History - the Menace story 1 of 3

1. History of the men's first team

The Beginning - youth football

Peckham Town Football club was established in 1982 by the then 13-year-old Bryan Hall, after he placed a poster on a tree in Peckham Rye park saying he wanted to start a team. Four players turned up to the first session, but this soon grew. The FA finally relented after many phone calls from a young lad insisting he wanted to register a new football team. The initial name of the club was Brimington Park FC, and was named after the park that a group of friends used to hold kickabouts on every evening. This park is located off Culmore Road, SE15 and is now called Sparks. The only way was up after the team's first game - a 18-0 defeat in the U14 Mercury League in a kit made by Bryan's aunty and friends!

By the end of 1982 the Jamaican Embassy had agreed to sponsor the team and it was decided that the club's name would change Drovers Athletic FC, as most of the players came from the Drovers Place housing estate. At the end of 1983 the team again changed its name by popular demand to represent the Peckham community to our present name - Peckham Town Football Club.

Peckham Town was solely a youth football team for around the first ten-years of its existence. There were teams from U10 upwards, and were a strong presence in the Mercury League.

The 1990s - senior Sunday football

A senior Sunday football team was started for the 1991/92 season. Success came immediately, as Peckham Town won the Southern Amateur Sunday League at the first time of asking. This led to promotion to the Mitcham & District Sunday Football League, and again success was instant in 92/93, with Town securing a League and Cup double. The 4-0 Cup win came against Sutton Common Rovers, who were also then a Sunday team.

Peckham were promoted into West End League for The 1993/94 season. This remains one of England's oldest football leagues, as its route come from the Amateur FA. This league continued when the FA split following professionalisation of the sport. The club continued its winning trend from previous seasons, and again won the League and Cup double! The Cup was secured following a 3-1 win over Lancaster at the home of Hanwell Town. This meant Peckham Town were the custodian of an antique four-foot shield for a year. The shield even contained the name of AS Roma somewhere near its foot, as a winner of the West End League Cup!

Peckham Town won their fourth league title on the bounce in 1994/95, by securing the South London Football Alliance Division Two title. However, a third Double in a row was not to be. Peckham Town secured promotion for a fifth year in a row in 1995/96, but finished second to Forest Hill Park in the South London Football Alliance Division One. This would have meant promotion to the premier division of the Alliance, but instead Town opted to move to the Bromley District League Premier division for the 1996/97 season and also switch from Sunday to Saturday football.

A new younger Sunday team was created with the first team moving to Saturday football.
This team won every honour in the Metropolitan Sunday Football League, including a premier division and league cup double.

A permanent home for the team was not achieved during the 1990s. The team played at Herne Hill velodrome, Mottingham playing fields, Allleyns Old Boys and Mitcham Freepiece Square.

The 2000s - consolidation

The Saturday team remained in the Bromley District League Premier division the 2000s, but the club's nomadic existence did come to an end. In 2003, Peckham Town moved into its current location at the Southwark Sports Ground, or more commonly known to supporters and members as the Menace Arena. We were also honoured that year when the Rt Hon Harriet Harman QC MP (Member of Parliament for Camberwell & Peckham) agreed to be the club's patron.

The early 2000s saw many of the older players from the 90s remain at the club, but age was perhaps catching up and higher finishes were replaced by mid-table finishes. As a result, many of the younger players moved from the Sunday to the Saturday team. This led to a upturn in results, and 2006 saw a return to form.

The 2006/07 season saw Peckham Town win the Championship (but not accept promotion) and the League Cup. The team were a beaten finalist in the Senior Cup as well as reaching the Semi-Finals of the London Senior Challenge Cup (going out on penalties). In 2007/08, the team again had a good season as they recorded runners-up finish in the Premier division and again won the League Cup. Sadly, history repeated itself as the team once again bowed out of the London Senior Challenge Cup Semi-Finals on penalties.

2010s - entering the National League System

The 2011/12 season saw Peckham Town secure the Bromley District League Premier division championship for a final time. Progress had been sufficient off-the-pitch to enable promotion into the Kent County League, and thus also join the National League System, and a route to the very top of the game!

Success was immediate, as Town won division 2 at the first time of asking in the 2012/13 season. Three runners-up finishes in a row in division one followed in 2013/14, 14/15 and 15/16. Promotion to the premier division in 2014 and 2015 was denied due to improvements required to the Menace Arena. 2016/17 saw a temporary move across the South Circular to Pynners Playing fields to enable promotion to the Premier Division and step 7 football, and a second place finish was secured. The team returned to the Menace Arena for the 2017/18 season, and concluded with a fourth place finish in the Premier division. This was followed up by a third place finish in 2018/19.

2020s - first senior men's trophy

The 2019/20 season was cancelled due to COVID, however the London FA Senior Trophy had reached the final stage, which the Menace had reached defeating two higher division teams on route. The final was won at the outset of the following season when AFC Cubo were defeated on sudden death penalties, following a 0-0 draw and extra time. This was the first time the Menace had won a senior men's trophy, and we believe the first time any men's team managed by a women (Mary Phillip) has won any senior men's trophy.

Sadly the 2020/21 season was also cancelled due to the pandemic. Better times would return for the 2021/22 season when the Menace finished second in the Premier Division. This was followed by a eleventh place finish in the 2022/23 season.