Category Archives: Clubs

Mitcham Argyle Football Club

From a postcard dated 1907

News Articles


The Mitcham Argyle club opened their Balham and District League programme on Saturday, with a match against the Clapham United at Gorringe Park, and after a a very exciting time, the game ended in a draw of 5-5.

The Argyle, who were again. unfortunately, unable to have the services of their goalkeeper, won the toss, and play kicked off for the Rovers at 3.30, who immediately made tracks for goal, but were sent back by Prentice. Clapham kept up a persistent attack, and it was not very long before their efforts were rewarded by a mistake by the Argyles’ left back letting in Clay, who with a clear goal made no mistake with his shot. Shortly after the same player nearly added another goal with a fast shot at short range. which Mullins, who was playing goal in place of Hillier. just managed to put over the bar. After this the Argyle had a turn, and the United’s goal had some very narrow escapes, but eventually Ayling managed to obtain near goal and made the score even with a nice shot. From the kickoff the ball was sent well up towards the Argyles’ goal, and a race for the hall between Mullins and Clay ended in the latter securing and scoring in easy fashion. The Argyle were not long in drawing level, a line pass by Carey being neatly converted by Craib, and almost immediately after the whistle went for halftime.

On resuming the United attacked strongly and scored twice, both goals being by Waddam, the first was a good effort, but the second was an absolute present. Mullins letting the ball through his hands in a most unaccountable manner. Clapham’s large lead seemed to increase the efforts of the Argyle players. A nice run by Carey was finished with a lovely shot, which had the goalkeeper beaten all the way. Following this Ayling got clear away and sent to Craib who slammed the ball into the net and made the score level again. The game was now getting somewhat exciting, and the referee had to caution Clay, the United’s centre for ward for unfair tactics. The next goal fell to the Argyle, and was the best effort of the match. Craib obtained from the kickoff and travelled right through the United’s defence and ended with a shot which gave the goalkeeper no earthly chance. The Argyle made great efforts to keep their lead, but towards the end Noble obtained and shot from 20 yards and beat Mullins, who was handicapped by the centre-half getting in his line of sight. The score was again level, and both teams made determined efforts to obtain the lead, but nothing further was scored, and the game ended as above.

The Argyle showed improved form, and on Saturday, when they play their first home match on Figgs marsh, hope to have their best side out, and register their first win of this season.

Source: Croydon Guardian and Surrey County Gazette – Saturday 09 October 1909 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)


The Mitcham Argyle Football Club opened their fifth season on Saturday last, with a match against the Waterfall F.C. on the latter’s ground, and after a very good and even game, the Argyle were beaten by one goal to nil. This result can be reckoned satisfactory by the supporters of the Argyle, considering that several new men were included in the team, which naturally did not allow of smooth working and complete understanding at the first time of asking, but on the whole, the form displayed was distinctly encouraging. and after a week or two the Mitcham Argyle F.C. should develop into a very decent combination.

The match on Saturday was fought out in a very friendly spirit and the first half should have seen the Waterfall leading, several good attempts by their inside forward, being cleverly frustrated by the Argyle goalie, W. Hillier, and towards the finish of the first half, J. Relf, the Argyle capt., in attempting to clear from the Waterfall centre, headed through his own goal, but the referee’s whistle had just previously gone owing to an injury to Hillier. Half time arrived with neither side claiming any advantage.

The second half was fairly even, although both sides missed easy chances, and twenty minutes from the finish a penalty was given against the Argyle for an obviously unintentional infringement by the right back. The penalty was taken by the Waterfall centre, who shot hard and true, but Hillier was there and cleared well. Two minutes from the time the Argyle was subjected to a strong attack, and after a scrimmage in front of goal, Roots obtained and sent in a fine shot which cannoned off the goal post into the net. One minute later the final whistle went, and the Argyle retired beaten by a goal to nil, after a very fine game.

For the losers, Hillier gave a display in goal, and Prentice at left back was great. Relf also played well, and the same must be said of Kemp and Roots for the winners. On Saturday next the Argyle will be entertained by the Caithness Rangers.

Source: Croydon Guardian and Surrey County Gazette – Saturday 25 September 1909 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)


Burnett Bullock

The King’s Head pub was renamed the Burn Bullock in 1975 by the owners Ind Coope. ‘Burn’ was the shortened name of its licensee, Burnett Bullock, who died in 1954. His widow carried on the pub business until she retired in 1975. The brewery renamed the pub in their honour.

The Burn Bullock pub sign, photo taken July 2017

He and his wife Lilian became licensees of the King’s Head on 20th January, 1941. They had previously been joint licensees of the Regent’s Arms in London’s West End. Her parents, Mr & Mrs Card, owned the baker’s shop across the road from the King’s Head. Burnett’s father was surveyor in the Mitcham Urban District Council.
(Source: EN Montague, pages 38-39 of Mitcham Histories: 1 The Cricket Green.)

From 300 Years of Mitcham Cricket, a historical record by Tom Higgs, published in 1985:

The former Secretary, Burn Bullock Snr. had produced a worthy son and Burn Bullock Jnr was to score his first century on the Green when only fifteen years of age. Two years later he was a regular member of Mitcham’s 1st XI. The War interrupted Burn Bullock’s cricket career but when he returned to Mitcham in 1919 he lopped the Club’s averages and played occasionally for Surrey 11s. Burn joined the Oval staff as a professional in 1921 but those were the vintage days of Surrey batsmen with the likes of Jack Hobbs, Andrew Sandham, Andy Ducat and Tom Shepherd available. Burn Bullock had few opportunities with the County side and had to content himself with Minor Counties cricket. He left the Oval in 1926 to become cricket coach on a Norfolk estate and in his first season there made 1500 runs and took 50 wickets before bringing the Norfolk side down to see his beloved Mitcham Green.

Three years later Burn Bullock returned south, became a licensed victualler, and in due course took over the King’s Head, next door to Mitcham’s pavilion. In addition to playing for Mitcham, Burn also skippered the powerful North and South of the Thames Licensed Victuallers XI and score some fifteen centuries with them. But excellent as was his playing ability it was for his outstanding service off the field that Burn Bullock is remembered in Mitcham. He served as player, committee member, Hon. Secretary and Match Secretary. Each year he brought the county side sown to the Green to play a charity match for the local hospital and raised substantial sums by this means. At the time of his death in 1954 Burn Bullock was one of the Club’s most distinguished Vice-Presidents.

From the Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser, 21st April 1954

Mr B. Bullock leaves £2,591

Mr Burnett Wedlake BULLOCK, licensee of the King’s Head, Mitcham, former Surrey cricketer, who died on 21st December last, left £2,591 gross, £2,134 net value. Probate has been granted to his widow Lilian J. Bullock, of the same address.

Lilian Bullock’s obituary was published in the Mitcham Cricket Club Yearbook for 1977.

1950 : Mitcham Boxing Club’s best bill of the season

From the Mitcham News and Mercury, 27th January, 1950, page 5

Men In Khaki Up From Aldershot

Men in khaki from the Aldershot area came to Mitcham Baths on Wednesday of last week to provide Mitcham Boxing Club’s best bill of the season. Programme ended at 11 p.m. after 16 bouts, and there were still more lined up.

Ironically, pride of place for the evening must go to a loser. Thirty-five-years-old Pte. DOWDLEISH (A.C.C.) made his first appearance in the ring for five years, and found himself opposite the heavy-shouldered, hard-punching Ron KENCHINGTON (Earlsfield). Using a foxy cleverness born of experience, and snatching a breather whenever possible, he stayed out of trouble, but could not completely hold a determined Kenchington. Dowdleish, in defence, gave glimpses of an attractive boxing past.

Harry DUFFIN (Earlsfield) smashed his way to a points victory over Pte. GIBSON (R.A.S.C.). as the last bell sounded he pulled the limp soldier off the ropes and led him to his corner.

L-Cpl. W. BOWDERY (Mitcham and 14-20th Hussars) dominated the last two rounds of his bout with Cpl. SLOANE (R.A.O.C.), and it was stopped in the last round, with the Ordnance man reeling around the ring.

Mitcham’s Alf BLACKIE launched a series of right-hand punches to the head in an attempt to swing the decision in his bout with A. HUNT (Caius), but failed narrowly.

Bouncing Stan WARD (Earlsfield), with his piston-like left hand, out-pointed a tearway Cpl. WOOD (R.A.O.C.). Despite going down in the first round, Ward weathered a stormy two-fisted attack to win convincingly.

The crossed-arm defence of L-Cpl. Peter HARRIS (Earlsfield and K.R.R.C.) was not sufficient to prevent him losing on points to L-Cpl. CLARKE (R.E.). Clarke was guilty of a little accidental low punching, but both men finished on the best of terms.

Results on points: Sgt. WOOD (1st Para. Bn.) bt J. HICKS (Mitcham); A.C. R. PATCHING (Mitcham and R.A.F.) bt. Sapper HERBERT (R.E.); D. TAFFURELLI (canterbury and Lilleshall) bt Rfn. MORGAN (K.R.R.C.); Pte. BARTON (R.A.O.C.) bt W.T. BOWDERY (Mitcham); Pte. HUNTER (A.C.C.) bt W. SEALE (Mitcham); Pte. EVANS (S.L.I.) bt R. MOORE (Coulsdon and Purley); G. COUSINS (Earlsfield) bt Pte. TERENCE (R.A.O.C.); H. LEWIS (Earlsfield) bt Pte. DAGLEISH (A.C.C.); Pte. MURRAY (R.A.O.C.) bt E. RANDALL (Mitcham).

L-Col. CLARKE (R.E.) bt P. McCARTHY (Coulsdon), with McCarthy disqualified in the last round for lying on his man.

Independent Order of Oddfellows : 150th anniversary in 1960

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 19th February, 1960, page 7.

THE Independent Order of Odd Fellows, a friendly society who ban arguments about religion and politics at their meetings, were praised as “ pioneers ” by the Mayor of Mitcham (Ald. D. W. Chalkley) on Saturday.

He was speaking at the annual dinner at the Crown, Morden, of the order’s Mitcham and district section, who cover large areas of Surrey, South and South West London. About 178 people attended.

Ald. Chalkley said the order, 150 years old, had helped pioneer the welfare of Britain’s ordinary people and the idea that a sick man should be helped and not cast aside.

“ You have also pioneered the right of people to belong to organisations irrespective of race or creed — a thing people could well do to remember these days,” he said.


Earlier Mr. R. O. Early, past Grand Master, outlined the beginnings of the order. He said it started among farm labourers who used to meet regularly for a drink at a Midlands pub.

One night one of them was missing — he was ill. The others clubbed together to help him. When he was better they continued to keep the fund going in case others needed it.

“ It is now the richest friendly society in the world,” he said.

Mrs. L. M. Payne, Provincial Grand Master, proposed a toast to the Manchester Unity and Mitcham District. Chairman, past Provincial Grand Master, Mr. Harry Crossley, proposed the
loyal toast.

Note: The Odd Fellows got their name because, at the beginning of the original scheme, it was thought strange that poor people should contribute to a fund for others.

For more on this society’s history, see their website.

1888 : The Australian Cricketers at Mitcham

The Australian Cricketers at Mitcham.

On Monday last the sixth team of cricketers from the Antipodes came down to Mitcham by the kind invitation of the Green Protection Committee of the Mitcham Cricket Club, for a week’s preliminary practice, and put up as usual with their old friend Willie Southerton, of the Cricketers.

The weather on Monday was all that could be wished, and several hundreds of spectators assembled to welcome the Colonials. The team is composed as follows

Old members: McDonnell (captain), Blackham, Boyle, Bonner, Jarvis, Jones, Bannerman, and Turner.

New members : Trott, Ferns, Lyons, Edwards, and Worrall.

Through the energy and care of Guttridge, the ground man of the Mitcham Cricket Club, the team was provided with splendid wickets. Monday’s play was mainly confined to hard hitting, just to take the stiffness out of their joints, but on Tuesday they got down to regular work, and onlookers were able to form an opinion on the probabilities of the forthcoming season. The genial and courteous captain (McDonnell) shows his usual good form at the wicket, as does also the veteran Boyle. Blackham will undoubtedly be to the fore this season as a splendid wicket-keeper. Nothing finer in the way of wicket-keeping has yet been seen. Jarvis also shows his usual good form behind the sticks. Turner, according to this week’s work, shows promise of putting in some good bowling daring the season. Jones shows his usual good form. Bonnor will doubt improve, but at present shows want of practice through having wintered in England.

Of the new men, it may said that Trott shows exceptionally good form with the bat, and taken altogether the new comers may be depended on to give a good account of themselves during their stay. There has been some capital fielding exhibited during the week, although their chances in this direction have been somewhat limited owing to the eagerness of outsiders to send home the balls.

The week’s work may be briefly summed up thus : The old members show their usual good form, and the new men show great promise, and have done well on the present slow wicket. No reasonable doubt can entertained that taken altogether the team is one of the strongest that has yet visited the mother country. On Monday next they meet Mr. Thornton’s Eleven, when they may be expected to give good account of themselves.

Source: Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 05 May 1888 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

1902 : Horse riding on the cricket green


At Croydon County Bench, on Saturday. Jas. Plested, of Leighton-street, Mitcham-road was summoned for committing a breach of the Mitcham Common Conservators’ bye-laws, riding on a portion of the cricket club’s ground.—Defendant pleaded guilty; and expressed his sorrow.

— Mr. Thos. Harvey, captain of the Mitcham Cricket Club, said that on the 2nd inst. he saw defendant riding a horse on the club’s ground. When told to stop he did so, but asserted that he had as much right to ride on the ground as witness had walk over it. The ground was damaged.

— Defendant said he only bought the horse the same morning, and he got on its back it got the upper hand of him, reared, and ran to the common.

— Fined 16s. 6d., including costs.

Source: Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser – Saturday 27 September 1902 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

1870 : Appeal to help 80 year old cricketer John Bowyer

John Bowyer.

— Mr. W. W. Thomson, the honorary secretary of the Mitcham Cricket Club, calls our attention to the fact that John Bowyer, an old cricketer of no inconsiderable repute, who was born at Mitcham on June 18, 1790, and is, therefore, in his 80th year, is now residing in his native village without any means of subsistence, and unable to anything for his living.

John Bowyer first played for his county (Surrey) v. England at Lord’s, in July, 1810, and is one of the few men living who played against the following members of the old Hambledon Club (dissolved in 1791), viz.: William Beldham, Wells, Robinson, Thomas Walker. Fennex, and Lambert (the little farmer). He was a celebrated batsman (left-handed) in the days of those good cricketers, Lord F. Beauclerk, Messrs. W. Ward, E. H. Budd, G.Osbaldeston, Asshelon Smith, and others, who flourished between 1810-30, and he also took part in half a dozen of the “B’s v. England” matches at Lords. He last played in 1838, but still stands umpire in the village matches, as he has done for thirty-three years past.

An excellent photograph of this sterling cricketer has been published, and the Mitcham cricketers appeal to the cricketers of England to take a photograph of this fine old player, winch will be sent by post on receipt of eighteen postage stamps. Application can be made either to the honorary secretary, Mitcham ; Mr. Wm. Mortlock, cricketing outfitter, Waterloo Station, London. S.W.; or Mr. John Lillywhite, Seymour-street, Euston-road, London, N.W. The proceeds will be given to Bowyer. A few days’ delay may perhaps occur in forwarding photographs, as the orders for copies will be regulated by the demand.

Source: Sporting Life – Saturday 26 February 1870 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)