Holmer Green F.C.

Holmer Green Football Club are an F.A. Charter Standard football club[1] based at Holmer Green near High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, England. The club is affiliated to the Berks & Bucks Football Association.[2] They were established in 1908 and were founder members of the Chiltonian League in 1984. They are members of the Hellenic League Premier Division. They are currently managed by Matt Stowell.

Holmer Green
Full nameHolmer Green Football Club
Nickname(s)The Greens
Founded1908
GroundWatchet Lane,
Holmer Green
ChairmanRob Shed
ManagerMatt Stowell
LeagueHellenic League Premier Division
2018–19Hellenic League Premier Division, 12th of 19

History

Holmer Green F.C. was founded in 1908 and started playing in the Chesham & District League. In 1934 the club switched to the Wycombe Combination League, as it was known then. In 1953 the club won its first major trophy – the Berks & Bucks Junior Cup. The 1960s saw success again in the Berks & Bucks Junior Cup (1965) as well as three further victories in the Chesham Charity Cup.

Under Norman King's managership the Wycombe League title was won in 1972 and 1974. In 1975 the club moved its headquarters to the new H.G.S.A. complex at Watchet Lane. This move coincided with victory in the Wycombe Senior Cup, and in 1977 with Roly Clarke as manager the team won the Berks & Bucks Intermediate Cup. This victory gained the club senior status and in 1981, with Pete Eyres as manager the Wycombe League and League Cup was won.[3]

In 1984 Holmer Green were founder members of the new Chiltonian League, winning the Premier Division in 1984–85 and 1985–86. In 1991 with new manager Barry Hedley they finished third in the league, won the Wycombe Senior Cup and also reached the semi-finals of the Berks & Bucks Intermediate Cup.

At the beginning of the 1993–94 season Barry Hedley returned north and Ian Sheill took over as manager, and assisted by Jez Hodges led the team to the Premier Division title. The Centenary Wycombe Senior Cup was also won for the second time in three years. The 1994–95 season, the club's last in the Chiltonian League, saw even more trophies in the cabinet: the team finished as runners-up in the league but finally managed to win the Bon Accord Trophy for the first time.

At the end of the 1994–95 season the club tried to move up to the next league of the English football league system into the South Midlands League. They were denied permission to move by the Chiltonian League, so the club spent the summer of 1995 in various FA tribunals and appeals, eventually winning their case in mid August 1995, and being accepted into the Senior Division of the South Midlands League. In this season they won the Senior Division title and also reached the semi-finals of the Berks & Bucks Senior Trophy.

In the 1996–97 season, Jez Hodges was installed as player-manager, and the club won the Senior Division Cup and claimed the runners-up spot in the league. This season also saw them play their very first FA Vase game,[4] away to Carterton Town. They retained the Senior Division Cup in the following season and finished in fourth place in the league.

With the merger of the Spartan and South Midlands Leagues in 1997–98 Holmer Green were placed in the Senior Division of the new Spartan South Midlands League, which they won on goal difference over Hanwell Town, getting promoted to the Premier Division. They also reached the final of the Berks & Bucks Senior Trophy for the first time, losing 1–0 to Eton Wick, and also reached the two-legged final of the League Challenge Trophy, losing 3–0 on aggregate to Waltham Abbey. Promotion to the Premier Division was achieved as the club had floodlights installed that season to enable them to play at that standard. In the 2000–01 season the club played its first ever FA Cup game, losing 6–1 against Uxbridge.[4]

In 2008 Holmer Green commemorated their centenary year with a friendly at Watchet Lane against Wycombe Wanderers in front of a record crowd in excess of 800 people.

The following year, however, the club was relegated back to the first division, but in the 2009–10 bounced back as champions of the Spartan South Midlands League Division One and until 2017–18 season were still in the Premier Division. However at the close of the season and as part of a reorganisation managed by The FA, they were moved sideways into the UHL Hellenic League.

Ground

Holmer Green play their home games at Watchet Lane, Holmer Green, Buckinghamshire, HP15 6UF.

The club has been playing at Watchet Lane since 1975, moving from their old ground at The Common. in 1995[5] a covered stand was built in late September and in the same year Football League club, Wycombe Wanderers, decided to use Holmer Green as their training headquarters.[3] In addition, the England Youth Team, the England ladies Team and several International Under 21 sides have all used Holmer Green as their base when in the area. In 1997 floodlights were installed at the ground enabling the club to meet the required standards to be promoted to the Spartan South Midlands Premier Division from League one.

Their Watchet Lane ground was featured in David Bauckham's book Dugouts, which highlighted a large sign painted on the rear of the dugouts saying "Please do not swear".[6]

Honours

  • Spartan South Midlands League Senior Division[4]
    • Winners: 1998–99
  • Spartan South Midlands League Division One[4]
    • Winners: 2009–10
  • South Midlands League Senior Division[4]
    • Winners: 1995–96
    • Runners-up: 1996–97
  • Chiltonian League Premier Division[4]
    • Winners: 1984–85, 1985–86, 1993–94
    • Runners-up: 1994–95
  • Wycombe League[3][7]
    • Winners: 1971–72, 1973–74, 1976–77, 1980–81
    • Runners-up: 1972–73, 1975–76, 1977–78
  • Berks & Bucks Senior Trophy[7]
    • Runners-up: 1998–99
  • South Midlands League Senior Division Cup[7]
    • Winners: 1996–97, 1997–98
  • Spartan South Midlands League Challenge Trophy[7]
    • Runners-up: 1998–99
  • Berks & Bucks Intermediate Cup[3]
    • Winners: 1976–77
  • Berks & Bucks Junior Cup[3]
    • Winners: 1952–53, 1964–65
  • Wycombe League Cup[7]
    • Winners: 1980–81
    • Runners-up: 1982–83

Records

  • Highest League Position:[4] 6th in Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division: 2000–01
  • FA CUP Best Performance[4] First Qualifying Round: 2004–05
  • FA Vase Best Performance[4] Second Round: 2016–17
  • Highest Attendance[3] 800 Vs Wycombe Wanderers 2008 (Friendly)

References

  1. Holmer Green FC 100 years young and stronger than ever! Archived 18 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine Holmer Green Sports Association
  2. FA Community Clubs Archived 26 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine BerksBucksFA
  3. History Holmer Green FC
  4. HOLMER GREEN at the Football Club History Database
  5. Holmer Green FC Pyramid Passion
  6. Bauckham, David (2006). Dugouts. New Holland. ISBN 1-84537-478-9.
  7. information Spartan South Midlands League

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