Leyton FC’s Unfathomable Past, Unsustainable Present & Uncertain Future

Ian

Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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19 Responses

  1. Tom Davies says:

    I’m not sure it’s fair to say many of Orient’s supporters “have agitated” for a move out to Essex. There’s certainly plenty who’d be OK with such a move but they’ve not been campaigning for it actively, and have been happily trotting in to Leyton every fortnight anyway.

    The Leyton story is sad and bewildering (my grandad used to watch em in their 20s and 30s heyday and was initially quite hostile to Orient when we moved across from Clapton), but the Leyton/Pennant north-east London axis was probably never as strong or rooted as the Walthamstow Avenue/Leytonstone/Ilford strand, which, distantly, is related to the current vision of loveliness known as Dagenham & Redbridge.

    But urban non-league football in London has been up against it for decades, much of it down to non-football factors like property values (see also Tooting, Hendon) as well as iffy owners (the two are related)

  2. admin says:

    Sorry, Tom, that was a typo on my part at the end of a very long evening, that I have now amended.

  3. Martin says:

    Good article. Thanks for spelling it all out Ian.

    I guess the problem is that a community-based club needs a community and vice versa.

    There aren’t many real communities worthy of the name in Greater London any more for a variety of reasons.

  4. Charlie Ward says:

    You stated that Leyton merged with Walthamstow Pennant to form Leyton Pennant which is absolutely true.
    But, the club did not then split up and some people returning to the Hare & Hounds to reform as Leyton.
    What actually happened was that the majority of the Committee at Leyton decided that the club could not cover operational costs at the Hare & Hounds and a merger with walthamstow Pennant was the only available option so the clubs merged and played at wadham Lodge, as Leyton Pennant with the blessing of the Ryman league.
    However, some former Leyton Committee members were not happy at the relocation and after a few years started up a new, separate club and called themselves Leyton Sports and only changed their name to Leyton when Costas became Chairman and decided that he wanted the club to have the history belonging to the original Leyton
    The reason that the Committee of Leyton Pennant, who since changed their name to Waltham Forest as they were no longer playing in Leyton and to avoid confusion with this new Leyton, did not contest the ownship rights of the Leyton history was that they simply could not afford to cover any Court costs and go against the highly expensive legal eagles employed by Costas

  5. Peter says:

    I have just read your wonderful article on Leyton F.C. and thought I would update you on their relationship with the Essex Olympian Football League that you have briefly mentioned.

    Leyton joined the league at the start of the 1998/99 season and were placed in Senior Division Two. The team finished second in their division and were promoted. During season 1998/99 the club had applied to the London F.A. for Senior status and this was granted towards the end of the season although they never informed the league that they were doing this and at the A.G.M. they were re-elected into the league for Season 1999/2000.

    When the Essex County F.A., the Leagues governing body, found out that Leyton F.C. had been granted Senior status they contacted the League and Leyton F.C. and told them that the League were not allowed to have Senior clubs in their constitution. As a result Leyton were forced to leave the league and applied to and were accepted by the Essex Senior League at the start of season 1999/2000. Leyton were also fined by the league for leaving after the A.G.M. and they subsequently lost the appeal they made against this fine to the Essex F.A.

    Leyton stayed in the Essex Senior League and finished top at the end of season 2001/2002 when they joined the Isthmian League. The rest is history

  6. Mike says:

    Does anyone have any research material on what Leyton FC may have worn in 1911? I am doing a project on the old Southern League. I have googled but to no avail.

  7. Ann Long says:

    Hi

    My Dad, Ted Conn was a physio with the team in the 60s and 70s and I am so sorry to hear that the club will end soon.

    Some players from this era were Dickie Downs, Ronnie O Sullivan senior, Brian Fuller, Peter Cataneough,John Smith.

    I have so many happy memories of visiting Leyton to watch football. Myself and my sister used to go over the grounds every weekend. My Husband, Ray Long played in goal for the team and my brother, Mark Conn also played. Feels like such a loss.

    I am trying to see if anyone has any pictures of the team from the 60s and 70s to see if any past family members are in them.

    Hope someone has some pics!

    Many thanks

    Ann Long (was Conn)

  8. David Wood says:

    I used to support Leyton when a boy, and both my father and my Uncle (who only died in 2008) saw them in their hey-day in the 1920s. I have a few feet of scratchy 8mm film when Leyton played Leytonstone in, from memory, about 1965, but I cannot remember the players mentioned above, although maybe Ray Long rings a bell.

  9. g the g says:

    lets be honest, marketing was zero, pr didnt exist, no one knew when they played
    did they give a fuck, not really, aka hendon , tooting
    support has to be won and nurtured.

  10. alex loumbas says:

    i have been following the Leyton f.C situation for some time now, and i feel that they can maybe make a go of it from the E.S.L and i would love to be a part of it but i have no clue how to get into contact with anyone from the club, if anyone could help me get in contact i would majorly appreciate it as i wanted to play for them just before they resigned from the ryman league but never got my trial… can anyone help me?

  11. alex loumbas says:

    P.S if anyone can then e-mail me on alexandrosloumbas@hotmail.co.uk

    thank you

  12. Martinjohnson says:

    I played for leyton from about under 14’s when my wadham team joined them, up til about 18 I think. played for ken reaves and tony someone? Sad to here the club has folded.

  13. Ray ILOTT says:

    If you get this message ANN, PLEASE REPLY BY EMAIL.

    Love to talk about Leyton FC and I remember your dad Ted.

    Ray

  14. Ray ILOTT says:

    To Ann Long
    I remember your dad Ted as I played for Leyton FC in the 60’s. Reply to rayilott@yahoo.com

    Cheers

    Ray

  15. lionel king says:

    Very interesting article indeed. I lived in Leyton until going up to University in 1955. There was a strong tie between my school, Leyton County High and Leyton FC. Many of the boys were supporters. Two elderly members of staff Percy Craven and John Hughes who taught Latin and Modern Languages were said to have been Leyton stalwarts when the club played at Brisbane/Osborne Road i.e. pre 1937-38. I am writing my schooldays memoires and would welcome any details anyone might have of these two players’ careers at the Club. Percy who played centre-half is rumoured to have played in two FA Amateur Cup Finals after World War I. Yours ever, Lionel King

  16. Peter Mcgillicuddy pet emac1951@yahoo.co.uk says:

    Helped my long time friend Kevin Moran run first team affairs in the 90s. Under chairman George gross. We done our very best to hold our own against much more influential sides. Enjoyed my time in charge, but always going to be hard. Charlie ward helped us out of his own pocket, but it was always on the cards something like this would happen. Sad to seea side with such a wonderful history fall by the way side.

  17. Miserable ex-fan says:

    I knew one bloke who was a passionate fan, more so than I was. He went to every game, home and away. He always used to big up some new signing we’d made, only for him either to be shit or never even play for the club.
    I started going in 2003, and I never attended a Leyton game when he wasn’t there. I think he wrote the match reports for the Non-League Paper too, and texted the results into the vidiprinter. I very rarely saw Leyton FC actually make him happy, but something made him keep coming back. We went a whole year with only one or two victories, but he always stayed loyal.
    Then, sometime in 2010, we played Harlow Town in a relegation six-pointer. We stood in this newish stand behind the goal, and about ten metres from us the chairman Costas was arguing loudly in Greek with some bloke, gesticulating wildly. If I’d known then what I know now, I would have fucking socked the cunt. Our fan got more and more emotional during the game, shouting like never before, on the verge of tears. He left at half-time, and it was the last time I ever saw him at Leyton because we folded not long after.
    For all its faults (low attendance, crap tea, awful football), I want that club back more than anything else.

    I follow another club now, and occasionally I see him at games. He’s been to various clubs but I know his heart’s not in it. What Costas did was awful and it was a long time before I could attend another game of football. Even now, if Leyton came back, I would switch back to them in an instance.

  18. RAY ILOTT says:

    Ann, please reply or anyone else for that matter to me c/- my email of rayilott@yahoo.com

  19. bob says:

    my dad would of cried his eyes out if he was still alive
    when leyton went under

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