On this day – 17 April

Our first game on this date came back in 1896, when the 2nd Grenadier Guards were beaten 6-1.

In 1908, a bumper Easter crowd of 12,000 were in attendance at Fratton Park where we lost 3-1 – Reneville scoring the Leyton goal. A year later Leyton beat Reading 1-0 despite losing goalkeeper Whitbourne early in the second half to a broken collar bone. According to The Sportsman, Leyton would finish the season with “a long list of invalids”. This proved a common theme on this date as two years later a Leyton side missing five of their “regular men” went down 3-0 to Northampton.

All the above games were played in Division One of the Southern League, but after the first World War, the league games on this date would be in the London League.

There was Walthamstow Charity Cup defeat in 1920 to Walthamstow Grange, but by then the big names of current football league clubs were now replaced by those we are more used to playing now. In 1922 Leyton went down 2-1 to Grays Athletic but beat Metrogas of Kent 3-2 four years later.

A 3-0 friendly victory over Golders Green was one of 34 games played in the 1942-43 season, despite the country being involved in the Second World War. Leyton were playing in the Herts & Middlesex Combination now, with the majority of clubs being from North London from Wealdstone in the west, to Walthamstow Avenue in the east. The league also included Slough United, despite being in neither Herts nor Middlesex. Take note fans of the 2019-20 Essex Senior League – clubs playing in leagues well outside geographical boundaries is nothing new.

In 1982, a 0-0 draw was the 12th game in a run without losing that would stretch to 20, and the end of the season. Leyton-Wingate, as the club was known by then won the Athenian League by 14 points (at a time when it was still two points for a win), going the whole season unbeaten. The game against Redhill on the 17th of April was a cause for celebration. George Wakeling’s side had won the league title the previous Monday, as Edwere were defeated by Harefield United while Leyon-Wingate beat Kingsbury Town. The Essex Thameside Trophy was added to the trophy cabinet for good measure.

The programme notes from that Redhill game suggest “Our change of name to Waltham Forest FC is still very likely, although we still await approval from the FA”. It would take another 22 years for this proposed name change to happen, before changing again to Walthamstow in 2017.

Wins on this day have been hard to come by recently. The last win came in 1997, a 2-0 win over Tooting & Mitcham United in the semi-final of the London Challenge Cup, where we would go on to lose to Uxbridge after a replay. The last game, and the one pictured, was a disappointing end of season 4-0 defeat by Enfield Town.

Season Opponents Competition H/A Score
1896-97 2nd Grenadier Guards ? ? 6-1
1905-06 Brighton & Hove Albion South Eastern League Away 4-0
1907-08 Portsmouth Southern League Division 1 Away 1-3
1908-09 Reading Southern League Division 1 Home 1-0
1910-11 Northampton Town Southern League Division 1 Away 0-3
1919-20 Walthamstow Grange Walthamstow Charity Cup Away 0-2
1921-22 Grays Athletic London League Premier Division Away 1-2
1925-26 Metrogas London League Premier Division Away 3-2
1929-30 Custom House West Ham Charity Cup Home ?-?
1932-33 Walthamstow Avenue Athenian League Away 1-5
1934-35 Bromley Athenian League Away 2-3
1936-37 Barnet Athenian League Home 5-0
1938-39 Clapton South Essex Charity Cup Away ?-?
1942-43 Golders Green Friendly Away 3-0
1951-52 Leytonstone Essex Thameside Trophy Away 2-4
1957-58 Finchley Athenian League Away 1-3
1964-65 Leatherhead Athenian League Home 4-1
1970-71 Marlow Athenian League Home 1-1
1975-76 Cheshunt Athenian League Home 2-1
1981-82 Redhill Athenian League Home 0-0
1983-84 Ware Isthmian League Division Two Home 4-1
1985-86 Uxbridge Isthmian League Division One Home 2-4
1992-93 Barking Isthmian League Division One Home 2-1
1994-95 Tooting & Mitcham Isthmian League Division One Home 0-1
1996-7 Tooting & Mitcham London County Cup Home 2-0
1998-9 Hitchin Town Isthmian League Division One Home 0-4
2003-4 Dunstable Town Isthmian League Division One North Home 1-1
2005-6 Harlow Town Southern League Eastern Division Home 1-2
2009-10 Enfield Town Isthmian League Division One North Home 0-4

Other Articles

First Team
On this day