Sunday, 11 April 2010
FORGOTTEN FOOTBALL - EAST HAM UNITED AND BECKTON UNITED
Like many London non-league grounds East Ham United's old home has long been demolished and is now another housing estate. The Manorway is now long forgotten amongst the expensive semi-detached and terraced dwellings that are now built in the area - I suspect many people who live in the area don't even know a football ground once stood there.
Like their Football League neighbours East Ham were known as The Hammers but actually played in the heart of Beckton with their local rivals Beckton United playing just up the road at the Sports and Leisure club in the shadow of the Beckton Alps ski-slope. United's ground is still associated with the beautiful game, West Ham United have a floodlit artificial pitch and facilities used by the local community all through the year.
East Ham United, formed in 1933, completed their last campaign in the Essex Senior League in 2000/01 season winning 12 of their 30 games finishing in 11th place of 16 clubs. This was the season prior to Enfield Town's formation and acceptance into the the ESL. The club moved a short distance East on the A13 to join up with Barking FC to form 'Barking and East Ham United' who existed until 2006 when the club reformed solely as Barking. East Ham United's best finish in the ESL was in the 1979/80 season when they were 5th out of 16 clubs. In the 1976/77 season they had a run of glory in the FA Vase beating East Barnet Old Grammarians, Dartford Glentworth, Basildon United, Edgware Town, Alma Swanley and Epping Town in a replay before losing at home 0-4 to Sheffield in the Quarter Final. Sheffield went on to the final losing to then ESL side Billericay Town.
Beckton United were formed as Ceevor FC in 1966 becoming Beckton United in 1975 and regular members of the London Spartan League up until 1996 when the club unfortunately folded. In 1985 they enjoyed a run to the Third Round of the FA Vase beating Eastbourne United, Romsey Town and Gorleston being losing to Stevenage Borough at home.
They played in the Premier Division of the London Spartan League in the 91/92 season alongside Barkingside, Cheshunt and Waltham Abbey to name a few clubs. Division One of the league at the time was at Intermediate level and contained Ilford (making their way back up the Pyramid after being reformed), Leyton County and Walthamstow Trojans amongst others. United played in Green and White diagonal striped shirts with black shorts and green socks.
*Pen-Pictures of the 1991/92 Beckton United Squad.
The area is now represented by London APSA (formed 1993) whose roots lie within the Asian community of East Ham - They play at the near-by Terrance MacMillan Stadium in Plaistow. APSA have averaged a crowd of just 18 this season for their ESL fixtures.
The Newham borough is also represented at non-league level by Clapton in the ESL and three clubs in the Essex Olympian League. Canning Town who share with APSA at the TM Stadium in the Premier Division, Cranes United who paly at Clapton FC's Spotted Dog ground in Forest Gate and Newham United in the Third Division whose pitch is a stone's throw from The Boleyn Ground.
* Local press article from 2000 regarding East Ham's Manorway ground.
Click on the pictures and this should enlarge them to be able to read the text.