With yet another free weekend ahead, there’s a very real danger that you’ll be pulled into some Christmas shopping. At least you can now think about Walton & Hersham as you’re going about it. That’s ‘cos our latest look back over our shoulder (thanks to Mike and the Mechanics for that one) is going down leafy Thameside with The Swans. Or The Sham. Or even the Waltz. Two names, three nicknames. ‘Ere, leave some for the rest of us, yeah?
Who are Walton & Hersham?
This is gonna knock you sideways, so get ready – Walton & Hersham came about after the 1945 merger between Walton and Hersham FCs. There was actually chat of joining forces back as early as 1912, but it was knocked back by the members. The idea was rejected two more times before it went through after the Second World War Two. After rising through both the Corinthian and Athenian Leagues, they moved into the Isthmian set-up in 1971.
It was their second season in the Isthmian League that is seen (by some) as the Swans’ best-ever season. Or least one of the best. As well as coming second in the league, they reached the FA Cup Second Round for the first time and won both the FA Amateur Cup and Surrey Senior Cup. Times got a little tougher on the pitch in the second half of the 1970s. Off it? Well, the band Sham 69 took inspiration for their name from graffiti at the club’s ground.
Fact that into your doubt trumpet.
Why do we know Walton & Hersham?
By the time we started making waves in the Isthmian League, the Swans were very much part of the furniture. They’d been in Division One for nine seasons as we rocked up for the 1986-7 campaign. For us, we’d cracked Division Two North at the second attempt and had our eyes on making our presence felt at a higher level after our successful formative days during the first half of the 1980s. But how would we fare against old hands like the Swans?
What is our record against Walton & Hersham?
Our first league meetings with the Swans didn’t actually take place until the second half of the season. And we didn’t get off to a great start, losing indoors in January 1987. But there was a point to show for our efforts at their place barely two months later. The next season saw a flip reverse, with a 1-1 draw at Broadhall Way in October 1987. Come the return in April, however, and we were in freefall; our defeat at theirs being one of three straight 3-0 losses on the road. And so down we went, not to meet them for another three seasons.
As you might guess, the Boro’ they come up against then were a completely different beast. With Cloughie at our helm, our stay back in Division One was a mere stopping point on our way up to the Prem. And with it came our first and (currently) only wins against the Swans – 3-2 at our place and then 3-2 at theirs. Consistent. And something that we think deserves more credit – falling so nicely and evenly into place without any coercion. Or something.
Walton & Hersham: Boro’s Record
Our head-to-head: P 6– W 2 — D 2 — L 2 — F 10 — A 12 — Pts 8 — WR 33%
Our last tango: Walton & Hersham 2-3 Stevenage Borough, 04 January 1992
What happened to Walton & Hersham?
In 1994, the Swans earned promotion to the Premier Division. There was a bit of up and down in the years until 2007 when they were relegated back to Division One South for the last time. Nine seasons on, the Swans finished third bottom after shipping 113 goals. That saw ’em relegated to the Combined Counties Football League Premier Division. The 2018-9 season was another poor one for them, finishing bottom and going down to Division One.
• WANT TO KNOW MORE? – Walton & Hersham club profile