Hanwell Town Football Club

Club History


The history of Hanwell Town needs to be understood in three distinct but nevertheless linked phases. The first was the original foundation of the Club as Hanwell FC which lasted from 1884-1912. The second was the re-founding and renaming of the Club as Hanwell Town in 1920, a short period which lasted seven years before the Club folded for a second time. Finally, the third phase of the Club’s history was the re-establishment of Hanwell Town in 1947.


The first phase

In 1884 four young men: J.D. Brayne, J.R. Mathias, John Wark and Charles Richins founded Hanwell Football Club playing at Church Fields at a rent of £4 per year and using the Viaduct pub as its club house. The Club continued to grow and by 1892 was running three teams. In 1893, it moved its headquarters to the Royal Victoria pub. In 1897, the Club won its first trophy, the West Middlesex Cup, sensationally defeating Brentford 1-0 and in 1898 joined the London League. 


Unfortunately, the Club led a hand to mouth existence. The reason for the Club’s financial predicament went back to 1898 when it joined the London League which had begun two years earlier. The the cost of travel proved prohibitive and the Club took what proved to be an ill-fated decision to resign from the league at the end of the season and join the newly created and local Middlesex League for season 1899-1900. The folly of that decision quickly became evident as that league lasted for only one year before disbanding.

Committee dithering meant that although the Club decided to re-apply for admission to the London league it missed the date for applications and was forced to play friendly fixtures. Indeed, it was to be two more years before it successfully re-joined the London League playing for three seasons from 1902-1905 when the Club joined the Great Western Suburban League. In 1908, Hanwell reached the final of the Middlesex Senior Cup but lost the final to Southall 1-0.


Despite being moderately successful and holding its own in the leagues, the Club’s best achievement was its solitary Middlesex Cup final appearance. Caught in a footballing triangle of three local well-established and successful clubs (Brentford, Ealing and Southall) it failed to make a significant impact and attendances remained stubbornly low. The Club struggled on but beset by small crowds and high ground rents was always in a financially precarious position and in 1912 it folded.

The second phase

In 1920 the Club was reformed, this time taking the name of Hanwell Town. Local folklore and tradition maintain that it was founded by Geordies, many of whom were demobbed servicemen after the Great War. Many of them worked on major projects such Sir Robert McAlpine’s construction company building the Great Western Water Treatment works pipeline from Hammersmith to Isleworth. Unfortunately, the names of these playing pioneers have been lost as there are no surviving official club records from this period.

It was around this time that the Club began to play in the famous black and white stripes of Newcastle United.  Once again, financial pressures and low attendances meant that the club was always operating on a shoestring and in 1927 it folded once again. Nevertheless, the link with West London was maintained and in the 1930s the Walker family from Gateshead was one of hundreds who came down from the Northeast to London in the 1936 depression looking for work. It was to be the family’s eldest son Ron who went on to re-establish the Geordie heritage and transform the fortunes of the Club.


The third phase

During the Second World War, Walker served in the RAF. After demobilisation he joined Hanwell Town Sports & Social Club in 1948 and played for the first XI with his two brothers Raynor and Albert. It was the start of a 60 year love affair with the Club. Initially, the Club played in the Dauntless league. From 1949-1969 it played in the Harrow and District League. In 1969 the Club won election to the Middlesex League and played there until 1983 when it joined the London League playing there until 1987 when it joined the Spartan League.

The Club joined the Isthmian League in 2018 then in 2021 it won election to the Southern League Premier Division (South) which is Level 7 / Step 3  in the football pyramid. This is the highest standard of football that the club has ever achieved in its history.

Club honours include: Spartan League Champions 1983-4, London Senior Cup Winners 1992-3 and again in 1993-4, Premier Division Cup Winners 2002-03, Premier Division Champions 2013-14, and most recently Middlesex Senior Cup Winners 2020-21.


No account of the history of the club would be complete without paying tribute to four other men who have been prominent in the history of the club:

  • Bob Fisher the Club Chairman who has been involved with the club for 67 years and has been first XI captain, manager, Treasurer, Chairman and President in his long career;  
  • Phil Player who holds the record number of first XI appearances;
  • Ray Duffy who as player and manager amassed 997 first XI games; and
  • Dave Iddiols the current President who has been with the club for 45 years.

With such a strong commitment to the local community, a first-class ground, a youth section that has over thirty teams and an ever increasing and fiercly loyal supporter base, the future of the Club is brighter than ever.