Football in Bracknell
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Wokingham Town FC programmes: From Cardiff City to an FA Trophy semi-final

Some of you older readers of FootballinBracknell will be aware that before Wokingham & Emmbrook, there was Wokingham Town Football Club at Finchampstead Road – and they were really quite successful.

According to the pieandmushypeas blog, Town were once the fourth oldest club in Berkshire behind Reading, Abingdon Town and Maidenhead United having been formed in 1875.

They once played in front of 10,000 spectators during an FA Amateur Cup tie at Crook Town and reached the semi-finals of the FA Trophy – as far as we can tell the only Berkshire side ever to do so.

Basically they have quite the history and have played against some of the most famous sides in England, and Cardiff City.

Sean Chandler, a member of the Wokingham Town Football Club facebook group has been posting photo’s of some of the programmes from those famous games (and has made them available for sale – see the bottom of the post for details) and has kindly allowed us to display them here.

So a trip down memory lane, here goes (in no particular order):

Wokingham Town vs Tottenham Hotspur

Programme from Wokingham Town vs Tottenham Hotspur. Photo: Sean Chandler.

Programme from Wokingham Town vs Tottenham Hotspur. Photo: Sean Chandler.

This one is we understand from a 1-1 draw between Wokingham and Spurs at Finchampstead Road in January 1986.

Wokingham Town vs Reading FC

Programme from Wokingham Town vs Reading FC. Photo: Sean Chandler.

Programme from Wokingham Town vs Reading FC. Photo: Sean Chandler.

A pre-season friendly between Wokingham and neighbours Reading, the Royals (or Biscuitmen as they were then) were preparing for a Football League Division 3 (now League 1) championship winning season while Wokingham finished 10th in the Isthmian Premier Division.

Wokingham Town vs Reading

Programme from Wokingham Town vs Reading FC. Photo: Sean Chandler.

Programme from Wokingham Town vs Reading FC. Photo: Sean Chandler.

Six years later the two sides met again, this time in the Berks & Bucks County Senior Cup. Reading were back in the bottom division of the Football League. We’re a bit unsure of the score – but neither side made the final, it was Chesham United and Windsor & Eton who fought it out with the Generals winning 3-1.

Wokingham Town vs Telford United

“While the Tottenham legend [Jimmy Greaves] watches a young Alan Shearer break his record as the youngest player to score a hat-trick in England’s top flight (by 1,145 days), my nine-year-old heart is being cruelly ripped in two by Vauxhall Conference and FA Trophy veterans Telford United.” – theinsideleft.com

Programme from Wokingham Town vs Telford United. Photo: Sean Chandler.

Programme from Wokingham Town vs Telford United. Photo: Sean Chandler.

Possibly Wokingham’s greatest ever season – an FA Trophy semi final and possible promotion to the Conference – this programme is from the second leg which the amber and blacks lost 1-0 having already lost the first leg in Shropshire 2-0.

In one of those moments of pure coincidence, both clubs ceased to exist in these forms in the 2004. Telford were wound up, Wokingham merged with Emmbrook Sports.

Wokingham Town vs Uxbridge

The oldest programme in this list.

Wokingham were in the Corinthian League in ’59 and finished 9th of 16 teams. The league disbanded in 1963 and Wokingham along with most of the other clubs joined the Athenian League.

Wokingham Town vs Cardiff City – the 1982 FA Cup

The other ‘big one’ on this list..

Programme from Wokingham Town vs Cardiff City in the FA Cup. Photo: Sean Chandler.

Programme from Wokingham Town vs Cardiff City in the FA Cup. Photo: Sean Chandler.

Some great stories from this one – the striker flown over from Germany for the game to the collapsing wall, oh.. and the 1-1 draw that led to a replay at Ninian Park.

In our video interview with Mark Ashwell, he remembers the visit of Cardiff City, the wall falling over and a terrific draw:

Apparently there are still Cardiff fans who visit Wokingham when they play Reading..

Wokingham Town vs Chelsea

Programme from Wokingham Town vs Chelsea FC. Photo: Sean Chandler.

Programme from Wokingham Town vs Chelsea FC. Photo: Sean Chandler.

A pre-season friendly in Berkshire as part of the blues warm up for the first ever Premier League season. A little research shows this wasn’t the first time the two sides played each other having met wayyyy back in 1957 in the Metropolitan League. Chelsea won 3-1.

Wokingham Town vs Fulham

Programme from Wokingham Town vs Fulham FC. Photo: Sean Chandler.

Programme from Wokingham Town vs Fulham FC. Photo: Sean Chandler.

The final one in our list, a friendly between Wokingham Town and Fulham, just months after England won the World Cup.

From the facebook comments, Jonny Haynes (The great Pele described Haynes as the ‘best passer of the ball I’ve ever seen’ – fulhamfc.com) played in this one – a friendly to celebrate the arrival of floodlights at Finchampstead Road.

Programmes for sale

Sean tells us these programmes are available to buy, so if you’d like to own a piece of Wokingham Town history then please get in touch with him on 07957389067.

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Tom Canning

Tom is the co-editor of FootballinBracknell. He has played at the lowest possible level of football. In real life Tom works for Trinity Mirror.

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