Boro’ have taken on their fair share of opponents down the years and some of those teams have simply been no more than passing acquaintances, while there are others that have become – well – annoyingly familiar. For all the many times we’ve faced teams like Woking, there have been rare match-ups too. So, we’re asking, where do Leytonstone Ilford stand in the grand scheme of things?
Leytonstone Ilford: Us And Them
Ah, yes. This is the type of story we’ve been after. You can have all those clubs that have been around since the 10 commandments first went viral, but Leytonstone Ilford are a fine example of non-league football and its quirks. Don’t get us wrong, though – we’re not revelling in the demise of a club we never managed to actually beat. No, this tale ain’t that morbid and it ain’t that simple.
First, the who fors and what nows. Boro’ came up against the combined forces of Leytonstone and Ilford on just the two occasions – and both came during the 1986-7 league season. To be honest, our record isn’t really worth spending much time on. We lost by a single goal each time as the London side went on to romp the Vauxhall Opel League Division One by a healthy 13-point margin.
It was their second Division One success since Leytonstone and Ilford filed into a single club back in 1979 – if you’d wondered, the first of those two titles came in their debut campaign of 1979-80. Oh, and in the years between, they’d even squeezed in a Premier League championship too. It’s fair to say the first few years of the club were a rollercoaster. Up, down and back up again…
The previous time that Leytonstone Ilford had claimed Division One for themselves, the Premier Division crown was two years in the making. And so history repeated itself in 1989, but not before Walthamstow Avenue had been absorbed into the fold. You still keeping up? You better be. That 1988-9 title-winning season was the last before Leytonstone Ilford name frittered into memory.
Why? The club had renamed itself Redbridge Forest in a belated consequence of taking on the Avenue the summer before. Right.
But wait, why didn’t they go into the Conference after that? Well, that’s because their ground was too naff at the time.
It wasn’t in 1992, however, when a third Premier Division title was added to their honours list. And so, finally, up went Redbridge Forest to the big boys table, giving it a good ol’punt in their first digs by finishing seventh. But they just couldn’t get enough of the merging bug, so did it again – this time, with Dagenham. Hang on. Dagenham? Redbridge Forest? Hmm, sounds a bit familiar…
BoroGuide’s Leytonstone Ilford club profile – for old time’s sake…