Halstead Town F.C.

Last updated
Halstead Town
HalsteadBadge.png
Full nameHalstead Town Football Club
Nickname(s)The Humbugs
Founded1879
GroundRosemary Lane, Halstead
ChairmanCarl Pearse
ManagerMark McLean
League Eastern Senior League
2020–21 Eastern Senior League (season curtailed)

Halstead Town Football Club is a football club based in Halstead, Essex, England. They are currently members of the Eastern Senior League and play at Rosemary Lane.

Contents

History

The club was established in 1879 as Halstead Football Club following a meeting in the town hall by a group of 16 men. [1] Due to a lack of football infrastructure in rural areas at the time the club played only occasional friendlies until they joined the newly formed North Essex League in 1895. In 1901–02 the club won their first trophy, the Essex Junior Cup, with a 2–0 victory over Chingford in the final. During the first half of the 20th century the club played in the Halstead & District League and the Haverhill & District League. [1]

After World War II the club added "Town" to their name and joined Division Two of the North Essex League. They were swiftly promoted to Division One, before joining the Essex & Suffolk Border League. They were Premier Division runners-up in 1949–50 and again in 1954–55 before winning the league and League Cup double in 1957–58, beating Lakenheath 11–2 on aggregate in the final of the League Cup. [2] They were Premier Division runners-up the following season and also retained the League Cup with a 6–2 aggregate win over Clacton Town reserves. The club were league runners-up again in 1960–61 before winning a second Premier Division title in 1968–69. They won the League Cup for a third time in 1973–74 with a 3–0 win over Brantham Athletic in a replay. After finishing as runners-up in 1976–77 the club won a third Premier Division title the following season. [2]

In 1980 Halstead joined the Essex Senior League in 1980. [3] In 1988 they were founder members of Division One of the Eastern Counties League, and finished as runners-up in its first season, earning promotion to the Premier Division. [3] In 1993–94 they were Premier Division runners-up, [3] and also won the Essex Senior Trophy, beating Canvey Island 2–0 in the final. They went on to win two consecutive Premier Division titles in 1994–95 and 1995–96, [3] also winning the League Cup in the latter season with a 4–0 win over Fakenham Town in the final. [1] The following season they won the Essex Senior Trophy for a second time.

In 2000–01 Halstead were relegated to Division One after finishing bottom of the Premier Division. [3] They won Division One and the Division One Cup in 2002–03 and were promoted back to the Premier Division. [3] They won the League Cup in 2004–05, but were relegated again at the end of the 2006–07 season after finishing bottom of the Premier Division. [3]

Ground

In their early years the club played at various grounds in the town including Ravens Meadow, King George Playing Field and Coggeshall Pieces. By World War II they were playing at Three Gates, and the ground was commandeered by the RAF during the war for agriculture. [4] When football restarted after the war, the club temporarily played at the Courtaulds Sports Ground, before moving to Rosemary Lane in 1948. The opening match against Eton Manor on 21 August 1948 attracted a crowd of 1,800. [4] [5] This was exceeded the following year when 4,000 watched an Essex Senior Cup match against Walthamstow Avenue. [6] A 512-seat grandstand was opened in 1950 and remains the only cover for spectators. [5] [1] [4] Railings were installed around the pitch, taken from North Sea defences at Clacton-on-Sea. [5] Floodlights were erected in 1989. [5]

Two players died at Rosemary Lane in the 1950s and 1960s; Alf Partner of Heybridge Swifts collapsed on the pitch and died in the early 1950s and Halstead defender Bruce Stewart choked to death on the pitch the early 1960s at the age of 22. [5] Another death occurred at the ground when a drunken visitor to a funfair missed the tub of water they were aiming for after jumping off a high dive ladder. [5]

Honours

Records

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 Club history Halstead Town FC
  2. 1 2 Official Handbook 2016–2017 Archived 2017-03-05 at the Wayback Machine Essex & Suffolk Border League
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Halstead Town at the Football Club History Database
  4. 1 2 3 Halstead Town Pyramid Passion
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Jon Weaver (2005) The Football Grounds of Rural Essex, p26
  6. 1 2 Mike Williams & Tony Williams (2012) Non-League Club Directory 2013, p650 ISBN   978-1-869833-77-0

Coordinates: 51°56′47.31″N0°37′57.30″E / 51.9464750°N 0.6325833°E / 51.9464750; 0.6325833