Catford Wanderers Sports Club History

 

Catford Wanderers Sports Club is on Beckenham Hill Road, behind the large Homebase. It consists of 4 sport sections, Cricket, Tennis, Football and Badminton.

Catford Wanderers Cricket Club

The Cricket Club was founded in 1906 and is one of the best known amateur cricket clubs in the United Kingdom. The Wanderers provided the last amateur cricketer to play test cricket for England - Jack Martin - later of Kent County Cricket Club - who played for Catford at the time of his call up to the England side in the summer of 1947. Past members also include Doug Wright formerly of Kent and England and David Constant, former Kent cricketer and International Umpire. The Tennis Club was formed in 1914 and it took them 34 years before they won their first Kent title, the Kent winter Division One title no less in 1948. Since then the club has won no fewer than 42 Kent titles (1948 – 2005) the greatest of these featuring the glorious Catford Men’s team of the fifties who won the first divisions (winter and summer) of 1955. Not far behind these successes were the girls 16 and under and boys 16 and under who were crowned Kent champions in 1966 and 1968. In North Kent leagues Catford have won 24 titles the highlight being the 2005 victories of the Men’s, Mixed, Men’s Veterans & boys 12 and under.

Catford Wanderers Tennis Club

Catford Wanderers Tennis Club was founded in 1914 at Brackley Road Beckenham where the club was then based. They moved to their current site at Beckenham Hill Road , then known as Symons Meadow in 1920. The first Secretary was H. Pethybridge who resided at 77 Culverley Road SE6 and the club held its first club tournament in 1921 where the winners were Mr AG Lowe and Mrs Ethel Lawrence. On the subject of Club Titles Mrs Madge Alcorn won a record 29 club titles between 1947and 1966 which included a bumper 15 singles wins. Her record still stands to day. The youngest player to win the Men's Singles title is shared between John Guntrip the 1935 champion and Chris Wells the 1971 winner They were 17 years of age at the time. On the Ladies side, the youngest winner was Candy Tomsett, a mere 15 when she was Ladies Singles champion in 1967. The oldest player to win a Club Title was Dick Tritton winner of the Men's Doubles in 1999 at the age of 74 .

The Clubs greatest success was when their Men's team won the First Division of Kent in both the Summer and Winter Leagues of 1956 . The team squad included Eddie Ford , Bert Pembro, Bobby Thorn, Ken Tomsett, Roy Rogers, Tom Wingfield, Cliff Hodson, and the Guntrip Brothers John and Geoff . Although this success has never been equalled, the Club has won to date (2009) 43 Kent Inter Club Titles and 34 North Kent Titles. Worth noting also is that a total of 28 Catford Wanderers players have won individual Kent Titles at Junior and Senior level between 1930 and 2009.

Catford Wanderers players who have played for Kent at either Senior or Junior level include Michele Tyler, Madge Alcorn, Emily Brimson, Sidney Brock, Patsy Ford, Debbie Morgan, Suzie Russell, Joanna Smith, Beverley Davies, Jo Wright , Neil Donnelly, Eddie Ford , Geoff Guntrip, Cliff Hodson, Geoff Mountain, Bert Pembro, Ray Stephens, Bobby Thorn, Ron Wellard, Chris Wells Tom Wingfield, Jeff Wright, and Denis Costelloe. The following Wanderers players have competed in the Wimbledon Championships , Eddie and Patsy Ford, Sidney Brock, Michele Tyler, Chris Wells and Bobby Thorn. The Clubs most successful player was Michele Tyler who played for the victorious Great Britain Ladies team who beat the United States in the Wightman Cup at the Albert Hall in 1978 in a team that included Sue Barker and Virginia Wade. During her career Michele had victories over Pam Shriver (5-7 6-3 6-3 in that Wightman Cup success) and a win over the legendary Billie Jean King. She also won the French Girls title in 1976.

The youngest player to play in a Catford Men's team was Shakeel Daw. He was 11 when he played for Men's second team in 2006. The youngest player on the Ladies side was Emily Brimson. Emily was only 9 years old when she played for Mixed seconds in 1996. The oldest player to turn out for a Men's Team was Dick Tritton who played for Men's 2 at the age of 77 in 2002. However the oldest player to represent the clubat any level was Bert Green who played for the Over Sixties Team in 2006 at the age of 79

Catford Wanderers has also had it great Club administrators down the years. Ken Tomsett was Match Secretary from 1939 to 1961, Harold (Bunny) Lascelles holds the record of unbroken club membership from 1933 until his death in 1998. But perhaps the greatest of them all was Barry ( Larry) Logan who joined Catford in 1967 and served as Tennis Match Secretary for a record 32 years as well as combining this with Tennis Secretary's duties where he served another record 18 years. Of course Larry gave much much more to the Club , and he acted as Groundsman looking after the Grass courts, the Football pitches and the Cricket square. Dear old Larry passed away in 2008 and the bench in his memory inscribed “ Larry Logan a Catford Tennis Legend “ says it all.

But back to the present , The club has three Men's Teams, Two Ladies teams, Two Mixed Teams, Two Men's Veterans Teams one Mid Week Mixed team and a Men's over Sixties and over Seventies team.

Catford Wanderers Badminton Club

The Badminton Section was founded in 1934 but little reports came to hand until the fifties. Quite probably the Section was made up of mainly Tennis Members who changed Sports during the Winter months  when very little  Tennis was played. Certainly the Fifties and Sixties names are littered with Men and Ladies who were winning Kent Titles and representing Kent at both Tennis and Badminton levels. Harry Barrell is credited with founding the Section in 1934 and indeed Harry was no mean player winning the All England  Mens Veterans in 1957/58 with Tom Wingfield. Looking at the Clubs golden years ,the Mens team were Kent Senior League Champions in 1953/1954/and 1955 and the Ladies were Intermediate Champions in 1954. Not to be outdone the Mixed side also won the Senior League in 1954/1955. The Catford teams were well stocked with top class players such as the likes of Tom Wingfield who played 40 times for Kent, Roy Rogers, also a Kent player, Gordon Rowlands capped by Wales. Vic Begley, Frank Christie , G. King and Peter Alcorn also featured  and high praise was given to Catford Wanderers for their quality players in what was and is still is – a one Court Club. 

The Sixties continued the success route, eight teams and 70 members in 1960/61 and Mens One won the Kent First Division lining out with Tom Wingfield, Ken Tomsett, Brian Oxford , Frank Christie and Roy Rogers. Three  Ladies, namely Madge Alcorn, Mona Russell and Heather Parfitt were called up to play for Kent and the Mixed side were Kent Division winners in 1962/63. Other players mentioned in reports were Alison Morgan, Terrie Tracey, Maurice De –Cunha and David Moger. 1971 was a great year for our Ladies who were crowned Kent First Division Champions lining up with Mona Russell, Alison Morgan, Candy Tomsett, Jeanette Bunce and Doreen Kent. Two newcomers John Pugh and Pauline Lucas were making great strides also, both capped by Kent and John winning Catfords Singles, Mens and Mixed Doubles in 1972. An old photograph taken by Ivor  F. Howell Photographer of Lewisham and Catford Road shows a Mens Side of Ken Begley, Tom Wingfield, Peter Alcorn, Roy Rogers, Harry Barrell and Ken Tomsett and a Mixed side of Barrell, Tomsett, Alcorn, Madge Alcorn, and Tiggy Tomsett.

Catford Wanderers Football Club

The  Football Section was formed in 1922 and much of the credit for its formation goes to Roy Stuart. Roy was not only a good footballer, but a brilliant administrator as well and was Secretary of the Club for a record 18 years: 1922 - 1939. His backroom staff include R. L. Henderson and G. B. Morse. The team first competed in the Southern Olympian League before being elected to the Southern Amateur League. Their nineteen thirties side included Eric Gilderson and Freddie Blake who were capped by England, Andy Sloan who played for Ireland and Viv Gibbons who was on West Hams books. Their biggest success came in 1932/33 when they beat St Albans in the A.F.A. Cup Final by 3-1 at the Dulwich Hamlet Ground, seeing off Lewes, Carshalton, Basingstoke, Barclays Bank, among others en route to the Final. The winning side was  R. Giles (goal), G. Osborn, F. Blake, Wally Stevens, R. Woffenden, E. Gilderson, Clive and Reg Richardson, Andy Sloan and E. Bryant.

 

The Club had four sides in the forties with the Cricket supremo Les Hook as Secretary. Moving on to the fifties the Club were Southern Amateur League Champions in 1949/50 and 1952/53 where familiar names were Brian Bugler, Laurie Peacock, Frankie Jones, Ken Morrell, Alan Burman, Jim Abbot, Johnny Fryer, Jack Larkin, Eric Jones, Tom Merrick, Hughie Tremaine, Bill Cailles and Terry Phillips. The sixties had Tony Betts Secretary in mid decade and players included Brian Norman, Jack Larkin, Derek Derby, Mickey Rooney, Wally Lewes, Frank Sales, Dave Hill, Alan Brown, John Wilkey, Arthur Hyatt. The team were beaten finalists in the 1969/70 Surrey Senior Cup thanks to the efforts of skipper Billy Willougby in a side that had Nick Rooks, Mickey Lill, John Hassett, John Brown, Tony Dew and Phil Coles, The side lost to Old Sinjuns by two goals to one after a drawn first game.

The seventies highlight was a trip to Holland during Easter 1971 and the decade saw new players arrive in the shape of Dave Gallon, Albert Jones, Doug Warren and Mick  Evans.