|At the turn of the last century football was played in a corner of Froyle Park opposite the Hen & Chicken Inn. But 1921 saw the formation of the Alton & District Junior Football League and that first season was described by Philip Clinker in a booklet he produced in 1971, commemorating 50 years of local soccer.|
|“The conditions of the period were far from ideal. All players paid a
signing-on fee of 2s 6d and had to buy their own strip. It must have cost a
fortune when a player wanted a transfer. Travel, for those living away from
the area, was undertaken by bicycle, vans and even beer lorries with upturned
crates serving as temporary seats. It was tough, but the survivors of a terrible
Great War were accustomed to such conditions, and the League slowly but
surely began to flourish.
Froyle did well in the Alton League and were never far from the top. But their best season came in 1948-49 when they were not only League winners, but they also managed to win the Inter-League, and pick up the Alton Charity Cup and the Alton Challenge Cup.
At this time the Captain was W.J.Rhodes. During the 1949-50 season, under the Captaincy of Don Pullman, the team won the Alton Charity Cup, the Alton Challenge Cup and the Hants Benevolent Cup. In those days membership of the team was restricted to men from the village and a three mile radius.
Froyle’s next winning run came in 1967-68 and then again in 1968-69.
In 1969 Froyle amassed twenty-five points from a possible twenty-eight, leaving runners-up Castle Park Rangers three points behind.
It was at this time that the team left the Alton & District Junior League and joined the Aldershot Junior League.
Once more they were victorious, winning the League in their first season, 1969-70.
The photograph shows the Captain, Fred Bennett, being presented with the trophy by Mr Eric Perrin, Secretary of the Aldershot League.
|Mark Elston adds the following information concerning the names of the people in the picture:-
I recognise all but one of the faces (fifth from left, back row), but can’t remember all the names; it would be interesting if we could fill in the gaps…
Back row, left to right: -???, Jim Bellis, -???, -???, -???, -?Pritchard?, George Pritchard.
Middle row, left to right: Tony Pritchard, Jim Cousins, Don Pullman (former captain)
Front row, left to right: -???, Harry Naylor (gifted footballer), Ken Tabb, Fred Bennett and Eric Perrin, Ken Warry (partially hidden, village bobby), Barry Pullman, Wilf Rhodes (former captain) .
Kneeling: David Bennett and little boy? - The little boy is David’s son, Andrew.
| On the following Sunday eighty officials, players and supporters from
the White City, London, were invited to play in two matches.
The local paper reported, “The youngsters played the first match and Froyle crashed 4-1 to the visitors who played some superb football. In the second game Froyle did extremely well to draw 2-2, after being 2 down at half time - and against a defence that included Fulham’s A goalkeeper. Referees were Mr D.Bennett and Mr G.Pritchard. The match balls were supplied by Queen’s Park Rangers and a further ball, donated by QPR, bore the signatures of their first team and was raffled.”