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Taking a Swan(s) Dive

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Walton & Hersham F.C.



Formed from the merger of Walton FC and Hersham FC after World War II, they were for many years my local team being less than a five minute walk to their ground, Stompond Lane. Despite this I grew up as first a West Ham United fan and then later, a supporter of Woking F.C. (after a group of friends decided in college to follow a football team that was local to all of us, Woking was the 'lucky' pin on the map).

My first Walton & Hersham game wasn't until 2001 when West Ham took a somewhat dubious 'XI' to the ground for a friendly, as part of an agreement that allowed the West Ham youth team to use Stompond Lane for their fixtures. After promises of a 'strong first team' were made, Harry Redknapp proceeded to play a mixture of reserves and youth players, with Paul Kitson and Rigobert Song thrown in for good measure. My overriding memory of the game was Kitson receiving abuse from both Walton & Hersham and West Ham fans for "being on £35,000 a week and f****ng useless" for the full 90 minutes and the Hammers struggling to a 1-1 draw. Such was Walton & Hersham's dismay at the team fielded that I believe they recinded the offer to West Ham to use their ground.

I didn't go back there until 2006, when Walton & Hersham played Woking in a pre-season friendly, with the hosts losing 3-0. That was the entirety of my experiences with Walton & Hersham until last season, after I heard the dreaded scourge of lower league clubs everywhere.....property developers, had the club firmly in its crosshairs.

Forced out of their ground by the council and shoved into a groundshare with their bitter rivals Walton Casuals, they now play at the brand new Elmbridge Xcel Sports Hub.


However, in this game the controversial move never happened, Walton & Hersham have stayed at their traditional Stompond Lane home and the property developers are still circling..... the only way they can hold them off is to become so successful the council decides they'd rather have the team there than a housing complex.

Edited by winterburnsilva

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A relatively small squad, with a few u23 players thrown in to make up the numbers. Four players that really stand head and shoulders above the rest, but two of those are 37 and 33 so won't be around for long. Jim Fenlon's wages are also going to cripple us, with a wage budget of £520 a week, having one player taking up £210 of that is a bit of a nightmare. I'm already kind of half hoping that teams take an interest in him, along with anyone else who is on a weekly wage, rather than just appearance fees.

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Good luck. Nice backstory. :thup: 

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I remember doing my school sports day at Stompond Lane. Only once went there for the football.
Looks like they blanked off the stand opposite.

Good luck with the save, looking forward to seeing updates :-)

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Juan Sebastian Veron lookalike/imposter there second from left, bottom row in the team photo. 

Good luck with this, always enjoy reading a lower lower league thread. 

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