Wanderers football team moves to Croydon

By - Thursday 27th November, 2014

South London football club, Wanderers, will be moving to Mayfield Stadium in Thornton Heath, sharing it with AFC Croydon Athletic. This Saturday Wanderers play their first match in their new home, against AFC Ewell, and kick off is at 2pm. 

Photo used with permission.

Release begins: *South London charity football club, Wanderers, are pleased to announce that they will be sharing a ground with AFC Croydon Athletic, commencing this month*

Wanderers are one of the oldest names in football, formed and playing throughout London between 1859 and 1887 – during which time they lifted the FA Cup five times – and since 2009. The club expect to play their 7 remaining home league fixtures at the Mayfield Stadium in Thornton Heath, along with a series of friendly matches.

The first match Wanderers will host will be the fixture against AFC Ewell, kicking off at *2pm on Saturday 29th November*. The club would like to invite as many supporters down as possible to enjoy what promises to be a great game of football and to enjoy the hospitality of the newly rebuilt clubhouse. Attendance is free to all and there is space for up to 300 people to sit under the covered main stand and a further 2’700 standing.

The 2014-15 season coincides with the *150th Anniversary of Wanderers* changing their name from Forest FC. Forest were formed by brother Charles and John Alcock in 1859 but in 1864, after several years of success, the
brothers disagreed on the direction of the club and Charles led the club from Leyton to Kennington Oval, briefly via Battersea Park, with the new name ‘Wanderers’.

The club went on to lift the FA Cup – originally proposed to the FA by Charles Alcock – in 1872, 1873, 1876, 1877 and 1878. Wanderers folded in 1887 but, with the endorsement of the Alcock family, were resurrected in 2009 to raise money for charity.

The men’s 1st XI compete at step 15 of the national football system – the Surrey South Eastern Combination Junior Division 2 – having secured consecutive promotions in the past two seasons. This season the club have launched a women’s 1st XI and men’s Development team, in partnership with the club’s charitable partners *Football Beyond Borders*, who were recently named as part of the Evening Standard’s ‘*London United*’ project. Both
newly established teams will continue to play friendly matches at Belair Park, West Dulwich, but the club hopes to give both the opportunity to play at the new ground, pending further discussions with AFC Croydon Athletic.

Wanderers Club Secretary, Mark Wilson;

“This move marks a massive step for the club in an important season for us. As Junior Division 3 champions and marking 5 years since our reformation, all of the officers, players and members knew that it was the right time for us to play on a more professional quality pitch. Whilst Belair Park in West Dulwich has been our happy home for three seasons and we all have fond memories of great matches there, the Mayfield Stadium will help us to achieve our goal of rising through the leagues and returning to the FA Cup.”

“We are eternally grateful to the Chairman, Paul Smith, and the officers of AFC Croydon Athletic for accepting our approach and agreeing to host us. We believe that this partnership will enable us to attract more supporters which, on top of giving our players a wonderful atmosphere, means we can share our ethos that football can be a transformational force for good to a far wider audience.”

AFC Croydon Athletic recently secured the leasehold of the Mayfield Road stadium from Croydon Borough Council, completing the return to their former home. When Croydon Athletic FC folded in the 2011-12 season, fans of the club founded AFC Croydon Athletic. Since then, ‘The Rams’ have been playing matches at Croydon Sports Arena but are scheduled to return to the Mayfield Stadium (formerly known as The Keith Tuckey Stadium) within a matter of weeks.

The stadium has undergone a comprehensive renovation over the past year. A new pitch has been laid, the clubhouse has been rebuilt and further plan are already in the pipeline. The bar and kitchen facilities will enable both clubs to satisfy the needs of supporters and hold events to help raise club funds.

Mayfield Stadium, Mayfield Road, Thornton Heath, London CR7 6EY

*Further Information*



Release ends.

Release sender: Wanders Football Club



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