Thursday, 17 February 2011

Windsor & Eton

6 March 2010
Windsor & Eton 4   Paulton Rovers 0
Zamaretto Southern League, Division One South & West
Attendance: 165
View all photographs (52)

Another non-League club with a long history, Windsor & Eton Temperance FC was formed on the 18 August 1892 by a merger of Windsor Phoenix and Windsor St. Albans. In 1893 the new club merged with Windsor Victoria and entered the first FA Amateur Cup. In 1902 the club was the subject of a take over, with the name being shortened as a consequence. Among prominent people connected with the club in this era was HRH Prince Christian. The royal patronage then continued with Kings George V and VI up to the present patron HRH The Duke of Edinburgh; hence the club nickname of 'The Royalists'.

The club moved to Stag Meadow on the edge of Windsor Great Park, in 1912 when the Royal Commission granted the club use of the field for a peppercorn rent, with free rein to expand at any time although it would appear that things aren't quite as straightforward today! Another change is that the club now finds itself immediately below the approach to Heathrow Airport, with planes flying overhead every few minutes.

In the 1920s the first wooden grandstand was erected at the ground, meaning the players no longer had to change in neighbouring pubs. This survived until 1943 when it burned down in mysterious cicumstances. Its replacement, dating from 1948, remains the focal point of the ground.

In a healthy position at the top of the Zamaretto Division One South & West (Southern League) table, Windsor welcomed third-placed Paulton Rovers to Stag Meadow with the visitors needed to maintain their own position in order to secure a play-off spot, having placed more games than those behind them. But it was the home side who consolidated their own position as champions-elect with a convincing victory. Such a shame that more spectators weren't there to see it, despite the initiative of not charging admission for U16s.

Windsor & Eton FC (Holdings) Ltd was officially wound up in the High Court on 2 February 2011 ending any hope of survival for Windsor & Eton FC. Having decided not to contest the winding up order from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs the curtain was finally brought down on the Club.

Club president, commentator Barry Davies, told BBC Berkshire: "The FA doesn't seem to be too generous to the lesser clubs.” “Not enough money in football these days filters down. It's one law for the rich and another for the poor.” He added: “There have been others at a very much higher level who've been bailed out in one fashion or another … It's a huge shame because a lot of unknown people will be suffering, people who've given their time for the club.”

Former Director Kevin Stott is now working with Crown Estates to ensure transfer of the Club’s lease to enable the social facilities to remain open. Stott is also in the process of putting together plans to resurrect the Club, under a new name, ready for the start of the 2011/12 season.

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