|Full name Hendon Football Club|
Stadium capacity 1,990
Manager Gary McCann
|Nickname(s) The Greens, The Dons|
Chairman Simon Lawrence
Arena/Stadium Earlsmead Stadium
|2015–16 Isthmian League Premier Division, 19th|
League Isthmian League Premier Division
Hendon Football Club is an English semi-professional football club based in West Hendon in the London Borough of Brent. The club is currently competing in the Ryman Isthmian Football League Premier Division.
After three seasons ground-sharing at Harrow Borough F. C.’s Earlsmead Stadium in South Harrow, Hendon began season 2016-17 at a new stadium, Silver Jubilee Park in West Hendon.
Prior to the founding of the present club, there was a previous club with the same name which appeared in the FA Cup between 1877 and 1887. One of the former club's players, Charles Plumpton Wilson made two appearances for England in 1884.
The current club was originally formed as Christchurch Hampstead in 1908 and joined the Third Division of the Finchley & District League, which they won at the first attempt, earning promotion to Division Two. At the start of the 1909–10 season the club were renamed Hampstead Town. They also won Division Two at the first attempt, earning promotion to the First Division, which they won in 1911–12. The club then joined the London League and Middlesex League, before being elected to the Athenian League in 1914. However, the 1914–15 season was postponed due to World War I.
In 1926 the club was renamed Hampstead, before becoming Golders Green in 1933. In 1946 the club adopted its current name. In 1952–53 the club won its first Athenian League title. In 1954–55 they reached the final of the FA Amateur Cup, losing 2–0 to Bishop Auckland. They went on to win the Athenian League title again in 1955–56, and reached a second Amateur Cup final in 1959–60, defeating Kingstonian 2–1. A third Athenian League title was achieved in 1960–61.
In 1963 the club switched to the Isthmian League, and have remained in the same division since. In 1964–65 the club won the Isthmian League and Amateur Cup double, defeating Whitby Town 3–1. They reached the final of the Cup again the following season, but lost 3–1 to Wealdstone. After winning their third Amateur Cup with a 2–0 win against Enfield in 1971–72, a second Isthmian League title was won in 1972–73. The following season they reached the third round of the FA Cup, where they drew Newcastle United. After holding Newcastle to a 1–1 draw at St James' Park, Hendon lost 4–0 in a replay played at Watford's Vicarage Road. In 1975–76 the club defeated a Football League club for the first time, beating Reading 1–0 in the first round, before losing to Swindon Town in the second round.
At the end of the 2005–06 season the club finished in the relegation zone, but were reprieved after Canvey Island's resignation from the Football Conference. In 2008–09 the club left its Claremont Road ground, initially groundsharing at nearby non-League clubs, before agreeing a three-year groundshare agreement with Wembley in 2009.
Over the summer of 2010, the club was bought out by the Hendon FC Supporters Trust, an Industrial and Provident Society.
Until 26 September 2009, Hendon played in the suburb of Cricklewood, within the London Borough of Barnet, at a ground simply known by the local road name, Claremont Road. The ground was officially opened on 18 September 1926 before an FA Cup tie with Berkhamsted. William Harbrow Ltd constructed the stand and the original bench seats were only replaced in 1993 when the club received some bucket seats from Watford's Vicarage Road. Claremont Road became such a popular venue it went on to host three England Amateur International matches and a Great Britain v West Germany qualifying match for the Olympic Games. The attendance record of 9,000 was set for the visit of Northampton Town in a FA Cup tie in 1952.
In the 1990s, Claremont Road served as an occasional home for the nomadic rugby league team then known as London Crusaders. It was also a popular location for production companies, with over 30 films, television programmes and adverts being shot there, including Nuts TV and the home ground of Fash FC.
Chairman Ivor Arbiter put in hand plans to move the club from the increasingly decrepit Claremont Road ground. The land where the stadium, clubhouse and banqueting suites stand was put on the market, to be sold for housing, while the plans were put in place to move the club to the Barnet Copthall Athletics Stadium. The move, however, stalled for a number of reasons, the most compelling of which was a deed of covenant preventing the stadium and associated buildings from being used for any other purpose than football or being returned to park land (the ground is surrounded by Claremont Park). The validity of the covenant, regarding its relevance in the modern era was challenged by Barnet Council and the matter is in the hands of the Lands Registry Commission, who will make the final decision on whether the covenant can be lifted. The cost of a move to Barnet Copthall was significantly underestimated, and, instead of £300,000 as originally thought, the figure was subsequently estimated to exceed £500,000, causing the planned move to be abandoned.
In 2013, Claremont Road made the headlines once more as members of the local police and the immigration authority had to evict people living on the site without permission to do so.
The ground was sold to a property developer for approaching £20 million. It had been assumed that the last match would have taken place in April 2006 but the fans and the club enjoyed a stay of execution until September 2008 when after 81 years, the club were forced out. After the closure of Claremont Road, Hendon's home games were played at Northwood's Chestnut Avenue, Staines Town's Wheatsheaf Road (both during 2008-09 season), Wembley's Vale Farm (for four years since 2009-10 season) and Harrow Borough's Earlsmead ground (for three years since 2013-14 season).
Hendon again moved to its own ground, Silver Jubilee Park in West Hendon, at the start of the 2016-17 season but did not get its first win at the new stadium until January 7, 2017, a 2-1 league victory over Merstham.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Hendon's former players include a number who in recent years have gone on to play as professionals in The Football League or Premier League. Notable names include Iain Dowie, Phil Gridelet, Jermaine Darlington and Peter Taylor
Looking back further, England's three highest capped amateur internationals since the war were all Hendon players. Rod Haider leads the way with 65 caps, followed by goalkeepers John Swannell (61) and Mike Pinner (52). Peter Deadman (40) and Laurie Topp (32) also made the top ten list of cap winners for the amateur side. Gold Coast/Ghana international E.B. Wallace-Johnson turned out for Hendon in the 1951–52 season. Meanwhile, Denis Compton, born just two miles from Claremont Road, played for the club before leaving for Arsenal where he was to become one of England's most famous sportsmen, playing for his country at both football and cricket. Leslie Compton was also with the club before following his brother to Highbury. Miles Spector, who had played outside left for England Amateur XI and Chelsea while still a pupil at Hendon School in the early 1950s, went on to play regularly for Hendon.
Benjamin Odeje was the first black footballer to represent England at any level. He played in five schoolboy internationals, making his debut against Northern Ireland at Wembley in 1971.
Boncho Genchev, also known as Bontcho Guentchev, who appeared for Bulgaria in the 1994 World Cup and Euro 1996 tournaments and had played in the English Premiership for Ipswich Town, played 70 games for Hendon over two spells, from 1999-2001 and 2006-2007.
In recent years former professionals Byron Bubb, Frank Sinclair, Isaiah Rankin, Michael Bryan, Junior Lewis, Darren Currie, Michael Duberry and Kezie Ibe have all worn the colours of Hendon during their respective careers.
1. Players that have played/managed in the Football League or any foreign equivalent to this level (i.e. fully professional league).
2. Players with full international caps.
3. Players that hold a club record or have captained the club.