The 1979 Isthmian League ‘Five-a-Side’ Championship at Wembley Arena

The Isthmian League ran this tournament for two years, as far as I know, and this was the first. The tournament took place on Thursday 29th November 1979.

16 teams competed: Barking, Billericay Town, Bromley, Carshalton Athletic, Croydon Town, Dagenham, Dulwich Hamlet, Enfield, Harrow Borough, Hendon, Slough Town, Sutton United, Tooting & Mitcham, Walthamstow Avenue, Woking, Wycombe Wanderers.

Walthamstow Avenue beat Woking 3-2 in the first round, but went down 1-0 to Enfield in the next round (the quarter-finals). The final was between Bromley and Wycombe Wanderers. Unfortunately, I don’t know the score.

1979 Isthmian Five-a-Side Tournament Programme Cover

1979 Isthmian Five-a-Side Tournament Programme Cover

The Walthamstow Avenue squad page in the programme

The Walthamstow Avenue squad page in the programme


14 Responses to “The 1979 Isthmian League ‘Five-a-Side’ Championship at Wembley Arena”

  1. Mike Says:

    Wow, what memories… the first team I ever watched in the light and dark hoops. Davie Crown, Bobby Tappin, Webbers, Drapes, Dick Sedgwick, Ray Jarman…

    Those were the days!

  2. John webberley Says:

    Mike’s right, great memoirs indeed.

    I played that night for Walthamstowe; webbers was one of the names I would be called by supports and players.

    I remenber that night, all the players mentioned above, plus Alan Hunter – great player, great time, and a grerat site you have.


    john/ webbs/webbers and a few others names I can’t mention.

    • ronnie jackson Says:

      hello john
      your right you were called by other names especially by the lovable late ken davey,i remember well the names he called you after you had gone down for about the 3rd time and waited till ken got 2 thirds of the way across the pitch when you suddley jumped up and signalled you were ok,when he got back out of breath he would say to me and tom{feary) next time one of you two had better go cause im not.great days john glad to see your keeping well

      • John Webberley Says:

        Hi Jacko,

        Great to hear from you, and I see you still have a sense of humour. What happened to Ken, I know he moved to Wales, saw him on the TV a couple of times as the sponge man for Swansea.
        I had a great time at Walthamstow and you are certainly a part of those wonderful memoirs.

        Take care handsome.
        Regards. John

      • ronnie jackson Says:

        did,nt realise you thought so much of me john,if only i had known at the time i would not have remarried lol,do you keep in touch with anyone else, i speak to tom every now and then and am in touch with trevor harvey,yes we had a couple of great seasons and i truly believe that if we were allowed to carry on for at least another year we had the makings of a very decent side bearing in mind our wage bill compared with most was peanuts, wish you well john and all your family keep in touch when you can,
        ps. now im well retired i dont have to worry about the tax man

      • John webberley Says:

        Jacko, you made the difference with the team, you and Tom certainly complemented each other. I just smile every time I think about those times, happy days indeed. Give my best to Tom.
        I haven’t kept in touch with any one from those days, I moved up to Sheffield 20 years ago with my job, and I’m still here. Managed to keep playing football up to my 48th birthday, than the body gave out. Great hearing from you Jacko, stay healthy and take care, I get back to London quite a bit, my family are in Hornchurch, if we get the chance we should meet up for a beer.



      • ronnie jackson Says:

        im in devon now john have been for a few years, still involved in football up to 2 years ago, done a bit of scouting for plymouth and leyton orient, and managed torbay schools under 11s, we done ok,id love to meet up and have a drink with you and if i can get hold of a few others would you be interested, little john harrison still lives in hornchurch, lastly ken davey died a few years ago his daughter put a message the A”s website, wont bother you for a while john if i get any news i will you, so take.


      • John webberley Says:

        Hi Jacko, good to see you living the hign life in Devon. I have to admit I shed a tear with the news of Ken. I’d love to meet up any time Jacko, here is my email addresses for future refeence and
        Keep in touch and I look forward to having a beer with you and you can tell me where England went wrong in the Euros.
        Take care.

    • Elvin Box (@ElvinBox) Says:

      Lovely to read such memories of Walthamstow Avenue! I was born in ‘E17’ and only wish the famous ‘Avenue’ had managed to survive. By the way; where did ‘Aveune’ come from? Any one know? A unique name for a unique club!

  3. paul hufton Says:

    I was about 13 years old and followed Harlow town at the time. We played Avenue at Green Pond Road early in the 1979/80 season. All of the above mentioned players were playing and they just blew me away…they were terrific especially Dave Crown what a player. I also thought Green pond road was a fantastic stadium for non league football. It’s a tragedy that it has now gone like so many other great arena’s…the place had an aura about it.

  4. Mike Wainwright Says:

    I was at that tournament supporting Dagenham and recorded the results in the programme.

    According to that Walthamstow Avanue lost 1-0 on penalties in the second round to Enfield after a 0-0 draw. Sounds like a no one could shoot straight!

    Enfield then went through to lose to Bromley on penaties in the semi after another 0-0 game and Bromley drew 2-2 in the final with Wycombe Wanderers and the won 3-2 on penaltuies after extra time.

  5. Glen Says:

    Hi Mike,

    It’s great that you managed to record the results – is there any chance that you might be able to email them over to me at all? I do the Canvey Island programme, and even though we didn’t take part in this competition, it certainly sounds like an interesting piece for a future programme.

    If you are able to send the scores/tables across, my email address is

    Many thanks,


  6. Robbo Says:

    What great memories , I was part of the young noisy rabble that used to grace the steps of the higham hill end , for about eight years through the seventies until the demise and amalgamation with leytonstone and ilford . Home and away when we could afford the supporters /players coach. The earliest association with the club was watching training sat on the wall and a few times joining in at the end of the session with the other keen enthusiasts from the priory court estate. A great team with some very loyal servants and characters.
    Alan hunter, Dickey Sedgwick ,plonker jackson , Ray Jarman , Barry Wilson, Vinnie cotter, Chris draper, Kevin Nolan , David crown ,Dean mooney. John worrell ( always got stick from the crowed) and John webberley , Mitch Mitchell caused a lot of interest from what I can recall ( frank McClintock , Leicester )
    Very good times , trophies galore. London senior cup at Dulwich
    And last trophy at finchley I think,
    Loved the local derby with leytonstone ,Terry hurlock getting an earful for coming from the estate and playing for the enemy

    scarborough at home in the trophy was a great game, uncanny I now watch my lad playing against them for Goole a f c in the evostick northern prem div 1 south

  7. Peter Wollaston Says:

    Hope link is still live as would like to get more information from John Webberley for a proposed book on “The Ultimate Chelsea Who’s Who”. Anyone who played competitively for Chelsea at any level will be in it. John, of course played more than 60 matches at Youth and Reserve level. Please do get in touch, John at Would love to hear from you. Best wishes, Peter Wollaston

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