The turnstiles at Waltham Forest / Wadham Lodge. Prices at WF have been cut since their relegation to ESL. (Picture courtesy Two Men In Search Of The Beautiful Game)

How much does it cost to get into Essex Senior League games this season? You’d think it’d be simple to find out but many clubs seem to guard this information as if it were a state secret.

After a huge amount of chasing, however, we can finally bring you the full table, ranked by adult price ticket from highest (boo!) to lowest (yay!)…

Great Wakering Rovers

£9 adults
£5 concessions
Includes a programme

Southend Manor

£7 adults
£5 concessions
Free under 16s

Sawbridgeworth Town

£7 adults
£4 concessions

Waltham Forest

£7 adults
£4 concessions (students, unemployed, armed forces, pensioners, NHS staff)
Free under 16s

Wadham Lodge

£7 adults
£3 kids


£7 adults – includes a programme
£3 OAPs
Free under 16s


£6.50 adults
£3 concessions (pensioners, students, unemployed, refugees)
£1 under 18s
Free under 10s
Free disabled

Clapton’s turnstiles. The ticket prices, at £6.50, are above average for the division

Basildon United

£6 adults
£5 seniors
Free under 16s

Burnham Ramblers

£6 adults
£4 concessions

Tower Hamlets

£6 adults
£4 concessions
£1.50 under 16s

Sporting Bengal United

£6 adults
£3 concessions

Enfield 1893

£6 adults
£3 concessions

Woodford Town

£6 adults
£3 concessions
£1 under 16s


£6 adults
£3 concessions
Free under 16s

The home of two Essex Senior League clubs who charge decent prices (picture courtesy Two Men In Search Of The Beautiful Game)


Hullbridge Sports

£6 adults
£3 concessions
Free under 16s


£5 adults
£4 concessions
£2 under 16s
Free under 11s when accompanied

West Essex

£5 adults
£3 concessions
Free under 16s
Including programme

FC Romania

£5 adults
£1 under 16s

Hackney Wick

£5 adults

£3 students
Free over 60s
Free under 16s


£5 adults including programme
Free for kids


£5 adults including programme
£3 concessions including programme
Free under 14s


Some observations

  • It was extraordinarily difficult to find the prices for many, perhaps most, clubs. If your prices aren’t on your website, Facebook or Twitter, and you don’t respond to emails or tweets, you can’t complain if you’re not attracting new or casual supporters.
  • The average price for an adult in the Essex Senior League is £6.11. However, take out the Great Wakering Rovers outlier of £9, and it’s comfortably under £6. Clapton has the seventh most expensive prices for adults though it does at least have a decent range of concessions.
  • A massive congratulations to Stansted, West Essex and Barkingside, who charge the minimum price possible set by the Essex Senior League of £5 AND throw in a free programme to boot.
  • Redbridge too should be singled out for cutting their prices to £5. Last season, their first back in the ESL following relegation, they kept prices at Isthmian levels. Happily they’ve adjusted that now.
  • The same predicament appears to have affected Great Wakering Rovers, who are charging an astonishing £9 in despite relegation. It’s a decision that’s seen active fan group Rovers Rebels first boycott their home games and now switch to following Southend Sports of the Essex Olympian League instead. A big loss to the ESL.
  • Four East London clubs are charging the minimum price of £5 – Redbridge, West Essex, Hackney Wick and Barkingside – of the six clubs in total. And nearly half of the clubs offer free entry to children, of varying age groups. So plenty of cheap football on our doorstep. Bravo.
  • One of those clubs (Hackney Wick) has publicly said it wants to charge less while another (Barkingside) offer a membership scheme as a way to knock £1 off. So hopefully the Essex Senior League will reconsider its £5 minimum charge. What purpose does it serve? We have contacted them to ask.
  • Former ESL club Haringey Borough, after promotion, now offer free season tickets to local residents and have grown a fan base accordingly. But they would presumably have to stop that if they were relegated back to the ESL.
  • The whole issue of concessions is a minefield. Most offer reduced prices to ‘senior citizens’ and ‘kids’, but unclear at what age that applies, and many others don’t specify who is covered by the word ‘concessions’. Why not just list who qualifies for concessions (Children? Disabled? Students? Unemployed? Pensioners?) to avoid embarrassment at the turnstile?
  • Please note we can’t take any responsibility for these prices being correct at the time of your visit. Clubs do change their prices during the season – such as Clapton infamously did last season.
  • Finally, just to emphasise that this list has taken HOURS of research over several weeks. If we have got something wrong, drop us an email or tweet us and we’ll correct it. If you want to use our research in your own articles, feel free to do so but please give us a credit.


Jerry Jairette played 45 minutes for both sides

Last month, Clapton took on a former Tons XI to mark Jerry Jairette’s ten glorious years at the club.

A decent crowd turned up to pay tribute and enjoyed an end-to-end game that finished 2-2 and the chance to see some familiar faces on the Old Spotted Dog pitch once more.

We’ve finally put together a gallery of pictures from the day thanks to ace photographer Rich Bradley.

Clapton FC News also spoke to the Tons favourite about the day and his time at the club which you can read below the photos.


On the testimonial…

I loved it. It is something I will remember the rest of my life. The fans, the banners, the songs, my family being there. It was the first time for most of them. My nan has never watched me play until that day and she’s 85. So that means a lot.

Thank you so much to you and everyone for taking the time to help my day be so special the comments had me teary eyed.

On his decade at Clapton…

What can I say, 10 years a Ton and at least 1 more season to go. From the bottom of the league with no support to winning cups and finishing our highest place in the ESL to date.

On the best players he’s played against…

In my early days, Dwight Gayle: he was a very active striker and you couldn’t stop him scoring. When we played Stansted away I remember we got told about him and what he would play like but he was still getting through.

Recent seasons, Sipho Mtyanda. He is very hard to play against: strong, fast and technically good but I have enjoyed playing against him the last few seasons.

On his early days at Clapton…

I started as a goalkeeper for Clapton in the reserves. One game we turned up with 9 or 10 players and 2 of us were goalies. So I said to the manager at the time Benroy Spring “I can also play on the pitch,” and he put me at left back. We lost the game but he said to me “you’re not playing in goal again.” That was the end to goalkeeper being my preferred position.

On his biggest influences…

Roy Keane, Patrick Vieira and Paul Scholes. I support neither of the teams they played for but I liked the hunger and the passion they showed on the pitch and the way they lead their teams. Of course the tackles too.

My dad as well: I think if it wasn’t for him I would have stopped playing a long time ago.

On how football has changed…

It was more physical back in the day. I think now it’s a lot more technical than back then. I would like to see more loyalty in football as well, it seems like that’s hard to find.

On other teams he’d have played for…

I think if I didn’t play for Clapton I would have liked to have played for Tower Hamlets as I’m originally from Bow so they would have been my local team. But once I’ve finished with Clapton I’ll try my luck at Custom House FC.

On his best position…

Centre midfield: I like it there, you’re always involved in defending and attacking. I have played every position for Clapton.

On why he stayed at Clapton..,

I could see the potential of the club and I’ve played with a lot of good footballers away from Clapton. I believe one day Clapton will get hold of the local talent and put the club in the league it should be in. Also the managers and coaches I had at the time in Benroy, Wilf and Carl – for the type of player I was back then they snapped me into shape mentally as well as physically for the ESL.

On why he’s called Jerry…

My name is Abraham Jerry Jairette, like my dad, grandad and my son but we all dislike the name Abraham so we are all called Jerry apart from my son, he is called A.J.


Lanre Vigo

In our long awaited second instalment of player profiles we bring you Lanre (or Olanrewanju) Vigo. The British Nigerian full back has been impressing since his arrival last season.

Lanre began his football career during his time at University in Northampton where he was studying Business Computing Systems.

He spent a season with Northampton Spencer FC in 2011, then went on to play for Chelmsford Reserves the following season, then playing for Springfield FC who are situated in the same city. Then it gets a little interesting.

In his pursuit of a professional contract Lanre went to the United States to play for London United Academy Florida. That is a team of ex professionals all hoping to make football a full time job in the ‘land of the free’.

During his three-month stint there he played against an impressive array of teams. That includes Philadelphia Union, Columbus Crew and even Costa Rican under 23s!

You can see highlights of his time over there on YouTube:

When he returned to the UK he was able to obtain a trial at Livingston FC.

Getting a professional contract is still the main goal for Lanre. And he believes Clapton is a good platform.

He told us: “I felt that I could get fantastic exposure at Clapton and I did, I even got a trial with Gillingham FC but that fell through when the manager (Justin Edinburgh) got sacked”.

Lanre, who is originally from Nigeria, doesn’t see a career playing football there although there are opportunities and the quality is growing. He feels “right now it’s best for me to be here where I can get noticed easily”.

Last season’s winner of the Best Newcomer at Clapton was discovered playing against the Tons in a trial game for Soccer Shop Window.

Lanre Vigo receiving his Best Newcomer award at the Players’ End of Season Awards

The speedy right-back impressed with his mature head and formed a good partnership with Jonny Ashman ahead of him. Now Jonny has moved on and up, maybe we will see him getting forward more too this season.

At the moment Lanre is enjoying life at Clapton. “You know what I fell in love with Clapton, initially I meant to be at Clapton for a short period but I fell in love with the club and the fans, I had never experienced anything like this before.

“I had offers from other teams but I just couldn’t leave Clapton…… unless for a professional club.”

We at Clapton FC News wish you all the best. Follow our star full back Twitter on @LanreVigo


The fixture guys were having a right laugh that day… #claptonultras #facupqualifying

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Clapton narrowly won the FA Cup phonetic derby at Clacton thanks to a first goal for the club by Anton Stephenson.

The former Aveley assistant manager and Bethnal Green United boss is concentrating on playing this season and scored on his first start for the Tons early in the second half.

The Tons players arrived at the Essex seaside early to enjoy the beano – including a hilariously mistimed punch  – and the local public also took a shine to them asking for pics.



The Tons face higher league opposition in the next round as Norwich United – who finished x in the Isthmian North last season – visit the Old Spotted Dog on August 19.

A victory would see Clapton reach the first qualifying round for the first time since 2005/6 and there is £1,925 prize money up for grabs.


The FC Clacton club website featured a good write-up, which said: “Despite putting in a performance which deserved greater rewards, the first team bowed out of the FA Cup at the Bowl on Saturday afternoon, a single, first-half goal the difference between the two sides as Clapton progressed to a Preliminary Round tie with Norwich United in a fortnight’s time.

“So not quite the result which we were looking for, but we’d nonetheless like to thank everybody who attended the match.

“We were delighted to meet a number of new fans and first time visitors to the Bowl before, during and after the game, and we hope that you all enjoyed your time with us and we look forward to hopefully seeing you again in the future.

“We’d also like to thank the Clapton Ultras for their support of their club on the afternoon and for adding to the occasion. We wish you and your club the very best both in the next round and for the rest of the season.”

A win away, a win away….#highfive #claptonultras #claptonfc #13months #yuriontour #wemberley

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The Newham Recorder featured a short report on the game, noting: “Anton Stephenson’s goal ensured a happy day beside the seaside for Clapton as they booked a place in the preliminary round of the FA Cup.”

It added: “Emmanuel Olajide made a brave save at the feet of the FC Clacton striker when clean through on goal… and the visitors had Olajide to thank for two more impressive saves in the second half.”

The Clacton & Frinton Gazette also mentioned the game in their weekend round-up.

The day’s captain, Kristian Haighton, and other players had their say afterwards.




16-year-old Joshua Bwalya

A former Clapton and Barking youth player has tragically been stabbed to death in East London, it was announced today.

16-year-old Joshua Bwalya was pronounced dead after police and paramedics were called to Movers Lane, Barking, at 1am on Wednesday morning.

A statement on the Clapton FC website today said: “It’s with great sadness that we learnt of the fatal stabbing of Joshua Bwalya. Only aged 16 years old,

“Joshua was an ex Clapton player who played in our U14s team. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.

“JB, as we called him, was a promising young player who had transferred to Barking Football Club.”

The cause of JB’s death was recorded as multiple stab wounds.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of murder but has since been released on police bail. A 20-year-old man is still in custody at an east London police station.

The Barking & Dagenham Post reports that devastated friends and family have laid flowers and candles outside his home. “Rest well Joshua,” read one tribute. “Love you lots.”

The Clapton statement added that a memorial match would be played next month between the two clubs.

It said: To mark this young man’s life, it is the intention that a football match will be played between Barking FC and the Tons, on or very near to his birthday on 20th September.

“More details of the match and venue will be provided shortly.”

RIP Joshua.



Clapton taking on Ilford under the floodlights at the Cricklefield Stadium

Hats off to Jeffrey Cobblah. That’s one way to start your story.

It’s not unusual for players to arrive at Clapton without much more than a coach’s hunch and a chain of tweets to give you any idea what kind of player they might be. There’s no shame in this. Step 5 football is off the radar. That’s part of the charm.

Take Johnny Ashman. Last season was his first in senior football. Google his name 12 months ago and you get nothing, or thereabouts. Now he’s scoring for Isthmian North club Cheshunt and has left behind a lot of fans, some half-decent songs and a pretty big hole in the Clapton line-up.

Into that gap – the same No11 shirt, in fact – has stepped Jeffrey Cobblah. “Skillful & pacey winger,” said the club’s official Twitter.

Google his name, though, and there’s not much to go on. In fact, already it’s dominated by links to local reports about this very performance. Maybe he’s already writing his story himself.

An emphatic hat-trick against local rivals who are, reportedly, spending big to clinch the title is a statement and a half.

And while the 4-1 result perhaps slightly flatters Clapton, Cobblah’s performance deserves all the plaudits.

As Dre Thomas (still deputising for the holidaying Jonny Fowell) told the Newham Recorder, there was a hint of Arjen Robben in the way the left-footed winger cut in off the right wing.

He had already clipped the bar with one from outside the box before his next pop, via a slight deflection, gave the Tons the lead at the break.

Cobblah’s first goal:

By that point the ex-Clapton striker (and Downs FC star) Khadean Campbell had struck the post when it was still 0-0, and Ilford would have taken the first half on points easily were it not for Cobblah’s effort.

However Clapton’s new winger put the hosts on the canvass with his other two.

First he capitalised on an airkick by a Foxes centre-back to dink it past the on-rushing ‘keeper.

Cobblah’s second goal

And then he wrapped up a lovely passing move, slamming home following Rafa Duyile’s backheel.

Game over.

Cobblah’s third goal

The ground for the win was laid by a Clapton performance completely unrecognisable from Saturday. Once again Jerry Jairette was pivotal, restored to midfield and dictating the tempo for the visitors alongside the industrious Kristian Haighton.

Eman Olajide was, if anything, busier in goal than against shot-shy Basildon, but was equal to everything, making one outrageous save at 2-0, going full length to deny James Peagram, making his home debut after switching from ESL champions Barking.

Olajide was denied the clean sheet his heroics deserved when Peagram converted a late penalty, before Ryan Reed got the Tons’ fourth from another spotkick – arguably just desserts for carrying the team on Saturday.

James Peagram’s penalty

Ryan Reed’s penalty

But Cobblah’s hattrick rightly got the attention – and in front of a watching Johnny Ashman, as it happens.

In fact, Ashman revealed to fans he is still available to play for Clapton thanks to his dual registration with Cheshunt.

For now, his shirt looks like it’s being well taken care of.

Cobblah got a nasty-looking cut to the side of his face for his troubles, but he is now joint top scorer in the ESL.

Essex football expert Dan Wilson was there and caught all the goals on camera, which you can see above.

The Newham Recorder’s Jacob Ranson was also there, noting in his match report that “electric winger Jeffrey Cobblah proved too much for the Ilford defence”.

And after the game he also grabbed an interview with assistant manager Andre Thomas, who compared Cobblah to wingers Robben or Duff while also picking out keeper Emmanuel Olajide for praise.

Jacob also interviewed opposition manager Allan Fenn, who was disappointed at a ‘lack of fight’ from his players as he looks for 2 or 3 more signings. But he also praised Tons keeper Olajide too for saving a couple of worldies.

Finally he also uploaded this YouTube video of the players celebrating with the visiting fans on the open terrace at Cricklefield.

Something that Dan Wilson also filmed and tweeted.

Football blogger Richard Brock was also at the game and posted a gallery of 62 pictures.

Meanwhile over on the Unofficial ESL website, Pete Dudley wrote of Clapton’s “thumping win” in his round-up of midweek action.

Many of the players also had their say afterwards.







Steven Sardinha reflects on a disappointing start to the season

Last season’s success saw star players such as Jonny Ashman, Dylan Ebengo and Jay Knight depart for clubs further up the pyramid.

That along with summer holidays for some senior squad members like Jerry Jairette and Nathan Cook (not to mention manager Jonny Fowell) meant deputies Andre Thomas and Ray Bartlett fielded a youthful starting line-up featuring five new faces.

If anything the hosts had more debutants than the Tons. However, the core of the home team had made the move with new managerial duo Marc Harrison and Liam Wallace from neighbouring Basildon Town following their Essex Olympian League Division One title last season.

And the Bees’ better understanding and cohesion made the step up seem easy as they dominated for pretty much the whole game.

Goals either side of half-time from Tommy Barton and Marcus Bowers were just reward for the 90 minutes of pressing that never allowed Clapton to find their stride.

New Tons’ striker Craig Heskey and Jeffrey Cobbiah, who’s been impressive in pre-season, barely got a sniff as the hosts bossed the midfield.


Ryan Reed posing a rare Clapton threat at Basildon United

The only hint of a Clapton threat came from Ryan Reed, whose excellent cut back on 70 minutes was met well by Cobbiah, only to see his effort cleared off the line.

A goal would have masked the gulf between the teams on the day, though, and Clapton will be looking to put it down to early season adjustments as they head to Ilford, who themselves won 5-0 at Woodford Town in their opener.

After the game, full-back Lanre Vigo and assistant manager Andre Thomas tweeted their disappointment at starting the season so slowly.

The game also featured on the front page of the Non-League Paper.

The photographer at the game for the paper, ESA Photos, also uploaded 82 match photos to their website..

The Basildon local paper, the Echo, also published a match report with quotes from the jubliant victorious manager Marc Harrison.

Meanwhile the Newham Recorder gave Clapton’s defeat a quick mention in the Essex Senior League round-up.

Local blogger Andy Wilkins was also there and wrote up a lengthy match report.

And ground hopper John Lawton also took some match photos.