Chesham United: Remember Them?


By Pete H

As it’s a week for looking back fondly on former glories, it begs the obvious and immediate question – how much do you remember Chesham United? Like, totally obvious. What else could possibly be at the forefront of your memories right about now? Put down your lunch and let us tell you about us and The Generals. We think this’ll be the most important thingy you read about… until the next thingy you read about. So, you might as well just humour us.


Who are Chesham United?

Formed in 1917, Chesham United are the club you get when you merge Chesham Town with Chesham Generals. So, you should get an idea about where their nickname comes from for a start. No? Well, we’re not going to do everything for you. This new side took up the Generals’ Spartan League place after the First World War One and had a very good time of it during the early 1920s.

Fast forward to the other side of the Second World War Two, the Generals are doing their thing in the Corinthian League. That is, reader, ’til 1963. With the competition disbanding, Chesham – and others like ’em – join the expanding Athenian League in Division One. It’ll be another 12 years before the club changes competition again, but it’s a long-term thing next time round; moving into the Isthmian League in 1973.


Why do we know Chesham United?

Look at their records at the Football Club History Database and you’ll find they went from being a Division Two side to a Division One side in 1977. It wasn’t promotion, however, but the league being renamed. And so it went on until 1986 when disaster struck – relegation to Division Two North. The problem is we went up from that division at the same time, so our first-ever competitive meeting was avoided.

Well, until the following season. The Generals won Div Two North at a canter at their first attempt; winning promotion back to Division One in 1987. While we weren’t finding life at that level all that easy, we hadn’t come close to relegation ourselves at that point. So, the way these things work meant that we’d line up for the 1987-8 campaign alongside them – and chance our arm against them for the very first time.


What is our record against Chesham United?

Had to do a double take at this one. Although destined for the drop in our first season as equals, Boro’ still managed to do a league double over the Generals; winning 3-1 at their place, before a 2-1 home win in March ’88. Mind you, that was our last win that season – except a final day consolation. That may go some way to explaining why we dropped out of Division One. The Generals? Well, they only survived by the skin of their teeth.

With those two wins, however, it set a trend for our overall head-to-head record. But we’ll have to skip quickly past our third-ever meeting. It took us four years, but we rejoined the Generals; this time in the Premier Division. Maybe we were getting used to the unfamiliar surroundings, but the 7-1 rout we experienced still hurts. Oddly, to us anyway, the match was played in front of 710 spectators too. What are the chances?

Our 1-0 home win later that season didn’t quite make amends, but it was one of only four games that Chesham lost on the way to the title. With the Generals not getting let into the GM Vauxhall Conference, we’d meet again that next campaign; this time on our way to the title. Four points from a possible six was our haul, with Boro’ finishing 17 points clear of a Chesham side who still finished a respectable fourth.

Going our separate ways, however, the next time we’d meet would be in the 1997-8 FA Trophy; Boro’ needing a First Round Replay after being held at home.

Chesham United: Boro’s Record

Our head-to-head: P 9 — W 6 — D 2 — L 1 — F 17 — A 13 — Pts 13 — WR 67%
Our last tango: Chesham United 0-3 Stevenage Borough, 13 January 1998

What happened to Chesham United?

After falling back into Division One the next season, it was only a two-year hiatus. And the Generals would continue in Diadora/Ryman/whatever League Premier Division ’til another relegation in 2003. One more season in that competition was enough before they opted to join the Southern League. And, after few seasons of bedding in, the club established itself in the Premier Division – coming second in 2014.

• WANT TO KNOW MORE? – Chesham United club profile