Uxbridge FC is a non league football club who are based in West Drayton in the far west of London close to Heathrow Airport. The club are one of the oldest in southern England, having been originally formed in 1871.
The club started out playing friendly games and entering the FA Cup for the first time in 1883. The following year the club folded owing to financial difficulties before reforming in 1879.
The club were successful with Hubert and Francis Heron both making full appearences for England. In 1886 the club merged with Uxbridge Crescents FC, taking their name for a year before reverting back, but keeping Crescents red and white colours.
In 1894 Uxbridge became founder members of the Southern League and they then reached the FA Amateur Cup Final of 1898 where they were defeated by Middlesbrough at Crystal Palace. The following season 'The Reds' left the Southern League to join the Middlesex League, where they lasted just one season before folding once again with a debt of £130.
In 1902 the club reformed once more and joined the West Middlesex League and then the Great Western Combination League two seasons later. After World War One Uxbridge entered the Athenian League from where they were relegated but promoted again.
After World War Two The Reds became members of the Corinthian League, moving into a new ground on Cleveland Road called Honeycroft. Uxbridge were crowned Corinthian League champions in 1959-60, but when that league disbanded three seasons later, the club rejoined the Athenian League.
In 1966 the team faced a full England side at Wembley in their World Cup preparations, losing 8-0. Once again financial worries troubled the club as Honeycroft was mortgaged.
In 1978 Uxbridge moved into a new ground a few miles south in West Drayton,which they also called Honeycroft. The old ground became part of the Brunel University. After a third place league finish in the 1981-82 season The Reds were promoted to the Isthmian League. They were promoted to Division One, the leagues second tier, in 1985 and they remained there for twenty seasons.
Following the re-organisation of the non league pyramid, Uxbridge were placed in the Southern League in 2004. In their debut season they lost in the semi finals of the play offs to Maldon Town.
Before the start of the next season, Honeycroft had its floodlight system upgraded, but they didn't lighten the teams performances. As a consequence George Talbot departed as manager after a spell of fifteen years to be replaced by former player Tony Choules.
In 2007-08 Uxbridge lost to Oxford City in the Play Off Final, and then went out to Bedworth United at the semi final stage in 2011-12. The team then entered into several seasons of mid table stability.
Uxbridge FC will play in the Southern League Division One Central in the 2017-18 season.
Wednesday 6th April 2005
I was using a day off from work to visit several clubs in Middlesex and to do some walking. After returning to Uxbridge bus station from Harefield, I embarked on a bus ride down to West Drayton railway station and then walked the mile or so along Horton Ground past light industries to Honeycroft.
The car park was being used by workers but the gate was opened. I found quite an impressive venue inside, which had a small cover and terracing behind both goals, with seated stands facing each other across the touchlines.
There were a couple of steps of open terracing around much of the ground. The clubhouse was outside the ground, but the board room and refreshment hut were across some grass behind the Main Stand inside.
I left the ground having finished my days groundhop and took a bus to Boston Manor tube station for a ride home via central London.
Uxbridge looked like they would offer a stern test to Terry Venables, the superstars and regulars of Wembley. Uxbridge reached the play-off semi-finals in 2011-12 and had made another bright start to the season, so I fancied them to win.
I’d also met a local programme collector and competition judge called Phil Watkins at the game, who also assisted Scarborough Town with their badges and asked after Keith Crowe who I knew from Scarborough. He was also heading to Honeycroft for the cup tie.
In short we caught the wrong bus and were heading in the wrong direction. Phil had a hilarious (for me anyway) animated discussion with someone from TFL which ended in him lambasting the company and calling the telephonist some very impolite things. I thought it better not to reveal my occupation.
A similar chat also ensued with a taxi company before our cab arrived. I thought poor Phil was going to blow a gasket at any moment. He made me look calm! We arrived at a busy ground as the bar staff were being put under the severest pressure. We sat outside with our very ordinary ale and were joined by a senior Uxbridge committee man.
He was so proud at the crowd numbers turning up and the fact that they hadn't changed their admission fees and were still letting in under sixteen’s for free. He came out for a rest from the chaos. I laughed as someone offered advice on how to deal with such an occasion and he retorted with something along the lines of everyone having great ideas but no-one wanted to carry them out. I felt right at home!
Chatting among the fans, no-one could really see a way back for the home side. Wembley had been excellent, with Ehiogu turning back the years with a heroic performance at the back. Despite much huffing and puffing, The Reds looked no nearer unlocking The Lions rear guard.
Then with twenty minutes remaining Kevin Warner grabbed Uxbridge a lifeline with a superb free kick. Barely a minute later Chris Moore found himself space and finished with aplomb. Wembley’s large charismatic keeper Lee Pearce feigned injury to buy some time to calm his defence as the crowd offered him some dietary advice. The atmosphere was at fever pitch by this point as the locals smelt blood.
It was the first pub I’ve found within the M25 that served Tetley’s Cask. It was in perfect condition and only £2.50 a pint. Scarborough landlords please take note! A really good day out went up a couple of notches to absolutely superb over the following hour or so.