Discussion in 'Non Hampton and Richmond Borough FC related' started by Les 1949, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. Les 1949

    Les 1949 Member


    Things you may not know, or didn’t know you knew!


    First President of Hampton FC

    On 10th August 1921 at Percy Road School, a meeting was held to elect officers to run the newly formed Hampton Football Club. Many decisions were taken that evening, including the team colours being decided – red & blue – as they still are today.

    The club managed to attract a number of local worthies to become patrons of the club – not necessarily to be involved in the day to day running of the club. The pinnacle of the club was of course, the President. Described as a local benefactor, Thomas Foster Knowles (1852 – 1945) was invited to take up the position of President.

    So, who was T F Knowles Esq and what was his connection with Hampton? Thomas Knowles was born in 1852 in London, his father, John, was a Merchant. Thomas Knowles is recorded at living in Riverdale House, 1 Thames Street from around 1891 through to 1940, so he was a long-term resident.

    Thomas was described as a wealthy man whose main business was in Tea. He was a senior partner in a company called Knowles & Foster which was based in Moorgate. One can safely assume that the company had originally been set up by his father. The company were involved in importing and exporting and as such Thomas Knowles travelled the world.

    Every two or three years he went to South America, particularly to Brazil, as well as visiting Portugal and Cyprus on business. On 23rd April 1921 he is recorded as returning to Southampton on RMS Almanzora. The ship had returned from Buenos Aires, having also called in at Montevideo, Rio Di Janeiro and Lisbon amongst other places. Conveniently, Thomas was in Hampton around the time of the meeting in August and was able to accept the honorary role of President.

    Thomas continued to be heavily involved in the life of the town. In December 1923 he was instrumental in helping, with land purchases and donations, to set up St Marys Cottage Hospital on the Upper Sunbury Road.

    Thomas also owned property in Stainforth, in the Yorkshire Dales. A property was bought – Stainforth House – specifically for use as a shooting lodge for the grouse season. A housekeeper was employed to occupy the house all year round – (said he was wealthy!).

    It was in Stainforth that Thomas Knowles passed away in 1945 – it appeared that he never married.

    Incidentally the company, Knowles & Foster failed in 1964. At the time the company was involved in foreign banking, importing and exporting copra and coconut meat (used to make coconut oil). The company lost money relating to a consignment of copra and went into liquidation.

    The Old Historian
  2. Les 1949

    Les 1949 Member

    Yes, managed to post this twice!

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