Football club Athenlay FC, Nunhead celebrated its 40th anniversary

A football club held a celebration for its 40th anniversary last month.

Athenlay FC had its presentation day and annual fundraising event at its home ground in Homestall Road, Nunhead along with player and team presentations, games, stalls, food and drink.

Darren Morey, an original player whose dad started the club, said: “Athenlay was started 40 years ago by my dad and Les Newnham as we didn’t have any local places to play football.

“Forty years later the club is going from strength to strength with a wonderful community spirit.

Tallulah Newton and Susanna Cabral

“The celebration day was a great event and it was good to catch up with some of the original parents and old teammates.

“Dad would have been so proud.”

The club was named after the road from which the co-founding families lived, Athenlay FC was formed on May 3, 1979 to provide football for local children.

Thanks to a host of volunteers over the years, the club has gone from strength to strength.

From two teams, the club now has 18 teams and more than 300 members regularly attending weekly activities.

The membership of the club reflects the multicultural diversity of Southwark and welcomes players and parents from all backgrounds, irrespective of race, colour, nationality, ethnicity, gender or sexuality.

Darren Morey (original player) and Andrew Shoults (original player) with the original
scrapbook kept for from the first season with pictures and match reports.

The club ethos is to make football fun, affordable and enjoyable for children of all abilities, and for it to be played in a safe and supervised environment.

The last year in particular has seen a huge return from the club’s investment into the development of youth coaches and girls’ football, and the incredible transformation has seen a phenomenal number of girls now attending their sessions.

Athenlay FC is a member of the Selkent League and an affiliated member of The London FA and was the first club in Southwark to receive The Football Association’s much-coveted Charter Standard accreditation, in recognition of the club’s commitment and achievements to
grassroots football.

The club currently has 18 teams from the age groups of nine-18, runs weekly training sessions for children and young people aged five-24, an all female Soccercise group, and four all-girls training group for girls aged nine to 14.

In total, there are more than 350 active members participating in the club’s weekly activity programs.

In addition, the club has 51 registered volunteers supporting all aspects of club operations from FA registration to first aiders, all helping to provide a safe and encouraging environment for young people to reach their full potential.

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