Dulwich Hamlet Football Club’s scheduled return to their home since 1912 has been put back because the crowd for the game against Torquay United would have been too big.
The club and its supporters’ trust will now host a trio of games to celebrate their return, with the first home league game confirmed as the Boxing Day fixture against Eastbourne Borough at 3pm.
It will be followed by two more, against Slough Town at 3pm on Saturday December 29, and then against Bath City at 3pm on Saturday January 5, 2019.
There is also the possibility of an FA Trophy game even earlier, on Saturday December 15, depending on the draw which takes place this coming Monday.
The club and the trust has thanked all of the volunteers and contributors who have helped to make the return home a reality over the past month by providing resources at short notice – including developers Meadow Partners who own their ground, Southwark council and the National League.
A statement from the club said: “The local community members, tradespeople and businesses who have worked round the clock are too numerous to mention in a single statement but the club and the trust will ensure their efforts are
acknowledged in due course.”
The work on the stadium and the pitch was completed in time to host the December 1 game against Torquay United but there might not have been enough room for visiting fans as Champion Hill would have been rammed with home supporters. So the board has decided instead that this game will be the final game at Imperial Fields.
The statement added: “We are grateful to Tooting & Mitcham FC for their agreement. The decision was taken after consultation with Torquay United about how best to accommodate their considerably higher-than-average away attendances.
“The club and the trust felt that the additional ticketing, facilities and safety
measures would have resulted in limited availability and a less-than-optimal matchday experience for both sets of fans.
“We would like to thank Torquay United and the National League for their help
and support during that process.”
Tickets for the Torquay game will be available online but supporters will be able to pay on the gate as usual.
Announcements for the release of tickets for the first three league games back at Champion Hill will be made in the next week.
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Former Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.