Club History

Club History

Broadfields United Football Club was formed in 1993 with the club’s home ground being Broadfields Sports and Social Club in Headstone Lane, Harrow. By the following year the club was running ten sides, eight of which were playing on a Saturday in the Southern Olympian League. By the conclusion of the 1994/95 season five of these teams had won their respective divisions, with another two finishing as runners up. The 1995/96 season was the first in which the club participated in the Middlesex County Football League and the season ended with silverware with the first team winning the Presidents Cup which was contested at Harrow Borough FC. The next season again saw cause for celebration as the first team won the Division One title by six points thus clinching promotion to the Premier Division for the first time. Two seasons later, in the 1998/99 season, the Reserves nearly followed in the First team’s footsteps, but narrowly ended the season as Division One runners up by just one point.

By the 2001/02 season the club was still running five teams, with the First and Reserves still contesting in the Middlesex County League, two sides in the Harrow Sunday Challenge and one in the Hillingdon & District Sunday Football League. This season also saw devastation for the club due to the Broadfields fire in which our clubhouse burnt to the ground, leaving only the changing rooms and shower facilities still standing. The club did however continue to compete through these tough times.

The club steadily began to contract and by the 2003/04 season the club had only four teams playing competitively. The first team was still competing in the Middlesex Premier, under the leadership of Marvin Hall and assisted by Mike Jennings and Mick Croft. This season the club also ran a Vets side which played in the London Commercial League Division Seven and who managed to get through to the League Cup final. The club still had its two Sunday sides competing and it was the side under the guidance of Chris Webster which managed to win the Harrow Sunday Challenge League Cup.

The 2005/06 season saw Chris Webster’s side clinch a cup final win over Harrow Weald United, in the Jack Walker Cup. The following season saw lift the Benevolent Shield trophy, edging out The Black Bull FC on penalties. The 2007/08 season was a barren season for the club, but there was consolation in achieving the runners up position in both the Sunday Premier Cup and Champions Cup, losing both finals to Belstone (Sunday’s). The 2008/09 season saw a return to success with Chris Webster’s side winning the Champions Cup and Jack Walker Cup, beating Headstone Manor and Ruislip Royals respectively and coming runners up in the Sunday Premier League.

The 2009/10 season saw a resurgence for the Saturday side after years in the doldrums with the team, led by Dene Gardner and assistant Gary Gray, finishing the season as runners up in the Middlesex Intermediate Cup to Park View in a final played at Northwood FC. The newly reformed Reserve side also came close to a trophy, narrowly missing out on the Senior Reserve Division trophy, coming runner up. Chris Webster’s Sunday side continued to dominate with winner’s medals in the Middlesex County Premier Cup and Champions Cup and runner up medals in the League and Premier Cup. The 2010/11 season was a disappointing one for the club with the only success being the Sunday side coming runners up in the Champions Cup, narrowly losing 2-1 to Headstone Manor.

The club would wait until the 2011/12 season to secure their first Saturday silverware in over a decade, with new manager Ryan Duffy and assistant Chris Webster, leading the team to the Alec Smith Premier Cup trophy beating Southall 4-1 in the final which was contested at AFC Hayes. The following season, 2012/13, saw the same side successfully defend this trophy this time at Uxbridge FC and against British Airways, winning 2-1. The reserve side, under the guidance of David Webster and Robbie Pearce came up just short in the Junior Open Cup and Senior Reserve Division League, coming runners up in both, losing out to Kensington Dragons Reserves and Southall Reserves respectively. The following season, 2013/14, saw the management duo of Webster and Pearce reverse the positions winning both the Senior Reserve Division, beating Kensington Dragons Reserves, and the Junior Open Cup, beating Greens United 5-2, a terrific feat for such a young side. This season also marked the First team’s debut in the FA Vase.

The 2014/15 season was arguably the most important and successful for the club as it saw the first team, which continued to be led by Ryan Duffy and Chris Webster, finally win promotion to the Spartan South Midlands League Division One after years of blood, sweat and tears. A magnificent end to the season saw the side win 8 of their final ten league games, with just one loss which came to eventual champions Hillingdon FC. The club secured promotion on the final day of the season in a nail biting finale against Cricklewood Wanderers, a game in which the winners would gain promotion to the SSML’s Division One. An injury time Sam Horan winner, saw the club finally clinch promotion. This season also saw the reserve side rebranded as Broadfields FC and move to the Hertfordshire County League Division One under the continued leadership of Webster and Pearce. The team managed a credible mid-table finish whilst also narrowly losing in two semi-finals. The end of the season also saw the club say farewell to James Brophy, who became the first player from Broadfields United FC to move into the professional game, signing a contract with League One side Swindon Town FC.

The 2015/16 season was the clubs first season in SSML football and so the management sought out the assistance of former Northwood FC and North Greenford United FC manager Mark Barnham joined by Robbie Pearce who moved up to the position of First Team coach. The season started off slowly with us struggling to find our feet in the league, only picking up 11 points from our opening 10 league fixtures. The side also struggled in the cups that we entered, with the exception of the League Cup, in which we reached the semi-finals before losing to eventual winners Crawley Green. The side managed to turn their fortunes around in the league and finished a credible 11th place on 49 points. A good achievement considering the season was being used as a learning curve.

The Reserve side suffered similar misfortune during their season after having such a bright start to their campaign. A few setbacks in games and the loss of key players to injuries and Universities meant the season would turn on its head. However, the team managed to turn their fortunes around and secured a 7th place finish in the league. Sadly, there was no cup run for the side this season which also saw the departures of David Webster and Robbie Pearce who decided to move on to pastures new feeling they couldn’t commit enough time to the team due to work and family commitments. Their departures saw Uthman Odutayo step in as player-manager until the end of the season.

The Sunday side saw the most success from any side at the club as they completed a terrific quadruple! The side, guided by Sebastian Simpson and Oliver Wright, managed to secure the Harrow Sunday Challenge Premier League title, the Premier Cup title, edging out Belstone (Sunday’s) 1-0, the Champions Cup title, defeating Harefield United (Sunday’s) 5-0 and the Jack Walker Cup title, where they beat Harefield United (Sunday’s) U21s Colts 6-1.

The 2016/17 season will live long in the memory for the players and management of both our Saturday sides for all the right reasons. The First team, led by Mark Barnham, Ryan Duffy and Liam Bird, managed to clinch a memorable 4-1 victory over local rivals Hillingdon Borough to clinch the Middlesex Premier Cup for the first time in the final played at Northwood FC. A double by MOM Connor Spinks, Rex Kimona and Dene Gardner sealed the result. The side also managed to reach the second round proper of the FA Vase for the first time before being cruelly knocked out, 2-1, in the last minutes of the game away at Newport Pagnell. Despite their slow start to the season the reserve side, under the management of Dean Foster, managed to secure promotion to the Herts County Premier Division. After picking up just 10 points from their first 11 games the side went on an unbeaten 13 game winning streak which pushed them in to the promotion places.

Building on the success of the previous season, the 2017/18 will go down as the greatest in the club’s history to date. A cup double for the first team was topped off by confirmation that we had secured FA Cup qualification for the first time in our history. Despite a slow start to the campaign the side managed to position themselves in a respectable league position midway through the season. Come the end of the season and, in a month where we played 12 matches, we managed to clinch 4th place in the league, our highest league finish to date. During this period we contested two cup finals. First up we faced landlords Harefield United in the Middlesex Premier Cup at Harrow Borough. It was tight contest which saw us narrowly run out 1-0 winners, seeing out the last half an hour of the match with 9 men after some very questionable decisions by the officials. Even the opposition couldn’t believe what was unfolding before their eyes.

Next up and just four days later we were competing in another final, this time up against fellow SSML Division One side Risborough Rangers, facing off for the Spartan League Challenge Trophy at Colney Heath. This in itself was a great achievement for both clubs as it was the first time the final had been contested by two teams both sitting outside the Premier Division for over twenty years. Just when we expected the game to be played out much like the final a few days previous the boys obviously hadn’t read the script, racing ahead to a two goal lead inside 10 minutes, Connor Spinks and Sam O’Neill with the goals. Although the game had settled down, we missed some big chances and failed to put the game to bed before halftime. The second half saw a more attack minded Risborough find an opening and the game looked in the balance with Risborough gaining momentum and possession. All these nerves were quickly put to bed when Dene Gardner pounced on a misjudged ball by the keeper for one of the easiest chances he has ever had restoring the two-goal cushion and the boys seeing out the game 3-1. The end of the season also saw two departures of the management team, Mark Barnham who has taken a step back and now involved behind the scenes and physio Steve Hoare.

The reserve side achieved a mid-table finish in their first season in the Herts Premier and finished runners up in the Anagram Records Trophy Final, losing 2-0 to Catholic United of the Essex League with the final played at Letchworth FC. This was also the last season for management team Dene Foster and Warren Hall due to family commitments. They were replaced by Miguel De Souza and Liam Wild for the 2018/19 season. During the offseason a deal was agreed for the reserve side to play out of Sun Sports in Watford.
The end of the 2018/19 season saw the first team achieve their main aim as promotion was secured. A tally of 94 points saw us finish behind runaway leaders, Harefield United, but guaranteed us a place as one of the top 9 teams from the 19 leagues at Step 6 and thus achieving promotion to Step 5 for the very first time. It was a long season which saw us play in our first ever FA Cup game, beating Banstead Athletic 3-0 in a memorable Extra Preliminary round tie. Unfortunately in the next round we went down 4-1 to AFC Uckfield Town but nonetheless it was a great experience for the club to appear in the oldest cup competition in the world.

It wasn’t to be quite as memorable for the reserve side who struggled in the league and although they managed to stay up on the last day of the season, the tough decision to withdraw the side in the close season was made.
The 2019/20 season started full of optimism for what was to lie ahead for the club after sealing promotion to Step 5. After getting off to a flying start by defeating newly demoted side Dunstable Town 3-0 away from home the bubble we were riding was quickly burst and some disappointing results followed including a devastating loss in the FA Cup away to Southern Counties East side Bridon Ropes in the opening round.

We began to find our feet in the league and got ourselves into a good spell of form which included an impressive 5-1 victory over high profile Combined Counties side, Hanworth Villa in the FA Vase. Some more inconsistent results followed this spell before we found ourselves towards the bottom end of the table, although not in any real danger of a relegation scrap. Post Christmas and the club recorded arguably the biggest scalp in its history, defeating Conference South side, Hampton & Richmond in the Middlesex Senior Cup 2-1. Unfortunately, we exited the cup in the following round away at Bedfont Sports in what was the Semi Final stage. A proud achievement for the club in what was our debut season in that competition. Sadly this was the season global pandemic COVID-19 struck and thus was ended prematurely.

During the off season the club secured a new groundshare agreement with then fellow Spartan South Midlands side, Rayners Lane FC. Sadly this meant a departure from our home for the past 6 seasons, Harefield United. We as a club will be eternally grateful to Harefield for allowing us to share their home over the last number of years.

We began an unusual and COVID-19 hit 2020/21 season with a great 3-0 win at our new home, Tithe Farm Sports & Social Club, against Sussex based Loxwood in the opening stage of the FA Cup. This was to be the high point of the season as we exited in the next round away at Sutton Common Rovers.

In the league we only managed to play 11 fixtures, with a mixed bag of results before the season was curtailed due to the ongoing pandemic. There was an air of optimism ahead of the 2021/22 season as we, like most clubs at our level, were hopeful that we would finally be able to see a season through to the end unlike the previous two.

The start of this season could not have gone any better for the club, progressing through to the Emirates FA Cup Second Round Qualifying for the first time ever, knocking out some very good and higher league level clubs en route. This included a memorable 2-1 replay victory over Reigate based and Isthmian South Central side, South Park. We went on to welcome Hastings United to Tithe Farm in the next round and despite going a goal down early on in the game, we went on to lead the tie for a large portion of the match. Cruelly we conceded two very late goals to exit the FA Cup. Nonetheless it was a proud day for the club, reaching that stage of the competition and welcoming over two hundred spectators to the club who all got to see a cracking cup tie where the boys all put on a great performance and done themselves and the club proud.

We had mixed fortunes thereafter and, just after Christmas, manager Liam Bird decided to stand down after 5 incredibly successful seasons at the helm which included our double cup winning campaign in 2018, along with our promotion to step 5 season the following year. Liam was replaced in the post by David Fox who, along with his backroom team consisting of Kevin Lawrence, Mark Fox, Oli Leslie and Ryan Duffy, oversaw the running of the side until the end of the season.

At the start of the 2022/23 season, we were moved into the Combined Counties League Premier North Division and were optimistic of the chances in the league. The new placement did mean that a handful of players departed and a rebuild was necessary due to many of our ‘old boys’ sadly not being able to keep the commitment up with many now having young families and other priorities. This meant that the side struggled to find any form of real consistency with players chopping and changing but there were still a few good performances. Sadly, the struggles were too much and a slump after Christmas saw us take just 5 points from a possible 30 and a slump down the league ensued. Ryan Duffy and Sunny Tailor took control of the side in March and were joined by Billy Brooks and Steve Hoare and with the aim of keeping the side in the league and remarkably a 12th place league finish was achieved by the end of the campaign that saw us go unbeaten in out last 7 games. Even more impressively though was the lifting of silverware with the boys lifting the Middlesex Senior Charity Cup trophy for the first time thanks to a Jordan Greaves goal in the final against our friends from Northwood in the game played at Uxbridge FC.

Ahead of the 2023/24 season Ryan reverted back to his coaching role with Sunny being given the managerial role fulltime and he has quickly added to his backroom with Danny Bartley, Jay Hall and James Shirvell joining the club as coaches. We have again been dealt with two home ties in the opening rounds of both the FA Cup and FA Vase and during the off-season the coaching team have been busy recruiting new to strengthen the side we already have and with that said we look forward to the new campaign and are optimistic it brings as much success as the end of the last campaign.