Discussion in 'Non Hampton and Richmond Borough FC related' started by Les 1949, Apr 3, 2018.

  1. Les 1949

    Les 1949 Member


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


    England Amateur International

    In 1955 Hampton fielded a young goalkeeper named John Swannell. John was born in Walton-on-Thames 26th January, 1939. In the mid-50s, the Swannells lived in Plevna Road, and John’s father, Ted, was a Committee Member of the Club. John attended Hampton Grammar School and in 1956 played at least one game for Hampton.

    On the 14th April 1956, John appeared in goal against Sunbury British Legion in a South West Middlesex League Premier Division game. Sunbury BL played at the Cedars Recreation Ground, Green Lane, Sunbury (which probably no longer exists). John, a 16 year-old, must have held his own as the team won 6-1. Not a bad result as Sunbury finished the season 4th to Hampton’s 8th.

    John went on to play for Corinthian Casuals and most famously Hendon. However, John also played one game each for Stockport County, in 1959/60 (as an Amateur) and Crystal Palace, both in Football League Cup matches, but in the end preferred to stay playing in the Amateur game.

    In 1963 John joined Hendon, at the time one of the top Amateur teams in the country. In his first season Hendon were runners-up to Wimbledon in the Isthmian League, and won the London Senior Cup, beating Enfield 1-0. In 1964/65 Hendon won the Isthmian League title and the F A Amateur Cup at Wembley, beating Whitby Town 3-1.

    A year later Hendon were back at Wembley losing to Wealdstone (who included Hugh Lindsay) in front of 45,000.

    John became the regular keeper for England (earning over 60 caps), and Great Britain’s International teams. Not only playing in Internationals but also in Olympic Qualifying matches. John was one of four Hendon players who played against West Germany at their old Claremont Road ground in 1967.

    Despite being regarded as slightly small for a keeper there was no denying his talent and bravery. John controlled his six-yard area and was a superb organiser of his defenders.

    His personal honours included, F A Amateur Cup Winners Medals 1964/65 & 1971/72; Isthmian League Champions, 1964/65 & 1972/73; London Senior Cup Winners, 1963/64 & 1968/69 ; Middlesex Senior Cup Winners, 1964/65, 1966/67,1971/72, 1972/73 & 1973/74 ; Barassi Cup (Anglo-Italian) Winners, 1972/73.

    And, to think that his long goalkeeping career, which took him all over the world, started by appearing for Hampton in a ‘Parks League’.

    The Old Historian
  2. Lord Elpus

    Lord Elpus Member

    Interesting article Les...Shirley talks about John Swannell in my book. And Cedars Rec is in Green Street, not Green Lane and it definitely still exists. Football is still played on the pitch there as far as I know.
  3. Les 1949

    Les 1949 Member

    Thanks for the amendment will update my records
  4. John was a twin with Peter. Their grandmother and my grandfather were brother and sister.
  5. Les, another Hampton connection was that Hampton Hill resident Johnny Birch (also a goalkeeper) was coach of that Wealdstone Wembley winning team and was later assistant manager at Hampton back in the days when Simmo used to have his glass of wine and dinner in the clubhouse and was often around on training nights picking up the latest slang etc for inclusion in Steptoe. John was also a regular spectator in latter years at Beveree.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2018

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