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.



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