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.


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.


Can Clapton win the Gordon Brasted again?

The draws for the Essex Senior League’s two cup competitions have been made.

Clapton received a bye in the Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy first round, the cup they lifted two seasons ago.

The Tons will travel to Walthamstow for the second round tie at Wadham Lodge.

In the Errington Challenge Cup, the new name for the League Cup, the Tons have been handed a midweek trip to the seaside at Southend Manor.

These are the route to the semi-finals in both competitions…

Errington Challenge Cup

First round
Away at Southend Manor
w/c 9th October

Second round
Home v Hackney Wick
w/c 31st October

Quarter final
Home v Stansted or Sporting Bengal
w/c 20th November

Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy

First round

Second round
Away at Wadham Lodge
w/c 24th October

Quarter final
Home v West Essex or Basildon
W/c 13th November

The final of the Gordon Brasted – pronounced Bray-sted apparently – will be held at Burnham Ramblers as usual. The venue for the Errington final has not yet been arranged.

Clapton have already been given their FA Vase, FA Cup and FA Youth Cup draws.

it is not known if the club has entered the Essex County Cup and/or the London County Cup this season.

Neither cup has been drawn yet, but the Essex draw takes place on Wednesday night, so we’ll find out if the Tons are involved soon.


The Essex Senior League has finally released the fixtures for the forthcoming 2017/18 season and the first handful of games feature some new faces as well as familiar faces and old rivalries.

Clapton start the season this Saturday away to Basildon United at the Stuart Bingham Stadium – a repeat of our opening fixture in the 2015/16 season.

The Bees have appointed the former Basildon Town management team of Mark Harrison and Liam Wallace in the summer, following the departure of Aaron Bloxham.

Former assistant manager Lee Connor has been appointed as the club’s new chairman and will be hoping United can improve on their 9th place finish last season.

The following Wednesday we travel to Cricklefield Stadium to face our old rivals, Ilford.

It has been a summer of uncertainty for The Foxes after they were controversially voted out of the ESL at the AGM. However they successfully appealed to the FA and have now been reinstated.

Former Clapton captain and current Ilford boss Allan Fenn will be hoping for a title challenge this season after signing a string of impressive players including last season’s league top scorer James Peagram who netted 45 times in all competitions for champions Barking.

Following our trip to Clacton in the FA Cup, we return to league action on Saturday 12th August for our first home game, against Woodford Town 2017.

Woodford is the new name of the team formerly known as Haringey & Waltham, and going further back Greenhouse Sports, Greenhouse London, Mauritius Sports Association and Mauritius Sports & Pennant.

Town have a familiar look at least in the dugout, with former Wadham Lodge manager Tony Ievoli taking the hotseat, assisted by former Tons assistant manager Neil Day.

It is not known what links the setup has to the historic Woodford Town who, with Vince McBean as their chairman, shared the Old Spotted Dog with Clapton in 1999 before going bust in 2003.

Woodford, whose Snakes Lane ground burnt down but has not been redeveloped, will play at Broxbourne, where Eton Manor were based last season.

We then travel to Mile End Stadium on Friday 25th August to face Tower Hamlets. Last season 308 fans piled through the gates for the corresponding fixture, also on a Friday night, and no doubt Hamlets will be hoping for a similar or increased attendance this season.

AJ Ashinike has returned as manager and has recruited some impressive looking players, including former Barking and Ilford hotshot Wale Odedoyun and will be hoping his team can improve on their 20th place finish last season.

The rest of the fixtures are still being finalised and will be put on our fixtures page soon.


The FA Vase draw was announced today but Clapton are already through to the first round proper

Clapton have been drawn away at FC Clacton in the FA Cup extra preliminary round.

The trip to the Essex seaside to face the Eastern Counties League club, who play at the same level as Clapton, will be on August 5th, the week after the Essex Senior League campaign begins.

If the Tons get through that, they’ll earn £1,500, then face Norwich United at home in the preliminary round two weeks later, August 19th.

Get past the Isthmian League North side and there’s just another 12 wins before we see Jerry Jairette lift the FA Cup trophy at Wembley.

Meanwhile Clapton did not feature in the FA Vase draw after being handed a bye to the first round proper for finishing in the top 4 in the Essex Senior League. They will make their debut on October 21st.

The Tons are also in the FA Youth Cup, and will travel away to Thurrock or Aveley during the week of September 18th.

Last season the team was withdrawn days before their tie due to lack of players, following the axing of the club’s youth system, but New Revolution Sports have stepped in to relaunch it now.

All three draws were made today behind closed doors at the FA HQ and published online this lunchtime.


A picture of the Old Spotted Dog pitch this week, posted by team manager Jonny Fowell

With just days until Clapton’s pre-season officially kicks off, uncertainty continues to dog preparations, as questions remain over the ground’s liquidation.

Following the Essex Senior League AGM in June, Clapton released a statement confirming the club had secured its league status for the 2017/18 season, adding that the home venue will continue to be the Old Spotted Dog.

However, it is still unclear if the ESL and the FA have received the assurance they needed over the ground’s viability as the leaseholding company attempts to go into voluntary liquidation.

Both authorities had given the Tons – and fellow tenants Hackney Wick FC – a final deadline to prove they had the right to play at the OSD for the full season.

But sources have been left scratching their heads as to how that undertaking could have been provided while the liquidation process is at a stalemate. Further court proceedings are due later this month.

Nevertheless, preparations for the new season at the Old Spotted Dog visibly continue, with the grass mown and the lines marked out.

The pitch appears to be wider than last season, with a previous marking that can be a yard or so inside the pitch.

Five games are scheduled to take place before the league season kicks off on Saturday 29th July.

The league fixture list isn’t due to be released until mid-July, however, as the ESL must wait for the Isthmian League list  to be completed.

Our first FA Cup game should take place on Saturday 5th August. The draw will be made on Friday 7th July with both Clapton and Hackney Wick publicly saying they are included.

Jerry Jairette’s testimonial

A well-deserved testimonial to mark the club captain’s 10 years at the club kicks off the pre-season fixtures, A statement has said the game WILL take place at the Old Spotted Dog,

We’ll have lots more on this game in the coming days.

Pre-season friendlies

Thursday, July 13th – Thurrock
Tuesday July 18th – Aveley
Saturday July 22nd – Barnet Academy
Tuesday July 25th – Brimsdown Rovers