Brimsdown Rovers

Brimsdown Rovers was formed in 1947 by a number of Geordies following a merger with a club called Durham Rovers. Durham Rovers themselves had been founded in 1938 by 13 exiles from the North East under the leadership of Jack Bowman. Their original capital was just £13.

The club’s colours have always been the black and white stripes of Newcastle United, whilst in the early days their change of strip saw the red and white stripes of Sunderland in use, to keep everyone happy. As with Newcastle United, its mascot has also always been a magpie.

Playing on the King George VI playing fields, the club entered the Enfield Football Alliance and in the first season were joint winners of Division One. In 1956 they moved from the playing fields to a piece of waste ground in Goldsdown Road which is still their home.

By this time they were competing in a higher standard of football. In 1950 the club joined the Northern Suburban Intermediate League, winning Division One in their first season. Over the next 20 seasons, the Club won the Premier Division on five occasions (1953, 1957, 1958, 1968 and 1969), the most titles gained by any single club and since the League’s demise in 1988, the Championship Shield has been kept in Brimsdown Rovers’ clubhouse.

1969 proved to be the club’s most successful season so far as both first team and reserves won their respective divisions of Northern Suburban Intermediate League as well as capturing the Waltham Hospital Cup, beating Greenbury 8-0 in the final. At this point Brimsdown decided to move to a different league and were voted into the Greater London League Division 1. The standard was slightly higher, though the majority of opponents were the reserve X1’s of teams in the Premier Division, but the league covered a wider geographical area. After two seasons, the Greater London League amalgamated with the Metropolitan League to form the Metropolitan-London League and Brimsdown were placed in the Reserve Division 1 where they achieved a third place finish in the 1972-3 season.

The club joined the London Spartan League in 1976, finishing runners-up in Division One in the third season before winning the Division in 1982 and gaining promotion to the Senior Division.

In 1982–83, the club finished third in the league and won the London Intermediate Cup, beating Fountain 1-0 in the final. They also gained Senior Status and promotion to the Premier Division. The club regularly finished in the top half of the table, finishing runners-up to Northwood in 1991–92 and winning the Championship the following season under manager Derek Townshend and assistant Tony Faulkner. A Spurs X1 won 3-1 when they visited to officially switch on their floodlights in February 1991.

In 1997–98 the Spartan League merged with the South Midland League to form the Spartan South Midlands League and after a season of finding their feet in the new surroundings, the Club finished bottom of the Premier Division in the 1998-9 and were relegated to the second tier of the league. It took eight years for the club to regain its Premier Division status when they won the Division One title in 2006-7, nine points clear of second placed Cockfosters and having scored 109 goals. The next three seasons saw a decline in their fortunes, finishing 8th, 17th and 21st in their final campaigns.

In cup competitions the club were beaten finalists in the Spartan League Cup in 1986–87 and 1987–88, but won the competition in 1995–96 in a replay against St. Margaretsbury. The club was also finalists in the London Senior Cup in 1992–93 losing 4-3 to Hanwell Town. Brimsdown’s best run in the F A Cup was in their debut season of entry 1991–92, when after holding Diadora League St. Albans City to a 1–1 draw away at Clarence Park in the second qualifying round, they defeated them 2–0 in the replay, and in the third qualifying round were drawn against Chesham United also of the Diadora Premier Division at home and again achieved a 2–2 draw after being 2–0 down in 15 minutes, but lost the replay 2–1. In the FA Vase its best performance was in 2009-10 when the club reached the Fourth Round before losing to Daventry Town.

As well as running a first X1, the club has a strong heritage in both youth and Sunday football. Amongst the players who have progressed through their youth teams are Micah Hyde, Jason Brissett, Ryan Kirby and Ian Wiles who all progressed to play in the Football League, but their most celebrated former player is David Beckham who spent two years in their youth team from the age of 14.

A groundsharing arrangement with the newly formed Enfield Town in 2001 saw a gradual improvement in the club’s facilities, but by 2010 with “Town” moving to a new ground in the near future, it was clear that Brimsdown were unable to survive financially on their own. Enfield 1893 was still looking to return to the Borough so a merger between the clubs was agreed. The club played their final fixture on Saturday 1st May 2010 when a 3-1 win over Hertford Town ended a run of sixteen league games without a win and brought the curtain down on the club’s 63-year history.

While the name of Brimsdown Rovers no longer appears amongst the ranks of those in senior non league football, they continue to participate in local youth football.

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