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The Stadium
Hayes Lane
Bromley
BR2 9EF
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020 8460 5291
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About
Bromley Football Club was founded in 1892 and in the first season played friendly games against mainly local opposition sides. Their first competitive football came in the South London League, which was won at the first attempt. However, they moved frequently between Leagues in those early days. Two seasons in the Southern League were followed by a spell in the London League, which they won in 1897.

After a brief interlude in the Kent League, they returned to the London League but were expelled in 1900. They then competed in the Spartan League, and after winning the title in 1908, they had their first spell in the Isthmian League and won the Championship in each of their first two seasons. After the First World War they joined the Athenian League, winning the title in 1923.

Although the 1930s were successful on the Cup front, League honours eluded them until 1949 when they lifted the Athenian League Championship, to go with the FA Amateur Cup. Three years later they rejoined the Isthmian League, and again made an immediate impact finishing runners up at the first attempt, and going one better in 1954, reversing the previous season's six point margin over Walthamstow Avenue, who were again runners up when Bromley were Champions again in 1961.

The following season they had only two Clubs below them, and in thirteen subsequent seasons only twice finished in the top half, culminating in relegation in 1975, the second time they had finished bottom.

They were promoted in 1980, and during an up and down period they went down again in 1984, came back up two years later and were runners up to Yeovil in 1988 - the highest League position for over 25 years - before being relegated for a third time two years later. Regaining Premiership status at the first attempt, they remained in the top flight until 1999 when, after their best start to a season for many a year - 13 points out of the first five games - they only won four of the remaining 37 League games, and as a consequence were relegated for the fourth time since promotion and relegation was introduced.

Their latest spell in the lower division saw them finish in 9th, 18th, 19th, 6th and 8th positions in the league table up until 2004. Between 1999 and 2001 two managers resigned before Stuart McIntyre took over the reigns for the first time towards the end of October 2001. Despite starting the season strongly, McIntyre decided to step down in October 2003. He returned in early 2004 to steady the ship, after being asked back by Chairman, Jerry Dolke, but a good finish to the campaign failed to prevent Bromley from just missing out on the restructuring play-off spot.

The 2004/05 season began well with memorable FA Cup wins over Fisher Athletic and Sutton United and a strong showing in the league before results tailed off through November and December and McIntyre was relieved of his duties. The Club acted quickly to fill the void and asked a familiar face to take over. George Wakeling accepted the offer and returned just before Christmas to the job he had left in 1999. His first job was to appoint his former captain and crowd favourite, Frank Coles as assistant manager.

From the beginning of 2005 the manager's role was shared between Wakeling and former Carshalton Athletic boss, Billy Smith. The new management team provided the impetus required for a climb back up the table and Bromley went on to finish 4th, claiming a place in the end of season play-offs. Metropolitan Police were dispatched on penalties after a tense semi-final to earn a trip to Horsham where Bromley secured their return to the Premier Division with a fine 3-1 victory.

Back in the Ryman Premier Division after a gap of six years Bromley began well but, after bowing out of The FA Cup to Aldershot Town in the 4th Qualifying Round, the Club began to slip down the table. Good runs in the both the Westview (Ryman) League Cup and Kent Senior Cup did little to revive flagging league form and a decision was made to restructure the football management team. It was agreed that from the start of the following season Mark Goldberg, Murray Jones and current Chairman, Jerry Dolke would take over the day-to-day running of the side and additional coaching staff would also be recruited. Fortunes then began to improve on the pitch and Bromley eventually finished in a respectable 11th place.

Last season proved to be one of the Club's most successful campaigns for many years. An 11-game unbeaten run from the start of the league season had the team flying high in the table but after an excellent FA Cup run that ended at Gillingham, after memoral performances at Hayes and Grays Athletic in earlier rounds, the Club suffered a dip in form at the end of the year. Battling hard to stay in the promotion race the team produced some outstanding football to claw their way back into the top two and, in a hectic finish to the season, had to play two crucial league matches and two county cup finals - winning the Kent but losing the London - in the last eight days. The title proved elusive however but promotion was achieved the hard way via the play-offs again after nail-biting wins over AFC Wimbledon (1-0) and Billericay Town (1-1 aet, 4-2 on penalties).

After playing at White Hart Field, Widmore Road and Plaistow Cricket Ground, Bromley moved to Hayes Lane - some 300 yards from their present ground - which was purchased in 1938. They had to leave the ground when fire destroyed the main stand in October 1992, but returned in September 1993. The record attendance stands at 12,000 for a game against Nigeria in 1950, but the capacity is now much reduced.

Bromley won the FA Amateur Cup three times, the third being in 1949 when a then record crowd of 96,000 watched them beat Romford in the first Wembley Final. In 1911 they beat Bishop Auckland at Herne Hill, and in 1938 were victors over Erith & Belvedere in the only all-Kent Final. All three Finals were won by the same 1-0 score line, and the goal in each game being scored by the player wearing the Number 8 shirt!

Since entering the FA Trophy in 1974 - following the cessation of the Amateur Cup - they have not gone beyond the Second Round until season 2000-2001 when they reached the Third Round after the competition had been revamped. Either side of the Second World War they played in the Second Round of the FA Cup three times, with First Round appearances on a further seven occasions; last season's encounter with Gillingham at Priestfield being their first with professional opposition since 1976.

They have won the Kent Senior Cup six times including retaining the trophy last season and the Kent Amateur Cup on twelve occasions. The London Senior Cup has been won on four occasions, most recently beating Ford United (Redbridge) in 2003's Final, with the London Challenge Cup coming to Hayes Lane in 1996.

August 2007

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