Hatfield United hoping that history doesn’t just belong to the past but the future too
PUBLISHED: 10:29 17 June 2020
Nigel Upson is hoping there is plenty more history to be written as Hatfield United patiently await the return of football.
The Herts Senior County League Division One side were fourth in the table when coronavirus brought an early end to the season in March.
It had been an impressive season for the squad, based out of Hatfield Social Club, as they took the scalp of Premier Division Belstone in the Aubrey Cup before a narrow 1-0 defeat to Oxhey Jets Vets in the next round.
Upson has been connected with football in the town for 50 years as manager of teams such as Heronswood United, Lemsford, De Havilland, Hatfield Social, Hatfield Town Reserves and Hatfield Town Youth, winning a fair amount of silverware along the way.
But he isn’t the only one with history behind him as his Hatfield United team has a famous name too and plenty of cups and trophies of their own.
The current incarnation was formed in 2016 after a merger between Hatfield Social and AFC Hatfield and is comprised of players entirely from Hatfield and the surrounding area.
And they follow in the footsteps of a club originally formed in 1906 following their own amalgamation, this one between Hatfield Football Club and Old Dagmarians at a meeting in the One Bell Inn, Hatfield.
In their first season they finished runners-up in Division Two of the Mid Herts League and they went on to win the Bingham Cox Cup three times in six attempts from 1907 to 1911, as well as winning the Herts Junior Cup and the Mid Herts League Division One in this period.
In 1920 they moved to a new ground provided by Lord Salisbury at Stonecross Road and in 1935 they entered the newly formed Herts County League, winning it at the first attempt and clinching another Bingham Cox trophy as well.
That was retained a year later, setting a record for the most wins by any club, and again in the next two seasons.
They also won the Herts County League in 1937 and 1938, making it three titles in four seasons.
After the Second World War in 1945, the club joined the Spartan League Eastern Division playing against clubs such as Cambridge Town, Vauxhall Motors, Bishop’s Stortford and Stevenage Town and also featured in the FA Amateur Cup.
Like a number of sides it is a history that also has its dark side, having folded and reformed on a couple of occasions, the most notable being the squad of the mid-80s under the management of Pete Long that contained former Spurs and England international Martin Chivers.
But Upson believes the next chapter will be a positive one and with a strong committee and management, plus a heartbeat of young talent, he is confident they can make a significant step towards happy days when football resumes at Birchwood.
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