Hendon are now into their second season under the ownership of its supporters, following their takeover of the club in the summer of 2010. This is the 50th consecutive season that the club has played in the top division of the Isthmian League.
The first season of supporter ownership saw the club reach the FA Cup First Round for the 20th time in its history, although the adventure ended with defeat Chelmsford City. The club also reached the final of the London Senior Cup, losing to Wingate & Finchley, and the semi-final of the Middlesex Senior Cup, losing at Staines Town. A 15th place finish in the league was the result of a disappointing second half of the season in terms of league form following a promising start.
The club has an illustrious and proud history, and the club was formed in 1908, beginning its existence as Christchurch Hampstead. In the very first season, the club finished as Champions of the Finchley & District League Third Division. There was regular success in the early years, but not before the first of four name changes!
Ahead of the 1909-10 season, the club renamed itself as Hampstead Town, and immediately won the Second Division title, and the First Division title followed a year later. Further successes followed as the club entered sides in both the London and Middlesex Leagues, and on the back of this, the club was elected into the Athenian League in 1914, reaching the top end of the amateur game just 6 years into the club's existence.
Just 2 games were played in the 1914-15 season due to the outbreak of war, but in their eventual debut season in 1919-20, the club finished a highly creditable fourth. The club finished runners-up in 1929, 1933, 1948, 1949 and 1952, before eventually winning the title in 1953. Further titles followed in 1956 and 1961.
The second renaming of the club came in 1926, when the suffix Town was dropped and the club was simply called Hampstead, followed by a change of name to Golders Green in 1933. The final name change came in 1946 when the club became known as Hendon.
There was a previous club called Hendon that reached the quarter finals of the FA Cup in 1883, and in 1932 the old Hendon club met Hampstead in two friendlies, the second of which was to raise funds for the old Hendon club, which sadly ceased to exist a few years later.
In 1963, the club were accepted into the Isthmian League and this is where the club has stayed ever since, always playing in the top division. Success continued as they finished runners-up in their first season, followed by the first of two Championships a year later. A further title followed in 1973, with 1966 and 1974 seeing the club finish second. Indeed, in their first 11 seasons in the Isthmian League, Hendon never finished lower than 6th. Since the the club has had both good and bad seasons in the league, and in 2006 the club was reprieved from relegation due to Canvey Island taking a voluntary relegation of three levels from Conference National.
During the amateur era, the club reached the final of the FA Amateur Cup no less than 5 times, winning the final in 1960, 1965 and 1972.
FA Cup success has been enjoyed by the club throughout its history. As well as the 20 appearances in the first round, there have been 6 appearances in the second round (most recently in 1999-2000 at Blackpool) and one appearance in the third round in January 1974 which saw the Greens draw 1-1 at Newcastle United before losing the replay 4-0 at Vicarage Road (the home ground of Watford FC).
The club has also seen plenty of success in county cups, winning the Middlesex Senior Cup no less than 15 times out of 27 final appearances, as well as winning the Middlesex Charity Cup 14 times. The London Senior Cup has been won on three occasions, with a further 11 appearances as losing finalists.
The club moved into its famous Claremont Road ground in 1926, with the first game being an FA Cup tie against Berkhamsted Town that took place on 18th September with Hendon winning 4-3. The final game was played 82 years later, almost to the day, on 20th September 2008 when local rivals Wealdstone were the visitors, and the Stones ran out 4-1 winners. Since then the club has entered into a groundshare agreement with Wembley FC, playing home games at their Vale Farm ground.
Did you know?
- 100,000 watched Hendon against Northern gians Bishop Auckland in the 1955 Amateur Cup Final at Wembley.
- Following an invitation from the FA to test the system, Hendon were the first club to play under floodlights at Wembley Stadium.
- In the early 1950s, Hendon became the first team in Britain to win a floodlit cup tie when they won a London Challenge Cup match against Arsenal at Highbury.
- Hendon have won all of their last three visits to Highbury - probably a unique record. The other two matches came in the 1964/65 season, when Arsenal were beaten 4-3 in a London Challenge Cup tie and Finchley were downed 4-1 in a FA Amateur Cup semi-final.
- The club's original colours were blue. In 1997/98 Hendon ditched their now familiar green shirts in favour of the original blue. Following complaints by the supporters the green was duly restored when the kit was next changed two seasons later.
- England's three highest capped Amateur Internationals since the war were all Hendon players. Rod Haider (65 caps), John Swannell (61) and Mike Pinner (52) lead the way with Peter Deadman (40) and Laurie Topp (32) making it 5 Hendon players in the top ten of England cap winners.