Slough Town Challenge Cup Competition
Inaugurated 1923
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A Brief History of the Competition

The idea of a “Slough Town Challenge Cup Competition” was conceived when Mr. A.E. Payne, of the Berks and Bucks F.A. Council, and the Chairman of Slough F.C. reminded the Annual General Meeting of the Slough F.C. that a cup was lying idle at the bank, and suggested that it should be the trophy for a competition among the junior clubs of the District. The idea was considered a good one, and a sub-committee was appointed to carry it into effect. Mr. A.E. Payne and Mr. I. Day were deputed to arrange a set of rules to govern the competition, and Mr.. I. Day., who agreed to act as hon-secretary, sent out invitations to the junior clubs affiliated to the Berks and Bucks F.A. within a six mile radius of the Slough Post Office.

It was hoped that sixteen clubs would compete, and favourable replies were received from Cippenham, Datchet, Farnham United, Langley, Noakes Athletic (Windsor), Slough British Legion, Slough St. Mary's, Stoke Rovers, Taplow, Clewer St. Stephen's Old Boys, Wraysbury, Hedgerley United and Chalvey Old Boys.
 
The inaugural meeting was held at the Dolphin Hotel on 10th August 1923.

Slough F.C. gave the Competition its full support and recognised that the juniors of today were the seniors of the future.

The name of the Competition was changed almost immediately to “The Slough Town Challenge Cup Competition”. Mr. A. Johnson, the Hon. Secretary of the Slough F.C., handed the Cup to the Competition.
Mr. Payne, the first Chairman of the Competition, is reported as saying “We very much appreciate what the Slough F.C. has done in presenting this valuable cup to us. Now it has been handed over we have the entire management of it, and I think it is very democratic on their part and that we very much appreciate the action.”
Mr. A.E. Payne, junior, enquired whether the names of the winning teams would be engraved on the Cup, the Chairman said he thought a silver band might be put round the base and the names of the winning clubs engraved on the band.

The first officers of the Competition were:
Hon. Secretary Mr. I. Day
Chairman Mr. A. E. Payne
President Mr. H. B. Brown
Vice-Presidents Lord Desborough, Mr. F. Farr, Mr. R. M. Price and Mr. G. E. Bennett
Treasurer Mr. W. A. Roe

The first full meeting was held on 18th September 1923 and delegates from 21 clubs were present.

In the first Round, played on 6th October 1923, results included:
Colnbrook 5 v 3 Wraysbury
Burnham 0 v 3 Datchet
Hedgerley United 2 v 1 Stoke Poges (after extra time)

In another match in the first round Slough St.Mary's defeated Taplow 14-0 and the referee reported that Taplow had not one foul given against them and “not a murmur from any of their players.”  In neither of the Semi-Finals nor the Final “did the referee have occasion to whistle for a deliberate piece of unfair play”.

The first Final was held on Easter Monday 21st April 1924 at the Dolphin, when Maidenhead United Res. defeated Farnham United 1-0. The “gate” receipts were £19.

In the second Final Slough St. Mary's defeated Burnham 2-0 and the team were entertained to lunch by Sir Alfred Knox M.P.

The idea of a "Junior" or "Secondary" Cup was first raised in 1928 and a trophy was donated to the Competition by Mr. E. T. Bowyer, the President.

The draw for the first round of the Junior Section included Cippenham Res., Dorney and Eton Wick Res., Amplion Res., Eton Victoria Res., Farnham United Res., Stoke Rovers Res., Timbertown Minors, and St. Helen's Cable Res.

The first Junior Section Final, in 1930, was between Cippenham Res. and GWR Sports Res. Cippenham Res. won but it is recorded that “they played their first eleven”. After that the Rules were changed so that players who had played in the Premier Section were ineligible to play in the Junior Section.

The Competition continued throughout the 1930s, the post-match lunch being a feature throughout.

The last Finals before the outbreak of World War II in 1939 were between:
Premier Section: Slough Albion 4 v 1 Cygnets
Junior Section: McMichaels 1 v 0 Horton

At a Council Meeting held on 14th September 1939 it was decided to suspend the Competition until 31st December 1939, perhaps in the hope that the War would be all over by Christmas.

Council Meetings continued to be held throughout the War and it was eventually decided to re-start the Competition in 1946. In that season all the the matches were scheduled to be played between January and Easter Monday but there was only one Section, the Premier.

To those with longer memories some familiar names begin to appear in the Minute Book:  D. R. Goodchild was Hon. Treasurer; Mr. Gillard was then Secretary; and J. A. Hales was Referees and Match Secretary. Council members included F. W. Lewis, W. Collins (I.C.I.) and L. Hubbard (Slough Laurencians).

Two Sections were re-introduced for the 1946/47 Season. The Premier Section winners that season were Slough United Res. who defeated Old Windsor 2-0 in the replay after a 0-0 draw in the first game. In the Junior Section Pasolds Sports defeated British Legion (Slough) 3-1 after extra time.

The number of entries into the Competition increased rapidly and 64 teams applied for the 1948/49 Season. The entries from three Clubs were not accepted because their applications were late.

The perennial problem of different Club Competition dates clashing was resolved by setting up an East Berks and South Bucks Cup Competitions Advisory Board, which met once a year to fix Cup dates for the coming season.

In 1950 Slough Town F.C. regretted that they could not offer the use of their ground due to Greyhound Racing, and the Competition accepted an offer from Slough Centre F.C. to use their ground.

As an indication of the strength of local football in the 1950's, 27 teams were allocated to the Premier Section and 46 teams to the Junior Section in 1954. At that time the Premier Section Final was held on Easter Monday.

The Competition's headquarters were at Slough Cricket Club pavilion where all meetings were held.

Protests concerning ineligible players were a fairly common feature of Council Meetings at that time.

The age-old problem of Cup Competition order of precedence raised its head in 1957 when Burnham F.C. entered both the Slough Town Cup and the Wycombe Cup. Burnham also competed in the Great Western Combination at the time, and their rules only permitted one competition to take precedence over League matches.

Semi-Final matches were also played at the Centre Stadium in the 1950s and admission charges were made.

The Competition seemed to get by without holding regular Council Meetings, and there was often a gap of four or five months between meetings.

An unusual fixture clash arose in 1964 when the European Football Youth Clubs wanted to use the Centre Stadium for their Final, but the Slough Town Cup Competition refused to give way. Whether that decision had anything to do with it or not is not clear, but efforts to hold the Final at the Centre Stadium in 1966 failed, and the Slough Town Football Club offered the use of the Dolphin Stadium. That offer was accepted. It was at this time that the date of the Premier Final was switched from Easter Monday to Good Friday.

Entry numbers continued at a high level, and in 1972/73 70 teams from 46 clubs competed. Despite that, attendances at the Finals were considered to be disappointing and the Council were looking for ways to improve promotion and publicity.

The Competition celebrated its 50th Anniversary during the 1973/74 Season and old players still surviving from the Farnham United first cup final teams were invited to the Premier Final luncheon. They were Messrs. Squires, Elderfield, Abbot and Basden. It was also decided to distribute 50th Anniversary ties. The recorded attendances for the Finals were 1000 for the Premier Section and 500 for the Junior.

By 1975 Slough Town F.C. had moved to Wexham Park Stadium but they were unable to allow the use of their facilities that year due to ground conditions. Burnham F.C. agreed to the use of their ground.

In March 1976 Council members stood to pay tribute to the late A.W. Gillard, Secretary of the Competition from 1933 to 1955.

The Final returned to Slough in 1976 when Wexham Park was used for the first time. F. H. Downs retained the Trophy they had won the previous year.

A difficult problem arose in 1978 when Holmer Green notified the Competition that, should they reach the Final, they would be unable to play over the Easter period as they were going on tour. The Club lodged an appeal to the Berks and Bucks F.A. who decided that, although the Club could not be compelled to play on Good Friday, the Club had known that the Final Tie would be played on that day when they entered the Competition and “furthermore, this day, venue and time has been established as an annual event over many years.”

In 1979 a minute's silence was observed as a tribute to the late Walter Lewis.

The Competition continued to receive the support of Slough Town F.C., and in particular
Mr. Gordon Greig, for the sponsorship of the Premier Final lunch.

In 1999 the decision was taken to hold the Finals at Burnham F.C. and the Competition now has the use of that Club's excellent facilities.

The following officers have served the Competition since 1923:

Presidents
Mr. H. B. Brown 1923 - 1928
Mr. E. T. Bowyer 1928 - 1933
Mr. H. Evans 1933 - 1946
Mr. F. W. Lewis 1946 - 1975
Mr. G. Grieg 1975 - 1992
No President 1992 - 1998
Mr. J. C. W. Collier 1998 - 2005
Mr. C. Sparkes 2005 -

Chairmen
Mr. A. E. Payne 1923 - 1931
Mr. E. R. Napper 1931 - 1951
Mr. L. E. Grant 1952 - 1955
Mr. A. W. Gillard 1955 - 1957
Mr. R. A. Silcock 1957 - 1981
Mr. D. W. Hammond 1981 - 1993
Mr. C. Coombs 1993 -
General Secretaries
Mr. I. Day 1923 - 1930
Mr. G. P. Crannigan 1930 - 1931
Mr. S. Cutts 1931 - 1936
Mr. A. Gillard 1936 - 1955
Mr. W. W. Robinson 1955 - 1973
Mr. R. S. Tozer 1973 - 1974
Mr. D. Delaney 1974 - 1981
Mr. R. Goodhew 1981 - 2006
Mr. K. W. Boddy 2006 -
Treasurers
Mr. W. A. Roe 1923 - 1930
Mr. H. G. Alexander 1930 - 1935
Mr. F. W. Lewis 1935 - 1938
Mr. D. R. Goodchild 1938 - 1946
Mr. R. Jameson 1946 - 1947
Mr. S. L. C. Newton 1947 - 1979
Mr. W. McQueen 1979 - 1990
Mr. C. Coombs 1991 -
Match Secretaries
Mr. E. R. Napper 1933 - 1946
Mr. J. A. Hales 1946 - 1969
Mr. W. Arnold 1969 - 1976
Mr. K. Miles 1976 - 1980
Mr. C. Coombs 1980 - 1990
Mr. C. Sparkes 1990 - 2000
Mr. K. W. Boddy 2000 - 2006
Mr. J. Gunn 2006 - 2013
Mr C. Britton 2013 -
Referees' Secretaries
Mr. R. Lucas 1930 - 1933
Mr. E. R. Napper 1933 - 1946
Mr. J. A. Hales 1946 - 1968
Mr. E. J. Brian 1968 - 1979
Mr. A. Sharpe 1979 - 1981
Mr. W. Rawlings 1981 - 1986
Mr. W. Ambrose 1986 - 1989
Mr. D. J. McLenahan 1989 - 1991
Mr. D. W. Hammond 1991 - 1992
Mr. K. W. Boddy 1992 - 2000
Mr. J. D. Howse 2000 -


Referees who have served our Competition
As has been said on many occasions, organised football would not be possible without a man with the whistle.

The Slough Town Cup Competition is proud to record its debt of gratitude to those men who, over the years, have turned out week-in and week-out to control our games.

There are many that have never reached the heights of our game and a few that have.

In this section it is impossible to list all the names who have featured over the years, but this is a sample of those who have officiated in recent Cup Finals:

Premier Section Junior Section
1970 A. Herd
1977 L. Long
1979 J. Mangon
1980 R. Pickering
1982 D. E. Delaney
1983 P. C. Wrennall
1984 P. Jarvis
1985 R. Pardoe A. Bent
1986 A. Bent E. Green
1987 E. Green J. Alder
1988 J. Alder C. Price
1989 W. Hing T. Furlong
1990 T. Furlong W. Hing
1991 W. Hing W. Chamberlain
1992 W. Chamberlain B. Ash
1993 B. Tugwell R. Pardoe
1994 M. Ebbage G. Featherstone
1995 G. Featherstone J. Alder
1996 J. Alder B. Tugwell
1997 J. Gunn A. Giles
1998 B. Francis B. Ash
1999 B. Ash J. Howse
2000 J. Howse B. Tugwell
2001 K. Rhodea J. Carty
2002 R. Pickering W. Baines
2003 J. Carty A. Groves
2004 B. Baines A. Green
2005 N. Hatherall T. Cale
2006 A. Groves W. Boyes
2007 T. McCarthy R. Hensen
2008 W. Boyle R. Pickering
2009 M. Holdsworth T. Slaughter
2010 M. Olver J. Carty
2011 T. Leng C. Lansdown
2012 S. Smith J. Faulkner
2013 E. Green J. Faulkner
2014 T. Leng S. Smith
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