THE EARLY YEARS
Holmer Green F.C. was founded in 1908 and initially played in the Chesham & District League. Home matches were played at Campbell's Meadow (now the Rosetti Estate) at this time, before moving to The Common and headquarters in the Bat and Ball. In 1934 the Club switched to the Wycombe Combination League, as it was then, which was to he home for the next fifty years. The Chesham Charity Cup was won in 1939, 1949 and again in 1953, and it was also in this year that the Club won its first major trophy - the Berks & Bucks Junior Cup. The 1960's saw success again in the Berks & Bucks Junior Cup (1965) as well as three further victories in the Chesham Charity Cup.
The early 1970's saw the start of a very successful period in the Club's history, as under Norman King's managership the Wycombe League title was won in 1972 and 1974. In 1975 progress continued off the field as the Club moved its headquarters to the new H.G.S.A. complex at Watchet Lane. This move coincided with victory in the Wycombe Senior Cup, and in 1977 with Roly Clarke as manager the 1st Xl won the Berks & Bucks Intermediate Cup. This victory gained the Club Senior status and in 1981, with Pete Eyres as manager, the 1st Xl reached the quarter-finals of the Berks & Bucks Senior Cup, defeating Chesham United and Flackwell Heath on the way before losing 2-1 to the holders, Milton Keynes. In the same year the Wycombe League and League Cup were also won.
1984 saw the formation of the Chiltonian League by ambitious clubs around the Chiltern and Thames Valley area. Holmer Green were founder members of the new league, and in fact the 1st X 1 and Reserves dominated their respective divisions for the first three years. The 1st Xl, still managed by Pete Eyres, won the Premier Division in 1984/85 and 1985/86, whilst the Reserves, managed by Colin Buckle, were League Champions in 1984/85, 1985/86 and 1986/87. However, the momentum fell away towards the end of the 1980's and this period saw little success for the 1st team, not helped by several management changes.
The appointment of experienced manager Barry Hedley saw the fortunes of the Club improve. In 1991 the 1st Xl finished third in the league and Andy King's Reserve team swept the board in 1992/93 with the League, League Cup and Wycombe Junior Cup treble. The Wycombe Senior Cup was also won and the 1st Xl also reached the semi-finals of the Berks & Bucks Intermediate Cup. Prestigious pre-season friendlies away to Manchester United and Everton also took place.
At the beginning of the 1993/94 season Barry Hedley returned north and Ian Sheill took over as manager, and ably assisted by Jez Hodges enjoyed an extremely successful season, with only two league defeats, which culminated in the Premier Division title returning to Watchet Lane after a gap of eight years. The Centenary Wycombe Senior Cup was also won for the second time in three years. The 1994/95 season, which turned out to be the Club's last in the Chiltonian League, saw even more trophies in the cabinet the 1st Xl finished as runners-up in the league but finally managed to win the Bon Accord Trophy for the first time. The Reserves won Reserve Division One, the Wycombe Junior Cup, and were runners-up in the Reserve League Cup.
Off the field of play, the Club received recognition for the excellent facilities at Watchet Lane when their local Football League club, Wycombe Wanderers, decided to use Holmer Green as their training headquarters. In addition, the England Youth Team, the England ladies Team and several International Under 21 sides have all used Holmer Green as their base when in the area.
In order to continue the momentum built up throughout the first half of the 1990's Holmer Green set their sights on moving up the Pyramid ladder into the South Midlands League. Although denied permission to move by the Chiltonian League the Club spent the summer of 1995 in various FA tribunals and appeals, eventually winning their case as late as mid August 1995, and being accepted into the Senior Division of the South Midlands League. A covered stand was built in September / October of that year and success off the field was followed by success on the field. After a hectic finale to the season the 1st Xl won the Senior Division title at the first attempt and also reached the semi-finals of the Berks & Bucks Senior Trophy. The
Reserves, now managed by Ray Paton, finished runners-up in Reserve Division Three and gained promotion to Division Two.
The second season saw progress maintained, and with Jez Hodges installed as Player Manager the Senior Division Cup was won, beating Houghton Town 3-0 in the final. Repeating the league success was always going to be difficult, but a late run at the end of the season clinched the runners-up spot. Another long-term objective was achieved with the very first FA Vase game, away to Carterton Town. In the 1997/98 season success was confined to the Senior Division Cup which was retained by beating Totternhoe 5-0 in a replay, after a 3-3 draw in the first game. A respectable fourth place was achieved in the league, and the Reserves, in Dave Yeabsley's first year as manager, were runners-up and promoted to Reserve Division One.
SPARTAN SOUTH MIDLANDS LEAGUE
A merger of the Spartan and South Midlands Leagues took place in 1997/98. After initially running side by side for a season the two leagues came together last season and the newly expanded Senior Division consisted of twenty two clubs. With planning permission obtained for floodlights the next objective was promotion to the Premier Division. In order to achieve this a top two finish was required - a tall order in view of the strength of the new Senior Division, but after another manic finish to the season (twelve league games in the last four weeks) the Senior Division was finally won on goal difference from long time leaders Hanwell Town. Success also came in the cups, reaching the final of the Berks & Bucks Senior Trophy for the first time, losing 1-0 to Eton Wick, and also reaching the two-legged final of the League Challenge Trophy before losing 3-0 on aggregate to Waltham Abbey.
The Club's main ambition of promotion to the Premier Division was achieved, the floodlights are up and operational, and the Club is again back in the FA Vase, and for the last eight seasons has been in the FA Cup. The Club has maintained its presence in the Premier Division despite adhering strictly to an amateur ethos. None of this could have been achieved without the hard work, dedication, commitment and support of the Committee and loyal supporters. More work, particularly around the ground, and changing facilities, needs to be done. But the Club has survived its first 100 years and commemorated the beginning of the Centenary Year with a friendly at Watchet Lane against a full strength Wycombe Wanderers in front of a record crowd in excess of 800 people.