SHOCK AS ONE OF LONDON’S OLDEST CLUBS QUITS ESSEX SENIOR LEAGUE

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Alf Ramsey and the Eton Manor team in the 1950s

Eton Manor, one of London’s oldest clubs formed in 1901. have pulled out of the Essex Senior League.

The FA yesterday released the list of clubs set to start the 2017/18 campaign with The Braves noticeably absent.

Set up as a sports club for the poor and underprivileged youth of East London, they historically played at The Wilderness in Hackney Wick, on what is now the Olympic Stadium park.

In the 1950s they were coached by Alf Ramsey in his first managerial role on the rise to the England job and to World Cup glory in 1966.

The club have spent the last few decades ground sharing, kept alive by chairman Reg Curtis, but he has now been forced to step down.

It is claimed that Manor will be ‘non-playing members’ of the ESL next season, raising the slight prospect that they might return in 2018/19 season.

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The memorial to Eton Manor members who died in World War One

It means the ESL will only have 21 teams – meaning one team will have a free weekend each week.

Saffron Walden Town’s bid to switch from the Eastern Counties League was rejected.

Meanwhile the resurrected Woodford Town have been approved by the FA, but they have been allocated to the Spartan South Midlands League not the ESL as they’d hoped.

Finally, the merger between Hackney Wick and London Bari has been approved and the new club – named Hackney Wick – will be in the ESL next season.

The 21 teams in the ESL