Long Lane JFC
Long Lane JFC

Long Lane was formally constituted as a Football Club in 1981. The club did not have its own ground when it first formed and used various school and park pitches to train and play on. The odd permit was bought here and there to use the Dursley Road facility and at the time only 2-3 games were being played each Sunday at the 5 pitch facility.

The pavilion and dressing room facilities were derelict and vandalised and the local authority did not have the funds to maintain it. Therefore, the club and the council agreed to put together a financial strategy to raise money for its refurbishment which was kept alive for the forthcoming seasons with the help of the clubs members.

After two years of long, hard discussions, the local authority decided that the club could have sole use of the facilities at weekends, with the condition that it was deferred to local schools during the week.

Pitch usage continued to increase over the first five years as the club settled into its first true home ground. Club members raised and spent upwards of £50,000 on improvements to the club house. At this point more matches started being played at weekends on both Saturdays and up to 16 on any given Sunday.

1997

Long Lane JFC achieved full charitable status, allowing greater opportunity for grants and funding. The Club is one of just a handful of junior football clubs in the country to have achieved this.

2001

After 5 years of persistence and determination, the club was awarded a record grant of £897,264 from The Football Foundation and £31,000 from the Football Association.

A further £103,000 was also raised by club members, all of which went towards an all-weather floodlit pitch, new 10 room changing block, car park and a completely refurbished club house (including a small gym, clinic room, club shop and club office).

2002

The Football Association named Long Land as its 'National Charter Standard Development Club of the Year'. The club was one of the first to receive such an award, which is given to clubs who are shown to provide continued levels of good practice in both the running of the club and the care and treatment of its members.

The Club also gained status as a 'Football Association Community Club', as well as winning the 'Football Association Charter Standard Club of the Year'.

2003

The Club completed its improvement works to the car park and installation of an extension to the astro-turf pitch. This was made possible through grants totaling £254,000 from The Football Foundation, The London Marathon Trust and Greenwich Council.

2010

2010 saw the start of one of the final phases of the Clubs development plan. Despite being hampered by severe weather conditions during late 2010 and early 2011, the £500,000 grass pitch drainage and leveling project has provided a fantastic overall facility for both youth and adult football.

2011

The refurbishment of the club house has brought the facility up to date. The original decor in the Clubs colours of blue and black have been replaced by a much brighter and more modern look.

2012

In 2012 Long Lane was used as a training ground for 9 national football teams during the London 2012 Olympics. The club were extremely proud to welcome the Olympic teams to ground which included GB, Brazil, the eventual mens gold medalists Mexico and the womens silver medalists Japan.

This brought with it further improvements in the form of a full underground irrigation system. Combined with the pitch drainage the club is now one home to some of the best pitches in the country. The work has also shown its value in the last few seasons as the ground has not had any fixtures called off due to poor weather and has indeed hosted numerous cup fixtures for other clubs to enable competitions to continue.

The Future

The Club has achieved a lot in the past 30 years. The help and funding from the Football Foundation, The FA, The London Marathon Charitable Trust and Greenwich Council has put the Club firmly on the map for many future generations of budding young footballers (as well as those that are no longer quite so young!).

None of it would have been possible without the help and support from volunteers and sponsors and for that we are extremely grateful.

The Club is determined to continue its development and in the future to still be considered among the best in community sport.