Club History, Pen Pictures, and Information for Programme Editors 1 of 3

1. Romford FC History


THE ORIGINAL Romford Football Club was founded in 1876, playing only friendly matches for the first two seasons.

There were notable F A Cup runs in the 1880s, reaching the quarter-finals in 1880-81 and meeting Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park in 1884-85, who were on their way to the first of a hat-trick of F A Cups.

League football for Romford began in 1896, but with modest success for the most part.
The Club was taken over in 1909 and the entire committee replaced; however the new regime proved disastrous and the Club was suspended by the F A in March 1911, folding without playing another match.

The ousted committee had immediately formed a new club in 1909, initially known as Romford United, and they met with rather better fortunes.

After becoming Romford Town in 1911, they won the Essex Senior Cup a year later but closed down operations in 1915.

Resuming in 1919, the Club struggled to find its feet again and after merging with the local Ivyleafers club in 1920, themselves folded in mid-season.

Moves were made to restore the Club in 1929, and after two seasons in the London League, the new club joined the Athenian League and had its greatest success in the late 1930s, with back-to-back championships in 1936 and 1937, and reaching the semi-finals of the F A Amateur Cup in 1936 and 1938.

By this time they had acquired the nickname Boro, which remains to this day.
They were accepted into the Isthmian League in 1939 but had only played one game before it was halted for the Second World War.

Romford were among the strongest teams in the Isthmian League up until the mid-1950s, and reached the F A Amateur Cup Final in 1949, losing 1-0 to Bromley in front of of 93 000 spectators in the first final to be played at Wembley.

The second half of the decade saw a sharp decline, and it was decided that the Club should turn Professional in 1959, joining the Southern League.

Boro won promotion to the Premier Division immediately, and after steadily building a squad they won the league championship in 1967.

That success could not be sustained and they gradually slipped down the table until they were relegated in 1975.

Financial difficulties from the development of their stadium at Brooklands meant they had to sell the ground, moving out in 1977 and borrowing grounds for a season while a new stadium was being built; however that was abandoned when the money ran out and the Club closed down in 1978.

The present club was formed in 1992, and initially shared a ground with Hornchurch while playing in the Essex Senior League.

The Club’s first entry into the F A Cup saw them reach the Third Qualifying Round in 1994-95, while league placings steadily improved and Romford won the Essex Senior League and Cup double in 1996, while sharing with Ford United at Rush Green.

A controversial merger with Collier Row enabled Boro to move into their ground at Sungate and bypass Division Three of the Isthmian League, and indeed win Division Two in 1996-97.

After a strong start in Division One which saw Romford finish as top scorers in the division, reach the Fourth Qualifying Round of the F A Cup for the first time and win the East Anglian Cup, the withdrawal of their chief backer led to a traumatic decline which saw them finally relegated to Division Two in 2001, and vacate Sungate after years of problems with the condition of the ground which prompted the Club to resign from the Isthmian League completely in 2002.

Returning both to Rush Green and the Essex Senior League, Romford won the league’s Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy in 2004 and were generally among the league’s front-runners each year, finishing as runners-up and League Cup finalists in 2007.
Former reserve team manager Paul Martin took over the first team midway through 2007-08, and he guided Boro to the league title in 2009.

By this time Romford had left Rush Green for a groundshare at Aveley, which enabled them to return to the Isthmian League where they managed to keep their heads above water year after year, despite having no playing budget.

The Club moved to Thurrock in 2012 and continued to stay out of the relegation battle for the most part until 2017-18, when they defied all expectations by overcoming a huge points deficit to escape the drop on the last day.

Relegation was again avoided from a similar position in 2019, this time by way of a reprieve, and Boro looked like they were heading for another season at the bottom in 2019-20 when they were suddenly taken over by businessman Glenn Tamplin.
He eventually managed to get them off the bottom of the table just in time for football to be cancelled because of the Covid pandemic, with the following season only lasting a few months before going the same way, with Boro at least in a more comfortable position.

Tamplin left the Club at that point however, and the 2021-22 season saw relegation finally catching up with Romford.

Romford had moved to Barking’s Mayesbrook Park in 2020, following a season at each of East Thurrock United and Brentwood Town, and the beginning of a third spell in the Essex Senior League saw an improvement in fortunes including Romford’s best F A Cup run since 1999-2000, reaching the Third Qualifying Round.League form suffered and it was only a late upturn in form that saw them finish the season in fourteenth place.

2023-24 started well and saw Boro mounting a concerted promotion challenge, along with the news that they would be moving back to Rookery Hill following the demise of East Thurrock, hoping that being in control of their home ground at long last will be a platform for greater things to come.