BRIEF HISTORY OF WALTON CASUALS F.C
Walton Casuals F.C. was founded in July 1948 and owed its early origins to members of the Armed Forces who formed a Sunday side playing only friendly fixtures during the 1946-47 season.
The club started off in Division 1 of the Surrey Intermediate (Central) League, playing at Elm Grove Recreation Ground, gaining promotion to the Premier Division in 1952-53. Walton Casuals finished runners-up on 3 occasions: 1954-55, 1956-57 and 1964-65.
The Surrey Intermediate (Central) League disbanded in 1965 and the club moved into the League's Western Section for three seasons.
In 1969 Casuals joined the new Surrey Senior League and moved into its current home at Franklyn Road. Two years later Casuals became founder members of the Suburban League, playing one season at Walton & Hersham's Stompond Lane ground before moving to Addlestone's Liberty Lane ground for eight seasons and then returning to Franklyn Road where the Reserves had been continuing playing in the Surrey Combination League.
The 1982-83 season saw Casuals win their first major honour, becoming champions of the Southern Section of the Suburban League and setting a League record of going 23 games unbeaten under manager Kim Harris. The following year Casuals were runners-up behind Sutton United.
In 1986-87 Casuals reached the Surrey Premier Cup Final, only to lose to Croydon
Subsequent years saw the club slip into a steady decline and it was regularly finishing in the bottom two of the Suburban League.
After 21 years of competing in the Suburban League, the club decided to switch to the Surrey Premier League in June 1992 in order to join the pyramid system. A year of consolidation paved the way for major changes at Franklyn Road the following summer as Kim Harris was reappointed as manager after a successful spell at Hersham RBL and the club expanded into both Sunday and youth football.
In 1993-94 Casuals won the Surrey Premier League Challenge Cup, defeating Holmesdale after a replay, and in 1994-95 the club finished runners-up to Chobham in the League and were losing finalists to Vandyke in the Challenge Cup. During the summer the club was promoted to the Combined Counties League.
The first four seasons of senior football proved a real struggle with Casuals even finishing bottom of the table in 1996-97 but able to avoid relegation thanks to the Combined Counties League exercising its prerogative to maintain a minimum number of clubs in the Premier Division. With the help of Walton Charities, the installation of floodlights at Franklyn Road was completed in February 1999, a major hurdle overcome as far as ground requirements were concerned.
The appointment of Mick Sullivan and Garry Clark as joint managers in the summer of 1999 brought about a dramatic improvement in results. As well as a best-ever finish of 5th in the league, the club won the League Cup in 2000, beating Viking Greenford 4-2 in the final at Farnborough. The following season was also a relatively successful one, with a placing of 7th in the table and another appearance in the League Cup Final, beaten on this occasion by double-winners Cove 3-0 at Woking.
Although 2002-03 proved a disappointment in as much as the club finished in a lowly 18 th spot, the seeds of success had been sown with Spencer Collins taking over as first-team manager in November 2002 and a team capable of much better things slowly began to take shape. Ex West Ham legend Tony Gale was installed as director of football.
After more team-building in 2003-04 and a big jump up the table to finish in 7th spot, the club took the Combined Counties by storm last season, finishing a massive 26 points clear at the top of the table.
After initially failing an FA ground inspection, The club launched a successful appeal and achieved their dream of promotion to Ryman League Division One for 2005-06. We finished a respectable 15th in our maiden season, subsequent seasons have seen us regularly finish in the bottom half. In 2009-10 the club achieved its best run in the FA Cup reaching the 3rd Qualifying round before losing to Staines Town.
The club appointed Neil Shipperley manager in the summer of 2010 and managed to finish in 12th place, our highest ever finish at Level 4.
During early 2011 the club opened a new clubhouse and new changing facilities. Mick Sullivan returned at the helm in October 2011 following the resignation of Neil Shipperley, But was sacked a year later and Ex Farnborough, Crawley Town and Stevenage Danny Carroll took over as manager.
This season following a reprieve from relegation having finished bottom of the league the club appointed Ex Kingstonian assistant Mark Hams as manager, along with his brother Neil as assistant they have made an excellent start to their managerial career and look set to deliver the clubs best ever season since joining Level 4.