Club History

Leverstock Green Football Club was formed around 1895. The first match reports appeared on January 4th 1896 in the Advertiser and gave an account of a match against Hemel Hempstead Rovers.

The first competitive fixtures were reported during season 1908/1909 when the Club competed in Division Three of the West Herts League. Other clubs competing in the league at that time were: Abbots Langley, Bovingdon, Boxmoor, Bushey Heath, Hagden Lane, Kings Langley and Potten End.

The Club ground in Pancake Lane originally formed part of the Gorhambury Estate, Lord Verulam making the ground available for the youth of the area and his estate workers to enjoy a game of ball. Clearly Lord Verulam was an early enthusiast, providing timber-built changing rooms, which have been progressively replaced since the 1960s by the existing brick built clubhouse and changing rooms.

On the death of the Lord, certain parcels of land, including that on which the Football Club stood, fell to the Crown in lieu of death duties and is administered on its behalf by the Commission for New Towns, who have remained the Clubs landlords since that time, despite two unsuccessful attempts by the Club to buy the freehold.

The club remained members of the West Herts League until 1954 when it broadened its horizons and successfully applied to join the Herts County League.

By the mid 1970s the Club started to move forward with a new clubhouse, post & rail and the installation of training lights.

The playing side of the club also improved and in 1979 the club won Division One of the Herts County League and were promoted to the Premier Division – the highest standard the Club had achieved in 80 years.

In 1991 the Club were accepted into the South Midlands League and had two highly successful seasons in the Premier Division before being forced to drop into the Senior Division, as floodlights were then not available. In 1996 the club finished in runners-up position and the following season were the divisional champions but could not be promoted because floodlights had still not received approval from the Council.

The 2005-06 season was the most successful for the club since the installation of the floodlights in 1999, which had fierce, and continuing, opposition. The club achieved their highest finish in the Premier Division, and reached the final of the Premier Division Cup, losing 1-0 to Oxford City, and The West Herts FA St Marys Cup, losing on penalties to Berkhamsted Town. There was a good performance against Boreham Wood in the Herts Senior Cup, going out on penalties after a 1-1 scoreline. In the FA Vase, Downham Town were beaten after a replay, North Greenford United were disposed of but we went out to Chalfont St Peter. In the FA Cup Eton Manor were beaten then we went out in a replay to Barkingside. James Armstrong scored hat tricks in both the FA Cup and the FA Vase, how many other players, if any, have achieved this feat in the same season.

The 2006-07 season reached even greater heights, as the club beat their previous best with a fifth place finish in the Premier Division, reached the Third Round of the FA Vase and won the Herts Charity Shield for the first time, beating St Margaretsbury on penalties at Letchworth. The reserve team won the Reserve Division One title for the second time in three years.

In 2007 the new Peter Metcalfe changing rooms were built due to continuing improvements to the club at a cost of ninety thousand pounds but were long overdue as the existing rooms had become too small with the ever increasing number of players, substitutes and management teams that clubs have these days.

2008 saw the refurbishment of the clubhouse to include new toilets and a new hospitality suite.

The Ladies team was formed in 2005 and competed in the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire County Women’s Football League, playing their home games at Pancake Lane on Sunday afternoons. The Under 18 floodlit team competes in the Southern Counties Floodlit Youth League and also there are numerous youth teams from the age of eight upwards that play Sunday football. Season 2009-10 saw the Ladies take their League Championship and accepting the offer of promotion to the Eastern Region Womens League Division One South for season 2010-11, and they finished a respectable 4th position.

Due to the standards being set by the Football Association for Season 2009-10 the Club had to undertake various ground improvements which includes a concrete walkway round the ground and seated accommodation for 113 spectators. It was also a season which saw some major changes with Kate Binns taking over as Chairman when Bill Dawes felt it time to relinquish this post. The Management teams also went under some changes with the First Team, Reserve Team and Under 18 floodlit team all having new Managers either at the start or during the season.

Season 2010-2011 saw a fourth place finish in the South Midlands League Premier Division, scoring 100 league goals. After an early exit from the FA Cup at the hands of Harefield United, the team stormed into the FA Vase commencing with a 6-0 win against Welwyn Garden City, then a 5-4 home win against Enfield 1893. A visit to Hullbridge Sports brought a 5-1 win, Tunbridge Wells were the next to fall with a 3-1 home win and in the fourth round Bemerton Heath Harlequins were defeated 4-1 at home. In the fifth round we were drawn against Rye United at home, but the Wembley dream then faded with a 2-1 defeat. The final of the league Premier Division Cup was reached but we went down 2-0 to Colney Heath who we had beaten 4-1 in the league ten days earlier. Tring Athletic were next up in the St Mary’s Cup Final but we went down by two goals to one. Finally silverware came our way at the Herts County Ground when we beat London Colney 2-0 in the Herts Charity Shield. The Reserves finished in 12th position in the Suburban League North Division and the Under 18 floodlit team came runners-up in their Southern Counties League Delphian Division.

Towards the end of the 2011-2012 season, manager Steve Heath and his assistant Neal Bartlett gave the club notice that they would be standing down. A new Manager for Season 2012 -2013 was recruited in Steve Benitez who had been Chesham United Reserve Manager in the Spartan South Midlands League Division One the previous season. Steve brought in Dan Manzi as his assistant. With most of the previous season’s players moving on it was a case of starting again as the season approached. Having picked up a good number of points before Christmas, we eventually finished in fifteenth position. Prior to season 2013-2014 Steve Benitez had to relinquish the post of manager due to work commitments in Spain and his number two Dan Manzi stepped into the role of Manager. Also to relinquish her post just prior to the AGM was chairman Kate Binns, this position has been filled with Secretary Brian Barter taking on a dual role. Brian was awarded the F.C. Crain trophy for club secretaries by the Spartan South Midlands League in season 2011-2012 and also recognised for forty years service to football by the Hertfordshire Football Association.

Season 2013-2014 proved difficult, as having won the first league game the next thirteen were defeats. A rare win in the Premier Division Cup, then defeats in seven out of the next eight league games prompted a change of manager. In came the ex-Rayners Lane manager Dene Gardner who saved the club from relegation and reached the final of the St Mary’s Cup where we were runners up losing by three goals to two to Oxhey Jets. The Senior Ladies team won the Hertfordshire Women’s Cup at the County Ground Letchworth defeating Royston Town Ladies by three goals to two. The Ladies Whites in their first season in senior football were Champions of the Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire League Division Two and won the final of the Openage League Cup by two goals to one after extra time against Division One side Flitwick Ladies.

Another milestone was reached as Bill Dawes was recognised by the Football Association and The Hertfordshire Football Association with awards for “50 years service to football”

Our last word goes to a club stalwart Jim Matthews Macca as he was affectionately known, who sadly passed away, July 2006 at 90 years of age. His dedication to the club was recognised by the Football Association and The Hertfordshire Football Association by awards for 50 Years Service to Football

For more about the early history of LGFC, visit the Leverstock Green Chronicle by clicking here