Club talisman, Jerry Jairette has today astonishingly been forced out of Clapton after over ten years’ service for refusing to delete a tweet.

Jerry, who was given a testimonial match by the Tons last summer, publicly criticised two recent opponents who had banned Tons supporters from their respective grounds earlier this month.

The outspoken support for fans by the Club captain seemingly sparked a row with manager Jonny Fowell and chief executive Vince McBean, who suggested Jerry would be fined by the FA and banned for five games if he did not delete the tweet.

Jerry, who is currently injured after again playing in goal when his team found themselves without a recognised ‘keeper, declined to delete the tweet saying it was opinion, but agreed not to repeat it and to cover any fine himself that came the club’s way.

It then emerged that the punishment was being implemented by the club itself, not the FA, and the in-house five-game ban was being delayed until Jerry returned to fitness in January.

This was a particular bitter pill considering the utility man’s lay-off came after he was injured playing out of position in goal, as a favour to manager Fowell. The third time he had agreed to do so this season.

Jerry went public with the row today, announcing that ‘his time at Clapton has come to the end’ after asking to be released due to the club banning him


Eager to get the facts out there, Jerry took to Twitter again to publish his recent Whatsapp conversation with Jonny Fowell regarding the tweet and his future at the club.



There was a huge surge of support within minutes of Jerry’s announcement.

Former Clapton assistant manager Andre Thomas, now at Barking, backed Jerry, saying: “He would’ve never got a ‘fine’ or ban for those tweets. His opinion is his opinion and he hasn’t even mentioned a club.”

While Lizzy Matthews, another former member of the Clapton bench, commented: “As much as it angers me to see this happening that’s one loyal person away from the poison inside that club”.

A Clapton Ultras statement said: “We are stunned that McBean’s Clapton have forced out club captain and loyal servant, Jerry Jairette, after he tweeted his dismay with the recent bans imposed on Clapton supporters. This is a new low for this regime.

“We believe these bans on us are hostile and utterly without basis. That McBean’s regime has now made players (and one of its most loyal ever) pay for their sorry approach to running our football club is beyond the pale.”

Clapton FC News contacted the club for comment. They have yet to reply in keeping with their policy not to speak to us. There has also been no social media response or post on their website at the loss of the loyal club captain.

Fowell said he was unable to comment and also declined an opportunity to pay tribute to the departing club hero.




Ryan Reed with the runners-up shield and an award from the fans after last season’s performances

Barking have swooped for two of Clapton’s star players Ryan Reed and Eman Olajide just weeks after coach Andre Thomas switched to the Bostik North side.

Reed scored two, including a 25-yard wonder strike, last night to help the Tons win 3-2 at Barkingside and sign off in style.

Watch it from two angles here:


Reed later posted a farewell message to fans on Twitter, saying: “I’d just like too say thank you too every Clapton fan that has come to watch us boys last season and this season, Playing in front of a crowd has been a joy. Thanks guys #COYTons!!”


Winger Reed grabbed seven goals and 18 assists last season and was on course to do even better this season with nine goals and six assists already.

He is still registered with the Tons as well so it’s always possible that we could see him back at the Tons – as with Johnny Ashman’s surprise two-game return earlier this season.

However, it feels like he will go straight into the Barking team with the club official Twitter and first team coach Kiers Hughes-Mason both quick to welcome him to Mayesbrook Park.



Olajide meanwhile joined Barking on an emergency loan last week after an injury to their regular keeper Ollie Bowles and kept a clean sheet on his debut on Tuesday and again on Saturday.

Olajide is also still registered with the Tons although it’s understood it was agreed between the clubs he would not play on Friday night to keep him fresh for Barking.

It’s possible he will play for the Tons again when Bowles recovers from injury – though he may have become first choice by then.

Manager Jonny Fowell said of the departing players: “There two fantastic boys who really want to learn and play as high as they can.

“Just very surprised why other clubs didn’t take them but @barkingfc have them so well done and good luck.”

As well as Andre Thomas, Reed and Olajide join former Tons favourites, striker Jay Knight and defender Hussain Jaffa, at Barking.


Fans’ favourite Kristian Haighton announced this week that he was leaving Clapton after two seasons.

The utility man posted a Twitter message about the ‘hard decision’ he’d made while praising some ‘great people’ and ‘incredible fans’ at the club.

He arrived at Clapton the beginning of 2015/6 from the Swedish third division and quickly formed a reputation with the Tons as a solid and classy operator across the defence or midfield

Having been one of the most consistent picks in the last two years, even captaining the side many times, Haighton had been in and out of the side this time round.

So we asked him if lack of playing time was the reason why he was leaving the Tons.

Haighton told CFC News: “No, I’m not moving on due to lack of appearances. The lack of playing recently was due to myself and my availability.

“I’ve been looking to move back home to Felixstowe and commute into London for work therefore journey times etc wouldn’t be ideal for Saturday fixtures.

“Also, last season we finished second which was amazing! Obviously all the boys want to push and play for promotion but unfortunately due to the standards of our facilities even if we were to finish top this season we wouldn’t be able to go up! Unless a lot of changes happen at the club.

“So of course I’m hoping to work hard and get my head down and join a club with the ambitions to push for promotions and that has the same drive as myself.

“I’m not saying Clapton didn’t have this but there are a lot of things currently in the way that are stopping that from happening.

“All I know is there is a quality squad at Clapton that deserve to play higher and deserve this for their efforts especially for last season. I think the fans deserve this too!”

One of Kristian Haighton’s modelling shots

As well as being one of the most physically fit players, Haighton was one of Clapton’s Spice Boys, one of several easy-on-the-eye faces who also worked as a model.

We can’t pass up the opportunity to remind you he also made a TV appearance as ‘handsome man eating scotch egg’ in a furniture ad.

We also asked about his highlights with the Tons and unsurprisingly the discussion went straight to the Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy final win in 2015.

He said: “It was a pleasure to play for Clapton and I feel lucky to have captained such a great team especially under your support. And with such a talented squad.

“My favourite moment was winning the cup final in the first season with the club, That day was just perfect, fans, the squad, even to the celebrations afterwards,

“Another personal moment that I’ll always cherish is hearing my chant from you amazing fans for the first time!

“I’d never had that before and from then on I felt welcomed as if I was part of the family.”

The reaction from fans and players showed he will be much missed – and manager Jonny Fowell said he’s welcome back any time.



Jonny Fowell has brought in Colin Reid as head coach

Manager Jon Fowell has added four new players and seen seven depart in recent weeks as Clapton look to get their Essex Senior League campaign back on track.

The Tons sit in seventeenth spot, just one place above relegation zone, after an iffy start to the league campaign, though enjoyed two great wins in the FA Cup, including against higher level Norwich United.

Fowell has also appointed former Macclesfield Town and Bishops Stortford coach Colin Reid as his new head coach, alongside assistant manager Andre Thomas and Ray Bartlett, the first team coach.

Having drawn a blank in front of goal in four of the nine matches this season, much of the player changes have been up front.

As the Tons look for their first home win of the season against Burnham Ramblers on Saturday, here we run through the changes since our last article on arrivals and departures.



Attacking midfielder Raphael Duyile, a near ever-present since returning to the club last season, has joined Essex Senior League rivals Barkingside. Rafa scored once this season and three times last but now reunites with former Clapton manager Mike Walther and has already played twice for the ‘Side.

Striker Craig Heskey has rejoined his former club Burnham Ramblers, for whom he scored 4 in 10 games at the end of last season. What are the odds on a goal on his return to the Old Spotted Dog on Saturday? Heskey started just one game in his second spell at Clapton plus two sub appearances.

Another striker Anton Stephenson also departs after taking the assistant manager’s job at Barking. He reunites with Justin Gardner, with whom he worked at Tower Hamlets. Stephenson started one game – the FA Cup tie at FC Clacton where he scored the only goal – and made two sub appearances. He appears to have also signed as a player for Redbridge.

Grafting midfielder Dean Bouho, pacy wideman Mustafa Kahie, composed centre-back Jordan Meikle and young striker Caiden Imbert-Thomas have also left the club after just 1 start and 2 sub appearances between them this season.


Greg Akpele made his Clapton debut in the 3-0 FA Cup defeat against Needham Market after signing from Non-League Chance. Announcing the signing, Fowell said attacker Akpele “will be a sensation at this level.”

Akpele caught the eye of higher level clubs after scoring 11 goals in the Essex Senior League for Basildon United four seasons ago. After trials with professional clubs, including Leyton Orient, Dagenham & Redbridge, he then went on to short spells at Braintree Town, Hampton & Richmond. Kingstonian, Cheshunt, VCD Athletic, Barkingside and Burnham Ramblers. Last season he was at Romford in the Isthmian North, where he bagged 6 goals.

Tall striker Ikem Odeh enjoyed a dream debut for the Tons, scoring on his debut against Norwich United. Starting as a youth at St Albans City, he’s since played for Cockfosters and Berkhamsted, in the Spartan South Midlands League, the same level as the ESL, scoring 2 in 30 appearances,

Also newly registered are Nick LoBlack, a former Haringey & Waltham Development defender, and former Ilford player Scott Hill.


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


Jerry Jairette in action for Old Ford Under 9s

Neil Day

If one player deserves the adulation of the supporters it is Jerry.

I’m taken back to the pre Ultras days with Woodsy and myself trying to put a team together. A guy turns up at training, cigarette in his mouth and probably the worst refuelling habits seen even at the Spotted Dog.

But this guy could really play, any position, any conditions, 1 fan or 500, 100% commitment every time.

Jerry’s the hardest working player I’ve ever seen and I don’t give that accolade out lightly. A coach’s dream, versatile, fearless and unfazed by any opposition.

Our paths have crossed a few times in recent years on opposing sides and he was as much the heartbeat of the new improved Clapton as he was all those years before.

A heartfelt thanks for all his efforts for Chris and me in the past. Well done Abs, proud of you.

Jonny Fowell

When I first met the players I said I wanted to win the league. Jerry laughed and said “not with no budget, I’m Clapton captain and we have never challenged”. But he has been a true leader and loves Clapton.

I love his attitude towards the game. He’s a great lad and deserve everything he gets on Saturday. Hope the fans turn up in their hundreds.

Marc Nurse-Moore

I have known Jerry for 6 years mainly as his football coach and it has been a pleasure.

Jerry is a player with tremendous ability who should be playing at a higher level, however  his commitment has helped Clapton improve over recent years.

10 years is a massive achievement at this level.

Stuart Purcell

Jerry was always very committed and passionate about playing for Clapton and also ensuring everyone else had the same level  of desire. Big character in the dressing room. Top player and top lad.

Enrico Tiritera

A versatile player from central midfielder to left winger to left back and even goalkeeper.

In the Gordon Brasted semi-final 1-0 win v Haringey he made a great goal line save to deny them a goal. He was red carded but the penalty saved.

Couldn’t ask more from a great team player! Clapton legend.

Andre Thomas

Saturday 23rd August 2016, my second game in charge and my first 3pm Saturday game. Some will remember it as Clapton’s 138th birthday, others because we won 5-2 vs Eton Manor, but I’ll always remember it for the conversation I heard in the players’ huddle right before kick-off.

There was no shock to whose voice was loudest, rallying reassuring and encouraging his teammates. Yeah, you guessed it, our captain, our leader and our legend, Jerry Jairette.

As I walked over, I heard Jerry say: “We all like Dré and we all want him to get the job, let’s go and put our all in for him.” I heard this but until now I haven’t told anyone. I didn’t want anyone to see how much these words touched me and wanted the boys to remain focused.

So I went to the dugout, took my seat, soaked it in and smiled. I said to myself, “if an influential, hardworking, committed, talented consistent player thinks highly of me after only working with me for a season, I must be OK”.

And that’s what Jerry does. He inspires, he fights, he believes, he speaks his mind, he executes his ideas. He doesn’t know when and how to stop. He doesn’t know how to give up or give in. Some of the many reasons why we’re here celebrating his 10 years at Clapton.

He’s been a joy to work with. His attitude, perseverance and open nature has helped me as a coach as I now have a basis for what I expect from players as a minimum.
To put the cherry on top, Jerry is a top, top player. His anticipation, tactical nous, technical ability and skill set, his first touch, his vision, his fitness and his heart is unmatched.

Jerry isn’t a player who WILL play anywhere. Jerry is a player who CAN play everywhere. There is a big difference. He understands the game, what is required from each position from 1-11 and wins his individual battle, inspiring his teammates to follow.

Can you please name me another player, at any level, who has kept a clean sheet, saved a penalty, scored, created assists…all in one season!…..for 10 seasons?!

Mike Walther

Jerry was always a major player both in and out of the dressing room. He has Clapton in his blood.

Sometimes you would get a call at 1.15pm on a Saturday saying he could not make it, he would train infrequently, and sometimes looked worse for wear.

But when Jerry stepped onto the pitch, he was like a man possessed.

In the Gordon Brasted Cup Final win against Stansted, Jerry was a key figure in keeping the danger man quiet.

The biggest compliment I can give Jerry is that he is the best all round player in my time at the club.

Warren Mfula, Fahad Nyanja, Eamon Payne, Nathan Cook, Johnny Ashman, Paul Oshin, Sherwin Stanley, all played for me at Clapton, but for all their ability, Jerry is the best all round player.

If ever I needed a player to be stopped in the game, Jerry was the man, and on the ball, everyone knows he is quality. He is the only player at Clapton who anticipates the bounce, and plays every pass on the volley!

Chris Wood

Great to see Jerry has been honoured with a testimonial, hope he gets the gate receipts! A tireless worker, a player that could adapt to any position, even keeper!

Sometimes I would wish for his efforts on the pitch to rub off on the other lads, but then next game he’d stroll into the changing room at 10 to 3!

Well done Jerry enjoy your game, you’re like a stick of rock, red and white with Clapton written through the middle.

Johnny Ashman

Jerry as a leader is second to none, his professional attitude kicks in as soon as he gets in the changing room and that only spreads to the other players.

He is also technically a good footballer making the Spotted Dog look like he’s playing on Camp Nou at times.

He’s also not afraid to make a crunching tackle to get the team going if it’s needed. I hope to see him playing for many seasons to come.

Shomari Barnwell

Great guy and really welcoming when I first came to the club and he was a great leader as everyone knows. Heart of a lion and he always gives 100 percent for the team and the fans.

James Briggs

He’s the most diehard player I’ve ever played with and knows exactly how to motivate you when you’re not on your game! He can mix his game from intricate passing to aggressive tackles.

Off the pitch he’s even better, he says it how it is and is always up for a laugh. Proper legend!

Khadean Campbell

On the pitch i have never seen anyone with so much heart and passion like Jerry, like Clapton’s Kante! Was a pleasure to play with and off the pitch you couldn’t meet a nicer guy. Fighter on the pitch and a great guy off it, he deserves this testimonial.

Tony Cookey

Jerry is an amazing person on and off the pitch, hard worker and always determined to win. He is a winner, Glad to have played with such a professional.

Quincy Egbejale

Jerry is a great leader off and on the pitch. He’s willing to do anything in order for the team to win! He’s a great man as he encourage us younger lads to strive for more at the club.

Kristian Haighton

Jerry – aka Mr Clapton! He has been at the club many years now and you can see that in the way that he plays with heart and desire.

He has a lot of passion for the club and so much love for the fans. The fans deserve fight, passion, love, desire from all players but Jerry consistently shows that through every performance.

Tom Jeffes

A player who has fantastic ability that can turn a game on its head in the blink of an eye. I have seen so many wonders in the short period I was there. Jerry also has a nasty side that you need in every team, a player that you love playing with but hate playing against.

A top bloke who deserves this weekend for the superb service he has given the club through a very tough period. Top man.

Leon Lewis

A hardworking, loyal, inspirational, great leader. At training he’s unstoppable!

Warren Mfula

Jerry’s commitment and love for the club showed in every single match he was involved inn.

He even volunteered to play in any position he was asked to and even in goal so that alone shows what kind of love he has for the club.

I am very happy for the club to organise a testimonial match for him. True Clapton legend.

Fahad Nyanja

I first met Jerry when I was playing for Claptons under 16 and he was in the senior team.

He was a very aggressive player who never backed out of a challenge. He loved slide tackling which I thought was crazy given the state of the pitch at the time.

A very versatile player. Played in goal, defence, midfield and striker. I actually don’t know what he’s best position is.

Off the pitch he’s a great family man. Has two beautiful kids. He’s always given me positive advice on and off the pitch.

Always tells me how I could be a better player if I ever had a first touch. So every time I train with him or play with him I am always trying to prove to him that I have worked on my first touch.

During the years I have looked up to him. How he carries himself on the pitch. How he puts 100% and leaves nothing behind.

Geoff Ocran

For the majority of the 10 years Jerry has been at Clapton, we’ve been rivals more than team mates. I often tried to tap him up to join me but his loyalties always remained with his local club.

He’s selfless, optimistic, competitive and passionate about everything he does. Having seen the club transcend from single digit attendances to currently one of the best supported clubs at this level, Jerry deserves every accolade for this achievement.

A true Clapton legend in every sense of the word!

Eamon Payne

The only player who can turn up 2 minutes before a game and be ready to play 120 mins in any position.

He calls things as he sees them, an open-minded person and I respect him as a player and a person.

He speaks to everyone and anyone, a humble Clapton legend and his work ethic is crazy.

He’s a no nonsense hard battler on the pitch and off the pitch he’s one of the nicest guys I’ve met.

Ryan Reed

For the season I’ve played with Jerry you can see his heart when playing for Clapton FC. Every game, every minute he plays he gives 100% and you can’t teach that,

So fair play to Mr Clapton.

Jake Stevens

Jerry is a top player, great footballing brain and bundles of technical ability.

Playing with him was easy, because you always knew he would do something positive with the ball (it helps that he knows every bobble and hole on the Spotted Dog like the back of his hand).

What stands out to me above his footballing talents, was his pure passion for the club and fans. As a new player he drags you into the club ethos and makes you feel a part of it immediately.

He played in every position available, never grumbled and excelled at every one.

Favourite memory is his Suarez-esque ‘save’ in the 1-0 Cup Semi-Final win vs Haringey in 2015, he got a red card, they missed the penalty and we went through.