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28 October 2014

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You are in: London > Radio > The Non League Football Show > Your team A-Z > Hendon FC

Hendon v Dover thanks to

Hendon v Dover thanks to

Hendon FC

Find out about Hendon FC and how they plan to celebrate their centenary. Discover how they had to settle for a green and white strip and have never been relegated.

Fact File

Name: Hendon FC

Nickname: The Greens

Address: Hendon Football Club, Claremont Road, Brent Cross, London, NW2 1AE

Interesting fact: Hendon's player coach is former Bulgarian World Cup star Bontcho Guentchev


Hendon Football Club was formed as Christ Church Hampstead in 1908 and soon changed their name to Hampstead Town. After progressing through their local leagues, the club applied to join the Isthmian League, but was rejected and, in 1914, became members of the Athenian League. The outbreak of World War I meant that it would be five years before the club completed its first season in the Athenian League.

In 1926, Hampstead Town moved grounds, settling at Claremont Road, where they have been ever since. In 1933, the club decided on a change of name; if the local council had its way, it would have been Hendon Borough (the old Hendon club were in its death throes and failed to complete the 1933–34 season), and the name Golders Green was chosen. The team colours remained blue and white.

Hendon score a penalty thanks to

Thanks to

Narrow defeat!

It was also in the 1930s that Golders Green enjoyed its first appearance in the FA Cup compeititon proper, but it was a salutory experience, losing 10–1 at Southend United. Further applications to join the Isthmian League were rebuffed and by the time World War II broke out, the club had played 20 seasons in the Athenian League.

In 1945, the club made its first appearance at Wembley Stadium, winning the Middlesex Red Cross Cup against Tufnell Park, who were coincidentally the Green's (sic) tenants at Claremont Road. The following year, the club changed its name again, becoming Hendon – again the local council preferred Hendon Borough. However, the club captain spoke at the meeting and said, he preferred "Hendon" because it had a "snappy sound to it."

Pick a colour

A more contentious issue was the club colours; during the wartime privations, a blue kit could not be acquired, so Golders Green assumed the colours they are now famous for, namely green and white.

The next 30 years were, without doubt, the best period in Hendon's history.
The Dons made it to the Amateur Cup semi-final in 1951, missing a last minute penalty against Pegasus and losing the replay. But in 1955, they made it to the Final, where in front of the last-ever 100,000 crowd for an amateur match in England, they went down 2–0 to Bishop Auckland.

In 1960, the Greens (sic) picked up the Amateur Cup for the first time, scoring twice in the last three minutes to snatch the trophy out of Kingstonian's grasp. In 1963, more than half a century after first turning down the club's application to become members, the Isthmian League invited Hendon to become members. In their first season, they finished runners up to Wimbledon.

Going up

A season later, Hendon won the title after a playoff against Enfield (4–1 at Dulwich Hamlet), and the Amateur Cup. In addition, Hendon became almost certainly the only team to make two trips to Highbury in the same season and come away victorious, scoring four goals in both matches.
The first was a London Challenge Cup when a team which had five players who would be in their double-winning squad in 1971, were beaten 4–3. The second was the Amateur Cup semi-final when Finchley were beaten 4–1.

"The club captain spoke at the meeting and said, he preferred "Hendon" because it had a "snappy sound to it." "

David Ballheimer

In 1965, Hendon returned to Wembley in the Amateur Cup, but were on the wrong end of a 3–1 scoreline against Wealdstone. The great run of success continued into the next decade as a third Amateur Cup triumph arrived in 1972, Enfield being beaten 2–0. A year later, the Greens won their second Isthmian League title and, in January 1974, the club enjoyed its finest moment in the FA Cup, when they took Newcastle United – who were finalists that season – to a replay. Two seasons later, the club enjoyed its first ever victory over Football League opposition in the FA Cup, Reading falling 1–0 at Claremont Road.

Since then, things have not been so easy for Hendon. In the last 25 seasons, there have been more campaigns spent flirting with relegation than there have challenging for the title, but there have been a few highlights nonetheless, most notably the 1–0 FA Cup replay victory over Leyton Orient at Brisbane Road in November 1997 (John Murray did live commentary on the whole of the second half of this match on Radio 5 Live).

Never been relegated

Hendon finished third and fourth in the Isthmian League in 2003 and 2004, but took the regrettable step of declining to take their place in the Conference South. This led to turmoil off the field, but things were righted. In 2006, the club finished in a relegation position for the first time in its history, but because of another team's misfortune, they were reprieved, so despite the fact that the Isthmian League is now at level 3 of the National Game, having been at Level 1 in the 1960s, Hendon retain their proud boast of never having been relegated.

In 2008, the club celebrates its centenary.

last updated: 13/02/2008 at 13:27
created: 05/06/2007

You are in: London > Radio > The Non League Football Show > Your team A-Z > Hendon FC


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