It marked the return of football to the area for the first time in 28 years. And the ‘Woods’ were rewarded with a bumper Essex Senior League crowd of 822 as they went down 2-1 on the night to Stansted.
Woodford chairman Tony Scott told me: “The attendance figure was something dreams are made of. I have always told anyone that would listen that there is tremendous hunger in this area for a club like ours. But I was still taken aback that so many people turned up against Stansted.
“Woodford Town were a well-established team locally when I was growing up. So I am extremely pleased that football has come home to Woodford in the very heart of our community.”
The original Woodford Town FC was founded in 1937. Thirteen years later, they attracted a record gate of 7,000 to their Snakes Lane ground where visitors Colchester United won 7-1 in the FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round.
The original Woods club could boast star names like Johnny Haynes as a young player, plus Jimmy Greaves and Joe Kinnear at the veteran stages of their careers. In 198687, when they were members of the Southern League, Woodford reached the First Round of the FA Cup and lost 1-0 at home to Football League neighbors Leyton Orient before a 2,000 crowd.
However, problems began in 1993, when the Woods lost the use of Snakes Lane. They soldiered on for another ten years ground-sharing at various nearby clubs before disbanding.
In 2017, a reformed team took on the Woodford Town name and joined the Essex Senior League. Again ground-sharing – at Broxbourne Borough and Harlow Town – the aim was always to have a permanent home of their own.
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