Farnborough OBG FC

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Stan Cole was more or less ordered to take over secretarial duties and as the order was never rescinded, he continued in that capacity until he fell ill in 1968, when the then assistant secretary, Vic Goddard, took on his duties.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 Jacques 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. Most recently (October 2020) the Sunday Reserves won the Jack Standen Cup, a season after winning the Kent Sunday Junior Trophy and OBDSFL Division Two double. In 2017-18 they had won the Division Three title. The First XI (Saturday) have picked up the Elizabeth Jacques 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 and currently have four junior sides. At the other end of the scale, we have three veterans teams.

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 at the time, 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 from 1948 until his death in 2021, carried on the good work of his predecessors. The current President is Ian Couchman.

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, Vic Goddard, Glyn Farrell, Steve Viner and the present incumbent, Danny Saines.

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

First XI (Saturday)

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 Jacques Cup Winners
1980-81South London AllianceDivision 1 Champions
1991-92South London AllianceElizabeth Jacques 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
2019-20Kent County FAKent Intermediate Challenge Shield Winners

Reserves (Saturday)

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

1992-93South London AllianceDivision 4 Champions
2017-18Bromley and South London Football LeagueDivision 2 Champions
2021-22Bromley and South London Football LeagueQueen Mary Cup Winners

Fourth XI

1999-2000Bromley & District LeagueHenry Bullock Cup Winners
2010-11Bromley & District LeagueTom Cooper Cup Winners
2021-22Bromley and South London Football LeagueDivision 2 Champions
2021-22Bromley and South London Football LeagueElizabeth Jacques Cup Winners

First XI (Sunday)

1989-90OBDSFLFairweather Trophy Winners
1999-2000OBDSFLDivision 1 Champions
1999-2000OBDSFLPaul Picard Cup Winners
2002-03OBDSFLSenior Division Champions
2009-10OBDSFLDivision 1 Champions
2016-17OBDSFLJack Standen Cup Winners

Reserves (Sunday)

2017-18OBDSFLDivision 3 Champions
2018-19OBDSFLDivision 2 Champions
2018-19Kent County FAKent Sunday Junior Trophy Winners
2019-20OBDSFLJack Standen Cup Winners

Youth XI

2006-07Tandridge LeagueDivision 15B Champions

Academy XI

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