The Football Club,




Apsley Football club was founded in 1885 and played on Salmon Meadow until this was built over by part of Apsley Mill in 1933. In 1935 the club changed its name to Hemel Hempstead Town Football Club.

 Two of the pictures come from the Hawkins Photograph Collection


The Apsley 'A' Football Team in 1901-2

With them is Christopher Henry Hawkins, publican of The Salmon, Apsley - the football ground being Salmon Meadow.

For more information about the players see

Apsley Football 'A' 1901-2:


As the team is wearing a different strip to the later pictures of the Apsley Club team. and all the players so far identified could be employees of J. Dickinson this may be an internal company team rather than the village team.


Formed in 1885 as Apsley End FC, the club was based at Salmon Meadow and played in a claret and blue strip. The first record of competitive football was in 1889, when the club entered the Herts Senior Cup. Apsley End were then one of the founding member clubs of the West Herts Football Association and entered their first league competition in 1891/92, before changing the name to just Apsley FC two years later. Apsley won the Division One championship in 1894/95, the first honour in the clubs history. Around this time, many clubs competed in more than one league at a time; small numbers of competing clubs meant that entering more than one competition would allow the clubs to play more regularly. Apsley also competed in the Wolverton League and the Herts County League, entering the latter as a founding member club in 1898/99. Apsley were one of the more successful local teams competing in the Herts County League either side of the fist World War, winning three league championships along with many other high league finishes. In 1922, Apsley left the Herts County League to join the Spartan League.

From the Hemel Hempstead Football Club web site.



Circa 190?


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This picture is part of the Hawkins Photograph Collection

The identity of the cup is unknown. The significance of the box labelled "West Herts Infirmary" is unknown but it was renamed "West Herts Hospital" in 1908.

Winners of the West Herts League Divisions One & Two And St Mary's Cup.

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This picture is part of the Hawkins Photograph Collection

Back row, left to right: William Beck, M. T. Mackay, S. Gurney, C. H. Hawkins, E. Gurney, A. E. Hazell, F. Tyers.

Second row: A. Allum, S. Findlay, D. Bandle, G. Coxhill, A. Janes, W.R. Beck, G. Picton, G. Dowse, F. King, S. Parnell, D. Birchmore.

Third row: G.F. Seagrave (Assistant Honorary Secretary), J. Homans, W. Butler, H. Kempster, F. Jackson, J. Sparrow, W. Coker, J. Paton, W. Tyers (Honorary Secretary).

Front row: A. Hay, A. Gurney, '?', H. Chennells, C. Green, A. Kitchener, G. Theed, S.W. Tuckwell

The mount is marked Coles, Hemel Hempstead.

(Another copy of this picture is reproduced in Eve Davis's Hemel Hempstead, which include the above list of names.)


The two "White" panels in the picture can be digitally processed and both show an identical shield shape with the "Hertfordshire Stag"  in a panel at the top and similar unreadable lettering. These are presumably the certificates for the West Herts League Divisions One and Two. The Cup must be the St Mary's Cup, and the board displays the 11 individual team medals.


Christopher Henry Hawkins

from the above photograph


The Salmon in Apsley was close to St Mary's Church and adjacent to Salmon Meadow where Apsley FC (which over the years became Hemel Hempstead Town FC) and had a close link with the ground. The Salmon pub also has a strong link with the town's oldest football competition - the Uncles Cup - Uncles Cup derived from Mr. C. H. Hawkins, one of the publicans at The Salmon who started the competition.

From the Hemel Hempstead Today web site


Hertfordshire County Cup Winners


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The strip  was claret and blue.


1898-99   Founder members of Herts County League
1899-00   Herts County League Champions
1900-01   Herts County League runner-up (on goal average)
1902-03   Herts County League Western Division Champions
          Herts County League Champions (2nd time) after winning play-off
          against St Albans Amateurs after St Albans were unable to raise a
          side for the second leg (first leg 0-0, but St Albans fielded an
          ineligible player)
          Record includes awarded victories against Croxley Rovers (home),
          and Victoria Works Watford (away)
1906-07   Herts County League Western Division Champions
          Herts County League Champions (3rd time) after winning play-off
          against Northern Division Champions Hitchin Union Jack 5-3 on agg
1907-08   Herts County League Western Division runner-up
1911-12   Herts County League Western Division runner-up
1919      Did not rejoin Herts County League immediately after War
1920-21   Rejoined Herts County League Western Division
1921-22   Placed in Mid & West Division on re-organisation
          Missed runner-up spot on goal average

From Football Club History Data Base



Anthony Taylor wrote (July 2013) to say: The club continued to play under the name "Apsley FC" until after WW2. A name change had been proposed on and off from 1929/30 when the club moved to Wood Lane to what became known as the "Crabtree Lane" ground but this never happened until the end of the 1946/47 season, when they adopted the name "Hemel Hempstead Town FC". Apsley FC's last game under the old name was played on 16 May 1947 against Rickmansworth in the final of the Apsley Charity Cup.  (BTW the name change has caused confusion to historians as there was a previous "Hemel Hempsted Town FC" playing pre WW1 - unrelated to the present club).

December 2009   Page Created
December 2010   Hawkins pictures, etc, added
August 2013   Note by Anthony Taylor
September 2014   Corrected link to Football Club History Database