Brook Sports FC and Ford Motors (Dagenham) FC were both formed in 1934, with Brooks being based at the current home of Dagenham & Redbridge at Victoria Road and originally having the name of Brooks Motor Bodies FC. In 1958 the clubs merged to form Ford United FC, playing at the Ford Sports & Social Club in Rush Green, Romford.
The new club became members of the Aetolian League in 1959, where they won a couple of titles before moving to the Greater London League in 1964. In 1971 Ford joined the Metropolitan League, before switching to the Essex Senior League in 1974.
|The Main Stand at Rush Green|
|Another view of Rush Green|
In the 2003-04 season United reached the FA Cup first round where they went down to Port Vale in an Oakside replay. Because the club finished in a good league position that season, they were invited to become founder members of the Conference South in 2004. At this point the club changed its name to Redbridge FC to raise awareness amongst the local community. Their run didn't last for long as two rapid relegations followed seeing the club return to the Isthmian League First Division North.
In 2007 former Premier League striker Dean Holdsworth was named as team manager. He led the side to a play off final before his skills were duly noted, as he was appointed as manager of Newport County.
Several managers tried their hand at the club, without really looking like leading the club to honours. In the 2011-12 season they once again reached the FA Cup First Round as the lowest ranked club and drew with Oxford City. However, at the end of the season the manager Terry Spillane departed with most of his squad to Tiptree & Maldon.
Jim Chapman sold the club to London Bari chief Imran Merchant who installed Ricky Eaton and Dave Ross as joint managers. Chapman returned in 2014, as the club were handed a huge boost. They finished in the relegation places, but were reprieved as promotion winners Clevedon Town failed the ground graders demands.
At the end of the 2014-15 season, Barkingside left Oakside over a dispute, to leave Redbridge as sole tenants.
Redbridge FC will play in the Isthmian League Division One North in the 2013-14 season.
Redbridge 1 Cambridge City 5 (Saturday 15th January 2005) FA Trophy Round Three (att: 154)
I had a Saturday off work and fancied going to a new ground. Oakside was a place that looked convenient enough on the tube and the FA Trophy clash promised a decent encounter.
Although the ground is visible from the footbridge at Barkingside station, I got a shock when I had to walk a good five minutes to the entrance. On arrival I was impressed, especially as the ground once consisted of minimal spectator accommodation.
There was an all weather practice pitch behind the car park before I went in through the turnstiles in the corner of the ground. There was a substantial clubhouse and changing rooms by the corner of the ground under the railway embankment. The near end had some decent open terracing. The Railway Side had open terracing with a covered seated stand in the centre section. The far end was flat open standing with allotments behind. The final side had flat open standing with a covered area for standing spectators in the middle.
City fans were in the majority, with a young vocal group taking over the covered terrace with their flags. I sat in the stand. The match had plenty of action, but unfortunately it was very one sided.
I left before full time to get home to watch the tea time kick off and watched for a few minutes from the station footbridge before I ran down the steps when my train approached.
Wednesday 26th September 2007
I was on a marathon days groundhopping on a pleasant afternoon around North East London and Essex. I was slightly jaded when I alighted at Barkingside station as I'd had a long walk through fields and paths to try and get some last chance photos at Sungate, the former home of Collier Row FC and Romford FC. It was a fruitless expedition and I was glad to be back in a populated area.
I wanted some more photos of Oakside for my collection, but it wasn't to be my day. The ground was locked so I had to get the best shots I could from outside and on the railway footbridge!
For further pictures and an updated description of Oakside, please go to the Barkingside page.