Right then, here your starter for 10. Can you give us any other team with such an elegant and gracious name as Heybridge Swifts? Yeah – we very much doubt it. But then we are also half expecting you to come at us with Luton Town or Grays Athletic. And that doesn’t reflect well on you, unfortunately. The Swifts were regular league opponents for us during the mid-1980s. And into the early 1990s on top of that too.
Like us, they were new arrivals in Servowarm League Division Two North for the 1984-5 season. And, like us, the Swifts clocked up 75 points in that campaign; edging us on goal difference to finish third. In 1985-6, the Swifts finished third again. But we won the title and went up. It’s a form of bragging rights, yeah?
Formed in 1880, the Swifts did little outside county-wide competitions for a good few years. It wasn’t until 1984 (more than 100 years later) that Heybridge moved into the wider world by joining the Isthmian League. And this only came after winning three Essex Senior League titles on the spin. Most of the Swifts’ honours, unsurprisingly, revolve around this and other county comps up ’til that point. But coming into the Isthmian fold ushered in a new era…
… as we’d find out.
Why do we know Heybridge Swifts?
We were both the new kids on the Servowarm League Division Two North block for the start of the 1984-5 season. And we both took to life in the competition nicely, both going close to promotion. We each beat the other 3-1 indoors and we each ended on 78 points. It wasn’t quite enough for promotion at the first time of asking, however. And it was the Swifts who edged it on goal difference.
The following year saw us go up as champions, which meant there was a three-year gap ’til we’d come up against each other again. Then it was their turn to claim the title in 1989-90; rising up to Division One and leaving us behind. Of course, it took just one more year for us to catch up. So, you can kinda see that we were quite the equals with the Swifts at this time. And we both had our moments when it came to the bragging rights.
How to get to Heybridge Swifts – Travel Information – Distance: 60 miles
Leave the M25 at Junction 28 for the A12 and head towards Chelmsford. After 15 miles, leave the A12 and take the third exit at the roundabout for Maldon Road (A414). Remain on the A414 to Heybridge.
After crossing a river and passing a McDonald’s, take the first exit at the roundabout for the B1018 (The Causeway). Next, take the second exit for the B1022 and pass an Asda; following the road around onto Scraley Road.
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