1919 Amateur Cup
Cup Team
Yiewsley
A
W 5-1
Keen 3, Barnes 2
01/11/1919 Great Western Suburban
'A' Team
Botwell Mission
H
D 2-2
Hearn, Spratley
08/11/1919 FA Cup
Cup Team
Luton Clarence
A
W 3-0
Barnes 2, Carter
15/11/1919 Amateur Cup
Cup Team
Hampstead
A
W 2-1
Keen 2
15/11/1919 Great Western Suburban
'A' Team
Newbury
H
W 3-0
White, Ringsell 2
22/11/1919 FA Cup
Cup Team
London Caledonians
A
L 1-3
Vine
22/11/1919 Great Western Suburban
'A' Team
Maidenhead
A
D 1-1
Dean
29/11/1919 Berks & Bucks Senior Cup
Cup Team
Aylesbury
A
W 2-0
Keen, Wright
29/11/1919 Spartan League
'A' Team
Newportonians
H
D 4-4
Dean 2, Pipkin, Vine
06/12/1919 Spartan League
Cup Team
St Albans
H
W 6-1
Keen 4, Vine, Carter
13/12/1919 Great Western Suburban
Cup Team
Uxbridge
A
W 2-0
Wheeler, Barnes
20/12/1919 Spartan League
Cup Team
Great Western Railway
A
L 3-4
Gomm, Wheeler, Vine
20/12/1919 Great Western Suburban
'A' Team
Marlow
H
L 2-4
Langley 2
26/12/1919 Spartan League
Cup Team
Wycombe Wanderers
A
L 0-6
 
26/12/1919 Great Western Suburban
'A' Team
Wycombe Wanderers
H
W 5-1
Gomm S, French, Pearson, Pipkin, OG
27/12/1919 Spartan League
Cup Team
Wycombe Wanderers
H
W 3-2
Carter 2, Gomm
27/12/1919 Great Western Suburban
'A' Team
Wycombe Wanderers
A
D 4-4
Wright 2, Gomm S, French
03/01/1920 Amateur Cup
Cup Team
Aylesbury
H
W 2-0
Barnes, Carter
03/01/1920 Spartan League
'A' Team
London Polytechnic
A
L 3-3
Pipkin, Langley, Wheeler
10/01/1920 Great Western Suburban
Cup Team
Reading
A
L 0-6
 
10/01/1920 Great Western Suburban
'A' Team
1st Scots Guards
H
W 2-1
Filby, Pearson
17/01/1920 Amateur Cup
Cup Team
Bromley
A
L 0-5
 
17/01/1920 Spartan League
'A' Team
Aylesbury
H
W 3-1
Wheeler, Wright 2
24/01/1920 Spartan League
Cup Team
Aylesbury
A
D 1-1
Carter
24/01/1920 Spartan League
'A' Team
2nd Coldstream Guards
H
W 2-0
Wright, Hayes
31/01/1920 Spartan League
Cup Team
Sutton Court
H
L 1-2
Gomm
31/01/1920 Great Western Suburban
'A' Team
Newbury
A
L 0-1
 
07/02/1920 Berks & Bucks Senior Cup
Cup Team
Wendover
H
W 7-2
Carter 2, Dean 4, Barnes
07/02/1920 Spartan League
'A' Team
Great Eastern Railway
A
L 0-4
 
14/02/1920 Spartan League
Cup Team
Great Western Railway
H
W 3-0
Dean 2, Vine
21/02/1920 Bucks Charity
Cup Team
Slough
H
W 1-0
Vine
28/02/1920 Great Western Suburban
Cup Team
Slough
A
L 1-3
Dean
28/02/1920 Great Western Suburban
'A' Team
Windsor & Eton
H
W 2-1
Moulder, Lacey
07/03/1920 Spartan League
Cup Team
Tufnell Spartan
H
W 4-2
Carter, Dean, Stillman 2
07/03/1920 Spartan League
'A' Team
2nd Coldstream Guards
A
W 7-1
Howell 3, Lacey 2, Holt, Darvell
14/03/1920 Berks & Bucks Senior Cup
Cup Team
Maidenhead
A
L 0-2
 
14/03/1920 Spartan League
'A' Team
Sutton Court
H
W 6-3
Howell, Spratley 2, Wheeler 2, Vine
21/03/1920 Bucks Charity Cup
Cup Team
Wycombe Wanderers
Aylesbury
W 1-0
Stillman
21/03/1920 Great Western Suburban
'A' Team
Slough
H
D 2-2
Lacey, Tanner
28/03/1920 Great Western Suburban
Cup Team
Botwell Mission
A
L 0-6
 
28/03/1920 Spartan League
'A' Team
Tufnell Spartan
H
W 2-0
Lacey, Filby
03/04/1920 Great Western Suburban
Cup Team
Yiewsley
H
L 1-2
Vine
03/04/1920 Great Western Suburban
'A' Team
Marlow
A
D 3-3
Unknown 3
05/04/1920 Spartan League
Cup Team
London Polytechnic
H
W 3-2
Howell 2, Vine
10/04/1920 Spartan League
Cup Team
St Albans
A
L 1-4
 
10/04/1920 Great Western Suburban
'A' Team
Uxbridge
H
W 3-1
Spratley, Tanner, Ringsell
17/04/1920 Great Western Suburban
Cup Team
Maidenhead
H
L 0-3
 
17/04/1920 Great Western Suburban
'A' Team
1st Scots Guards
A
W 4-0
Pearson, Tanner, Nash, Ringsell
24/04/1920 Great Western Suburban
Cup Team
Windsor & Eton
A
L 0-3
 
24/04/1920 Great Western Suburban
'A' Team
Reading
H
L 1-2
Tanner

History home

Chesham United first season home

First season statistics (all cup and league games)

 
Chesham United 1919/1920
P
W
L
D
F
A
Cup Team
35
21
13
1
83
65
‘A’ Team
23
11
6
6
62
51
Friendly
1
0
1
0
3
4
             

Final league tables 1919-1920 season

 
Spartan League
P
W
L
D
F
A
Pts
Wycombe Wanderers
20
18
1
1
114
24
37
Great Eastern Railway
20
17
1
2
88
19
35
St Albans City
20
13
1
6
64
35
27
Aylesbury United
20
12
2
6
49
31
26
Chesham United
20
11
2
7
58
46
24
Sutton Court
20
11
2
7
54
45
24
London Polytechnic
19
6
0
13
42
64
12
Tufnell Spartan
20
5
1
14
41
70
11
Newportonians
20
3
3
14
24
69
9
Great Western Railway
20
4
0
16
21
78
8
2nd Coldstream Guards
19
2
1
16
19
93
5

London Polytechnic vs 2nd Coldstream Guards was an outstanding fixture at the end of the season. 

 
Great Western Suburban League
P
W
L
D
F
A
Pts
Maidenhead
22
14
1
7
76
14
35
Botwell Mission
22
15
5
2
75
32
32
Slough Town
22
14
4
4
83
37
32
Windsor & Eton
22
11
6
5
52
33
27
Reading United
22
11
9
2
42
40
24
Yiewsley
22
10
9
3
49
50
23
Wycombe Wanderers
22
7
8
7
57
47
21
Chesham United
22
8
9
5
42
48
21
Marlow
22
7
13
2
40
70
16
Newbury Town
22
5
14
3
34
74
13
Uxbridge Town
22
4
16
2
31
72
10
1st Scots Guards
22
4
16
2
29
95
10

History home

Chesham United first season home