The History of Sway Football Club
Sway Football Club was founded by a local resident called Captain Ball in 1908 although the game was played in Sway prior to 1900, when it was known as Bert Cardy’s team. In 1908 Sway FC decided to enter a team in the Western New Forest League which included Brockenhurst, Milford, Milton, Lyndhurst, Lymington and Beaulieu.
The first recorded Sway entry into the Hampshire FA year book was Jimmy Quin in 1908 who was the local School Master. The early matches were played on land owned by Captain Yeatman near Sway crossroads. The facilities were somewhat primitive - the after match shower was in a pond in the corner of the field - and travel to away matches was by way of horse-drawn brake or bicycle.
Crowd trouble! In 1923 supporters expressed disapproval at a referee’s decision, throwing stones at the away team coach, breaking windows etc, and the club was suspended for one year!
Sway Football Club started again in 1925. To cover some of the start–up costs a collection box was made, and coppers were donated. The box was carried everywhere and is still in use today.
The match fees in the 1930s were 2/6 (12.5p) to join, 1/- (5p) a match .
Player dedication! Before the Second World War, most of the players would start work at 3am Saturday morning but would be ready to play at 3pm Saturday afternoon,without dinner, and even wore their football strip during their morning's work.
The first real home for Sway Football Club was Pitmore Lane, when a 99 year lease was signed, which was extended in 2013 and continues to be used by Sway Junior Football Club.
Over the years Sway Football Club has enjoyed success and failure. Certainly our most successful season was 1945/46 when we fielded four teams who won a staggering seven trophies between them.
Doing "the double" Perhaps our greatest achievement was in 1977 when we won the Pickford Cup at Dean Court and in the same season became Bournemouth League Champions.
Hampshire League Two years later Sway joined Hampshire League Division 3. The following season we moved up to Division 2 (following league reorganisation) and remained there until 1990 when we rejoined the Bournemouth League. Our highest finish was 8th in Division 2 which we achieved in 1980/81 and 1983/84.
Cup Kings Now back in the Hampshire League, Sway won the Bournemouth Senior Cup in 1978 and retained it in the following season.
Return to Glory After many years without a trophy, the club finally enjoyed further success in 2006 by winning the Pickford Cup under the management team of Steve Clark and Andrew Blackwell. And they had further success in 2008 by leading Sway to the Bournemouth Hayward Premier League title.
Premier League Champions Our most recent league success was in 2012/2013 when we won the Premier League again, this time with Jimmy Shepherd at the helm.
Alongside the First Team, Sway Reserves have won silverware in recent years, being crowned Bournemouth Hayward League Division 2 champions in 2005 and winning the M. A. Hart Page Croft Cup in 2013.
Under 18s at "the double" Sway's most recent trophies came in 2014 when our Under 18s won both the Division One Title and the Salvage Cup in the City of Southampton Youth Football League.
Sway moved to their current Jubilee Field Sports Ground in 2005. Owned by Sway Parish Council and maintained by volunteers. Led by our groundsman Steve Clark, this excellent facility is the envy of all visiting teams. This was recognised by the Hampshire FA in 2013 with the Ground of the Year award.
This potted history of Sway Football Club is mostly taken from the 75th anniversary booklet where you can see see photographs of earlier teams and associated information.
Famous Names In most village sides local names regularly occur. Sway Football Club is no different with a predominance of Gates, Buckles, Rickmans, Plumblys, Clarks, Blackwells and Drodges on both team sheets and committee minutes.
Below is a list of some of those who have kept the club going over the last hundred years, some of whom still support the club today whilst others have sadly passed away.
Willy Kemp, Sam Buckle, Tom Meaden, Fred Parker, Jock Shelly, Mont Sparkes, Alf Brown, Ted Crouch, Bill Orman, Arch Gates, Jim Gates, Harry Sparkes, Eddy Rickman, Ted Jordan, John Barton, Harold Freeman, Jack Lance, Arthur Rickman, Arthur Maidment, Peter Rickman, Len Boyt, Eric Boyt, Len Bootle, Bert Plumbly, Reg Meaden, Jack Parker, Jimmy Hickman, Jack Parker, Bob 'Mr Sway Football'Clark, Denny Blackwell, Roger Snudden, Les Castle, David Fells, Colin Mantle, Maurice Crouch, Harry Gale, H Beale, F Boyt, Bob Evans, W Kennard, D Etheridge, M Maidment, Pete Wright, Les Wyeth, Roger Green, Bill Jackson, L Langdown, Steve Clark, Andrew Blackwell, Ron Loveless, Tony Plumbly, Keith Petty, Brian (Denzil) Batchelor, Rod Clark, Dave May and many more.
Without these people Sway Football Club wouldn't be what it is today!