Farnborough OBG FC
AC Wilgar
AC Wilgar

Our History

In 1929 the Headmaster of Farnborough Boys School, Mr Alfred Boots, formed a youth club for the old boys of the school. To avoid confusion with Farnborough Ex-Service and Old Boys Club, the new venture was named Old Boys Guild.

When the Guild was first formed, its chief activities were boxing, table tennis and less energetic indoor sports, with athletics in the summer and an occasional friendly game of football in the winter. The Football Section was formed in 1932.

Stan Cole
Stan Cole

Stan Cole was more or less ordered to take over secretarial duties and as the order was never rescinded, he continued in that capacity until he fell ill in 1968, when the then assistant secretary, Vic Goddard, took on his duties. Qualification to play in the team required that the player had attended Farnborough School and must be below the age of sixteen when the club was formed in 1929. This rule was strictly adhered to the outbreak of war and in the first few seasons it must have made the Guild the most exclusive football club numerically in the country.

As all the Guild members were of military age, the outbreak of war saw many of them called up within a few months and suspension of the club's activities automatically followed. Several players lost their lives. In 1946 the club reformed and membership was extended to past and present residents of Farnborough. Membership since the 1970's has been more flexible with a more "open" club, but the majority of players still come within a ten mile radius of Farnborough.

We moved to our new ground in Farnborough High Street in 1978, but found a large seam of clay running through the middle of the pitch. Much drainage work has been carried out over the last forty years and the playing surfaces are much improved.

Kent Junior Cup winners - click for larger picture
Kent Junior Cup winners

The move marked an upturn in fortunes on the pitch. We won our first trophy for forty years, the Kent Junior Cup, in 1978-79 and completed the South London Alliance double of Division Two title and Elizabeth Jaques Cup the following year.

By far our greatest achievement as a club was the building of the clubhouse. planning permission was obtained in 1984, building started in 1985 under the guidance of Dave Edwards and was completed early in 1986, with much of the work done by club members. In 1997 the clubhouse was enlarged, again with the help of club members.

Enlarging the clubhouse

In 1982 we celebrated our 50th anniversary with a reunion dinner at the West Kent Golf Club and our 75th in 2007 by holding a 5-a-side tournament during the day followed by an open evening and buffet. The Guild's biggest asset is its loyalty, with many of its members having over 25 years' service – a few are still playing!

Trophies have continued to be won; the First XI (Saturday) have picked up the Elizabeth Jaques Cup a second time, the South London Alliance Queen Mary Cup, two Sevenoaks Charity Cups, and league honours with the Kent County League: Division 3 West, Division 2 West and (twice) Division 1 West championships. The First XI (Sunday) won the OBDSFL Senior Division title and Paul Picard Cup.

We have run youth and academy teams in recent years; at the other end of the scale, we have two veterans teams on Sundays.

The club was awarded FA Charter Standard Adult Club status in 2009, recognition of the club’s organisation and benefit to the local community, further illustrated in 2013 when it entered into an arrangement to host a new nursery school.

As a result of winning a place in the Kent County League Premier Division in 2016, a major refurbishment to the dressing rooms and shower area was required, including a new boiler and heating system. This was financed through a very successful public appeal and the generosity of the club's main sponsor from 2016, A.C. Wilgar Plumbing and Heating. Separate to the building work, simultaneous renovation of the club's top pitch took place, carried out by Bourne Amenity and funded by a grant from Ibstock Cory Environmental Trust. The story is documented here.

The Guild owes much to past presidents of the club Bill Doole and Hugh Baldock, who both worked extremely hard and contributed much to the planning and building of the new clubhouse. Unfortunately, neither saw the fruition of their work. Tony Jordan, a Guild member since 1948, carried on the good works of his predecessors. The current President Ian Couchman still claims to be a playing member!

Vic Farrow
Vic Farrow

During the Guild’s 80+ years it has only had four club secretaries, the much respected Stan Cole who was secretary for 36 years, Vic Goddard for two years, then Bunny Beston took on the duties for nine years, and then Vic Farrow, who was secretary from 1979 until his death in 2013. Vic’s passion was FOBG but he also found time to serve on league committees and was honoured by the London Borough of Bromley in 2010. Since Vic's passing, running the club has been a real team effort, secretarial duties being taken on largely by Ian Couchman, with support from the committee.

The club's Chairmen have also given great support; Hugh Baldock, Phil Grainger and then Vic Goddard from 1981 until 1996, Glyn Farrell from 1996 to 2004 and the present incumbent, Steve Viner.

Over the years the Guild has become more than a football club, it has become an institution in Farnborough and it has certainly proved that it loves the game beyond the prize.

Honours Board (excluding runners-up awards)

First XI (Saturday)

SeasonLeagueHonour
1932-33Bromley & District LeagueDivision 3 Champions
1933-34Bromley & District LeagueDivision 2 Champions
1933-34Bromley & District LeagueBromley Knock-Out Cup Winners
1933-34Gillette ShieldWinners
1935-36Downe LeagueWinners
1935-36Downe CupWinners
1936-37Downe CupWinners
1937-38South London AllianceDivision 2 Champions
1978-79Kent County FAKent Junior Cup Group C Winners
1979-80South London AllianceDivision 2 Champions
1979-80South London AllianceElizabeth Jaques Cup Winners
1980-81South London AllianceDivision 1 Champions
1991-92South London AllianceElizabeth Jaques Cup Winners
2001-02Kent County LeagueDivision 3 West Champions
2004-05Sevenoaks Charity CupsSenior Section Winners
2007-08Kent County LeagueDivision 2 West Champions
2007-08Sevenoaks Charity CupsSenior Section Winners
2010-11Kent County LeagueDivision 1 West Champions
2015-16Kent County LeagueDivision 1 West Champions

Reserves (Saturday)

SeasonLeagueHonour
1990-91South London AllianceDivision 3 Champions
1991-92South London AllianceDivision 3 Champions
2000-01South London AllianceDivision 1 Champions
2009-10South London AllianceQueen Mary Cup Winners

Third XI

SeasonLeagueHonour
1992-93South London AllianceDivision 4 Champions

Fourth XI

SeasonLeagueHonour
1999-2000Bromley & District LeagueHenry Bullock Cup Winners
2010-11Bromley & District LeagueTom Cooper Cup Winners

First XI (Sunday)

SeasonLeagueHonour
1989-90OBDSFLFairweather Trophy Winners
1999-2000OBDSFLDivision 1 Champions
1999-2000OBDSFLPaul Picard Cup Winners
2002-03OBDSFLSenior Division Champions
2009-10OBDSFLDivision 1 Champions

Youth XI

SeasonLeagueHonour
2006-07Tandridge LeagueDivision 15B Champions

Academy XI

SeasonLeagueHonour
2010-11Kent Schools FAUnder 17 White Cup (shared)