Aveley FC is a non league football club, that was formed in 1927. Aveley is a small town in Thurrock, Essex which is located just over sixteen miles east of central London.
'The Millers' played in local competition before joining the London League in 1949. The Premier Division title was lifted in 1954-55, and two years later the club made the switch to the Delphian League. Following the closure of that competition in 1963 Aveley joined the Athenian League.
After winning a divisional title Aveley joined the second tier of the Isthmian League in 1973 as founder members. In 1985-86 the club were relegated to the third tier of the league before bouncing back four years later. However, by 1995 two further relegation's had been suffered.
The new millennium brought greater luck as the club were promoted to Division One North after league re-organisation. Further non league restructuring saw Aveley switched to the Southern League East Division for the 2004-05 campaign. They remained their for two seasons before moving back to Division One North of the Isthmian League.
Rod Stringer's side made an impact and were crowned champions in their second year back, and gaining promotion to the Premier Division. In their first season at their elevated status Aveley finished in third place, but were denied promotion after being defeated in the play offs by Boreham Wood at the semi final stage.
In 2011-12 the club were relegated once more. A fifth place finish in 2012-13 gave the Millers a place in the play-offs, where they lost in the semi-final to Maldon & Tiptree.
Finances at Aveley were given a boost from the 2013-14 season as Grays Athletic moved into Mill Field as tenants. A couple of mid table finishes ensued as the club moved forward with plans for a new Parkside ground at nearby Belhus Park, which was ready for the 2017-18 season.
Justin Gardner was appointed as team manager in xxx, and he remained in place until October 2016 when the experienced non-league boss Terry Spillane took over the reigns. Despite being given an increased playing budget Spillane's side made a poor start in their new home.
Spillane was replaced by James Webster, who arrived from Brightlingsea Regent, who brought new players into the club.
Aveley FC will compete in the Isthmian League Division One North for the 2017-18 season.
Aveley 5 Kingsbury Town 1 (Monday 3rd January 2000) Isthmian League Division Three (att: approx 70)
My first live football match of the new millennium saw me visit Mill Field for a fourth tier Isthmian League encounter. I was keen to get out of the house and see some action and a new place, and with the game kicking off at noon it also gave me the opportunity to catch a bus to Grays Athletic v Bishop's Stortford at 3pm afterwards.
I took the train to Rainham before catching the bus which deposited me virtually outside the ground. It was a dull and cold day, but my enthusiasm was bright as I entered another new venue on my long list.
Mill Field was a better venue than I expected. A large Main Stand stood behind an open terrace which curved away from the pitch by the half way line. Opposite was a small cover to shelter standing spectators. Both ends were open with a just a couple of steps of terracing. The clubhouse was by the turnstile corner.
I decided to sit in the stand, which offered an excellent view of proceedings. A lady was on the tannoy and doing a fine job. It was a cold morning as the teams entered the fray, but the visiting defence would soon be in a sweat as they were led a merry dance.
Former Dagenham & Redbridge striker Tony Rogers led the carnage. I can't remember exactly how many he scored, but I'm pretty certain he got a hat trick. He was simply too good for his opponents.
At half time I'd been into the clubhouse for a whisky to warm up, and have a look at England's Test Match in South Africa. Unbelievable it was colder inside than out!
I returned to my previous position and watched the one sided match for the second period. At full time I wandered over the road. Before long the number 22 bus had turned up which took me to Grays via Lakeside Shopping Centre for the second leg of my entertainment.
Wednesday 26th September 2007
My return visit to Mill Field was to take some photos as part of a day out where I called in on twelve different venues. The ground was unaltered, save for the far side cover missing. It had been blown away in gale force winds a few months earlier and was still awaiting repair.