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Tooting and Mitcham F.C. were formed in 1932 when two clubs who were local rivals decided to amalgamate, the idea being discussed for the first time at a Christmas London League match in 1930.


Tooting Town originated in 1887 as Tooting Graveney F.C. The first ground was at Figges Marsh, but in 1905 the Club moved to an enclosed ground at Lonesome. This was unsatisfactory so in 1907 another enclosed ground was obtained called "The North Surrey Poultry Farm" in Gorringe Park. In 1913 came another move, this time to a ground in The Ridgeway, beside the railway line. Then came the First World War and in 1915, after a club now called Tooting had tried to continue a Metropolitan League with Old Kingstonians, South Tooting, Summerston, West Norwood and Wimbledon, attempts

   to carry on were abandoned and the players joined a munitions firm called Darraq for the duration.


During this period the Club had absorbed, by amalgamation, Tooting Bee F.C. in 1896 and Balham St Johns in 1902 and many successes were achieved. These included the South Western Cup 1897, Champions of the Clapham League in 1898 and 1900, winners of the Crossley Charity Cup in 1907 (beating Dulwich Hamlet) and winners Sutton Hospital Cup in 1908 and 1909. But in the 1914-15 season came the ultimate success when the Club was elected to the Athenian League and indeed, one game was played-a draw of 2-2- with Luton Clarence before hostilities suspended the league.


In 1919, at the cessation of hostilities, the Club revived with the name Tooting Town, a ground (two pitches) were rented at Tyrell's Poultry Farm, and admission regained to the South Suburban League. Success came easily and in 1921 the Club was accepted into the London League and efforts made to secure a ground of their own.


   A fund was started with half the Club's balance-£5-, but a town meeting and other efforts soon raised the fund to £1,000 including loans. Having failed to purchase a site on the Cassiot estate, the Sandy Lane site was purchased in February 1922. (The ground was an unfenced agricultural field). The next ten years consisted hard work on the ground and moderate success on the field, including victory in the Surrey Senior Shield in 1928. Throughout this time the Town team played in the London League as did their neighbours over the other side of the fence, Mitcham Wanderers.


It soon became obvious that two first class amateur sides could go no further existing side by side in competition, yet those who remembered the Christmas games between the two clubs could see how difficult amalgamation, the only answer, would be.


London House was formed in 1904 by Chief Spt G Siviour and Steve Taylor as the team for the London House business, belonging to the Francis family. The club lasted for two seasons, playing only friendlies, before being renamed Mitcham Athletic, who played in the Balham league for two seasons before joining the Wimbledon League for another two years before disbanding.  


Mitcham Wanderers were formed in 1912 in "Erns Coffee Shop" off Mitcham Cricket Green, and home matches were played in Cranmer Green. The Club closed down during the 1914-18 war and on resuming came near to purchasing Park Place, but it was not until 1922 that the site in Streatham Road was purchased. In 1922 they entered the Premier Division

   of the London League, being champions in 1929 and runners-up in 1930. Other successes were:



In spite of its success, the Club, like its neighbours from Tooting felt the need for amalgamation which was effected in 1932, although there were many matters to be settled among these old rivals.


On amalgamation Tooting & Mitcham United remained in the London League but moved upwards into the Athenian League in 1937. Although their League form was disappointing it was compensated for by a first win in the Surrey Senior Cup in 1938 when Dulwich Hamlet were beaten 2-1 at Selhurst Park. Wartime then brought a mixture of friendlies and League competition in the South East Combination. In 1943 the club won the London Senior Cup for the first time when they defeated Dulwich Hamlet 5-4 at Millwall. Tooting have also lifted the trophy in 1949, 1959 and 1960. The Surrey Senior Cup has been won eight times including a hat-trick of successes between 1976 and 1978 (the first time this has ever been achieved).


Tooting & Mitcham were the Athenian League Champions in 1950 and 1955, then were invited into the Isthmian League in 1956. They proved themselves good enough to hold their own against the strongest opposition, winning the Championship in 1958 and again in 1960. In season 1958-59 the club reached the 3rd round proper of the F.A. Cup for the first time in its history, beating Bournemouth and Northampton Town (their first ever victories over Football League clubs in The F.A. Cup). In the 3rd Round proper they were drawn at home again this time to Nottingham Forest and led the First Division side 2-0 at half-time, but an own goal and a very controversial penalty

   for handball saw Forest scramble a draw. In the replay Forest won 3-0 and went on to lift the F.A.Cup, beating Luton Town at Wembley.


Their best ever run in the F.A. Cup came in the season 1975-76 when under the guidance of Roy Dwight they reached the 4th Round proper. After beating Romford and Leatherhead they had to travel again in the 3rd Round to Swindon Town and soon found themselves 2-0 down, but a dramatic fightback saw Tooting score twice in the last four minutes to force a draw. In the replay at a packed Sandy Lane Tooting scored a great 2-1 victory with Alan Ives scoring the winner after a great solo run. In the 4th Round Tooting made the long trip to

   Bradford City and despite a brave performance went down to a 3-1 defeat. The club has also reached the competition proper on seven other occasions.


In season 1983-84 Tooting finished in the bottom two of the Isthmian League but were saved from the drop as Staines Town did not have the required ground grading. There was no reprieve in season 1988-89 when the club were relegated for the first time in its history. In season 1992-93 they won their first trophy at first team level for fifteen seasons when they won the Full Members Cup beating Dorking 1-0 in the

   final at Kingstonian F.C.


Season 1995-96 saw the club flirting with disaster again when they had to win their last game at home to Thame United in order to avoid relegation to Division Two. With Wembley winning, relegation looked a certainty until David Gabriel scored a dramatic goal just fourteen minutes from the end. Cup performances were markedly better than those in the League, culminating in a spirited performance against Woking in the Surrey Senior Cup Final which forced the GM Vauxhall Conference side to work hard for their 2-0 win. However, season 1996-97 proved to be one of the worst in the Club's history, resulting in relegation to the Second Division for the first time.


For season 1997/98 former England Non-League International Jimmy Bolton, a vastly experienced striker at Premier Division level, was appointed Player/Manager. After an encouraging start our form fell away after Christmas and we eventually finished in 11th place in the final league table with 57 points from our 42 matches.


A miserable start to the season 1998/99 heralded Jimmy Bolton's resignation in September. He was replaced as Manager by Keith Boanas with Ian Hazel remaining as Player/Coach and they were able to steady things to the extent that a final league placing of 8th, with 66 points from 42 games was achieved. This was followed by a rather disappointing final placing of 11th in 1999/2000, with 55 points from 42 games.


By contrast, season 2000-1 was the club's best for many years. The 6th round (last eight) of the F.A. Carlsberg Vase was reached which equalled the club's best ever run in a national cup competition, and defeat only came at the hands of eventual

   winners Taunton Town. Even more importantly, the Ryman League Second Division Championship was won despite an horrific backlog of fixtures, the club's first league title since 1960. In addition the Surrey Senior Cup Final was reached, although Crystal Palace proved too strong by three goals to nil in the final at Gander Green Lane.


Season 2001-2 was one of consolidation, with a mid table finish. Ten years of frustration and setbacks finally ended with a move to the club's new Imperial Fields ground for the start of season 2002-3. After a promising start results tailed off and Manager Ian Hazel resigned, to be succeeded by former Falkirk and Millwall striker Richard Cadette. A finish of 11th place in the next season was a disappointment, but in 2004-5 the club were within striking distance of second place in February, only to finish out of the play off places after only picking up ten points in the last ten games.


Season 2005-6 proved to be a re-run. Second in February, the club ended up scraping into the play-offs and were beaten by Tonbridge in the semi-finals. Richard Cadette was replaced as manager by the hugely experienced Billy Smith for the start of 2006-07. Eighteenth in the league in early December, the club embarked on an incredible unbeaten run of over thirty games in the new year, winning the Surrey and London Senior Cups in the space 48 hours, and finishing just one point behind champions Maidstone United. Unfortunately the play off final against Hastings United proved to be a game too

   far, ending in a 2-0 defeat. 


In 2007-08 the club celebrated its 75th anniversary, inviting past players back for a series of special events  culminating in a club dinner featuring our most famous old boy Alex Stepney, the legendary manchester United and England goalkeeper, as

   guest of honour. The London Senior Cup was retained with a thumping win against Bromley, but the real icing on the cake came with long overdue play-off success as the club returned to the Premier division after a nineteen year absence.


The following season saw Terrors featuring in the FA Cup first round for the fist time since the late seventies and fans enjoyed a great day out at League 2 Stockport County - despite the result.


Sadly the season ended on a sour note with the departure of Billy and George, signalling two seasons of decline, ending up in relegation in 2012.





Source: The Official Illustrated History of the FA Cup (Bryon Butler) Thanks to Roger Butcher.


A CLUB HISTORY