ENFIELD TOWN FC: A BRIEF HISTORY
Formed on 23rd June 2001, Enfield Town FC started life in the Essex Senior League in 2001-02. The club finished runners-up in that first season before winning the league championship the following year. Their time spent in the ESL was successful, with two championships, two league cups, a Middlesex Charity Cup and wins in the Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy and Capital Counties Feeder Leagues Trophy finals to show for their efforts.
After securing promotion to the Southern League (East) in 2005, the Towners had a successful first season at that level, before eventually losing to Wivenhoe Town in the promotion play-offs. The following year, following a move into the Ryman League for 2006-07, the club again finished 3rd – this time losing out in the play-offs to AFC Sudbury. In 2009-10, the club yet again only just missed out on promotion, being beaten this time by Concord Rangers in the play-off final.
The club originally played at Brimsdown Rovers' Goldsdown Road in a ground share arrangement. But in October 2008, the London Borough of Enfield announced a deal with the club which paved the way for it to relocate to the Queen Elizabeth II Stadium. Realising a long-held dream, the club worked closely with the Council to see the old athletics arena restored and upgraded to be able to host Isthmian League football. At last the club had a home of its own, a short distance from the former Enfield FC stadium in Southbury Road.
While retaining a running track as a training facility for local use, the club has been able to provide an atmospheric environment. The Stadium was formally opened in November 2011 with a match against a Tottenham Hotspur XI.
Following the move to the new ground, after finishing as Ryman League Division One (North) runners-up under manager Steve Newing, Town overcame Grays Athletic and Needham Market in two very close play-off matches to secure promotion to Step 3. Subsequently, after aiming for a period of consolidation, safety was only guaranteed on the final day of the 2013-14 campaign with a 2-1 win at Cray Wanderers.
Bradley Quinton succeeded George Borg as first team manager in August 2014 and, such was the team’s improvement that a play-off place was achieved, only for three crucial points to be deducted in controversial circumstances towards the end of the campaign which consequently led to a final league placing of 7th.
In 2015-16, the side embarked upon on an impressive late run, but missed out on a play-off spot by two points. Then in 2016-17, the club’s Premier Division play-off dream was realised, but a 2-4 reverse at Dulwich Hamlet in the semi-final put paid to further progress.
Following the departure of Quinton to Braintree Town, Andy Leese took over the managerial reins for the 2017-18 season, and the club subsequently progressed to the 4th Qualifying Round of the FA Cup, taking National League outfit Maidstone United to a replay. The Velocity Trophy (Isthmian League Cup) was won for the first time in April 2019.
The first supporter-owned club in the country, growth continues at a sustainable pace. Over the years, successful Reserve, Under-23, Under-18 and Ladies sides have been built, alongside other teams of various age groups and abilities, including a learning difficulties squad.
In June 2017, the club were awarded the Charter Standard Community Club of the Year by the Middlesex Football Association, one of a number of awards to recognise all the hard work being done to support the local community. In November 2017 a 3G training facility was opened adjacent to the club’s stadium. This London Borough of Enfield project was made possible with a grant via the Football Foundation and is used primarily by Enfield Town FC as well as a range of local schools and other clubs. Subsequently, Enfield Town FC Community Sport Development Ltd, a not-for-profit organisation run independently of the football club, was formed to support local community activities, which currently include football schools, holiday clubs, disability football and walking football. In the summer of 2018, the QEII Stadium hosted eight matches (including the final) of the Confederation of Independent Football Associations (CONIFA) Football World Cup.
The club continues to build on the on and off-field momentum that has been established over the past few seasons as it pursues its vision as an inclusive club for all and a football and social centre for the community, with a range of teams playing at the highest sustainable levels possible.
Enfield Football Tales Project
With a view to their origins, in 2012 the club embarked on the Enfield Football Tales Project. With the help of a national charity, the Beth Johnson Foundation, lottery funding was obtained and a number of individuals and organisations came together with the intention of gathering people’s recollections of football in Enfield. A number of players, past and present, fans and officials kindly agreed to be interviewed and these have been uploaded onto YouTube and can be viewed via the Enfield Football Tales project’s website. A mobile exhibition has been created together with two handling boxes which can be used in conjunction with school visits and with those suffering the early stages of dementia. A team of volunteers are also involved in giving talks to local schools and organisations who are interested in either the sporting or the local history aspect of the project. These can be arranged by contact page on the tales website.