Fareham Town’s footballing glory days recalled at nostalgia-packed reunion

MEMORIES of Fareham Town’s footballing glory days were recalled at a nostalgia-packed get-together.

Wednesday, 6th November 2019, 2:44 pm
Ex-Fareham players at the Delme Arms reunion (from left) Dave Thomas, Bobby Gill, Sean O'Neill, Henry Davis, Mick O'Neill, Roger Buckland, Bobby Taubman, Peter Farley, Tony Callahan.

Members of the teams that won two Hampshire League titles in the 1970s when they were based at Bath Lane met at the town’s Delme Arms pub.

One of the former players, Peter Farley, had flown in from Australia to take a stroll down memory lane with some of his ex-colleagues.

Dave Thomas, a member of the even more impressive Fareham teams of the 1960s, was also present.

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Fareham Centipedes Fareham Centipedes, 1975. Back (from left): Tom Jewitt (manager), Jimmy Searle, John Williams, Kevin Albury, Dave Ings, Paul Grant, Mick ONeill, Peter Farley, Simon ONeill, Barrie Bailey, John Blackmore (trainer), Tony Dinger Bell (trainer). Seated: Tony Callahan, Barry Cook, Mick Swain, Bobby Taubman, Richard Duke.

The Reds dominated the Hampshire League in the 60s, winning the title five years in a row from 1963-1967 inclusive. In both 1963-64 and 1964-65 they only lost one league all season.

In 1963/64 they finished 15 points clear of runners-up Portsmouth A - at a time when only two points were awarded for a win.

Captained by Alan Wilson, they also lifted the Hampshire Senior Cup in 1963 and 1968.

Wilson was manager when Fareham won the Hampshire League in 1973 and 1975 - and in the latter year, under the guise of Fareham Town Centipedes, they also won the national FA Sunday Cup.

Fareham Town, circa mid-1970s. Back (from left) Terry Cannings, Dave Thomas, Ken Atkins, Len Abrahams, John Richardson, Ernie Hills, Alan Williams, Arthur Williams, Tom Jewitt. Middle: Bobby Taubman, George De St Croix, Dick Cade, Richard Duke, Paul Grant, Mick Richards, Phil Pollard, Jimmy Searle, Dave Ings, Barry Bailey, Ian Broomfield. Seated: Jim Ramsay, Barry Brear, Peter Farley, Roger Buckland, Tony Callahan, Mick ONeill, Dave Stokes, Mick Swain, Simon ONeill, Ian Brown.

Fareham defeated Players Athletic, from Nottingham, 1-0 in the final at Wycombe Wanderers’ now defunct Loakes Park ground a few years before the club progressed into the Southern League in 1979/80.

Prior to the formation of the FA Vase in the mid-1970s, Fareham also used to regularly take part in the FA Amateur Cup, beating the mighty Hendon 1-0 in 1964 with a goal from Ray Hiron, who was signed by Pompey a few months later and is inducted into the club’s Hall of Fame. The win against Hendon – who won the trophy the following season – remains Fareham’s most famous victory.

There were also great tussles in the same competition against north east heavyweights such as Blyth Spartans and West Auckland.

Former players who attended the reunion included Dave Thomas, Bobby Gill, Sean O'Neill, Henry Davis, Mick O'Neill, Roger Buckland, Bobby Taubman, Farley, Tony Callahan, Mick Swain, Barry Cook and Simon O’Neill.  

Former Fareham footballers (from left) Mick Swain, Peter Farley and Barry Cook.