Date:Saturday November 7 2009
Rotherham United, of League Two, take on Wealdstone of the Isthmian League Premier Division tomorrow in the first round proper of the FA Cup.
Wealdstone seem to have had a lot of knock-backs in their past - first having originally set up in 1899 and folding due to lack of interest, they re-kindled again only for World War I to come along which saw them fold again.
They tried again in 1920 and were firmly on the non-league footing although it wasn`t until 1952 that they claimed their first trophy for being Champions of Athenian League. Between then and 1964 they won three major Middlesex Cup titles and in 1966 beat Hendon in the FA Amateur Cup at Wembley.
In 1971 the club turned semi-professional and three years later won the Southern League Division One title. In 1982 Wealdstone won the Southern League Championship and Southern League Cup and three years later became the first team to do the non-league 'double` when they not only won the FA Trophy at Wembley but were also top of the Gola League
But bad times were ahead and when they applied for election to the Football League they were turned down and in 1990 were relegated to the Southern League. Then Chairman, Alan Clifton, controversially sold the land where their Lower Mead ground was to a supermarket chain and this left the club homeless for seventeen years. Firstly, the club ground-shared with Watford but this was costly and if it hadn`t been for their faithful fans raising cash by fundraising that could well have been the end. In the next few years the club found a cheaper ground share at Yeading, Edgware Town and Northwood
The club wanted out of the Southern League and requested they be moved to the Isthmian League, which would save on their travelling expenses. The FA agreed to this but insisted Wealdstone were put in the lowest league. The club did this and in the next few years were promoted through the ranks until 1999 when they finished third Division One which should have earned them promotion to the Premier Division. But disaster struck when Edgware Town`s pitch, where Wealdstone were playing at the time, didn`t pass a ground grading inspection meaning the Stones had to stop where they were.
In 2003, construction on a new ground began but, after the company who were paying the builders went into liquidation, that stopped in 2004. In the midst of this, the club eventually found themselves in the Premier Division but, due to non-league re-organization, they found themselves back in the Southern League for the 2006/07 season.
Last year, the Chairman and Vice-Chairman acquired a majority shareholding in Ruislip Manor Sports and Social Club (RMSSC), the sports club that owns the lease to the Grosvenor Vale stadium, currently used by Ruislip Manor F.C and also Wealdstone's Youth Team. Which, is where the club are today.
One thing I do know since we were drawn to play Wealdstone is that their fans are a friendly bunch with a lot of passion for their club.
Who do we know who has played for the Stones
Stuart Pearce who is currently managing the England U21 side
Vinnie Jones, ex League player and now actor
Jermaine Beckford currently on the books at Leeds United
Marvin Morgan and Scott Donnelly who are plying their trade with Aldershot, and who both played against the Millers last weekend
Graeme Montgomery who joined Dagenham and Redbridge in January this year
Philip Glenister the actor, best known for playing DCI Gene Hunt in Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes
Date:Saturday November 7 2009
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