Getting to know: Croydon FC

Founded as Croydon Amateurs in 1953, to provide senior amateur football at the newly built Croydon Sports Arena.

Whilst the idea for a senior club carrying the town’s name had been speculated for many years before this the catalyst proved to be the laying of the running track at the Arena and the need for the football pitch to be used.

Whilst having a fairly successful history, the club is one of many that has fallen victim to the constant re-shuffling of the Non-League Pyramid. Having been moved sideways in leagues, three times in the last 10 years, from the Isthmian League to the Kent League, then to the Combined Counties League, then finally they moved to the Southern Counties East League.

In their history finances have become an issue on a few occasions, the first time that finances took a turn for the worse was 1986, and seven seasons of struggle ensued. Matters weren’t helped when the local authority decided to redevelop the Arena, exiling the club causing a massive loss in revenue.

Founder Chairman Milsted, together with two of the Club’s other elder statesmen, Alf Haylock and President Charles Waters retired in 1990, and the years that followed under new management culminated in Croydon going through somewhat of a rough patch. There was little stability either on or off the field, they are past this now however.

The club has managed to run a rather successful youth set up, with a midweek Under 18 team playing in Ryman Youth League, a second under 18 team playing in the new Combined Counties league and a Sunday team who play in the Croydon Municipal league. In their first season the Sunday side were promoted and won the Leonard Vase Cup (2012–13). Recent players to have graduated from the youth programme include Vanarama National League player Danny Mills, and Football League player Stefan Payne.

After a disappointing 2018-19, everyone here at ClimbingTheLadder would just like to wish everyone at Croydon FC all the best for next season, and we hope you bounce straight back up next year.

Author: Alex Scott

Currently doing as much freelance journalism work as possible. Avid football fan and player currently at Penrith Academy.

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