Not since our successful 1991-2 Diadora League Division 1 title win have we met Walton & Hersham in a competitive match. In 2016, the Swans made the move to the Combined Counties League; making a reunion just that little less likely.
First Played: 1986-7
Win Rate: 33% (from 6 games)
Stompond Lane, Walton-on-Thames, KT12 1HF
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.
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?
* league points only
After navigating the A1(M) and counter-clockwise M25, leave at Junction 13 for the A30 towards London. Take the first exit for the Staines bypass and continue for three miles; staying on the Staines bypass even after it becomes the A308.
After passing Spelthorne Sports Ground, take the right turn onto the A244 for 2.5 miles. Eventually, you should cross the Thames. Continue through Walton itself, before taking the right turn at the roundabout onto Stompond Lane.
You’ll find a car park at the ground – but we can’t tell if it’ll be big enough. But there are enough opportunities for street parking if not.
Services to: VAUXHALL
Exit the station on the north side where a self-storage facility is, turning right onto Molesey Road and left onto Walton Park. Where the road splits at the end, go left and onto Rydens Road down to Hersham Road. Turn right up here and the ground is on the left soon.