A brief history up to 1959

A brief history up to 1959

This piece has been re-produced from the A.F.A. Record – February 1959

Founded in 1933, Olympic AFC, as the club was then called, grew so rapidly that when the war came, no fewer than six teams were being fielded, four in A.F.A. football and two in the local minor in which the club first competed.

The clubs records for the pre-war period reveal that every game in the first season was won and that training was carried out with the aid of a white enameled ball and hurricane lamps!

After a season in the Middlesex County league, the name of the Club was changed to Southgate Olympic and the 1st XI entered the Nemean League.

The second team took over in the County League whilst the youngsters carried on in the local competition, It was a regular practice now for a new side to formed each season.

In 1936-37 the 1st XI won the Senior Division of the Nemean and after playing through the qualifying rounds of the A.F.A. Senior Cup were beaten away by St. Albans City. This was the first season that programmes were produced for home games, a practice that has continued since.

Season 1937-38 saw the 1st XI win the Premier Division of the Nemean. The reserves were top of their division of the sem league and reached the 4th round of the AFA Junior Cup before being beaten by Cambridge Town Reserves. For a club so young the progress made was remarkable and gratifying to men like Cyril Brown and ‘Jock’ Ferguson who had started the club off in such a modest fashion. The minors in that season of 1937-38 scored over two hundred goals. Ronnie Phipps, later to win amateur international honours with England, scored a hundred of these.

With nearly all the members away in the Forces, the club finally had to close down during the war but after one blank season it was restarted and it was at this time that Mr P.J. Cowan, who regrettably passed away last year, took over as Secretary. After the war the club rejoined the Southern Olympian League and played in this competition until last season.

The Club’s stay in the S.O.L. was a very happy one attended by a fair amount of success. The 1st XI were generally in the fight for league honours and on several occasions won the League Challenge Bowl. Their greatest success during this period was in 1953-54 when A.F.A Senior Cup was won for the first time. The Reserves had one spell of supremacy when they won the league five years in a row and although the 3rd Xi were the poor relations for a number of years they were subsequently a strong enough team to win the league and reach the semi-final of the AFA Minor Cup.

An active link with the earliest days is maintained by Stan Holland and Jack Allan who are still playing in the Strollers XI. Despite missing several years during the war, between them they have made over nine hundred appearances.

Arthur Parsons and ‘Jock’ Hamilton were the first Olympic players to be honoured bu the AFA and since then Ron Seward, Eric Downes, Derek Constable and Bryan Jeeves have been similarly honoured.

Club prospects are now of the brightest as following many previous attempts admission has been secured to the Southern Amateur League. Newcomers are called upon to start in Senior Division 3 and it is pleasing to note that we are the present leaders of this Section with every prospect of being one of the two clubs to secure promotion. Following us closely in the table are our good friends Broomfield, who were elected to the League at the same time as ourselves.

See also Blast from the Past – 1958/59 for details of that first season in the SAL.