In 1907 the club became Carshalton Athletic FC playing in the Southern Suburban League Division 2 West at Wrythe Green Recreation Ground. The club were quickly successful and gained three promotions. At the outbreak of World War One the club was suspended as their ground was given over to agricultural use. They reformed in 1919 and moved into the new home on Colston Avenue which was called the War Memorial Sports Ground in honour to those who lost their lives during the conflict.
In 1922 'The Robins' became founder members of the Surrey Senior League and later voluntary work on imperative ground improvements allowed progression into the Corinthian League by 1947. An enormous crowd of over 8,000 attended a local derby with Tooting & Mitcham United around this period. A couple of league titles followed before election was granted into the Athenian League in 1956.
In 1973 Athletic became members of the Isthmian League when they created a new second division. They were soon promoted into the Premier Division and remained there despite an upheaval of many different managers and club ownership issues.
Athletic did have some decent times with a couple of FA Cup First Round appearances and some local cup triumphs but after a period of twenty four years they were relegated. New owners came in the shape of Steve Friend and Barry Gartell who despite a threat of eviction from the ground slowly steadied the clubs finances. The clubhouse was vandalised in an arson attack which didn't help matters.
Former England and Tottenham defender Graham Roberts managed to take the team back to the Premier Division in 2003 but left soon after owing to players budget cuts. Later that year a planned twelve million pounds rebuild at Colston Avenue was withdrawn after local residents complained.
In 2004 Athletic were given a place in the newly formed Conference South but their spell lasted but just one season, being sadly relegated in their centenary year. In 2008 a new owner Paul Dipre completely transformed the club. Personnel was changed as was the youth set up. The teams colours were changed from maroon to red, the club got a new crest and buildings and facilities were all upgraded.
By 2009 the facilities were some of the best in the area with the new junior section having five teams and the club having three hundred registered children who enjoyed coaching. The first team missed out on promotion after extra time in a play off final against Staines Town.
At the end of the 2010-11 season Dipre banned ten loyal supporters who disagreed with the way Dipre was running the club, including changing the club colours and badge as well as appointing himself team manager. Eventually after throwing a sizeable wage bill at the first team without success Dipre stood down as manager in October 2012 with Tommy Williams replacing him.
Despite the team finishing in the relegation places at the end of the 2012-13 season, they were given a reprieve owing to a points deduction being incurred by Thurrock.
Carshalton Athletic FC will play in the Isthmian League Premier Division in the 2013-14 season.
I was a young student based in Boreham Wood and decided my course was nearing its end. I decided one week day to educate myself in something that would give me far more satisfaction than some strange mathematics formula.
I travelled south of the river and used a one day travelcard to its fullest extent. I'd been to several grounds when I arrived at Colston Avenue. The first thing that caught my eye was the majestic covered terrace that filled the whole of the far side. It was very large for the standard of football and had big white walled exits. It looked very professional. The near end was just open flat standing and the far end an open grass bank. The near touchline consisted of a lot of open flat standing with a very small Main Stand near the half way line with various portacabins and outbuildings.
It seemed to be a ground with huge potential. I went on my way and took a train to their neighbours and big rivals Sutton United.
Thursday 16th November 2006
I had ventured to Surrey once again on a day when I revisited many grounds to take some photos. This time I arrived from Sutton and soon found the ground. It was open and I snapping away when a gentleman came out of a wooden hut. He asked what I was doing so I explained. He seemed delighted and invited me inside. He and other gents of his age who were involved with the club sat me down and made me a cuppa while we had a good twenty minutes chat about about Athletic, Scarborough and non league in general. They were great company.
The ground had changed as it was now more enclosed. Both ends had fences nearer the goal with both having basic covers. The Main Stand was now at least double in length after a relatively seamless addition.
I thanked my new friends and set off to find the new home of Tooting & Mitcham, which was made far easier by the bus advice I was given.
Carshalton Athletic 1 Margate 3 (Tuesday 8th February 2011) Isthmian League Premier Division (att: 157)
I had a good walk to charge my appetite along the Embankment for a few miles. I did well to avert the magnificent Market Porter pub at London Bridge to head straight into the station and take a packed train south.
The walk from the station to the ground is short and I was soon greeted on the turnstile by two smiling young ladies. I paid a tenner admission plus just £1 for a decent programme. Other clubs would do well to take note of that price. I went into a fairly plush clubhouse which had nice leather chairs and plasma TVs with very modern pictures of the team and the club. They were definitely very imaged based. The clubhouse had three dartboards and held events. It was also open from around 5pm each evening and from 10am on a weekend. It did meals and was really trying to push its Sunday lunch then live football offers.
I had a pint of Sambrook's excellent Wandle Ale and sat to read the programme. It was nice to see a few Margate fans in there although it was not too busy with Robins. I went outside before kick off to take a few photos before going to the catering van to see if the burgers really did live up to the hype?
Well I have to say that they were OK but nothing out of the ordinary. The chips were very good mindst. The game had kicked off at quite a pace and soon the visitors went ahead to loud cheers from the twenty or so fans behind the far goal. The home fans at the other end tried to create a bit of an atmosphere without ever threatening the sound barrier.
New fences surrounded the playing area with ample reminders to fans about what time the clubhouse was open and for youngsters to get involved with Saturday morning training.
Athletic equalised before Margate took the lead once more. They looked very dangerous although Carshalton had their moments. I had heard the home fans saying that their match on the previous Saturday was as bad a game of football as they'd ever seen. They were getting their monies worth in the first half.
I wandered round the ground and stood on the great terrace. Some of the views weren't the best because of the large dug outs at the front but I love anything like that side which took me back to my youth. I was behind the goal with the 'Gate' fans when they were instructing the Robins keeper how to set up his wall and warning him how their taker would bend it. The kick went in the net via a large deflection. The keeper was not happy and his mood was not enhanced by the fans saying "We told you it would bend". The home skipper also took exception to comments about his general demeanour!
Chances continued to come in the second half, mainly to Margate but neither side added to the tally. It was a very cold night and I was very tired as my body clock was struggling with changes of shift. I made a move around five minutes from the end to catch an earlier train back to Victoria.