Bromley F.C.

Bromley F.C.
Bromley fc.png
Full name Bromley Football Club
Nickname(s) The Ravens, The Lillywhites
Founded 1892
Ground Courage Stadium, Hayes Lane, Bromley
(Capacity: 6,000 (3,000 seated))
Chairman Ashley Reading
Manager Mark Goldberg
League Conference South
2010–11 Conference South, 11th
Home colours
Away colours

Bromley Football Club are an English football club based in Bromley, in Greater London, England. They currently play in the Conference South, and play their home matches at Hayes Lane.



Early years

Bromley Football Club was founded in 1892 and played friendly games against mainly local opposition sides in its first season. Their first competitive football came in the South London League, which was won at the first attempt. However, they moved frequently between Leagues in those early days. Two seasons in the Southern Football League were followed by a spell in the London League, winning the Division Two title in 1897.

After a brief interlude in the Kent League, they returned to the London League but were expelled in 1900. They then competed in the Spartan League, and after winning the title in 1908, they had their first spell in the Isthmian League and won the Championship in each of their first two seasons. After the First World War they joined the Athenian League, winning the title in 1923.

Though the 1930s were successful on the Cup front, League honours eluded them until 1949 when they lifted the Athenian League Championship, to go with the FA Amateur Cup. Three years later they rejoined the Isthmian League, and again made an immediate impact finishing runners up at the first attempt, and going one better in 1954, reversing the previous season's six point margin over Walthamstow Avenue, who were again runners up when Bromley were Champions again in 1961.

The following season they had only two clubs below them, and in thirteen subsequent seasons only twice finished in the top half, culminating in relegation in 1975, the second time they had finished bottom.

They were promoted in 1980, and during an up and down period they went down again in 1984, came back up two years later and were runners up to Yeovil Town in 1988 - the highest league position for over 25 years - before being relegated for a third time two years later. Regaining Premier Division status at the first attempt, they remained in the top flight until 1999 when, after their best start to a season for many a year - 13 points out of the first five games - they only won four of the remaining 37 League games, and as a consequence were relegated for the fourth time since promotion and relegation was introduced.

Recent years

Their latest spell in the lower division saw them finish in 9th, 18th, 19th, 6th and 8th positions in the league table up until 2004. The formation of the Conference South in 2004, and the resulting re-organisation of the non-league pyramid, meant that whilst staying the same division, the club had effectively slipped down a division, to the 8th tier of English football, the lowest level in its history. Between 1999 and 2001 two managers resigned before Stuart McIntyre took over the reins for the first time towards the end of October 2001. Despite starting the season strongly, McIntyre decided to step down in October 2003. He returned in early 2004 to steady the ship, after being asked back by chairman, Jerry Dolke, but a good finish to the campaign failed to prevent Bromley from just missing out on the restructuring play-off spot.

The 2004/05 season began well with memorable FA Cup wins over Fisher Athletic and Sutton United and a strong showing in the league before results tailed off through November and December and McIntyre was relieved of his duties. The club acted quickly to fill the void and asked a familiar face to take over. George Wakeling accepted the offer and just before Christmas 2004 returned to the job which he had left in 1999. His first job was to appoint his former captain and crowd favourite, Frank Coles as assistant manager.

From the beginning of 2005 the manager's role was shared between Wakeling and former Carshalton Athletic boss, Billy Smith. The new management team provided the impetus required for a climb back up the table and Bromley went on to finish 4th, claiming a place in the end of season play-offs. Metropolitan Police were dispatched on penalties after a tense semi-final to earn a trip to Horsham where Bromley secured their return to the Premier Division with a 3-1 victory.

2005-06 saw Bromley's return the Premier Division, and a safe mid-table position was secured. There was a period in the season where relegation was a brief threat but a strong end of season run secured the club's premier division status by beating by beating Billericay Town 4-3 in a penalty shoot out in the playoff final. Bromley also won the Kent Senior Cup with a memorable win over Gravesend & Northfleet. Trailing 2-1 in the final minutes, Bromley equalised against their full-time professional opponents and then won the game with a Simon Mitchell strike early in extra time.

Towards the end of the 2005-06 campaign, chairman Jerry Dolke made the surprise announcement that the management team who had put Bromley in such a good position would be replaced by Dolke's brother-in-law, former Crystal Palace chairman, Mark Goldberg.

2006/07 season

After making a number of high-profile signings over the summer of 2006, Bromley dominated the early stages of the season with wins against Staines Town, Ramsgate, Worthing, East Thurrock United and Harrow Borough, not to mention emphatic victories at Hampton & Richmond Borough (4-0), and against Ashford Town (5-1) and Slough Town (4-0), leaving the Lilies at the top of the table.

On October 28, 2006, Bromley reached the first round proper of the FA Cup for the first time in ten years after beating the full-time professional Conference National side Grays Athletic 2-1 at the Recreation Ground. 1500 Bromley fans then made the trip to League One side and near-neighbours Gillingham. Bromley lost the match 4-1, but the scoreline flattered the hosts, who led by just one goal until the final few minutes, with Nic McDonnell having scored for Bromley in the 70th minute.[1]

The start of 2007 bought a number of less than impressive results for Bromley, but as of March onwards, results picked up. The Easter Weekend saw a 3-1 victory at Ramsgate, followed by a 2-1 win over Carshalton Athletic. Bromley's biggest league win of the season, and for many years, came with an 8-0 victory at bottom side Slough Town, pushing Bromley onto top spot. Bromley's good form continued and the team went into the final game of the season knowing that if they beat Boreham Wood, and Hampton & Richmond failed to beat Slough, they would be champions. Bromley duly won their game 2-0, and with ten minutes left there were jubilant celebrations amongst the fans as news filtered through that Slough had equalised against Hampton. Sadly for Bromley, Hampton then scored two more late goals to win their match and secure the league title.

By finishing as runners up, Bromley secured a place in the end-of-season promotion play-offs. On Tuesday 1 May 2007, Bromley beat AFC Wimbledon 1-0 at Hayes Lane with a header from Nic McDonnell in front of 3,289 fans. On Saturday 5 May 2007 Bromley defeated Billericay Town 4-2 on penalties. Peter Adeniyi scored the winning penalty after a 1-1 draw in front a crowd of 3,012. Winning the play-off final meant that Bromley F.C. were promoted to the Conference South.

Bromley retained the Kent Senior Cup with a 3-1 victory over Tonbridge Angels in front of a crowd of 926 at Hayes Lane, and were also runners up in the London Senior Cup to Tooting and Mitcham United.

2007/08 season

Bromley's first season at the higher level saw the club finish in an eventual 11th place in the league, even though they had gone into the final round of fixtures with an outside chance of making the playoffs. Mark Goldberg resigned as manager just a few months into the season as a result of other commitments, and was replaced by Simon Osborn, who took on the role of player-manager along with coach Bobby Bowry.

The club's league form was best-described as inconsistent, with some excellent performances being matched by some equally poor ones. The best example of this came over the Christmas and New Year period, when an 8-1 home win over Thurrock was followed by a 2-1 defeat in the return fixture just a few days later.

The club reached the 4th qualifying round of the FA Cup but were beaten 2-1 by Eastbourne Borough, who finished the season as Conference South play-off winners.

In surprising developments at the end of the season, Jerry Dolke stepped down as chairman to be replaced by Paul Greenwood, while the management team of Simon Osborn and Bobby Bowry also left the club. Several weeks later, it was announced that Mark Goldberg was to return for a second spell as manager.

2008/09 season

This season also resulted in a respectable mid-table finish although the team was eliminated by Hornchurch in the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Cup, whilst exiting the FA Trophy competition away at Swindon Supermarine.

2009/10 season

The 2009/10 season was another up and down season for Bromley. Despite a poor start results eventually picked up, and the team only lost 1 game in 14 between late August and the start of November. The club also embarked on an FA Cup run that saw them reach the First Round Proper, securing memorable wins against Tonbridge Angels and Blue Square Premier outfit Ebbsfleet United. Bromley were drawn at home against League One side Colchester United and played in front of a crowd of 4,242, losing 4-0. Results varied from November to December, when the club had an outside chance of making the play-offs. However, Bromley's form started to deteriorate in January, and in February the team crashed out of the London Senior Cup and the Kent Senior Cup in the space of a week. Bromley only managed 5 wins from January until the end of the season. However the season finished on a positive note with the team beating Thurrock 6-3, and the team finished 12th.

Young left back Harrison Dunk collected the Supporters' Player of the Year Award at the end of his first season with the club.

2010/11 season

Bromley endured a surprising and terrific start to the 2010/11 season, winning their first seven games. The team went top of the table on 24 August with a 1-0 win against Havant & Waterlooville. Their winning run was ended with 1-1 draw against St Albans at Hayes Lane. The team began to draw more games, but still maintained their spot in the play off positions. The team got as far as the third qualifying round in the FA Cup, losing 3-0 to Chelmsford. Bromley were knocked off the top of the table after a 4-1 loss away at Basingstoke in October. This ended their unbeaten run that stretched back to July when they lost a pre-season friendly against Charlton Athletic.

On 13 November, Bromley returned to the top of the league with a vital, battling victory against then-league leaders Braintree Town.

Cup exploits

Bromley won the FA Amateur Cup three times, the third being in 1949 when a then-record crowd of 96,000 watched them beat Romford in the first Wembley final. In 1911 they beat Bishop Auckland at Herne Hill, and in 1938 were victors over Erith & Belvedere in the only all-Kent final. All three Finals were won by the same 1-0 scoreline, and the goal in each game was scored by the player wearing the number 8 shirt.

The Second Round proper of the FA Cup has been reached three times (1937, 1938 and 1945), with First Round appearances on a further eight occasions (1947, 1949, 1950, 1976, 1996, 2006, 2009 and 2012).

Since entering the FA Trophy in 1974 - following the cessation of the Amateur Cup - they had not gone beyond the Second Round until season 2000-2001 when they reached the Third Round after the competition had been revamped.

Bromley have won the Kent Senior Cup six times and also won the Kent Amateur Cup on twelve occasions. The London Senior Cup has been won on four occasions, most recently beating Ford United in 2003's final, with the London Challenge Cup coming to Hayes Lane in 1996.


After playing at White Hart Field, Widmore Road and Plaistow Cricket Ground, Bromley moved to Hayes Lane: some 300 yards (270 m) from their present ground - which was purchased in 1938. They had to leave the ground when fire destroyed the main stand in October 1992, but returned in September 1993. The record attendance stands at 10,798 for a game against Nigeria in 1949, but the capacity is now much reduced.

The start of the 2006-07 season saw ground improvements which had been underway throughout the summer completed. The new bar opened, which combines with the old one previously used. The stand has a new board room, new cafe, and lift system. Two new five-a-side football pitches have also been constructed along with a new club shop. The end of 2006 also came with the news that Bromley had fully purchased the land in which the club is built on, giving the club room to build on their stadium.

An extra set of turnstiles was built during the 2007/08 season, giving the ground a "B" grading suitable for Conference National football.

Cray Wanderers and Crystal Palace Reserves also play their home games at Hayes Lane.

Current squad

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
England GK Paul Agu
Zimbabwe DF Tutu Henriques
England DF Arron Fray
England DF Ben Jordan
Dominica DF Jerrome Sobers
England DF David Graves
England MF Nicky Greene
Cameroon MF Salifou Ibrahima
Turkey FW Tamer Tuna


  • Isthmian League:
    • Winners (4): 1908-09, 1909–10, 1953–54, 1960–61
    • Runners up (4): 1952-53, 1955–56, 1987–88, 2006–07
    • Playoff winners (1): 2006–07
  • Athenian League:
    • Winners (3): 1922-23, 1948–49, 1950–51
    • Runners up (1): 1935-36

Notable former players


External links

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