Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Book Review: "From St. Andrew's to Craven Cottage"

About a month ago I mentioned the availability of the book "From St. Andrew's to Craven Cottage" by Morgan Phillips. It is the story of how, in 1879, the St. Andrew's church cricket club became Fulham Football Club. Having received my copy a few weeks back I thought it was worth writing a short review.

The origin of Fulham F.C., like many other football clubs, is something of which very little is really known. Queen Victoria was on the throne and the area we now know as Fulham was a more rural environment, consisting of market gardens and small farms. Even the exact date of our formation is open to debate and certainly none of those men and boys who joined the original Sunday School side could have imagined what their club might eventually turn into. I am fascinated by the history of the club and enjoy reading about the classic era of Haynes and Cohen but I had never read anything that covered the very foundation of our team.

Morgan Phillips has done a wonderful job of piecing together the information available into one coherent story. The opening chapters describe what the area was like in those distant Victorian times and really bring to life the earliest days of Association Football. Playing on a pitch, the marvellously named Mud Pond, with no markings and spectators up to the touchline (that sounds familiar, anyone remember Derby in 1983?) what started as an unsupervised kick about slowly developed into an organised team.

Included are pen pictures of early players, reports of encounters with other local sides, such as Stanley F.C. and Christchurch Rangers (who would later merge with St. Jude's to become Queens Park Rangers), descriptions of the various grounds we played at, including the use of the Eight Bells pub as changing rooms, and, following the renaming of the club to Fulham F.C, the eventual move to a permanent home at Craven Cottage in 1896.

This is an essential and enjoyable little book that records for posterity the facts, or at least those that can still be determined, of the inception of our team.

If you are interested in getting a copy they are available for £5 (including postage) from;

10 St Andrew’s Road, London W14 9SX

Further information is available via the church website at http://www.standrewsfulham.com/

9 comments:

Nick said...

Sounds like a nice read. I just need to figure out to obtain my own copy of it... We haven't used cheques for many years over here and even if we did I'm unsure they would like a cheque from overseas that would cost £15 just to cash in ;)

Do you know if it is for sale in any shop?

Chopper said...

Hi Nick. Unfortunately the book is only available direct from the Church. They did ask the club about selling them as well but as far as I know the club have not taken them up (though they did print the same contact information in the programme). I have got an email address for the Church so I'll drop them a line and see if they can suggest anything.

Brian said...

I have to say I'd be interested also. Problem is, this football has become more international than ever now with the net. The world is just getting smaller and smaller. I'd be interested in hearing options also Chopper.

Nick said...

Thx Chopper, hopefully you get some options back from the Church. (might be possible to buy it at the church?)

If not I'll ask one of my staff och friends to order one for me :)

Father Martin said...

Vicar of St Andrew's here! I can post books out from here if I receive cash or cheque but I can't process credit cards I'm afraid - we're not quite upto taking the collection via plastic yet either! I have asked the shop to take the book but they have not got back to me despite several attempts. Perhaps if you all ask in the shop on Saturday that will get them inot gear. Glad the book is proving popular. Fr Martin Eastwood

Nick said...

Hey Vicar, how nice of you to stop by! Well, I hope enough people will ask for the book at the Fulham Shop so they are convinced to take it in. As for us overseas fans I'm sure we can send you money or have a friend in the UK order it for us.

All the best!

Chopper said...

Maybe I can act as a go-between. I have a PayPal account which we could use as an easy way to transfer money. I'll discuss this further with Father Martin and get back to you.

Brian said...

Chopper-

I'm terribly naive on the Paypal thing ( I do have an account) but if I understand correctly, I could send you money from my paypal to yours and then you could get it to them to have them mail it out. I would just have to figure out what the currency exchange is which would be easy. Wouldn't there also be increased shipping charges. What I should do is have you get one and then have you give it to Rich so he can mail that and a nice shinny new copy of his book which will be our shortly.

Also, I have another contact that I will get in touch with that might bring some interest there way. I'll let you know on that one.

Chopper said...

I'll put a proper post up on the main page, but in case you guys are checking here I have agreed with Father Martin to use my PayPal account as a means to transferring the money. He also says there is no need to add any extra for postage as the Church will cover this. I think they are just genuinely keen to get the story out to a wider audience.

Brian - I think I can request the money from you just by sending an email to your account. If you have a credit card you don't need to get involved with PayPal at your end at all. Your Bank will pay the money into my PayPal account (and also do a conversion from your currency into £ sterling) and Bob's your Auntie!