Leverstock Green has had its own Football Club for over 100 years, the first club being formed in about 1895, with the matches being held roughly in the area of today's Vilage Green, or perhaps a little further over in a field which is now part of The Horseshoe. The Rose & Crown PH was used for changing and was the scene of what we believe to be the first annual general meeting in 1896:
Week ending Friday 4 September 1896 - The Gazette reported that the annual meeting (AGM) of the Leverstock Green Football Club was held at The Rose & Crown. (Now a Private residence) It was agreed that the dressing room for the coming season would be at The Rose & Crown as before, and the meeting was told that "a capital meadow" at the rear of the pub had been secured to play on. The report shows that the Football Club had been in existence for at least the previous 12 months, and possibly longer.[Gazette; 5 Sept. 1996]
Below are further extracts from the Leverstock Green Chronicle concerning the Football Club in the early years. It should be noted,however, that not every report of a match or match results has been included, only the more memorable. For more recent history and information go to the Official LGFC website
FURTHER EXTRACTS FROMTHE LEVERSTOCK GREEN CHRONICLE RE LGFC
Saturday 24th November 1906 In the Hemel Hempstead Gazettes of 1905 & 1906 there was frequent mention of football matches played by the Leverstock Green team - usually referred to just as The Green. One of the most exciting matches to be reported was played on this Saturday:
“LEVERSTOCK GREEN v ABBOTS LANGLEY"
The Green journeyed to Abbots Langley on Saturday and defeated them by 4-3. The ground was very wet owing to the thick fog. The Green soon got going and the forwards raced up the field, and Plowman put in lovely shot. This was fisted out by the goal keeper, and How received it and banged it into the net. This early review made Langley look up and play became very exciting, each side going very strong. Langley, by a good bit of passing soon equalised. The Green were at this time playing a good game and especially Hill at right-half who seemed to be just where wanted. Plowman put in as good shot at about 20 yards range which scored Point No 2. The Green were not having matters all their own way and the Langley forwards soon became dangerous and scored their second goal. This was, however, offside, as the Langley forward stood under the bar. Half-time arrived with the score reading 2-2.
Upon the restart the Green broke away and for about 5 minutes were putting at goal. Plowman at last put in a ripping shot which glanced off the crossbar and into the net. The game was now getting very fast, both teams having an equal share of it. Langley by a good shot scored point 3. Both teams tried hard to increase the score and Rance from outside right put in a lightening shot which the goalkeeper failed to hold. Langley tried hard to equalise and were pressing when the whistle blew for time.
All the green played well and it was by far the best game played by us this season. Hall was however, the mainstay of the Green. Seabrook also performed wonders in goal. Of the forwards How and Plowman played very well. Sears, at centre, played a good game, especially with his head. Langley are a clever team and have some very good men. The Green team was: Seabrook:goal, May & Turner:backs, Hill, Sears and Albion:halves, Rance,Thirnham, How Plowman & Jordon:forwards.”[Gazette December 1st 1906]
Friday 22nd March 1907 - The Gazette reported that:
The first annual dinner in connection with the Leverstock Green Football Club was held at the Leather Bottle on Friday evening. Mr.C.E.Moore presided and about 36 sat down to a capital spread, provided by Mr.. A. Seabrook. The visitors included Messrs C.E.Moore, W.W.Sears, Wright, J.Hallett, H.Sharp and others.
After the tables had been cleared the chairman remarked that he knew but little about Leverstock Green Football Club. Still it gave him very much pleasure to be present at their first dinner.
After the usual Royal toast the secretary Mr. C. Ingham was asked to read the report. This showed a total income of £7 14s 6d and with expenses of £6 11s 9d a balance of £1 3s 3d. The club had already played 19 matches, won 8 lost 8 and drawn 3. Mr. Ingham said he wished to thank all those gentlemen to whom he would like to propose a vote of thanks and that was Mr. D.Walters for the use of the ground. It was a well known fact that had it not been for Mr. Walters generosity there would not have been a football club, as the matter of ground had always been a great drawback to arranging a cricket club and a football club at Leverstock Green.
Mr. W. Dell in reply said that although he was not a player, he had much pleasure in being a member and was proud to hold such a responsible position as treasurer. No doubt they were all aware that this was not the first football club to be formed in Leverstock Green, but he thought they would all agree with him that it was the first club to be formed and carried on in what he called a business like manner, and he considered it was only to that the club owed its success. He thought it had been a successful season for the first, both from the football point of view and also financially. They could not boast of a great balance, but £1 3s in hand at almost the close of the season was much better than being in debt. There was not the slightest doubt that there were many clubs which had a better reputation as far as football was concerned than Leverstock Green that would find themselves in debt, so they had not much to complain of. There was another subject he would like to mention and that was with regard to their secretary. He felt sure that they would all agree that Mr. Ingham had been a very energetic worker both as a player and as a Secretary. He had spared no efforts in arranging matches and carrying out the Secretary’s duties generally. He therefore had much pleasure in proposing the health of and a vote of thanks to Mr. Ingham for his past services.
The next toast on the programme was “Success to Leverstock Green Football Club” . In his remarks the Chairman that he thoroughly approved all kinds of sport, and he was pleased to know that the club was carried on in a business like manner. No amount of organisation could change a halfpenny into a penny or a 6d into a shilling, but if the club was properly organized and properly managed it was almost certain to be a success. He had known many villages, but he had never known one where the people were as energetic as at Leverstock Green. There was always something moving for the good of the place. Mr.. Moore then referred to the Parish Room Fund and wished it every success.
The toast of “The Officers” was entrusted to Mr. W.W. Sears who said that he was not a member of the club but said that hoped to be another season.
Mr. A.Plowman (Captain) briefly replied.
The Chairman thanked Mr. Seabrook for providing such a capital dinner which had been thoroughly enjoyed. He was sure they all had good appetites. He thought he could speak on behalf the rest of the members that they thought themselves highly honoured to have Mr. Moore with them at their first dinner. He had called on Mr. Moore on several occasions for his assistance both for concerts and sports and he had never been refused. He therefore proposed the health of Mr. Moore.
The toast like most of the others was heartily drunk and accorded musical honours.
Those who contributed to the musical part of the programme included Messrs E.F.Brigginshaw, H.Sharp, and W.How. The singing of the National Anthem brought a very pleasant evening to a close at 10 o’clock. [Gazette 23rd March 1907]
Whit Monday May 20th 1907
WHIT MONDAY SPORTS AT LEVERSTOCK GREEN
The third athletic sports in aid of the Leverstock Green Parish Room Fund took place on Whit Monday when success again attended the efforts of the promoters. There was, however, not such a large crowd as last year but this can no doubt be accounted for by the unpleasant weather which prevailed on the day. The sports this year were held in a meadow next the church kindly lent by Mr. J. Bailey of Chambersbury. The whole of the arrangements were excellent, and were carried out by a hardworking committee comprising Messrs A. Seabrook, W. Dell WW Sears, A. Mears, B.Sears J Hallett and J. Cooper with Mr. WWWright as hon. secretary. The afternoon’s proceedings commenced at about 3 o’clock, the Dickinson Silver Prize Band being already on the ground. A sports programme of 15 events was gone through and on the whole excellent form was shown by the competitors. No doubt the most amusing of all was the climbing of the greasy pole, whilst much interest was shown in the football tournament and the obstacle race, the goal kicking competition and several others.
Goal Kicking Competition. 1 A. Plowman (plated jam-jar) 2. E. Rance (military brushes) 3. L. Tidy (cigarette case)
TUG OF WAR - . This event between the Sports Committee and Leverstock Green Football Club resulted in an early win for the committee; the footballers being unable to stand against them. Each member of the winning team was the recipient of a clay pipe.
Football tournament - in three heats The winners were E. Rance, B. Mayo, T.Perkins, G.Goodenough, each of whom received a walking stick.
June 6th 1908: The Gazette carried the above advert. [Gazette June 6th 1908] Note the venue, in a meadow at Westwick Farm, probably the same area of today's Pancake Lane Football Ground.
Friday 23rd October 1908: Ringing the changes from entertainments produced with the intention of raising funds for the Parish Room, a concert in aid of the Football Club was held in the school room. The Gazette reported: “The room was filled. The programme was arranged by the Hon Sec. Mr. W.W. Dell, and although somewhat varied included some splendid talent which was thoroughly appreciated. The songs contributed by Miss Belsham,,, and the violin solos by Miss G. Finch (Watford) were well received and encores demanded on each occasion. Mr. A. Palmers songs received applause as did the recitations by Miss J. Young. The humorous side of the programme was entrusted to Mr. Will Howard who kept the audience in a continual state of merriment. “The Village Pump” was one of the best, was one of his best, the character of an old countryman being carried out in a very clever manner. The accompanist was Mr. Bernard Cox.” (There then followed a full programme listing.) [Gazette October 24th 1908:]
7th November 1908: The local paper carried a report in the sports section with the headline “: LEVERSTOCK GREEN & DISTRICT CUP COMPETITION. LEVERSTOCK GREEN v. SARRATT.” the paper then went on to record that Leverstock Green played Sarratt at Sarratt in a this new competition. Sadly no more details were given.
LGFC 1907. Notice the strange arrangement of shin pads over the socks.
Also the gentleman immediatly to the left, probably Arthur Seabrook, Landlord of The Leather Bottle, would appear to be on crutches.
ABOVE: The LG Cup obviously continued for many years as the above medal for 1921/1922 shows. The medal belonged to
Mathew Bathelor's Grandfather,
LEFT: LGFC c. 1910
15th November 1919 - In the West Hertfordshire League Division II Leverstock Green v. Watford Christchurch Football match was held at Leverstock Green. The score was Watford - 4; Leverstock Green - 0. Leverstock Green’s team comprised : Lea, Odell, A. Hobbs, Snoxhall, F. Seabrooke and S. Hobbs, C.Parkins, W. Parkins, Parry, Botright, and Brigginshaw. The following week Leverstock Green would be playing Tring FC at Leverstock Green. [Gazette 22/11/1919 p.8]
28th August 1920 - the following note on Leverstock Green’s Football Club appeared in the Hemel Hempstead Gazette:
Mr.. L.R. Seabrook is this year the Secretary of the Leverstock Green Football Club whose headquarters will be at “The Leather Bottle”. Last year’s secretary Mr.. D. Cox is assistant secretary, H. Gentle is Captain and A. Hobbs “vice”. The club are anticipating a good season and have entered the following competitions: West Hertfordshire League (Div.II), Minor Cup, Webster Cup and the Hertfordshire Junior Cup. [Gazette 28th August 1920; S303]
25th December 1920 - A Christmas Day Friendly football match between Leverstock Green & Chipperfield was played in the village.. LEVERSTOCK GREEN won 3:1 [Gazette 1/1/1921]
1 January 1921: Report of Christmas Day football match between LEVERSTOCK GREEN & Chipperfield. LEVERSTOCK GREEN won 3:1
LEFT: Leslie Seabrook, LGFC's Secretary in 1920, seen here in his WW1 army uniform.
BELOW: The Leather Bottle, the HQ of LGFC in 1920, run by landlord Arthur Seabrook
The original club must have disbanded - probably during WW1 and been reinstated later as the actual First LGFC dinner was on 22nd March 1907 (see above)
20 August 1921-
WEBSTER CUP COMPETITION - FLOURISHING SEASON PROMISED- RECORD ENTRY LIST
“The annual meeting of the Webster Cup competition was held at the Leather Bottle Leverstock Green on Friday evening last when Mr A Ford supported by Mr J Dell the Hon sec presided over a good number of club representatives”
There were 18 entries this year for the local footballing trophy donated by Percy Webster of Sibleys Orchard, including the Leverstock Green team. [Gazette 20 August 1921]
Leverstock Green Football team 1932. From L to R, front row: J. Mayo, J. Matthews, G. Faulder. Central row: S. Odell, F. Missenden, F. Kerry, H. Briggs. Back row: G. Tompkins, W. Whitman, S. Minter, F. Waldron, E. Perry.
Leverstock Green Football Team c.1937. Front row L to R: S. Odell, J. Cooley, D.Baker, J. Matthews, V. Hosier, P. Rance. Back row: E. Perry, R. Ellis, B. Wooton, W. Hughes, S. Hall, E. Final, J. Cooley (Senior).
Leverstock Green Football Team, 1956-1957. Frint Row L to R: L. Hooker, R. Spurr, L. Collier, B. Vaughan, B. Bullock, J. Matthews. Back row: A Miles, K. Hoar, J. Lockyer, E. Milmer, J. Hemley, J. FRancis, P. Blaxhill, F. Holloway, C. Rowe
For further information concerning the history of the Leverstock Green Football Club see their official website.
CAN YOU TELL US MORE? PERHAPS YOU HAVE ADITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE CLUB YOU ARE WILLING TO SHARE.
Friday 26 February 1909 A concert was held in the schoolroom. The proceeds being devoted to the football club. The room was packed, with several persons being unable to obtain seats. The programme was preceded by a musical sketch “presented at court” by Clementine Ward and performed by the school children. [Gazette 27 February 1909 p.8]
1 May 1909 - FOOTBALL CLUB DINNER AT LEVERSTOCK GREEN - The Gazette carried a long write up of the dinner held at the Leather Bottle) at the invitation of Percy Webster. Over 30 were present and it was presided over by Mr. T H Ford.
The chairman reported that despite initial misgivings the club had had a successful year and that he put this largely down to Mr. W. Dell who was also the secretary of the cup competition. In his responding speech, Mr. Dell said that the cup had made a profit of about 12/- over the year which would benefit the club. After a long list of toasts and thanks the evening ended with all the gentlemen having a sing song, finally ending at about 10 p.m. with Auld Lang Sine. [Gazette May 8 1909 p.3]