Guernsey football

Guernsey FA v Upton Park FC

On Saturday 4th May, Guernsey FA will once again host Upton Park FC, the club which originally donated the famous Upton trophy over 100 years ago, and re-formed in recent seasons.

Chris Tardif’s Muratti squad will use the match as a final warm-up match ahead of the Muratti Final on Saturday 18th May, and along with coaches, Kevin Gilligan and John Nobes, Tardif has selected a strong squad, although it is absent of St Martins players who will be playing in the Upton Trophy match in Jersey on the same day.

The full squad is:

Josh Addison (Rovers)

Jamie Dodd (Guernsey FC)

Frank Tobin (Guernsey FC)

Tom De La Mare (Guernsey FC)

Thomas Dodds (Guernsey FC)

Keanu Marsh (Guernsey FC)

Kieran Mahon (Guernsey FC)

Liam Mahon (Guernsey FC)

Charlton Gauvain (Guernsey FC)

Will Fazakerley (Guernsey FC)

Carlos Canha (Guernsey FC)

Paris Pereira (Guernsey FC)

Marlon Jardin (Manzur)

Tom Strawbridge (Rovers)

Matt Loaring (Guernsey FC)

Dave Rihoy (Guernsey FC)

Glyn Dyer (Guernsey FC)

Sam Hall (Rovers)

Seb Skillen (Guernsey FC)

The match at The Track kicks-off at 2.00pm and entry is as follows:

Adults - £3

Concessions – £1

Upton Park – Guernsey Tour History

The Upton trophy is recognised as being the most prestigious competition for Channel Island clubs and dates back to when Upton Park FC first visited the island back in 1897.

On 23 September 1897, a letter appeared in the Guernsey Star from Mr JH Jones, the secretary and goalkeeper of a famous London based football club, Upton Park FC.  The letter gave details of an imminent tour where Upton Park would play two games on the island, and two more on Jersey in the coming week. Jones listed the squad of players who would represent Upton Park on that first tour.  It was a mix of county standard amateur footballers from various clubs who were travelling to play games initially in the West Country and then onto the Islands.  On Guernsey, the opponents were Northerners FC and the Wiltshere Regiment.

On the tour, the club brought along the Grays Charity Cup trophy, of which they were the proud holders. It was displayed in a local shop window to attract crowds.  A local notary wrongly suggested the club would play Northerners for the trophy, which would have caused Upton Park some embarrassment had they lost.  A 12-0 scoreline however meant the trophy safely returned to the mainland! The first tour was so successful, it was repeated yearly until 1908, growing in significance as the game developed on the islands. Each year, a strong combination of players mostly drawn from London, Middlesex, Essex and Dorset under the leadership of JH Jones would do battle in the West Country, the Channel Islands and France.

A large handsome trophy was brought over to commemorate the tenth tour in 1906.  Unlike the first tour, this trophy was left behind - a gift to the Guernsey Football Association.  It was decided to contest the trophy each season thereafter between the champion civilian clubs of Guernsey and Jersey.  The trophy rapidly became the most coveted prize in Channel Island club football and is known today as the Upton Park Trophy. 

Over the thirteen tours that took place each September, Upton Park were represented by many well-known amateur footballers.  Perhaps the most famous was Stanley Briggs, who had played in the Football League for Woolwich Arsenal and the Southern League for Tottenham Hotspur.  Another of Briggs’ Spurs’ teammates, Ernie Payne also featured on the tours of 1898 and 1899. 

From 1899 Upton Park expanded the tour to play against St Servan at St. Malo in France.  This also became an annual fixture. 

The thirteen tours included fixtures in places such as Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire, Guernsey, Alderney, Jersey and France.  It was a fantastic feat for an amateur club to undertake such a regular journey  in those times.  Travel included trains from London, steamers from Weymouth and ferries between the islands and France.  The club favoured the Crown Hotel when in Guernsey, where a smoking concert was often held after the final game to celebrate.  The historic tour of 1900, for example, took 17 days to complete.       

The tours helped to develop football on the Channel Islands.  Although Upton Park were rarely defeated, the strength of the Island sides improved greatly over time.  Some local players actually went to the mainland to play for Upton Park in latter years.  Most prominent were the Stranger brothers, Frank and Harry.  Frank played at least 18 times for Upton Park (mostly on tour games) and scored 8 goals.  His younger brother Harry guested for Upton Park in 1910 whilst a pupil at the Borlase school in Buckinghamshire.   He also played a handful of tour games, as did his cousin, Reginald Stranger, who featured for Upton Park on the 1908 tour of the Islands. Additionally, two top quality players from Jersey, Denis Renouf and Pip le Sueur also appeared for Upton Park. 

The Upton Park football club folded in 1910, shortly after completing the thirteenth tour of the Channel Islands.  The club came back together for one final game at Horsham in April 1913.

Football history was made by Upton Park on the tour of 1900 when they went on to Paris to play in a game that has since been recognised as the first competitive match in Olympic football history.  Chosen to represent Great Britain, Upton Park defeated their French hosts, USFSA by 4-0.

The following eleven Upton Park players represented Great Britain in that match:

James Harry Jones. Goalkeeper and club Secretary. Played in all 12 tours.

Claude Percival Buckenham.  Full Back. Essex County,Leyton, Woodford and Chelmsford amongst others.  Professional cricketer for Essex and England.  (3 tours).

William Sullivan Gosling.  Full Back.  UPFC 1900.  London, Chelmsford, Casuals FC and Old Etonians (1 tour).

Alfred Ernest Chalk.  Half Back. UPFC 1893-1902. Essex, Ilford, Barking Rovers, Barking Woodville (5 tours).

Tom Eustace Burridge.  Centre Half.  UPFC 1899-1905.  (4 tours).   

William Francis Patterson Quash.  Half Back.  UPFC 1894-1901. Barking Woodville, Barking Rovers (2 tours).

Richard Rennie Turner. Right Wing. UPFC 1899-1906. Crouch End Vampires (1 tour).

Walter John (“Jack”) Zealley. Inside Right. UPFC 1899-1908. Dorset, Bridport (7 tours)

John Nicholas (“Nich”).  Centre Forward.  UPFC 1900-1903.  Slough and RCVS (1 tour).

Frederick George Spackman. Inside Left. UPFC 1897-1908. Fulham, Wandsworth & Queens Park Rangers (7 tours).   

Henry North Haslam. Outside left. UPFC 1900-1903. (Captain).Worksop Town, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells, West Norwood, Barnet and Oxford City. (4 tours).

After playing in Paris on 20 September 1900, the same eleven played together again at Jersey Wanderers (26/9/1900) and for the final time, against a combined Guernsey Island XI to close the tour (27/9/1900).

Other prominent players who featured on one or more tours to the Channel Islands with Upton Park FC:

Stanley Briggs. Half back.  Played in the Football League for Woolwich Arsenal, and also featured for Tottenham Hotspur, Millwall and Clapton.

Ernie Payne.  Forward who played over 30 games for Tottenham Hotspur.

CD Regan. Captain of Essex.  Played for Clapton and made one appearance for Tottenham Hotspur.

Sid Miles.  Dorchester FC and Dorset County.

John T Horniblow, Weymouth and Dorset County.

GR Paignton.  Clapton and London.

VJ Finney.  Shepherds Bush FC and London.

EF Finney.  Shepherds Bush FC and London.

George F Mitchell.  Sittingbourne, Tunbridge Wells, Clapton.

RM King.  Horsham and Sussex.

Harry Spackman.  Fulham, Wandsworth & Queens Park Rangers

GH Culling.  Barking Woodville, Ilford and Essex.

Upton Park Guernsey tour games :

27-9-1897        Northerners                                         0-12     Upton Park

28-9-1897        Wiltshire Regiment                             0-2       Upton Park

22-9-1898        Wiltshire Regiment                             2-7       Upton Park

24-9-1898        Wilts. Regt. & Northerners Comb.     1-3       Upton Park

29-9-1898        Guernsey                                             0-0       Upton Park

19-9-1899        Wiltshire Regiment                             7-0       Upton Park

21-9-1899        Guernsey Amalgamated XI                1-4       Upton Park

25-9-1899        Guernsey Amalgamated XI                2-2       Upton Park

28-9-1899        Guernsey                                             0-0       Upton Park

27-9-1900        Guernsey                                             1-0       Upton Park

10-9-1901        Guernsey                                             2-2       Upton Park

12-9-1901        Northerners                                         2-6       Upton Park

16-9-1902        Guernsey Amalgamated XI                1-4       Upton Park

19-9-1902        Guernsey Amalgamated XI                1-6       Upton Park

16-9-1903        Guernsey Amalgamated XI                0-2       Upton Park

17-9-1903        Guernsey                                             2-1       Upton Park

13-9-1904        2nd Leicestershire Regiment                1-2       Upton Park

15-9-1904        Guernsey Amalgamated XI                2-2       Upton Park

12-9-1905        2nd Manchester Regiment                    3-4       Upton Park

14-9-1905        Guernsey                                             3-4       Upton Park

18-9-1906        Manchester Regiment                         2-0       Upton Park

19-9-1906        Guernsey                                             4-2       Upton Park

20-9-1906        Guernsey Amalgamated XI                4-4       Upton Park

19-9-1907        Guernsey                                             0-1       Upton Park

15-9-1908        Middlesex Regiment                           0-3       Upton Park

17-9-1908        Guernsey                                             0-0       Upton Park

13-9-1910        Guernsey Garrison                              1-4       Upton Park

15-9-1910        Guernsey                                             1-2       Upton Park

10-6-2017        Guernsey Island Games XI                0-1       Upton Park

05-5-2018        Guernsey XI                                       2-1       Upton Park