Fleet Spurs Football Club – History and News Updates

FLEET HAMPSHIRE

 

Welcome to the Fleet Spurs Football Club page. Here we take a look at the latest news from the club as well as the history of it. If you have any information to add us we’d love to hear from you! The following historical information was taken from the Fleet Spurs website.

 


1948

Fleet Spurs Football Club started in 1948, shortly after World War II, when a group of young footballers began playing friendly matches in the Fleet and Aldershot area. Opponents included the Royal Medical Corps, Royal Engineers, Royal Artillery, Royal Army Service Corps, Parachute Regiment, and Wellington Press. Tradition holds that Fleet Spurs FC was formed as a reaction, or an alternative, to the long-established “semi-professional” Fleet Town FC. This was to provide an amateur football club for local players with a strong social environment.

The first club badge was a cockerel on a ball, and was the same as for Tottenham Hotspur FC, one of the rising stars of English football at the time. The Fleet Spurs cockerel has altered over the years, notably a few seasons ago when the London club threatened legal action if the Fleet club didn’t change their logo. Financial might triumphed, and a new logo was designed. The original club colours were black and white, similar to Tottenham’s navy & white. Subsequently, they changed to red and black stripes, like AC Milan, and eventually to the present red and blue.

 

1951 – 1981

In 1951, Fleet Spurs FC joined the Aldershot and District League. They progressed through that and other local leagues, winning many honours along the way, notably becoming champions of the Aldershot Senior League four times. In 1991 they joined Hampshire League Division 3. By this time, they fielded three other Aldershot League teams – the Reserves and the A & B teams.

Meanwhile in 1981, a Youth section developed which consisted of just 6 or 7 teams and, at the time was called Fleet Youth FC. In 1991 the Youth section adopted the ‘Spurs’ to its name and became an integral part of the club.

 

1997 – 2011

Up until 1997, the club had played at various grounds in the Fleet area. In the 1997/8 season, they finally established a home at Kennels Lane in Southwood, part of neighbouring Rushmoor. At the same time, the first team was promoted to Hampshire League Division 2 and became champions in 1998/99 and was duly promoted to Division 1. They played two seasons in that division, finishing in sixth position, but were immediately relegated to Division 2. This was clearly done not for football reasons, but because they failed to meet the new standards set by the league for Division 1 grounds.

After a reorganisation in local football, the club moved into Wessex League Division 3 in 2004/5. Following further reorganisations, including the renaming and renumbering of the divisions, it moved to Wessex League Division 1, which was, and still is, at Step 6 in the English Football League Pyramid. This necessitated significant ground improvements, including the installation of state-of-the-art floodlights. These improvements were supported by grants from the Football Foundation’s Football Stadia Improvement Fund, the Hampshire Playing Fields Association, the Mike Ritchie Sports Fund and donations from club members. Over the period up to 2016/7, the club remained in Wessex League Division 1, where its fortunes fluctuated. Its most successful season was 2010/11 when after losing eight of their first 11 games, it narrowly missed promotion, finishing third in the table.

 

2012 – Present

The Youth section grew from just half a dozen teams to a steady 20+ until a big shake up 10 years ago. In 2012, A new committee formed and set about transforming both the fortunes of the club, and those who wished to play. An U6 Academy was created to nurture potential new players, allowing the very youngest to get a taste of team sports and being part of a club. The focus is not on football, but making new friends, trying different activities and learning all about team work. In keeping with the club’s ethos of encouraging youth participation, all the Academy coaches are ex-youth players.

A girls section was also added (2013) for the first time in the clubs history, and whilst we currently only have 3 teams, discussions to grow the section further are ongoing. The girls section, whilst small, has however encouraged many girls to play football, and we see this spread across many of our younger teams.

With a burgeoning Academy, new teams were encouraged to form allowing more children to play the game. The Youth section now regularly boasts 30+ teams a year and has over 350 registered players, excluding the 40+ who attend the Academy each week!

The committee also set about organising a summer tournament in 2013 which is now one of the biggest in Hampshire. 250 teams attend each year and it has now become a vital fund raiser.

A local Vets team was encouraged to join the Senior section in 2016 and, such was the success of the move, a 2nd team was soon formed, many players being the parents of Youth team players!

In 2017/18, Fleet Spurs moved into the Combined Counties League, remaining at Step 6. This move was instigated by the FA with the intention of helping the club and in particular having the effect of halving the average distance they had to travel to away games. The move had the other benefits that accrue from playing against many local teams – ease of recruiting players, bigger average crowds etc.

Four seasons later, the FA switched Spurs back into the Wessex League as part of a much wider reorganisation of Step 5 and Step 6 football. The move will have the major disadvantage to the club of doubling the distance they must travel to away league games. On the positive side, it will be pleasant to renew relationships with old friends and to make new friends, and the club is looking forward to having some enjoyable seasons in the Wessex League.

The change of leagues has led to wholesale changes in the club hierarchy, including a new chairman and managers. John Haddock, whose background in Fleet Spurs is in junior football, has taken over as chairman from Kierin Gurrie, who is retiring after more than 30 years’ involvement with the club. The new joint first team managers, Scott Kemp and Suj Khera, are both UEFA B Licensed Coaches. They have experience in youth and adult football at all levels of the game from grass roots to professional with particular emphasis on player development. This season, they have an entirely new squad to work on. All at the club wish John, Scott and Suj every success.

After two years of negotiations, a 15 year lease was agreed and papers were signed at the beginning of 2021. To facilitate this, the two clubs agreed to a merge and now come under the single name of Fleet Spurs FC. It (Fleet Spurs) is now able to offer football ‘from cradle to grave’ and is now the largest club in North Hampshire with 35+ teams registered every year. This year has been a record for memberships, just over 515 now signed to play for the club. With a new committee, and fresh ideas, the club want to transform the site into a safe and welcoming place for all to enjoy sport. We are, however, very aware of the task in hand. With rent to pay on the site, repairs to the clubhouse, pitches to maintain and every increasing utility bills, we know the journey will be a long one, but one that we are prepared to take.”

 

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