THE HISTORY OF WIMBLEDON FOOTBALL CLUB
1929
1929-30

In the season of 1929-30 Wimbledon were to claim a place near the pinnacle of the amateur game, progressing to the last four in the Amateur Cup and reaching the first round proper in the FA Cup. Guildford City were among the hurdles they had to overcome in the latter and this presented them with their best win of the season - the professionals of City sunk by five goals to one.

That earned Wimbledon a first round proper tie against Northfleet United, captained by Tom Clay, veteran of Leicester, Tottenham and England. It was against Clay and Co. that the Wimbledon run ended.

Wimbledon were going great guns in the Amateur Cup, progressing to the semi-finals against Bournemouth Gas Works, only to throw the game away in the closing stages. Six thousand supporters had turned out at Portsmouth's Fratton Park ground for that one, with Lavell scoring twice for the Gas Works in the closing minutes.

The London Senior Cup also saw Wimbledon into the last four. But again the semiĀ­final was to prove their undoing as Ilford, eventual Amateur Cup winners, sent them packing 4-1 and that after Wimbledon had trounced both Dulwich Hamlet and Bromley 5-1.

Doc Dowden had slammed 50 goals that 40th anniversary season, 29 of them coming in Cup ties, while Wimbledon's FA Cup and Amateur Cup exploits had caught the interest of the National Press.

There was a story to be told about this growing club, nestling in South West London. It was a story of goals and of good times. And they were just around the corner. Those dark days of near extinction in the seasons immediately prior to the First World War must have seemed light years away to the young, dashing Dons of the 1930s.

Here we saw the emergence of a consistently successful side and as the goals rattled in, so the shelves in the trophy cabinet were to bow under the strain of all that silverware. Their inaugural season in the Isthmian League nine years before had finished with an embarrassing last place and subsequent re-election.

But the Wimbledon side emerging was one of great stamina and persistence, hence that amazing climax to the 1929-30 season, when, from near bottom, they played a game a day in the final week to finish a creditable sixth. That was on top of that FA Cup run that took them into the first round with goals galore 15-2 against Polytechnic, 3-0 against West Norwood, 6-2 against Tooting Town and 7-1 against Epsom, plus that 5-1 against the professionals of Guildford City.

Club captain F. J. Gregory epitomized the club's spirit. A towering personality at left back, Gregory had played for both Millwall and the England Amateur XI, while there were various representative honours also for W. W. Dowden, E. J. Ceasar, F. Sowter, R. A. Goodchild, J. O'Brien, C. P. Christie, F. Wade, C. E. Knight and H. M. Lloyd.

There was strength behind the scenes as well. Stanley Meadows, mastermind of the club's recovery back in 1913, was the new president, with B. C. Corke replacing him as secretary, following a nine year apprenticeship as assistant. George Wickes was doubling up as assisĀ­tant secretary and press secretary.

Attendances regularly pitched between the five and eight thousand mark, while the club's reserves had won their Isthmian League section five years in succession, a credit to their manager, Ted Makepeace.