Monday, March 25, 2013

NCLT Accounts Are In - Striking Off Cancelled

The company that holds the 100 year lease on the Old Spotted Dog ground, the Newham Community Leisure Trust Limited, have finally filed accounts with Companies House and, as a result, the striking off action, threatened in January 2013, has been cancelled.

Lessons may have to be learned from this episode and, if necessary, steps taken to ensure that the proprietary interest and the responsibility of safeguarding this most famous of old football grounds, is placed into the hands of a more reliable and transparent entity.

Details of the accounts can be found on our website

Friday, March 22, 2013

Clapton FC and the Old Spotted Dog Ground

In recent weeks there has been some press interest regarding the precarious state of the lease at the Old Spotted Dog Ground.

I do not intend to repeat the facts on this forum.  However, for those who do not know the situation, this is perfectly set out in the blog at Twohundredpercent

To all those who have written about this or spread he word on a situation which does threaten the club and the famous old football ground, thank you.

We are told, and waiting for Companies House to confirm, that Mr McBean has now filed accounts, and this allays the immediate threat of forfeiture of the lease.

However, the re-establishment of a democratic and open football club is still a priority and the Friends of Clapton FC will continue to try to achieve this.

More information is available at

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Clapton FC Membership

With the advent of the New Year, it has given me a chance to reflect on 2012 as regards Clapton FC and think about what difference, if any, the establishment of the Supporters Group has made on the football club.

Although, as yet, nothing has changed that is so substantive that one can rest easy about the future for Clapton, there have been a number of issues which, if pursued, can bring about change for the better.

The first is that of membership of the club itself.  There is no doubt that the club itself must exist. For example, the liquor licence is in the name of the club.  Also, there are life members of the club, some of whom are also members of the Friends, who are still around, although not involved with the running of Clapton FC.

So the question is :- How does one become a member of the Clapton Football Club?

Some time ago I wrote to the club's Chief Executive, Mr Vincent McBean, asking how I can join the club.  I received neither acknowledgement or reply but am aware that this was discussed at a club meeting.

Just before Xmas 2012 I wrote, as Secretary of the Friends of Clapton FC, to the club's Chairman, Mr John Murray-Smith informing him about the group and how we aim to help the club.  I also asked how one can join Clapton FC.  I am awaiting a reply, hopefully with an application form and will keep this thread going so as to let you, dear reader, know of any progress.

To be part of the club, one must join the club. I am hopeful of being given that opportunity.

A copy of the letter sent to Mr Murray-Smith can be found here

Unfortunately a subsequent attempt to contact the chairman via the email address on the club's official web site was unsuccessful.

    SMTP error from remote mail server after RCPT TO:<>:
    host []: 550 No Such User Here"

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year

A very happy New Year to all Clapton players, the team management, supporters, followers, sympathisers, the curious, their families and friends.

Keep the faith. I believe that 2013 will be a good year for the Clapton Football Club.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Thanks Bees Player !

Many thanks to Billy Reeves and Mark Chapman for the shout on 'Bees Player' the Brentford Football Club radio for the Friends of Clapton FC.

In fact Mark, who knows a bit about non-league / amateur football mentioned, to Billy's surprise,  that Clapton have had more England Internationals than Brentford have ever had.

He also couldn't resist in mentioning the name of our lovely Old Spotted Dog Ground.

Cheers chaps !

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Walter Tull (member of Clapton FC - Player in 1909 FA Amateur Cup Final)

walter tull clapton football club clapton fc walter tull crossing the white line tottenham hotspur northampton town

Walter Tull was born in Folkestone on 28th April 1888. His father was a carpenter from Barbados who had moved to Folkestone and married a local woman. By the age of nine, Walter had lost both his parents, and when he was 10 he and his brother Edward were sent to a Methodist orphanage in Bethnal Green. His brother left the orphanage two years later, was adopted by a Scottish family and became a dentist. Meanwhile, Walter played for the orphanage football team, and in 1908, began playing for Clapton FC. Within a few months he had won winners' medals in the FA Amateur Cup, London County Amateur Cup and London Senior Cup. In March 1909 the Football Star called him 'the catch of the season'.  In the photo (left) Walter Tull is in the front row, one from the right.

In 1909 he signed as a professional for Tottenham Hotspur, and experienced for the first time spectator racism when Spurs travelled to play Bristol City. According to one observer, 'a section of the spectators made a cowardly attack on him in language lower than Billingsgate.' The correspondent continued:

"Let me tell those Bristol hooligans that Tull is so clean in mind and method as to be a model for all white men who play football whether they be amateur or professional. In point of ability, if not actual achievement, Tull was the best forward on the field"

In October 1911 Tull moved to Northampton Town where he played half-back and scored nine goals in 110 senior appearances. When the First World War broke out, be became the first Northampton player to sign up to join the 17th (1st Football) Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment, and in November 1915 his battalion arrived in France. 

The Army soon recognised Tull's leadership qualities and he was quickly promoted to the rank of sergeant. In July 1916, Tull took part in the major Somme offensive. Tull survived this experience but in December 1916 he developed trench fever and was sent home to England to recover. 

walter tull clapton fcTull had impressed his senior officers and recommended that he should be considered for further promotion. When he recovered from his illness, instead of being sent back to France, he went to the officer training school at Gailes in Scotland. Despite military regulations forbidding "any negro or person of colour" being an officer, Tull received his commission in May, 1917. 

Lieutenant Walter Tull was sent to the Italian front. This was an historic occasion because Tull was the first ever black officer in the British Army. He led his men at the Battle of Piave and was mentioned in dispatches for his "gallantry and coolness" under fire. 

Tull stayed in Italy until 1918 when he was transferred to France to take part in the attempt to break through the German lines on the Western Front. On 25th March, 1918, 2nd Lieutenant Tull was ordered to lead his men on an attack on the German trenches at Favreuil. Soon after entering No Mans Land, Tull was hit by a German bullet. Tull was such a popular officer that several of his men made valiant efforts under heavy fire from German machine-guns to bring him back to the British trenches. These efforts were in vain as Tull had died soon after being hit.

He was the first British-born black army officer and the first black officer to lead white British troops into battle. 

In 1997 an appeal was launched in Northampton to recognise Walter Tull’s achievements, inspired by research undertaken by Phil Vasili and an enthusiastic local fan. In July 1999 a memorial to Walter was finally unveiled at Sixfields the home ground of The Cobblers, and the approach road to the stadium renamed Walter Tull Way. More recently, the offices of Probation Services in the centre of Northampton have been renamed Walter Tull House.

Walter’s status as a war hero should also be considered in the context of other un-named Black soldiers who fought for Britain in both World Wars and other battles across the world over hundreds of years.

Plans are afoot:

1. To rename the school he attended in Folkestone as The Walter Tull School.
2. To erect a statue of Walter Tull at the newly planned Spurs Stadium
3. To replay the match between Spurs & Bristol City in memory of the racial abuse Walter suffered 100 years ago.
4. To include the story of Walter Tull in the National Curriculum
5. To erect a permanent memorial to Walter Tull in Folkestone
6. and of course… to posthumously award Walter the Military Cross that he was recommended to receive but did not.

Further information can be found at

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Why We Would Like You To Join.

Clapton FC are one of the most famous amateur clubs in English football history. They not only won the FA Amateur Cup on five occasions but are recognised by the Football Association as being the first English club to play on the continent and thus instrumental in the growth of the game.

In addition, Clapton players have represented England at full International level and numerous others have progressed to the professional ranks and performed with distinction.

However, as amateur football became semi-professional and beyond, Clapton's tenure as a prominent club declined. However, they continued to compete in the Isthmian League, a competition that Clapton members were instrumental in founding in 1905. In the 1990s Clapton were sadly demoted to the Essex Senior League, a competition in which they compete today.

Throughout this time Clapton have played at the The Old Spotted Dog Ground in Forest Gate, London and had done so since 1878. This small enclosure, buried among residential housing, had hosted both cricket and football before Clapton became tenants in 1888. Clapton are synonymous with the 'Spotted Dog' and it remains one of the last traditional bastions of football in the East End of London, an area that has lost great football clubs such as Walthamstow Avenue, Leytonstone and Leyton in recent years.

The Clapton players of today represent the club in the great tradition of their predecessors of the yesteryear. Those running the club do their best in difficult circumstances and are fighting to keep this great club alive.

The primary objectives of the Friends of Clapton FC is to help those who run, administer and play for the Tons. These objectives include it's continuance and well-being, the security of tenure at the Old Spotted Dog Ground and to promote Clapton FC's activities in an open and forthright manner so as to re-establish the club in the world of football as well as the local community. This will inlcude the careful consideration of where the club is going and to offer advice, help and support where necessary.

We believe that Clapton FC is a club deserving of support and who's survival is important, not only to the local area, but also to the sport of association football, the development of which, owes much to the Clapton players, officials and supporters of yesteryear.

Please join us by clicking here

Please forward any questions or enquiries to