A bit of an odd one ...does anyone know who wrote this Dulwich Hamlet Supporters’
Club newsletter from the beginning of the 1979/80 football season? And are there any more issues knocking around?
This particular one (pictured) is made up of two and a half pages of ‘news’ printed on two sheets of
foolscap paper, stapled together. Unfortunately we only have part of the first
page, but it gives a fascinating glimpse of ‘fanzine style’ material from
the nineteen seventies.Presumably the real Hamlet related content is on the other
Firstly, let me welcome-you to the start of another new season;
also apologies for this belated Newsletter. I was very pleasantly surprised at
the vast numbers of people (two to be precise) who were quite upset that they
were kept waiting for this load of rubbish to appear, I didn't know you cared,
you genuinely wanted it (don't we all) when is “IT” coming out; well it's been
out a lot, but you've probably not noticed it - I keep blaming the cold
Apparently it is now the “IN” thing to be mentioned, and of
course, insulted in the Newsletter – albeit nicely. So for the benefit of new
readers – I report what goes on – what comes off and who does what, who with,
and why. If I don't know, I make it up. I try to rake it amusing, with not a
lot of success, and bring to your notice other items of news you may have
missed, and sincerely hope it is received in the same light-hearted manner
which it is intended – PHEW!!!!!!!!
Incidents, however small (and no-one has a smaller one than
me) will be blown up out of all proportion, making me a dot on the card for a
libel suit. (There was a temptation to mention Burtons but I won’t). If by any
possible chance this does happen, please, please, please, get Nick Robinson to
represent you. By doing this not only will I win the case, but get costs as well.
(Love you really, Nick).
Circumstances beyond my control has made me an absentee for
the start of the season; one of these circumstances being, I had to take my
holidays a wee bit later this year. The reason for this was; we had slight
booking problems – the truth is, nobody wanted us. I then heard that Ron Dennington
and Hector MacDonald had booked up to go to Malta; so I thought, if they let
them in, they would let anybody in. This proved correct, so here we are, in
this haven of dust and rock.
I was asked to have something ready for the presses by the
time I got home, so why not sit back comfortably on the toilet, and read a few
of my impressions, before doing with it what you should have done earlier.
MALTA – now there's a place I shall recommend to all my
enemies, where drivers have six accidents to the gallon. Let me start with the
good point, the weather – now that is superb – well, that didn't take long, did
As I sit here in my made to measure deck-chair I am fascinated,
watching all the very well proportioned young ladies, fighting a losing battle,
trying to put back those very well-proportioned things that keep popping out.
Giving this my undivided attention, I have now come to the conclusion that
Eileen is a man.
As I have said, the weather's a bit tasty; I personally I
don't like the Sun – come to think of it, I'm not all that fond of the daughter;
so the only time I venture out from under my made-to-measure sun-shade is when
I want to piddle – sorry paddle in the sea – no, I was right the first time.
But, wait a minute, people are running away in terror – Oh,
it’s all right, it’s only Eileen returning after a swim, just like Ursula
Andress did in the film Dr. No. Unfortunately she looks more like Dr. No.
Apparently quite a bit of smuggling goes on here (people
trying to escape) it's comforting to know we are being protected by the
never-ending vigilance of the Maltese Navy, who continually patrol the shores
in their camouflaged rowing boat. What about the hotel? – well I must say in
all fairness, improvements have just started they have now done away with the
gas-chamber. They have still got the iron bars up at the windows, if you're
lucky enough to have windows – we don't. Do you know, our room is so dark there
are bats hanging from the ceiling. When you are marched down to the Dining Room
you are strapped to the chair, and are … [End of available content]
On Tuesday evening, Dulwich Hamlet put on an extraordinary
performance to defeat Braintree Town
5-2 in the FA Trophy third round replay. The result, against a team two
divisions higher, puts the Hamlet through to the last eight of the competition
and a home match against Macclesfield Town, also of the National League.
Braintree Town have had a number of incarnations since their
foundation as the Crittall Window Company factory team in 1898. As Crittall
Athletic they actually visited the old Champion Hill ground during the 1937/38
season. See Paul Griffin’s notes about that gamehere. On that occasion – the second round of the FA Amateur Cup – the
cupholders Dulwich Hamlet were victors by 3 goals to 1. Despite being dismissed
from the premier ‘non-league’ cup competition the visitors went away remarkably
happy, due to their great experience at Champion Hill.
Murray, Robbins, Morrish and Hugo with the Amateur Cup in 1937
Indeed, the Iron’s next matchday programme referred to the visit
the club made to South London. The following are extracts from that programme:
"Our departure from the Amateur Cup at the feet of
Dulwich Hamlet was a fair result on the play. Three weeks ago we referred to
Dulwich Hamlet as the Arsenal of Amateur football. This generality was evolved
more from the fame of Dulwich Hamlet than from a practical knowledge of them.
To us they were a name to be treated with every respect, and as a club were
generally recognised to be adversaries fit for any amateur club challenge, and
worthy foes for a large percentage of our professional brethren. We now possess
practical association with them and cannot say enough of the pleasant recollections
of our visit to Champion Hill.
We readily acknowledge defeat by a better side. Everything
was done to make us especially comfortable. There was a refreshing absence of
artificiality and an abundance of the real spirit of amateurism. Sceptics may think
Dulwich can afford to do things well. Perhaps they can. Good manners, honest
amateur enthusiasm and hospitality are not assets engendered solely by the
possession of wealth. They emanate from those who consider the game paramount
to any prize. It was especially good to feel we were doing battle with a club
really and definitely amateur. Champion Hill is a genuine amateur 'football
oasis'— there are few of these today!
The band even entered into the spirit of things by
discoursing 'Any Old Iron' and 'I passed by your window.' Dulwich
Hamlet went clean through our window, and they did so in a 'Football Raffles'
kind of way, or a sort of half-apologetic, 'We
hate to beat you, but we have, and we hope you won't mind!’ We wish to express our appreciation of the
Dulwich spectators, officials and players. Congratulations are also due to them
for their excellent programme, which told spectators everything they could
possibly wish to know of ourselves as visitors.
We noted the compiler of the programme did not swamp his
patrons entirely with sugar ripened by Dulwich partisanship. We have received a
cheque for £234 as our share of the gate, which is easily a record with us and
will be talked of in local football circles for many a day. Thank you,
Whether Dulwich Hamlet will receive similar praise from the
present day successors, Braintree Town, remains to be seen. They are at home
tomorrow (Saturday 11 February 2017) to North Ferribly United. Someone please
keep an eye on their programme.
brief eulogy was given byKimm
of former Dulwich Hamlet playerRodney
I am standing here now as the
Chairman of the Dulwich Hamlet Former Players Association which was set up
officially in December last year. We had an inaugural event where around 50
former players were in attendance. Players who had played for the club in the
1950s, right up to those in the current day. And I am pleased to say Rod was
there in attendance.
Having played with Rod at
Dulwich, as he was coming to the latter seasons of his distinguished career, I
have very fond memories of the many car journeys we shared to and from training
and to matches. And at that time it was under Alan Smith who was a very
demanding and hard taskmaster. And it’s fair to say that we all, at some stage
got the sharp end of his tongue lashings. Some more than most! Although at the
time it was hard, It did bring together a fantastic team spirit and many happy
memories of our time spent together.
We talked a lot as you would
expect about football on those journeys, and as a young lad having just left
Charlton Athletic to join Dulwich Hamlet, it was fantastic for me to be able to
listen to and draw down on such a wealth of wisdom and knowledge. Particularly
how you should conduct yourself and constantly strive to better yourself as a
player and as a person.
Rod always led from the front
and was a shining example to us all about how you should prepare and approach
every training session and every game. He would never give anything less
than 100% for the team and his teammates. On hearing the sad news of Rod’s
passing, I received numerous email tributes and I would like to share a couple
now to demonstrate the deep personal feelings that fellow teammates had for Rod.
My initial thought is of
sadness and shock, I met Rodney in 1975, an Adonis and a true leader.I was so pleased to see him at our reunion in December. As a
younger player at the club he was a man I admired.A true legend. Rod was such a gentlemen and a great stalwart for
As a young man straight out of
pro football, players of this calibre and experience in non-league took me
under their wing and showed me what you needed to do to hopefully become a
respected player in your team and in the league in general. I was lucky enough
to play alongside Rod at full back in the odd games at first. When I eventually
made it into the team I played at centre back alongside Rod. He was a giant in
every way, and a gentleman on the field. I’ve never known him to go out and
look to hurt anyone but he was as tough as old boots. In those days there were
players at clubs who had reputations for hurting people. All teams had a big
centre forward who would smash the centre halves around. Rod would come off
with blood from a cut on his eye or nose, and then shake hands with the players
as it was all part of the game.
I would like to announce that an annual Golf challenge
match between former players of the two famous clubs – Dulwich Hamlet and
Sutton United – that Rod played for, will take place this October. We have
mutually agreed that as a tribute, and out of respect for our friend and
teammate we will compete forThe
Rod Brookes Memorial Trophy.
Our grateful thanks to Kimm Connett for giving us permission to publish this piece in HH30.