MOLESEY F.C………a new beginning
Drama never seems to be too far away from Molesey FC and after a troubled start to 2004 off the pitch when a new management committee was elected to take over from previous chairman Norman Clark there was much said in public about the future of the club but this new and fairly inexperienced team of supporters and club members have guided the Ryman League Division one side to what looks a secure future. .
Molesey is both a village and a club steeped in history stemming back as far as the late 1800's and a Molesey side won the Surrey Junior Cup in 1913; it was in 1953 that the senior club was officially formed when Molesey St Pauls Utd joined forces with another Molesey village side to become Molesey F.C. The club spent its' early years in the Surrey Senior League with some degree of success in both league and cup competitions.
It was back in 1958 that the club last enjoyed a major honour when they won the Surrey Senior League just five years after their formation. Whilst they have sampled life in the Isthmian Premier Division it was all too brief and the club have ambitions to climb the pyramid once again and hopefully return to the Premier Division and maybe beyond. Molesey FC enjoyed halcyon days in the early 60's with three appearances in the Spartan League Cup final and Jack Anders' Easter tournaments which featured both local and German sides were always both well supported and financially rewarding but there was little to cheer again until 1972 when the club reached the Spartan League final once again but lost to Bracknell Town at Egham Town FC.
John Sullivan was the man who changed the direction of Molesey F.C when he took over following the club's election to the Athenian League. A host of star names appeared for the club over the next few years including Cyrille Regis who later went on to England honours. Regis netted 27 goals in a very short time here before departing suddenly and unexpectedly to Hayes who quickly benefitted when they sold him for £5000 to West Bromwich Albion. During Sullivan's reign Molesey enjoyed a fantastic record breaking season in the Premier Midweek Floodlit League in 1976/77.
The club won 9 out of 10 group matches, broke the aggregate goalscoring record and when Chris Proctor netted five times against Hayes it was an individual scoring record. Despite Sullivan's obvious eye for good players and some excellent runs in the F.A. Vase Molesey failed to win a trophy during his time in charge although they did progress to the new Isthmian League set-up in 1977. They finished in in the top half for the first four seasons and only missed out on promotion to Division One in 1978 when they drew 1-1 at home to Camberley in their final game which they needed to win.
After Sullivan's departure a yo-yo existence followed for many years and the club almost went out of business during the mid 80's under the chairmanship of Graham Pearce; his untimely but ultimately neccessary departure forced three long serving members to take over and those three gentlemen with the backing of the members saw the club through a tough period; what they did not know was how inspirational their decision to appoint Martin Eede was to prove.
Eede arrived in 1987 and helped turned the club around. Together with right hand man Ray Best, Eede was responsible for a gradual improvement in the clubs playing fortunes and that improvement reaped its' due reward when Molesey were runners-up to Yeading in 1990 and gained promotion to division one.
Eede stepped aside to become football chairman and Tony Dunne joined the club to lead them through an incredible spell; again with Ray Best in the backroom staff alongside Richard Higgs the club earned two Southern Combination Cup successes, promotion into the Premier and runners-up in the league cup final in 1993. This was the clubs best ever season and included a club record 11 straight league victories. This was also the season in which the club made its' only foray into the 1st round proper of the FA Cup but they were beaten here by Bath City after a glorious run.
Off the field Eede became the principal figure in cajoling the clubs members and supporters through hours of hard work as they carried out the necessary ground improvements required for our promotion to the Premier Division. Dunne eventually left due to business pressures but former Sutton United defender John Rains kept the momentum going and in what was an exciting season the club finished 8th in the Premier, their best ever league placing at the end of 1994/95.
Sadly Molesey lost the services of both Rains and Eede and two relegations in just three years saw them back where they were ten years earlier. South African businessman Clark joined the club in 1997 but departed in January 2004 after seven somewhat controversial years. Ray Best returned to the club during the ex-Football chairman's early years and his influence was again obvious as he took the side into the top half of Division One before a somewhat surprising departure, one which Molesey supporters found difficult to comprehend given the sides position at the time.
Several managers came and went during Clark's tenure at the club as Molesey fought to gain promotion once again and Pete Johnson was appointed as manager in May 2002; under his command the club enjoyed their best F.A. Cup run for ten years ; by mid October they had already beaten Hassocks, Fisher Athletic, Hitchin Town and Chertsey Town scoring 12 goals and conceding just 2 before defeat by Farnborough Town. A poor league run resulted in the resignation of Johnson in February and Ian Hazel took over but after guiding the side to safety with a run of just 2 defeats in their last 14 matches he walked away when he seemed set to lead us into the new campaign while Steve Moss's rein was brief and his departure both acrimonious and very public.
Following a long term investigation by the Football Association who insisted the club hold an egm, Norman Clark resigned as Football chairman in January 2004 and the members duly elected a new management committee whose first priority was to convince Steve Beeks and his backroom team that they could and would back him in his role and the whole playing staff responded in a positive fashion. Beeks was the clubs longest serving manager since Martin Eede and was greatly admired around the club . Off the field there has been tremendous progress which would be evident to any of our regular visitors and the club have a 5 year plan to gradually upgrade the stadium.
At the end of the 2006 season Steve Beeks resigned as manager,as the new budget for the coming season was dramatically cut due to the continuing legal battle with an ex chairman.
Seven applications where handed in, and after interviews and disscussions the position of Molesey manager was handed to Steve Webb, a very well liked and respected ex reserve manager. The new budget didn't deter Steve and his assistant Peter Lelliot. They wish to prove that with heart and passion , great things can be acheived.
The club is very much part of the community once again, which is the way we would like it to stay for years to come.