Celebrating its 75th anniversary this season, this is a remarkable year for the historic local football club Snaresbrook FC, says local resident and avid supporter Millicent Brown
Having been based on the picturesque Nutter Field in Nutter Lane, Wanstead for the past three-quarters of a century, Snaresbrook FC is currently doing brilliantly and top of their league.
Several years ago, it devastatingly looked as though the team, launched way back in the post-war era, might have to fold. However, thanks to the swift support and generosity of local pub landlord, soccer legend and icon Frank Lampard Senior, the team survived.
The input and continued backing which international superstar Frank’s nearby Nightingale on the Green pub has provided has been fabulous and, needless to say, following many a gruelling match, players and opponents descend there to enjoy a well-earned few hours of relaxation with a drink or two and tuck into the delicious pub grub! Rounding off their games, they all simply love the convivial pub atmosphere! “We are very community-minded and always extremely pleased to meet the Snaresbrook players at any time and give any assistance we can to the football club. We will be there 24 hours a day to help,” said Frank Lampard Senior.
Amazingly, last season, in April 2022, they reached the final of the Denny King Memorial Cup, sadly losing out 9-8 on penalties following a 1-1 draw with Runwell Sports during an action-packed thriller at Basildon United’s stadium.
It is many years since Snaresbrook FC – currently top of Division Two of the Essex Alliance League – launched way back in 1947. It started out as RAFARNO, consisting of a team of former Royal Air Force, Army and Royal Navy Officers. Many players from the old days still have links with the club, including long-serving Snaresbrook commander Paul “Stan” Staniford, who’s won many an accolade himself! Having launched the junior side (many now appearing as adults) when his son Sam was young, Stan has been an absolutely remarkable linesman. Stan – who began playing for Snaresbrook as a 17-year-old – received the prestigious title of Linesman of the Year three times, most recently with the shock award being made to him following the 2015/16 season! One of Stan’s juniors, striker Drew Barbier, who joined the club in the under-10s, is still playing 22 years later! In fact, he is the original one-club player who has never played for anyone else. Drew scored two goals in Snaresbrook’s most recent top-of-the-table home clash with Royal Forest when they won 2-0.
In fact, playing for your local team such as Snaresbrook FC can lead to great things! Indeed, one legendary team goalkeeper, Toby Smyth, actually made it into the England squad for the Independent Schools Football Association (ISFA), playing against professional teams such as Blackburn Rovers as well as many foreign sides.
For more information on Snaresbrook FC, follow them on Twitter @Snaresbrookfc