Woodford Town to make emotional return to their ancestral home tonight


ne of London’s iconic non-league football clubs will make an emotional return to their ancestral home in Woodford on Friday after 28 years in the wilderness.

Jimmy Greaves, Joe Kinnear and Johnny Haynes are among the notable former players of Woodford Town.

The team will play its first game in the area since 1993 when Stansted visit a newly-built arena at Ashton Playing Fields for an Essex Senior League fixture.

It follows a four-year campaign to take the club home to the borough of Redbridge after it was forced to quit its original home at nearby Snakes Lane nearly three decades ago.

The club – founded in 1937 – folded in 2003. After it fully reformed in 2017, the side was forced to play first in Broxbourne, and then Harlow, until Redbridge Council got behind the dream of chairman Tony Scott to restore the club to the heart of its original community in the north-east of the capital.

Even then, the Covid-19 pandemic forced a year-long delay before the move to Ashton’s could be completed.

A homecoming match in August last year was scrapped. Then a planned opening home fixture this season on August 3 was postponed after visiting opponents Hoddesdown Town were hit by a virus outbreak.

“Now it is finally going to happen and I can’t wait to hear that first whistle against Stansted on Friday evening,” said local businessman Scott.

“We have sold more than 100 club membership season tickets at only £50 each already and are expecting around 500 people through the new turnstile for this match.

“The club always had an iconic name when I was growing up. Now it is coming back into the heart of its community.

“There has been a big amount of interest locally. And it is great that we can bring the club back to where it belongs after so long away and so many problems.

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