1958 - 1978
Walthamstow Rangers was an East London football club which became well established during three decades spanning the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s. At its peak between 1966 to 1968, it had around two hundred players in eleven teams competing in local men’s, youth and boy’s leagues.
The men’s teams at different times were members of the London and Essex Border, Forest & District Sunday and North Middlesex Sunday Leagues reaching the Premier Division in each. Youth and boy’s teams started playing in the South West Essex Junior Football League in 1959 and club sides also went on to compete in the Walthamstow Sunday, Walthamstow & District Youth, Regent Sunday and Harold Hill Junior Leagues.
The club had considerable success in winning league and cup titles, and four of its members graduated from junior level to play in the top flight of English football (then the old First Division). Brendon Batson started with Arsenal and went on to play regularly for Ron Atkinson at Cambridge United and then WBA. Jimmy Neighbour was a first-team regular with both Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United. Kevin Bond played most notably with Manchester City and also had spells with Norwich City, Southampton, Bournemouth and Exeter City. Clive Charles graduated from West Ham United’s youth team to their first team and later played for Cardiff City and in the North American League. Many more players played in lower division Football League teams and with senior amateur/semi-professional clubs of the day. Very sadly, both Clive and Jimmy died a few years ago (2003 and 2009) The careers of all four players were always followed with great interest.
In the past few years, there have been several enquiries on the internet about the club including one on the “Walthamstow Memories” website and, previously, on a site reviewing the “History of Walthamstow Avenue”, a famous old amateur club which was twice a winner of the FA Amateur Cup and competed in the Isthmian League before becoming merged with several other senior clubs. The eventual incarnation of all these teams was the present-day Dagenham and Redbridge.
The posts brought back memories of the club which became a part of the lives of many of its members for a while, especially those who grew up in East London in the 1960’s. It would be a bonus if any of the club’s former players come across this website and get some enjoyment from browsing through its pages.
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