Step five: Walthamstow FC

Walthamstow FC

Why I chose Walthamstow FC for 'My 5'

They are my local club and I can walk to the ground. What better reason is there? Walthamstow FC are also a club on the up. A successful crowdfunding campaign in 2017 rescued the club from who knows what. Then, towards the end of last season, a new group of fans, known as 'the Rabble', have brought life back to the stands. I'm very excited to see where my local club can go.

Who are ya, Walthamstow FC?

Walthamstow FC were formed in 1964 as a junior side, known as Pennant Football Club. The Stags, as they are known, went on to win the South West Essex League and the Metropolitan League in their early years. They progressed into the Spartan League in the 1980s. They changed their name to Walthamstow Pennant in 1988 after neighbours Walthamstow Avenue were absorbed into the entity that became Dagenham & Redbridge.

Walthamstow Pennant won the Spartan League in 1991, but were denied entry into the Isthmian League due to inadequate ground facilities. Five years later they merged with Leyton FC, one of the oldest clubs in England, who's moved in locally. The club became Leyton Pennant and took up Leyton’s place in the Isthmian League.

The club’s form was mixed as the new century began, and in 2003 they changed their name to Waltham Forest to appeal to the local community. This also followed a court action by a new version of Leyton FC that supported its claim to be a continuation of the original Leyton club. The Stags moved over to the Southern League for two seasons that ended with two solid mid-table finishes.

The club temporarily left Wadham Lodge in 2008 and moved in as tenants of Ilford FC. They then returned to E17 in 2013. The club survived several relegation battles back in the Isthmian League but eventually they succumbed to relegation to the Essex Senior League in 2014. In 2018 the club changed it's name to Walthamstow FC.

Prospects for 2018/19

A tough season in 2017/18 finished on a high as the club avoided relegation with a final game victory over Ilford. A positive summer and some good recruitment mean the Stags are looking at the top half of the table, rather than the bottom half. They'll hope to hit the ground running and push for a return to the Isthmian League.