1896-97 Thames Ironworks :

London League Division One

Special thanks to John Powles and his excellent book "IRON IN THE BLOOD : Thames Ironworks FC The club that became West Ham United" for allowing extracts to compile this feature and John Northcutt for his attention to statistical accuracy..



Just before the end of last season, Thames Ironworks FC applied to join the newly-formed London League. Voted into the Second Division they were quickly elevated to the First Division when Royal Ordnance withdrew. The team played in 'Royal Cambridge Blue' shirts and white shorts. They also wore a red cap, belt and socks. Soon after the start of the season the club was evicted from the Hermit Road ground for violating their terms of tenancy by erecting a perimeter fence and charging admission to matches. Arnold Hills arranged to lease a piece of land at the junction of Byron Avenue and Browning Road in East Ham. In 1896 this was a huge undeveloped area. The Ironworks' first League match took place on Saturday 19 September 1896 when a crowd of 1,260 saw them beat Vampires 3-0. Left-winger George Gresham had the honour of scoring the Club's first goal in competitive football. Centre-forward Hutton, the former Reading youngster scored the other two to complete a fine League debut for the Ironworks.



THE SPORTING LIFE

July 30, 1896


96_07_30 Arnold Hills - The Sporting Life

We are pleased to note that Mr. Arnold Hills, of the Thames Ironworks, has accepted the office of president of the League,...



THE SPORTING LIFE

August 19, 1896


96_08_19 London League - The Sporting Life

We are informed that the Thames Ironwork's F.C. have consented to fill the vacancy in the First Division....



Home matches were played at Hermit Road Ground then Browning Road


VAMPIRES : London League

Hermit Road 3 - 0 (Hatton 2, Gresham) 19 September 1896

Barnes, Stevenson, Hurst, Morton, Dandridge, Davie, Dove, Rossiter, Hatton, Morrison, Gresham



1st SCOTS GUARDS : London League

Hermit Road 2 - 0 (Gresham, Rossiter) 8 October 1896

Charsley, Stevenson, Holstock, Bird, Dandridge, Davie, Nichols, Rossiter, Hatton, Gresham, Morrison

1st Scots Guards later withdrew from the league and their record was deleted



THE SPORTING LIFE

October 9, 1896

96_10_09 TIW v. Scots Guards - The Sporting Life



THE SPORTING LIFE

September 21, 1896

96_09_21 TIW v. Vampires - The Sporting Life



SHEPPEY UNITED : FA Cup (First Qualifying Round)

Botany Road 0 - 8 10 October 1896

Southwood, Stevenson, Holstock, Bird, Dandridge, Davie, Nichols, Rossiter, Hatton, Gresham, Morrison



THE SPORTING LIFE

October 12, 1896

96_10_12 Sheppey United v. Thames Ironworks - The



WEST NORWOOD : London Senior Cup

Away 2 - 1 (Rossiter, Stevenson[pen]) 17 October 1896

Charsley, Stevenson, Dove, Morton, Hickman, Stares, Rossiter, Sage, Davie, Morrison, Gresham



GRENADIER GUARDS : London League

Herne Hill 1 - 4 (Sage) 22 October 1896

Graham, Stevenson, Holstock, Morton, Dandridge, Bird, Dove, Sage, Hatton, Gresham, Morrison



The Standard

October 23, 1896

96_10_23 Thames v. 3rd Grenadier Guards

Record Books show the score as being 1-4



CROUCH END : London League

Away 1 - 0 (Hatton) 24 October 1896

Graham, Stevenson, Neil, Bird, Dandridge, Dove, Rossiter, Williams, Hatton, Davie, Morrison



MARCIANS : London Senior Cup

Away 4 - 0 (Gresham 2, Bird, 1 untraced) 11 November 1896

Graham, Stevenson, Taylor, Bird, Dove, Stares, Rossiter, Gresham, Ridges, Davie, Morrison




012 GRAHAM Hugh



ILFORD : London League

Away 2 - 2 (Dove, [og]) 28 November 1896

Graham, Chalkley, Taylor, Morton, Dandridge, Bird, Rossiter, Gresham, Dove, Davie, Morrison



LEYTON : Essex Senior Cup

Away 2 - 2 (Dove, [og]) 28 November 1896

Graham, Chalkley, Taylor, Morton, Dandridge, Bird, Rossiter, Gresham, Dove, Davie, Morrison



013 HICKMAN William



In 1897 Arnold Hills opened the headquarters of the Thames Ironworks Federated Clubs at 55 Barking Road. Francis Payne was appointed to run the organization. Hills described Payne as the "indefatigable worker connected with the Federated Clubs and who is primarily responsible for the existence" of the institution.




WANDSWORTH : London Senior Cup

Browning Road 7 - 0 (Dove 3, Gresham, Morrison, Rossiter, Stevenson 2 January 1897

Duff, Chalkley, Taylor, Stares, Dandridge, Bird, Rossiter, Gresham, Dove, Morrison, Stevenson

MATCH ABANDONED

After 80 mins due to Fog : rearranged for 9 January 1897




97_01_06 Wandsworth v. TIW - The Standard



WANDSWORTH : London Senior Cup

Browning Road 7 - 0 (Dove 3, Gresham, Morrison, Rossiter, Stevenson 2 January 1897

Duff, Chalkley, Taylor, Stares, Dandridge, Bird, Rossiter, Gresham, Dove, Morrison, Stevenson



BARKING WOODVILLE : London Senior Cup

Browning Road 2 - 0 (Dove, Morrison) 16 January 1897

Duff, Chalkley, Tranter, Bird, Dandridge, Stares, Rossiter, Davie, Dove, Morrison, Stevenson

* Stopped in extra time due to bad light



BROMLEY : London Senior Cup

Browning Road 3 - 3 (Dandridge, Dove, Stares) 30 January 1897

Duff, Chalkley, Tranter, Bird, Dandridge, Woods, Stares, Gresham, Dove, Morrison, Davie



BROMLEY : London Senior Cup

Away 2 - 2 (Gresham, Morrison) 4 February 1897

Duff, Chalkley, Tranter, Morton, Dandridge, Bird, Rossiter, Gresham, Dove, Morrison, Darby



BROMLEY : London Senior Cup (Replay)

Away

0 - 2

13 February 1897

Duff, Chalkley, Read, Morton, Dandridge, Bird, Rossiter, Gresham, Dove, Morrison, Darby



VAMPIRES : London League

Away 2 - 1 (Butterworth, Morrison) 27 February 1897

Duff, Chalkley, Tranter, Bird, Dandridge, Morton, Read, Morrison, Butterworth, Gresham, Dove



ILFORD : London League

Browning Road 3 - 2 (Read 2, Butterworth) 6 March 1897

Duff, Chalkley, Tranter, Bird, Dandridge, Morton, Read, Morrison, Butterworth, Gresham,Dove



BARKING WOODVILLE : London League

Away 0 - 1 13 March 1897

Duff, Chalkley, Tranter, Jones, Dandridge, Morton, Read, Morrison, Butterworth, Gresham, Dove



3rd GRENADIER GUARDS : London League

Browning Road 0 - 5 1 April 1897

Charsley, Chalkley, Tranter, Dove, Hickman, Bird, Olivant, Chapman, Gresham, Morrison, Butterworth



CROUCH END : London League

Browning Road 4 - 1 (Butterworth 2, Cooper 2) 3 April 1897

Duff, Chalkley, Tranter, Dove, Dandridge, Bird, Cowie, Gresham, Butterworth ,Cooper, Olivant



VAMPIRES : London League

Browning Road 1 - 1 (Cowie) 8 April 1897

Furnell, Chalkley, Tranter, Dove, Dandridge, Bird, Cowie, Gresham, Butterworth, Cooper, Olivant




1896-97 London League

1896-97 Table

Notes:

a) London Welsh were suspended and as a result Thames Ironworks were awarded two wins.

b) The 1st Scots Guards withdrew and their record was deleted



Attendances at the East Ham ground was disappointing. At the end of the season Arnold Hills announced that he had purchased land at Canning Town, Hills built what became known as the Memorial Grounds. It cost £20,000 to build and was considered to be one of the best stadiums in the country. Hills claimed it could hold 133,000 spectators and applied to hold an FA Cup Final at the Memorial Grounds. This only allowed 16 inches for each person and the Football Association turned the idea down.

Hills wanted to hold other sporting events, including cycling and athletics. As well as a football arena, it also had a cinder running track, tennis courts and an outdoor swimming pool. According to one report, the 100 feet (30.4m) long pool was the largest in England. The Memorial Grounds was opened in June, 1897. Hills made a speech where he pointed out that it had "the largest cycle track in London where they would hold such monster meetings that the attention of the Metropolis would be called to the Thames Ironworks".

The site had been chosen because it was planned to build Manor Road railway station close to the stadium. Unfortunately the project was delayed and it was not finished until four years later. This meant that attendances at the ground were much lower than expected.




Season 1895-96 Season 1896-97 Season 1897-98