About this Archive
Clapton Football Club was founded by Mr W.R. Davies. The club began in 1877 as the Downs Football Club, but was renamed as Clapton F.C. in 1878. On its foundation, the club motto was: ‘Play wet or fine, and always play the game’. At the time the Club was founded, no leagues existed and only friendly matched were played. The club initially played at a ground at Hackney Downs. In 1880 they moved to a pitch off Lea Bridge Road in Leyton and then on to a ground at Elm Farm. In 1888, they moved to the ‘Spotted Dog’ ground in Forest Gate, which has been the Club’s home ever since.
In 1892, Clapton, Ilford and other teams established the Southern League. However, Clapton F.C. left this league quickly as teams such as Southampton and Reading became professional. They joined the Isthmian League when it was established in 1905 and were champions in 1910-11 and 1922-23. In 1976, they were relegated to Division Two, which the following season was renamed Division One. In 1982 the Club was again relegated to Division Two however, they became champions of this division the next season. Other accolades include being FA Amateur Cup winners five times, winning the Essex Senior Trophy Winners in 1989, being five times Essex Senior Cup winners, and winning the West Ham Charity Cup six times.
Clapton F.C. became the first English club to visit the Continent in 1890 and played a select Belgium XI in Antwerp, winning 7-0. In 1924-25 Clapton provided three players for the English national team. The Club has also been recognised by the F.A. for hosting the first floodlit amateur match in 1956.
Today Clapton F.C, also known as ‘The Tons’, play in the Essex Senior League.
Scope and content
Papers of Clapton Football Club (1908-1995), including minute books,1908-1958; correspondence and reports,1958-1984; and programmes and miscellaneous papers,1938-1995.