WALTHAMSTOW RANGERS FOOTBALL CLUB

1958 - 1978

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This page has been added to show material that has not found a home on other pages.  It includes reminisences and some recently acquired photographs and memorabilia.    

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There are very few photos of members from the early years.  The Club's first trophy was gained in 1961-62 in the previously referred to match against Upminster Juniors.  There is no team photo available so it is perhaps worth including the picture alongside which was taken before a pre season friendly at the start of the following season. It is the only one showing some of the players who were part of that early success.  

 

All of the back row were in that team apart from the player shown on the far right.  Pete Bailey, Paul Watts, Dennis Swift, Alan (Chas) Miller, Derek King.  In the front row, Richard Farmer is second left and Colin Sinclair on the extreme right.    

Famous Dads:

 

Some of our young players were the sons of professional footballers.  Kevin Bond, who is featured elsewhere on this site, was the son of West Ham United favourite John Bond.  John was one of the first attacking full backs in league football.  He and his full back partner Noel Cantwell were frequently seen speeding down the flanks at a time when this phenomenon was rare.  John later went on to manage Bournemouth  (it was at this stage that we lost Kevin as the family all moved to the South Coast where he settled with his new team Strouden Park) and later at Manchester City.  Kevin was briefly reunited with his old team mates at Rangers when we paid a visit play his new club side in a pre-season friendly.

 

George Dunkley was a professional who played in goal for Arsenal and later was with Millwall in the 1950's.  George's son Edgar (who is shown in several pictures on the team photo page) was himself an outstanding player who played several seasons for Rangers after joining the Club at Under Twelve level.  We were extremely sorry to lose him when the family relocated to Suffolk.

 

David Bloomfield was another Ranger with a famous father.  David's Dad Jimmy was a great Arsenal favourite.  At the end of his playing career Jimmy became player manager at Leyton Orient.  After some success, he moved on to Leicester City, but later returned to Orient for a second spell which included a run to the FA Cup semi-finals in 1977–78.  Jimmy was later a coach at Luton Town, until his sad and sudden death in 1983,  at the age of 49.

 

Pat Welton was goalkeeper for Leyton Orient in the 1950's.  His son Shane was also a goalie and played for the Rangers Under Twelve side featured in one of the press cuttings on the 'About Walthamstow Rangers ' page.  Pat later went on to play for Queens Park Rangers.  He had several coaching posts after retirement including Assistant Manager at Spurs under Steve Burtenshaw.

Remembering some outstanding players who played both for and against Rangers

 

Whilst not all Rangers teams were trophy winners, the standard of the leagues in which they played was invariably very high.  It is interesting to reflect on the levels of play in the leagues in which our teams competed.  In our first ever cup final in 1961-62 (see article below) Tommy Taylor was playing against us for Upminster Juniors.  Tommy went on to have a long career with Leyton Orient and later West Ham United (where he notched up 396 appearances) and was a member of the Hammers' team which won the FA Cup in 1975.  He went back to Orient towards the end of his career after losing his place in the Hammers' side to Alvin Martin.  After retirement Tommy went on to manage Cambridge United and Leyton Orient.  

 

Many of our opponents in the South West Essex Junior, the Regent Sunday, Walthamstow Sunday and Harold Hill leagues were comprised almost entirely of players who had reached school's district level.   It is pity that there are not more detailed records of opposing players who went on to better things.  But as an example, we several times lined up against Ray Wilkins, John Sparrow and Tommy Langley playing for their Senrab team before finding fame in the Chelsea first team.

 

Our goalkeeper that year and in the preceding season was Chas Miller who, as well as being an excellent goalkeeper himself, helped the Club to expand by introducing a number of other very good standard players to Rangers. These proved to be the foundation for several of Rangers' teams to follow.

 

A copy of the programme for our first cup success is not available but below is a photo of the match programme for the following season's final which was also played at Leyton FC's Hare and Hounds ground.  The team played in the newly formed Under Seventeen division of the South West Essex Junior Football League in 1962-63.  The Saturday morning starts proved less popular and the general standard of the division was lower than usual SWEssex league levels. However, the season did provide Rangers with its first League and Cup double.

 

1962-63 was also memorable for our first ever Under Twelve side.  Jointly managed by Colin Arnott and Del Finch, the team performed well to finish the season in second place in SWEssex Junior League Division 4, losing out only to Newbury Park.

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During the club's formative years, Newbury Park, our cup final opponents in the above game, were much the strongest club in the area.  Below is a photo of Jimmy Greaves at our 1970 presentation dinner and dance giving an award to Ian McCormack.  Dave Clarke is shown watching the proceedings.  Of all the excellent players who represented Newbury Park and wore their distinctive green and white strip, Jimmy must have been,  by some measure,  their most famous 'former member'.

As mentioned in the 'Home' and  'About Rangers' pages there were a significant number of Rangers' players who also graduated  to play League and part time professional football.  Shown alongside is a photo of Clive Charles fairly soon after leaving Rangers and signing professional forms for West Ham United.  Kevin Bond,  went on to follow his Dad to Bournemouth and Manchester City. He became first team coach at Aston Villa at the start of the 2016-17 season.  After a managerial change at the club, he returned to Hong Kong Pegasus .  Jimmy Neighbour had long spells at both Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United.  And Brendan Batson, who played at Arsenal and Cambridge before joining Ron Atkinson at WBA, is pictured on the 'Home' page of this site.

 

Paul Harris was a first team player at Leyton Orient. Steve Neville, who had a season with us as a very young player, went on to play league football at Exeter City. A former professional who had a brief spell with Rangers after his Football League career had finished, the former West Bromwich Albion and Norwich City player Ken Foggo, joined Rangers' Forest Sunday League team for a short spell during the 1977-78 season.

 

 

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Early Years

Presentation Evenings

 

Above is a picture of awards being presented at the 1970 annual dinner.  Our first ever presentation evening in 1965 was a less grand affair.  It was held at Carlton Hall in Church Hill Walthamstow and before meals were included as part of the evening.  The reigning Miss Walthamstow, Kathy Taylor (flanked in the photo below by Dick Raymond, Roy Fentiman and Barry Mears who were receiving their 100 appearances awards), did the honours for us and presented all the trophies very graciously and was a lovely guest.  Her Dad was on the Walthamstow Sunday League panel of referees which is how the connection was made.  Del Finch, shown on the extreme right, was looking after the proceedings.

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Eddie Browne later took over as Social Secretary and organised our first Dinner and Dance presentation evening at the Red Lion Hotel Leytonstone in 1968. The celebrity guest that year was David Webb the former Chelsea defender who once played against us in the Walthamstow Sunday League.  Below is the cover of the evening's souvenir menu.

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Later Material

 

Garry Meader has sent photographs shown below which were taken at the Forest District League Divisional Cup Final in 1975.  (Two copies have been sent in of the first picture which is the only action photograph now in the 'archive box').  It was taken of a superb headed goal by Roy Fentiman in the extraordinary 5 - 1  win against Heathcote at the Lewcos FC ground.   As recorded elsewhere on this site, Heathcote were very worthy league champions and had dominated the division all season.  On cup final day, Rangers produced a masterclass performance and went in to a 3 - 1 lead.  Our opponents reacted badly and had two players sent off reducing them to nine players.  Scenes during and after the match led to Heathcote being expelled from the league.  The expulsion had two other results.  It led to Rangers being given a promotion place in to Division Three.  Also the goalkeeper making a valiant effort to stop the header was Les Dyer.  Les and another Heathcote player, Keith Sinfield, joined us and were part of our three trophy haul the following season.

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The second photo shows the 'after match' celebrations.  It is particularly worthy of reproduction showing as it does the team with a number of our supporters that season.  We were fortunate to have a quite a following in those early Forest District League years.  Poignantly, the picture also shows the fathers of three of our players. George's dad Ronnie Ferrari is shown on the far left, Andy's father Fred Manston is standing on the extreme right and Garry's dad Joe Meader is three in from the right.

The 1975-76 season saw Rangers winning the Division Three title and going through the league programme with a 100% record.  To complete a wonderful season, the team also won the Divisional Cup and the Rosina King Cup.  Garry Meader kindly provided copies of the two cup final programmes reproduced below.  

 

This site has previously made reference to the very high playing standards of many of the league's in which Rangers played.  In the notes about New Forest United (whom we had previously competed against three years earlier in the Walthamstow Sunday League when they were a boys team playing as Leytonstone) there is a detailed description of their pedigree which makes very interesting reading and provides a good example of those high levels of our opponents over the years.

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Fund Raising

 

So important for every club has always been finding the money to keep going.  Subscriptions were the basis for keeping the club afloat but these were never enough.  Early efforts to raise additional funds included our jumble sales which were usually very well supported.  But as the Club grew so did the financial demands.  

 

Eddie Browne was hugely important to the Club in so many ways.  He was an extremely popular and very successful Social Secretary and arranged many events such as Club Presentation evenings and other social events.  But he also took on additional responsibilities for fund raising.  His ideas included lotteries, raffles, Derby Draws, the Highest Score weekly tickets.  The weekly tickets involved a trek round all participating members once a week in all weathers which was a thankless but absolutely invaluable task.

 

Two others who carried on the role later and who were so important for Rangers' survival were Roger Levoir (who had no great interest in football but took on the role out of friendship with Dick Raymond) and then Jim Butler.  Roger's contribution also included joining Dick's Under Twelve team on their Easter continental tour to help out with looking after the youngsters.

 

Jim was as energetic as Eddie had been.  He worked so very hard at both the social and fundraising sides.  And this was on top of being an invaluable player in the Seniors and later the Sunday Seniors and also as manager of both a junior team, which included Clive Charles as mentioned elsewhere, and the Seniors.  He also organised several of the Club's fund raising walks from Whipps Cross, Leytonstone to The Bell in Southend mainly along the A12 & A127 .  Jim was such a tremendous asset and supporter of everything Rangers.  He left his last role as Club chairman when the club all but broke up and we were reduced to our Forest Sunday League side.  By then there was no longer a need for a Chairman and Jim left for pastures new at the senior amateur club Leyton.  An all round lovely person and mentor, both he, and his son Lee, were sorely missed.

 

Below is a picture taken of senior team players on the 1969 Club Fundraising Walk taken by Eric Allinson who also went on to complete the 36 miles.  From left to right Brian Russell, Dick Raymond, Peter Perryman, Eddie George and Reg Eldridge are seen striding out.  Jim spent the day organising the event and going backwards and forwards in his red Triumph Vitesse car encouraging everyone on and making sure all were ok.   Remember too that members from the Under Twelves upwards and their parents were supporting the event.  It is a pity that this photo, provided by Eric, is the only one available.

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Friends From Other Clubs

 

Many opposing managers and secretaries become good friends  as well as rivals. These included Terry Bruce (Upminster),  Jack Knife (Mildmay), Derek York  (Newbury Park), John Langford (Rippleway), Teddy Mallendine (Tiger), Micky Holmwood (Leyton Athletic),  Reg Sinfield (Penrhyn Athletic),  Tony Buckle (Cobbold),  Joe Lavender (Cantelo Olympic), Dave Shand (Newbury Park - especially remembered as he joined us and managed a Ranger's team himself for two seasons) and there were  many more.  Sadly, not all mentioned are still with us, but hopefully our pages may bring back memories at least for some of them if they should come across this web site.

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Earlier Sunday Seniors Team

Rangers second men's side came in to being when Dave Clarke's Walthamstow and District Youth League side graduated to the London and Essex Border League Division Six in 1965.  Within a year they were moved to Division Five but after achieving a mid-table position next season they disbanded.

 

Wind on four years and the team was resurrected in 1970 as a Sunday league side.  The North Middlesex League was a smaller but well organised competition comprising two divisions. The

revitalised Rangers, still under Dave's management, took Division One by storm to emerge as divisional champions in that first season also winning in the league cup final when they beat North London College, who were placed third in the final league table, by 3-0.

 

The following season, the team found the Premier Division a tougher propsition.  As recorded elsewhere, at the end of the season Dave Clarke was unable to continue as  team manager.  As a result the team was unable to build on the previous success and disbanded again after just two seasons but not before a number of the Rangers players from the late fifties and early sixties had rejoined and enjoyed a renaisance in the gold and black shirts.

 

The team shown on the stairs which achieved the 1970 league and cup double (pictured on the right) comprised Jim Butler, Dave Clarke, Colin Arnott, Mike Dignan, Graham Jelley, Del Finch, Steve Randolph, Alex Gillan, Mick Green, Bob Nugent, Ray Bassett and Dave Stocker .  

 

                                                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                                                                       (photo forwarded by Colin Arnott)

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Club Shop

From 1965 onwards, Rangers had a popular club 'shop'.   The ranges included inscribed ball point pens in the Club colours, broaches, lapel badges, cuff links, rosettes,  and blazer badges (as pictured below).  All items were sold at virtually cost price.  Consequently, the venture showed very little profit but nevertheless it soon  became an established part of Club life.  When one of the pin badges turned up on ebay fairly recently (where it reached a price of £74), it become the subject of an internet article which proved to be one of the initial catalysts for the existence of this web site.