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Dover F.C. 1902-10













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THE DOVER FOOTBALL CLUB  1902-1910

 

Thanks to the hard work of a small committee under the Chairmanship of Mr.W.S.Long, the Club was able to reform for the 1902-03 season, returning to its amateur status. Commenting on this, the “Express” declared: “Professionalism ran riot and inflicted a burden that the Exchequer could not bear. In the new Club the only paid man is the trainer.”

  The Club entered the East Kent League and Thames and Medway Combination. The side: - E.Newman, Kennett, Steer, Landry, D.Campbell, Wellden, Enfield, G.Campbell, Webb, Stevens, Lewis.

  After one poor season, with only two wins to their credit in sixteen games, the team showed a marked improvement in 1904-05 (the year of the inception of the Dover Schools F.A.), when though finishing in the lower half of the league table, they were semi-finalists in the Kent Senior Cup. They lost in the semi-final to Chatham with the following side: - Brannigan, Tranter, Hoile, Wellden, Campbell, Collins, Stevens, Jackson, Vick, Webb, Lewis.

 

THE CLUB DISBANDS

  Rough handling in that season seemed to come from the South Lancashire Regiment and Dover’s left half, Collins, described as “ a most gentlemanly player” was sent off, although to a report, “he only did what an Englishman ought to do when cowardly assaulted.”

  But there was keen competition springing up locally in the shape of the National Harbour Club and while Dover was finishing in the lower half of the East Kent League table from 1905 onwards, the National Harbour had begun to draw their gates.

  The pendulum of fortune was swinging away from the town side and in 1910, after they had finished at the bottom of the league, the Club was again disbanded.

  The last Dover team to take the field before the Club’s disbandment was: - Small, Lang, Friend, Harris, Crumpton, Newman, O’Rourke, Smallwood, Chaplin, Godden, and Davis.

 

A TEN YEAR GAP

  A ten year break followed in the life of the town club. From 1910 until the outbreak of the First World War, Military football of a good standard and junior competitions which were flourishing, kept local interest in the game alive, and in 1913 there was an added stimulant when Crabble was chosen to become the virtual home of the Kent Amateur Cup final.

  In the first final at Dover at the end of the 1912-13 season, a record crowd of over 5,000 saw the R.N.Depot beat the Dublin Fusiliers 3-0, and the following year, 1913-14, the New Crusaders beat the Lancashire Fusiliers 1-0 before a gate of 3,500.

  At various times, meanwhile, meetings had been called locally in the hope of reviving a town side but nothing came of them, mainly because of lack of funds. And so, at this point, the “war to end all wars” intervened to bring the game to a standstill. 

1900committee.jpg

The above article and photograph were taken from the DOVER SOCCER THROUGH 59 YEARS book, which was published in 1950.