OC Football up and running

The revival of the Old Cranleigh Football Club got underway when they beat Barnes 2-1 on a grey Sunday morning in November. Fittingly it was Max Richards, the driving force behind the reformation of the club, who scored the winner from the penalty spot a minute from time.

The current reincarnation has been spearheaded by Max who has put in a huge amount of hard work to get it off the ground. He has already recruited around 50 OCs who have asked to play and the intention is for the OCFC to join Division 5 of the Arthurian League for the 2024-25 season with all home matches played at Thames Ditton.

A second game against Dynamo Putney in early January was won 6-4 despite being 4-2 down with ten minutes remaining. Further matches have been arranged v Barnes (February 11th), Cranleigh FC (February 18th) and a floodlit midweek match at Alfold v a Headmaster’s XI. Anyone interested in playing should email Max (max.richards123@gmail.com).

The OCFC was originally formed in 1882 and run two sides up to the outbreak of World War One. With no OC base in London they played at a number of home venues mainly around Catford. From the early 1900s they fielded two sides in the Mid Surrey League and also entered several cup competitions including the FA Cup. They twice reached the quarter-finals of the prestigious Arthur Dunn Cup. Like almost all amateur clubs they disbanded at the start of war and as Cranleigh switched to rugby in 1916 they never reformed.

As there was no formal football at Cranleigh until the late 1980s there was no prospect of the club being revived. In 1999 the OCFC did return under the leadership of Daryll Westen, initially playing friendlies at TD, using the astroturf when the grass pitches were unusable. There were discussions about joining the Arthurian League (the competition for old boys’ sides) but this was not feasible as games were on Saturdays and most players had commitments to other sports. When Daryll went abroad the club folded soon after.