Herts Ad Sunday League: Memories of Chiswell all happy ones despite lack of trophies

PUBLISHED: 11:30 23 June 2020 | UPDATED: 11:30 23 June 2020

Herts Ad Sunday League side Chiswell seen around the 1978-1979 season.
Back row - Bruno O'Gorman, John Fountain, Pete Clark (secretary), Phil O'Brien, Graham Cordell, Steve Oakley, Colin Fogarty, Dave Stanley, Duncan Leadbetter, Steve Nicklin, Tim Pearce, Pete Garden (sponsor: Charlie's Footwear), Dave Taverner (club linesman)
Front row - Terry Fogarty (mascot), Rob Canfield, Colin Orchard, Tony Canfield, Kim Taverner, Paul Bateman.

Herts Ad Sunday League side Chiswell seen around the 1978-1979 season. Back row - Bruno O'Gorman, John Fountain, Pete Clark (secretary), Phil O'Brien, Graham Cordell, Steve Oakley, Colin Fogarty, Dave Stanley, Duncan Leadbetter, Steve Nicklin, Tim Pearce, Pete Garden (sponsor: Charlie's Footwear), Dave Taverner (club linesman) Front row - Terry Fogarty (mascot), Rob Canfield, Colin Orchard, Tony Canfield, Kim Taverner, Paul Bateman.

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There have been many clubs over the course of the Herts Ad Sunday League who have piled up the trophies and won adulation and fame. Chiswell were never one of those clubs but that doesn’t mean the memories aren’t thick with misty-eyed pleasure.

Herts Ad Sunday League side Chiswell seen around the 1978-1979 season.
Back row - Keith Joiner, Graham Cordell, Tim Pearce, John Fountain, Steve Nicklin, Duncan Leadbetter, Colin Fogarty, Jon Leadbetter.
Front row - Paul Bateman, Dave Stanley, Bruno O'Gorman, Rob Canfield, Colin Orchard.Herts Ad Sunday League side Chiswell seen around the 1978-1979 season. Back row - Keith Joiner, Graham Cordell, Tim Pearce, John Fountain, Steve Nicklin, Duncan Leadbetter, Colin Fogarty, Jon Leadbetter. Front row - Paul Bateman, Dave Stanley, Bruno O'Gorman, Rob Canfield, Colin Orchard.

David Stanley started his Sunday League career with New Greens but played, among many other things, the majority of his life with the club.

And while there were no trophies to grace the sideboard, he recalls an extremely happy time.

He said: “I grew up in St Albans playing Mid Herts and Sunday League football. I was even privileged to play with John Mitchell at Carlton in my early youth, sadly I lacked his skills.

“It was with Chiswell that I played the majority of my Sunday league football from the early 1970s to 1982 or 83 before moving away from the area.

Herts Ad Sunday League side Chiswell: Back row (left to right): Dave Stanley, Paul Mullen, Richard Quick, Duncan Leadbetter, Mick Gaffney, Paul Bateman.
Front: Geoff Barker, Tony Canfield, Colin Orchard, Richard Lines, Fergal Bergin, Jon Leadbetter. Picture: BRIAN HUBBALLHerts Ad Sunday League side Chiswell: Back row (left to right): Dave Stanley, Paul Mullen, Richard Quick, Duncan Leadbetter, Mick Gaffney, Paul Bateman. Front: Geoff Barker, Tony Canfield, Colin Orchard, Richard Lines, Fergal Bergin, Jon Leadbetter. Picture: BRIAN HUBBALL

“I had started as just a player before running the club as manager, coach, treasurer and still as a player with the assistance of Pete Clark as secretary.

“We had a good run in the Premier Division although we did spend seasons in Division One. Indeed the year we came up with Blacksmiths, Rob Canfield led the division’s scoring charts with 28 goals.

“Although we never won any trophies in my time with the club, we did enjoy our run in the Premier.

“We got the 1981-1982 season off to a flyer beating champions Nicolas Breakspear Old Boys 1-0, Fergal Bergin scoring, but ended up just avoiding relegation.

“And we did have very good success in five-a-side tournaments however, winning the Harpenden Sports Centre trophy over a number of years as well as other tournaments.”

Brian Hubball from the league’s committee said: “Chiswell Football Club spent 18 seasons in the League starting back in 1966-1967 and ending in 1983-1984.

“They spent six seasons in the Premier Division and nine in Division One after two seasons in both Division Two and Three.

“Although never a successful side, they battled many seasons avoiding relegation, they were a team that never gave up.”

The squad contained two sets of brothers over the years, the Canfields and the Leadbetters, and they also employed St Albans City historian Dave Tavener as linesman.


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