|Full name||Harlow Town FC|
|Ground||The Harlow Arena, Harlow|
|Capacity||3,500 (500 seated)|
|League||Southern League Division One Central|
|2020–21||Isthmian League South Central Division (transferred)|
Harlow Town Football Club is an English football club based in Harlow, Essex. The club is member of the Southern League Division One Central and plays at The Harlow Arena.
The club is best known for its exploits in the 1979–80 FA Cup, in which it reached the fourth round, eliminating two Football League sides Southend United and Leicester City before losing to Watford at Vicarage Road.
The club was originally formed in 1879, playing its first match on 18 October 1879 against Saffron Walden. In those early days the club, just known as Harlow, played friendly matches against local opposition until the formation of East Herts League in 1896. In 1898 the club merged with Netteswell and Burnt Mill and were briefly renamed Harlow and Burnt Mill F.C., but the merger was reversed in 1902.
The club moved into the Spartan League in 1932 and were granted Senior Status in 1937, competing in the FA Cup and Essex Senior Cups for the first time. At this time Harlow had one of the smallest populations for clubs competing at this level, a far cry from today where the population is around 86,000.
Over the years Harlow, which became a New Town in the early 1950s, expanded beyond recognition, and the football club grew with the town. In 1954 the club joined the Premier Division of the London League. In 1960 they won the League Cup, and moved to the newly built Sportcentre on Hammarskjold Road. In 1961 they switched to the Delphian League. In 1963 it merged into the Athenian League and the club were placed in Division Two. After finishing third in 1963–64, they were promoted to Division One.Due to Harlow's facilities at the Sportcentre, the club attracted well-known teams to the area during this period. In July 1966 Harlow Town arranged a friendly match against Uruguay, who were staying nearby in preparation for that summer's FIFA World Cup. Uruguay defeated Harlow 6–1. In 1968, S.L. Benfica reached the European Cup final against Manchester United at Wembley Stadium, and prepared for the final at the Sportcentre; their team included the 1966 World Cup Golden Boot winner Eusébio.
In 1971–72 the club won Division One, and were promoted to the Premier Division of the Athenian League. In 1973 the club switched to Division Two of the Isthmian League, renamed Division One in 1977. In 1978–79 they won Division One and were promoted to the Premier Division.
The 1979–80 season saw the club make its best-ever run in the FA Cup. They entered at the preliminary round, beating Lowestoft Town, Hornchurch, Bury Town, Harwich & Parkeston and Margate to reach the first round proper for the first time, where they defeated Leytonstone/Ilford 2–1. In the second round they drew 1–1 away at Football League side Southend United before winning the replay at the Sportcentre 1–0 in front of 5,000 spectators. The club were then drawn away to Second Division leaders Leicester City. After a 1–1 draw at Filbert Street, Harlow famously won the replay at the Sportcentre 1–0, watched by a club-record attendance of 9,723. In the fourth round Harlow were drawn away to Watford, losing 4–3.
In the 1981–82 season the club were relegated, but returned to the Premier Division after a single season in Division One. However, two consecutive relegations in 1984–85 and 1985–86 saw the club drop into Division Two North. In 1988–89 they won the division and returned to Division One.
The club's plans to leave the Sportcentre for a new stadium on Roydon Road collapsed during the 1991–92 season, and the Isthmian League closed the Sportcentre after it no longer met league requirements. The team fulfilled the remainder of their home games at local venues including Sawbridgeworth, Bishop's Stortford, Ware and Aveley. The club dropped out of football for the 1992–93 season.[ citation needed ]
Upon being voted back into the Isthmian League for the 1993–94 season after upgrading the Sportcentre, the club were forced to drop into Division Three. In 1997–98 they were promoted to Division Two, and the following season were promoted to Division One. In 2004 the club were transferred to Division One East of the Southern League, but returned to the Isthmian League in 2006.
In October 2006, the club moved to its new ground at Barrow's Farm. After finishing as runners-up in Division One North in 2006–07 they won the promotion play-offs and were promoted to the Premier Division after defeating A.F.C. Sudbury in the final. However, they were relegated back to Division One North at the end of the 2008–09 season.
In January 2010, new owners took control of the club, with former manager Tommy Cunningham returning to the club alongside business partner John Barnett. The 2010–11 season saw Kevin Warren become the Hawks manager, but a run of defeats led to Danny Chapman replacing him at the helm. Chapman then turned the tide and took the club to the Division One North play-offs after finishing fourth, but failed to reach the final after being defeated by Wingate & Finchley.
At the start of the 2014–15 season Harlow Town launched The Harlow Academy, a youth set-up which incorporated 21 youth teams playing at The Harlow Arena. After a tightly contested league campaign, Harlow missed out the league title and automatic promotion by one point, finishing behind Needham Market Another play-off campaign beckoned, but Harlow lost 4–3 to Thurrock in the semi-finals after extra-time.[ citation needed ]
The 2015–16 season saw Harlow Town go on a club record streak of 12 consecutive wins between 19 December 2015 and 13 February 2016, propelling themselves into the play-offs, finishing the season in third place, setting up a third consecutive appearance in the play-offs. The Hawks hosted A.F.C. Hornchurch in the final at the Harlow Arena, where 1,655 spectators saw Harlow claim promotion to the Premier Division with a 3–1 win.[ citation needed ]
In the 2016–17 season Harlow achieved a new club record highest league finish of tenth in the Isthmian Premier Division, their first campaign at that level since 2009.[ citation needed ]. The 2017–18 season was a fierce relegation battle in the Isthmian Premier division, with Harlow Town eventually finishing one place above the relegation zone.
The Club once again fought against relegation throughout the 2018–19 season, however the challenge proved too great and Harlow Town finished bottom of the league table, seven points from safety. With the Hawks heading back to Step 4, they were allocated to the Isthmian League South Central division. Despite starting the season strongly and leading the league table at once stage, a run of poor results leading up to Christmas saw Harlow Town fall off the pace. As a result, Danny Chapman resigned as manager in January 2020, after nine years in the role, to be replaced by Mark Holloway.
The start to the 2020 season was one of turmoil, with the COVID-19 pandemic causing disruption to the campaign preparations. Dave Collis replaced Mark Holloway as Manager in October, and Collis himself was relived of his managerial duties in December after a run of nine consecutive defeats, to be replaced by former Manager Danny Chapman who stepped back into the role after some time away from the game.
|Chief Executive||Tim Sewell|
|Director of Football||Tom Cunningham|
|Club Secretary||Donna Harvey|
|Season||Division||Position||FA Cup||FA Trophy||Essex Senior Cup||Alan Turvey Trophy|
|2006–07||Isthmian Division One North||2nd (promoted)||Preliminary round||1st qualifying round||Quarter-finals||Third round|
|2007–08||Isthmian Premier Division||15th||2nd qualifying round||1st qualifying round||Third round||Second round|
|2008–09||20th (relegated)||First round||1st qualifying round||Third round||Fourth round|
|2009–10||Isthmian Division One North||22nd||Preliminary round||Preliminary round||Fourth round||Third round|
|2010–11||4th||2nd qualifying round||First round||Third round||Second round|
|2011–12||7th||Preliminary round||3rd qualifying round||Quarter-finals||Second round|
|2012–13||21st||Preliminary round||Preliminary round||Third round||Second round|
|2013–14||4th||2nd qualifying round||Preliminary round||Quarter-finals||Quarter-finals|
|2014–15||2nd||1st qualifying round||1st qualifying round||Fourth round||Second round|
|2015–16||3rd (promoted)||4th qualifying round||2nd qualifying round||Third round||First round|
|2016–17||Isthmian Premier Division||10th||2nd qualifying round||Second round||Fourth round||First round|
|2017–18||21st||3rd qualifying round||3rd qualifying round||Quarter-finals||First round|
|2018–19||22nd (relegated)||1st qualifying round||2nd qualifying round||Third round||First round|
|2019–20||Isthmian Division One South Central||14th||Preliminary Round||Extra Preliminary Round||Third Round||Group Stage|
|1879–1960||Green Man Playing Fields|
|2006–present||The Harlow Arena|
In their long history, Harlow Town have had three home venues. From the club's formation right up until 1960, the club played their home games at the Green Man Playing Fields, with its first competitive game coming against Bishop's Stortford Nonconformist Grammar School. Harlow Town's last game at its original home was against East Ham United on 30 April 1960, with Harlow winning the game 2–1.
For the start of the 1960–61 season, Harlow had moved to a new home on Hammarskjold Road, to the newly built Harlow Sportcentre, the first Sports Centre in England. The Town's first competitive game in their new home was against Epping Town in the London League on 27 August 1960, with the game finishing in a 1–1 draw. The Sportcentre hosted some of Harlow's greatest moments, including the FA Cup giant-killings of Southend United and Leicester City in the 1979–1980 season. Harlow's final full season at the Sportcentre came in 2005–06, with their last scheduled game against Spalding United in the 2006 East Anglian Cup final, but due to delays at the new ground, the final game at the Sportcentre was on 2 September 2006 in an FA Cup Preliminary Round match against Saffron Walden Town, the team Harlow faced in their first ever match.
Eventually, Harlow moved to their new home at Barrow's Farm in October 2006, with the opening match at the new ground on 18 October with Harlow defeating Ware 2–0. The official record attendance at the stadium is 2,149, against Macclesfield Town, then of League Two in the FA Cup First Round Proper on 8 November 2008; Macclesfield won the game 2–0. In the summer of 2013, following investment from the owners, a brand new 3G playing surface was laid to allow regular use of the pitch by the local community without impacting the turf. This coincided with the re-branding of the ground to The Harlow Arena, as a primary venue for Harlow and its residents.
Wycombe Wanderers Football Club is an English professional association football club based in the town of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. The team will compete in League One, the third tier of the English football league system, in the 2021-22 season after finishing 22nd in the 2020-21 Championship. They play their home matches at Adams Park, located on the western outskirts of High Wycombe, having moved after 95 years at Loakes Park in 1990. The club traditionally plays in quartered shirts of navy and pale blue. The club's nicknames are "The Chairboys" and "The Blues".
Farnborough Football Club is a football club based in Farnborough, Hampshire, England. Founded in 1967 as Farnborough Town, they are currently members of the Southern League Premier Division South and play at Cherrywood Road.
Canvey Island Football Club is a football club based in Canvey Island, Essex, England. They are currently members of the Isthmian League North Division and play at Park Lane.
Aylesbury United Football Club is a football club based in Chesham, Buckinghamshire, England. They are currently members of Division One Central of the Southern League and play at Chesham United's Meadow ground, having been evicted from their Buckingham Road ground in 2006. They are nicknamed the Ducks due to the Aylesbury duck.
Bedford Town Football Club is a football club based in the Borough of Bedford, England. The club are currently members of the Southern League Division One Central and play at the Eyrie in Cardington, a village on the outskirts of Bedford. They are full members of the Football Association and affiliated to the Bedfordshire County Football Association.
Harrow Borough Football Club is an English football club based in Harrow, London. They were founded in 1933 and compete in the Southern League Premier Division South. Harrow Borough's home ground is Earlsmead Stadium, which has a capacity of 3,070. Harrow Borough moved into Earlsmead Stadium in 1934 and have kept it as their home stadium since then. Harrow Borough's colour is red, which is the colour of their home kit. Their crest depicts the coat of arms of the London Borough of Harrow.
Hornchurch Football Club is a football club based in Hornchurch, Greater London, England. They are currently members of the Isthmian League Premier Division and play at the Hornchurch Stadium.
Oxford City Football Club is a semi-professional English association football club based in Marston, Oxford. They currently compete in the National League South, the sixth tier of English football, and play their home matches at Marsh Lane.
Walton & Hersham Football Club is a semi-professional football club based in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey. Founded in 1945 following the amalgamation of Walton FC and Hersham FC, they currently play in the Combined Counties League Premier Division South. The club is affiliated to the Surrey County Football Association.
Heybridge Swifts Football Club is a football club based in Heybridge, near Maldon, Essex, England. They are currently members of the Isthmian League North Division and play at Scraley Road.
Bishop's Stortford Football Club is a football club based in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, England. They are currently members of the Isthmian League Premier Division and play at Woodside Park.
Thurrock Football Club was an English football club based in Purfleet, Thurrock, Essex. Known as Purfleet until 2003, the club played at Ship Lane.
Potters Bar Town Football Club is an English football club based in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, England. They were formed in 1960 as Mount Grace Old Scholars, and, after dropping 'Old Scholars' from the name in 1984, changed to their present name in 1991. Their best performances in the FA Cup were in the 2006–07, 2016-17 and 2019-20 seasons when they reached the 4th Qualifying Round. They currently play in the Isthmian League Premier Division.
Fleet Town Football Club is a semi-professional football club based in Fleet, Hampshire, England. The club are currently members of the Combined Counties League Premier Division South and play at Calthorpe Park.
Hungerford Town Football Club is a football club based in Hungerford, Berkshire, England. Affiliated to the Berks & Bucks Football Association, they are currently members of the National League South, the sixth tier of English football, and play at Bulpit Lane.
Needham Market Football Club is a football club based in Needham Market, Suffolk, England. They are currently members of the Southern League Premier Division Central and play at Bloomfields.
Northwood Football Club is an English football club based in Northwood in the London Borough of Hillingdon. The club is affiliated to the Middlesex County Football Association. They play their home games at the Acretweed Stadium in Northwood Recreation Ground, also known as Chestnut Avenue – the road on which the ground is located. The club are currently members of the Isthmian League South Central Division.
Hayes & Yeading United Football Club is an association football club based in Hayes, in the London Borough of Hillingdon, England. The club was formed in 2007 from a merger of Hayes Football Club and Yeading Football Club. It currently competes in the Southern League Premier Division South and plays its home matches at Beaconsfield Road.
Enfield Football Club is a football club traditionally based in Enfield, Greater London, England. Between the 1960s and 1980s, Enfield were one of the most successful non-league clubs in England, winning the FA Amateur Cup, FA Trophy and Football Conference twice. However, after selling their Southbury Road ground in the 1990s, the club declined, eventually folding and reforming in 2007.
The 2011–12 season was the 97th season of the Isthmian League, which is an English football competition featuring semi-professional and amateur clubs from London, East and South East England. The league allocations were released on 20 May 2011.