Here’s one team from our county that doesn’t get too much of a mention in our tale. So, where exactly do Hoddesdon Town fit in the grand scheme of things? It’s not like we ran into them year after year in the Isthmian League. Ware? Yeah, we know them well. Cheshunt? We’ve had our battles too. But it’s almost like that little patch of land halfway between the two on the A10 is a mystery to us; at least until you reach Harlow on t’other side. As it goes, there’s just one competitive meeting to speak of between us and Hoddesdon Town; an East Anglian Cup clash in October 1983.
Hoddesdon Town: The Facts
Park View, Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, EN11 8PX
We bet you’ll struggle to find too many football teams that are older than the Lilywhites. And we’re talking about clubs that are still going too. Formed in 1879 (without the ‘Town’ in their name), that’s 142 years of history at time of writing. In that period, we can’t see any evidence that they might have folded and then come back to life; something that a few other sides are trying to pull. Mind you, there were a couple of mergers in the early days.
Nonetheless, the name Hoddesdon (Town) continued on through the early years of the Herts County League from about 1908 onwards. Of course, by this time they’d already won the first-ever Herts Senior Cup and were founding members of the Hertfordshire Football Association. Put in the context of the Boro’ story, it’s like waking up to find that your other half has run the London Marathon before breakfast or something.
Why do we know the Lilywhites?
In 1925, the Lilywhites left the Herts County League; joining the Spartan League and having a mixed bag of fortunes. The 1960s and 1970s were arguably their best time in the competition; winning it once (1971) and finishing second on four occasions. The last of these came in 1974, the year before the club achieved another notable first; turning out at Wembley Stadium and winning the inaugural FA Vase.
As the 1970s wore on, the club binned off the Spartan League and joined the Athenian League for seven seasons. Why the short spell? Well, the Athenian League disbanded in 1984. So, next for the Lilywhites was the South Midlands League. Now, you’ll now realise that we’d come into being by this point. And we’ve never been in the South Midlands League. So, what’s going on? The truth is that we met for the first time during their final Athenian League campaign.
How to get to Hoddesdon Town – Travel Information – Distance: 15 miles
Take the A602 across to Ware and then go south on the A10. Leave the A10 at the junction for the A1170 and head down the spur road towards the centre of Hoddesdon.
At the roundabout, take the third exit for Amwell Street and then turn right onto Pauls Lane. It’s then a slight left for Taverners Way, which then snakes round and comes out at a roundabout by an Aldi. Here, take the second exit and turn right onto Brocket Road.
Turn left at the end of the road onto Park View, and here you’ll find the ground.
Car parking at Hoddesdon Town isn’t easy – by their own admission too. The advice we can give you is to find somewhere in the town centre to park and then walk on to the ground. You can try local street parking too. It’ll be at your own risk, however.
Services to: HERTFORD EAST, TOTTENHAM HALE
Broxbourne is the nearest station, but it’s a fair distance away. We’d advise you to get a taxi to do the rest of the trip with that in mind.
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