Based upon an article in 2003 by Martin Brine, then Chairman, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Liphook United Football Club.
The Football Club is 100 Years Old and More United than Ever!
Liphook Football XI – Season 1910-11
A W Johnson R Redhouse F Hogsflesh
J Swan E Johnson (Capt.) A Gauntlett
J Edwards W Smith A Moss A Wakeford N Shipp
Football in Liphook became 100 years old with the start of the 2003 Season. A team photograph in our Clubhouse shows the early “pioneers” of football in Liphook. We are keen to gather as much information of these earlier years of the adult only part of the Football Club and would therefore welcome any pre-war information that anyone in the village might have.
Younger members started joining the Club many years later but it wasn’t until the mid 80s that a separate Youth Club was formed by the then Chairman, Tony Lea. With Clive Brine, who later became Chairman of the Youth Club for a number of years and was greatly involved in the set-up of a number of youth teams and the development and coaching of a number of players, the Youth Club began to grow to provide football for more and more youngsters in the village.
Our requirements today are that youth and adult players live in and around the Bohunt catchment area, but it wasn’t until 1999 that the two Clubs amalgamated to form the current day Liphook United Football Club. At their respective AGMs in June 1999 members of both Clubs overwhelmingly voted for this amalgamation to take place, which in effect created a new Club which was intended to provide substantial benefits to the two former Clubs. At long last the Youth section now had a “home” at the recreation ground, whilst the Men had a regular influx of fresh young talent to strengthen their playing squads. The off-pitch Management structure of the Youth Club provided an excellent basis for the Club to grow.
At the end of each season the Youth and Men’s section separately have their own individual presentation evenings and in May this year they both recorded, arguably, the most successful season in our history. We were thrilled to have Nigel Quashie from Portsmouth Football Club to attend the Youth Presentation Evening and the multi-purpose hall at Bohunt School was bursting at the seams, with hundreds of children, parents and relations in attendance! We were all reminded at these events that the ethos of the Football Club is to provide football for local people, a commitment to team building, sportsmanship, individual development of players and learning how to win and to lose well. We make no apologies for winning football matches at Liphook United Football Club but we are keen to achieve this in a sporting manner!
We have a total of 15 Youth Teams and two Men’s Teams, with 210 youth players and 50 Men’s players and it continues to grow! The Men’s team play in the Surrey Intermediate League and have just had their most successful season to date in that League. Our Youth Teams play in the North East Hampshire Youth League which provides an excellent standard of football and we have, without question, just enjoyed our best season ever with five of our teams getting promoted and two winning the League. It has been about 10 years since we have had a team playing in Division One of this League and next year we will have 3 teams: Andy Fawcett with his Under 11s, Carl Harris with his Under 12s and Fred Powers with his Under 13s team. At the recent AGM of the North East Hampshire Youth League, which supports a total of 240 teams, Liphook won the whole League’s Sportsmanship Award for the second time in four years – this is indeed proof that we are winners, but sportingly so!
Monday June 3rd was a special day in the history of Liphook United Football Club because, on this Golden Jubilee weekend, we had an inter-club mini soccer tournament in memory of the late Terry Edwards, who had been instrumental for a number of years in various capacities within the Club. Indeed he was one of a number of protagonists that helped forge the two Clubs together and set the “standard” for the efficient and sporting way forward for the future. Over 100 players took part in this event from Under 7s to the over 40s! This was intended as a fun day, which indeed it was, but it was also a successful day in raising hundreds of pounds for Club funds which was something that was very close to Terry’s heart.
So, we are 100 years old and more United than ever and so that will continue. We intend to develop the coaching skills of all of our Managers and will be running even more Youth teams next year. To develop our youngsters and to provide a Men’s team in Liphook for them to play for is our intended goal – we don’t expect, or want, them to play outside of our village. To ensure that this happens we need to continue to grow, develop and move our Men’s team into a higher standard of football in the future. It is worth mentioning that the majority of our current Men’s team are ex-Youth team players and so the process is working.
There are many other plans for the future, not least of which relates to our existing Clubhouse. It has seen better days and we are in need of a new facility that will become the focal point for all of our teams. We also need to provide a greater use of the recreation ground for our younger teams and these plans are being worked on with urgency. However, we do need more help in achieving these aims and for the day-to-day administration of the Football Club. We would be pleased to hear from anyone in the village who feels that they are able to contribute towards these plans. Clearly we already have a lot of people running teams and doing a lot of work along with a great deal of assistance from local organisations in the way of sponsorship and general support. Andy House Car Body Repairers have sponsored the Men’s teams since it’s recent amalgamation in 1999 and the Club in general and the Youth in particular have been well supported over the last few seasons by Forest Mere, Sainsbury’s, Arcadia Ventures, Liphook Coachworks, PR Fabrications, Peter Housden Tennis Courts, Universal Music, DPM Lead Roofing Ltd and others.
So here’s to another 100 years and even more success for Liphook United Football Club!