THE HISTORY OF BOREHAM WOOD FOOTBALL CLUB
PART 4: 1969/70 Wood Win promotion again and Hunter Resign’s
By Bill O’Neill
Another very good start was made to the season and around about the half way mark of the season, the Wood were lying second to Chesham United but Wood had only played 10 games to Chesham’s 15 games played. However Mickey Hunter and Vinnie Cook had assembled a good squad and the dressing room felt we would catch and go past Chesham and they were right.
I Think we all started to have secret thoughts of repeating last seasons promotion success. In the reserve section the Wood reserves were also lying second to Chesham reserves, only two points behind with a game in hand.
By the middle of January Lewes FC had started to make the running and had gone top of the league on goal average above the Wood. There were two teams on 22 points, namely Lewes and the Wood, with Hertford Town pulling up alongside but they had played 17 games against the 14 games played by the top 2.
During the latter half of the season Bill Belger Woods skipper left the Wood to join Harlow Town and John Sneddon took over captaincy of the team.
Excitement at the prospect of Premier division football at Broughinge Road was mounting; the mathematicians had their slide rules out and finally the game came when a win would give us the promotion we now felt was within grasp, i genuinely couldn’t believe it.
Hounslow Town at home, were our opponents and my mind went back to 1957, when we recorded our first win over a senior club, namely Hounslow Town in the London Senior Cup. Now thirteen years later we only had to beat them to go into the Premier Division, of which they had been founder members of in 1957.
I think it is worth mentioning here that Hounslow Town never managed to get into the Isthmian League and now play Southern league football. As all good fairy tales go, the Wood beat Hounslow by two goals to one. Once again Maverick Mickey Hunter and his dressing room had pulled off the impossible. What a day, what a season, what an achievement.
At last it had sunk in, we had made it to the Premier Division of the Athenian League, relegation or failure had never entered our heads, we were all on cloud nine. We were now going to mix it with the big boys and as looked around memories poured through my mind of where it all started.
The Reserves had also topped their table albeit on goal difference and they had also won the Athenian League Neale Trophy and the Herts Intermediate Cup, simply glorious.
At the presentation night we needed two tables to hold the trophies. Success in my first year as Chairman had been sweet but to repeat the success with the first team and the reserves again was unbelievable. Could it get any better!
Our very successful season had not gone un-noticed by the Elstree Rural District Council; they held a civic reception for the club officials and players to mark the occasion. It was held at the College of Further Education in Elstree Way. It took the form of a Champagne reception followed by a buffet with the wine flowing freely afterwards. The players all went off to a pre-arranged late drink and I invited all of the committee members and their wives back to my home to finish off what was left of the evening.
The only black spot on the whole proceeding was the sudden resignation of Micky Hunter our very successful manager.
The following is a cutting from the District Post.
MICKY HUNTER HANDS IN HIS NOTICE
The man who took over as outspoken manager of Boreham Wood Football Club three years ago and carried them from the bottom of the Athenian League Second Division to the Premier Division has quit. He handed in his notice to Club Secretary, Harold Payne on Tuesday after revealing that he was after a new position as Manager of Isthmian League Wealdstone. Hunter said “If I don’t get that job I will definitely be out of football next season” he also said “he would not stay with Boreham Wood after the end of this Season”. Hunter who lives in Newcombe Road, Shenley is on the short list for the top amateur position with Wealdstone. He will be told on Monday if he has the job or not.
HUNTERS QUITS FOR FLOODLIGHTING REASONS
“On Saturday, the Chairman of Boreham Wood, Bill O’Neill, told me not to turn down the Wealdstone job because the facilities wouldn’t alter next season” Said Hunter. “There has been discontent over provision of floodlights on the Broughinge Road ground. The club will be the only one in the Premier Division without lights and the possibility of them being installed next season is slim” Micky Hunter joined the club in 1967, had won back to back promotions with them in the last two seasons and they now sit in the very top flight of Amateur football in Southern England.
I would like to put the record straight on what I did say to Micky with regards to floodlights. I told him that when he goes for his interview with Wealdstone not to turn the job down on the assumption that there would be floodlights at the Club for the coming season, a subtle difference.
What I did not want to happen was for Mick to turn down the offer of a good managerial job only to be disappointed when he realised that there could be no lights at the Wood. Mick did not get the Wealdstone job. I think it was a great disappointment to Mick and through it, he seemed to lose a lot of interest in the game, it was a sad loss to the game at our level because I sincerely believe he could have gone and perhaps got the club to Wembley in the few remaining years the Amateur Cup had to run.
Next Week: The Athenian League Premier Division.