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Harwich and Parkeston FC founded in 1877

Essex & Suffolk Border League ........ Colchester & District youth

Club History


History

FORMED IN 1877.

THE SHRIMPERS REACHED THEIR FIRST CUP FINAL IN 1891, LOOSING TO CLAPTON IN THE ESSEX SENIOR CUP.

IN 1898 THEY MOVED TO THE ROYAL OAK GROUND WHERE THEY HAVE REMAINED SINCE. THAT SEASON THEY ALSO TRAVELLED TO MIDDLESBROUGH TO PLAY IN THE AMATEUR CUP FINAL, SADLY LOOSING TO STOCKTON. HOWEVER, THEY DID WIN THE ESSEX SENIOR CUP BY BEATING LEYTONSTONE. TO MARK THE OCCASION THE HARWICH CHARITY CUP WAS FORMED WHICH IS STILL PLAYED FOR TODAY.

HARWICH JOINED THE EASTERN COUNTIES LEAGUE IN 1935, DURING THE 1930s THEY REACHED THE 1st ROUND PROPER OF THE F.A. CUP. "THE OAK" SAW A RECORD ATTENDANCE OF 5649 SPECTATORS IN AN AMATEUR CUP QUARTER FINAL DEFEAT AGAINST ROMFORD IN 1938.

A PROUD MOMENT OF THE CLUBS HISTORY CAME IN 1953 WHEN HARWICH PLAYED AT WEMBLEY STADIUM IN FRONT OF A CAPACITY 100,000 CROWD, LOOSING 6-0, AGAINST COMBINED UNIVERSITIES SIDE PEGASUS IN THE AMATEUR CUP FINAL.

BY 1965 THEY HAD APPEARED IN THREE MORE F.A. CUP 1st ROUND PROPER TIES AGAINST HEADINGTON, CRYSTAL PALACE AND TORQUAY UNITED. IN 1964 HARWICH JOINED THE ATHENIAN LEAGUE, GAINING PROMOTION IN TWO YEARS TO THE PREMIER DIVISION.

IN 1973 THEY SWITCHED TO THE ISTHMIAN LEAGUE. IN 1976/77 THEY AGAIN REACHED THE 1st ROUND PROPER OF THE F.A. CUP, LOSING TO ENFIELD IN A HOME REPLAY.

THE EARLY 1980s SAW A DECLINE IN HARWICH'S FORTUNES, BEING TWICE RELEGATED. AFTER A SEASON IN THE ATHENIAN LEAGUE THEY RETURNED AFTER 20 YEARS ABSENCE TO THE EASTERN COUNTIES LEAGUE. THE ESSEX SENIOR TROPHY WAS LIFTED IN 1990 AND A YEAR LATER REACHED THE QUARTER FINAL OF THE F.A. VASE. IN 1996/97 THEY WON THE ESSEX COUNTIES LEAGUE CUP.

IN 2003 JOE ROYLE,IPSWICH TOWN MANAGER, AND JACK HAYWARD, ESSEX COUNTY F.A. PRESIDENT, OPENED THE NEW BOARD ROOM _ DRESSING ROOM FACILITIES. DESPITE A LATE RALLY FROM MANAGER MITCHELL SPRINGETT HARWICH WERE RELEGATED AT THE END OF THAT SEASON.

HOWEVER, AFTER A YEAR THE CLUB REGAINED THEIR POSITION IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE. IN 2004/05 A MID TABLE POSITION WAS ACHIEVED. THE NEXT SEASON HARWICH FINISHED SECOND FROM BOTTOM BUT WERE SPARED RELEGATION. MICK FORMOY WAS APPOINTED MANAGER BUT WAS REPLACED AFTER A YEAR BY ROBBIE MAY WITH MARK SHARPE AS COACH, NEITHER ENDED THE RATHER DISSAPOINTING SEASON. RICHARD ELMES WAS APPOINTED MANAGER FOR THE 2008/09 SEASON BUT LEFT IN THE OCTOBER. MARK MORSLEY TOOK OVER BUT LEFT AT THE END OF ANOTHER DISSAPOINTING SEASON. FOR THE 2009/10 SEASON KEVIN MATHER _ NOEL GAMBLING TOOK THE JOINT MANAGERIAL POSITION BUT RESIGNED HALF WAY THROUGH THE SEASON WHEN THE PLAYING BUDGET WAS REDUCED; CARETAKER MANAGERS MITCHELL SPRINGETT, STEVE JAY _ TONY ARMSTRONG TOOK OVER BUT IN FEBRUARY 2010 THE COMMITTEE TOOK THE DIFFICULT DECISION TO WITHDRAW THE FIRST TEAM FROM THE RIDGEONS PREMIER LEAGUE, DUE TO LACK OF FUNDS AND ONE POINT FROM THE SEASON; THE RESERVES CONTINUED AND FINISHED THEIR SEASON.

THE 2010/11 SEASON WILL SEE HARWICH PLAYING IN THE KENT BLAXHILL SUFFOLK _ ESSEX LEAGUE.

 

HARWICH AND THE ESSEX _ SUFFOLK BORDER LEAGUE

HARWICH _ PARKESTON BECAME FOUNDER MEMBERS WHEN THE BORDER LEAGUE WAS FORMED IN 1911. THEIR FIRST OPPONENTS WERE CLACTON TOWN; WINNING 3-2 AT HOME ON SATURDAY 6th SEPTEMBER. THEY ACHIEVED MID TABLE FINISHES IN THEIR FIRST TWO CAMPAIGNS. HOWEVER, AT THE THIRD ATTEMPT HARWICH FINISHED AS UNBEATEN CHAMPIONS IN THE 1913/14 SEASON. THE FINAL WEEK INVOLVED THEM PLAYING FOUR MATCHES ON FOUR CONSECUTIVE DAYS AT THE END OF APRIL.
THE GREAT WAR MEANT THAT THE COMPETITION DID NOT RESUME UNTIL 1920. HARWICH RETAINED THE LEAGUE TITLE BOTH THAT SEASON AND THE FOLLOWING ONE. AS ONLY FIVE AND FOUR TEAMS RESPECTIVELY TOOK PART, HARWICH ALSO COMPETED IN THE IPSWICH _ BORDER LEAGUE. THEY LIFTED BOTH LEAGUE TROPHIES IN 1922/23 WHEN THE BORDER LEAGUE HAD INCREASED TO SEVEN TEAMS. THE NEXT SEASON THE SHRIMPERS ONLY PARTICIPATED IN THE I. _ D.L. A YEAR ON THEY SWAPPED LEAGUES AND RETURNED TO THE E._ S.B.L. THE HAD A MEDIOCRE LEAGUE CAMPAIGN BY THEIR STANDARDS. OVER THE NEXT THREE SEASONS BETWEEN 1925 _ 1928 THE SHRIMPERS CHALLENGED FOR HONOURS AND FINISHED THIRD, RUNNERS UP AND THIRD AGAIN.

IN 1928 THE E._ S.B.L. CONSTITUTION INTRODUCED A PREMIER DIVISION. HARWICH, IN ONLY DROPPING ONE POINT IN TWENTY ONE LEAGUE GAMES, BECAME THE FIRST WINNERS OF THE CROWTHER CUP. THE FOLLOWING SEASON THEY FINISHED SECOND BEHIND 2nd RIFLE BRIGADE, WHO HAD ALSO EDGED THEM OUT THREE YEARS EARLIER. AFTER ONLY FINISHING FIFTH IN 1931/32 THE SHRIMPERS SUBSEQUENTLY ACHIEVED A HAT TRICK OF CHAMPIONSHIPS OVER THE NEXT THREE CAMPAIGNS. AN UNCHARACTERISTIC 6-0 HOME DEFEAT BY THE 2nd MIDDLESEX REGIMENT ON SATURDAY 28th APRIL 1934 MARKED THE END OF HARWICH'S FIRST TEAM'S DIRECT ASSOCIATION WITH THE BORDER LEAGUE......UNTIL NOW!!!!!

HARWICH RESERVES HAVE A MORE RECENT CONNECTION WITH THE BORDER LEAGUE. THEY FIRST WERE MEMBERS FROM 1924 UNTIL THEY FOLDED IN 1927. RE-ESTABLISHED IN 1933 THE RESERVES JOINED THE SECOND DIVISION. BY 1935/36 THEY WERE IN THE PREMIER DIVISON, DESPITE FINISHING BOTTOM THEY WERE NOT RELEGATED. THE NEXT FEW SEASONS PROVED A STRUGGLE. PLANS TO DROP DOWN TO DIVISION ONE IN 1939 _ REVERT TO JUNIOR STATUS WERE POSTPONED WITH THE ONSET OF WORLD WAR 2. IN 1946 THEY RETURNED TO COMPETITIVE FOOTBALL _ CONTINUED IN THE PREMIER DIVISION. IN 1952/53 WHEN THEIR AVERAGE HOME GATE WAS 386 HARWICH RESERVES FINSIHED RUNNERS UP TO SUDBURY TOWN.

WITH THE FOOTBALL CLUB JOINING THE ATHENIAN LEAGUE IN 1964, HARWICH WITHDREW THEIR RESERVES FROM THE BORDER LEAGUE. THEY REJOINED IN 1975 _ THAT SEASON GAINED PROMOTION AS DIVISION ONE CHAMPIONS. IN 1979/80 THEY FINISHED RUNNERS UP TO MERSEA ISLAND. TWO YEARS LATER THEY WON THE TITLE WITH SUDBURY RESERVES SECOND. HOWEVER A DISASTEROUS SEASON FOLLOWED WHEN WITH ONLY FOUR POINTS THEY FINISHED BOTTOM. A PERIOD OF EXILE IN DIVISION ONE ENDED IN 1987 WHEN THEY FINISHED SECOND BEHIND STANWAY ROVERS. THEY WERE PREMIER DIVISION CHAMPIONS IN 1992. HARWICH RESERVES SWITCHED TO THE NEW RIDGEONS LEAGUE SET UP IN 2005.

Article date: 4 July 2010


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