Tuesday 16th August 2022
Lambourn Sports 1-0 East Hendred
LAMBOURN SPORTS CLUB - A BRIEF HISTORY
Lambourn FC was established in 1909, using the current ground for the whole of its existence. The club's red and white shirts were originally used when the well-known jockey Tommy Robbins, donated the red and white kit to the club. In 1946, they adopted the name of Lambourn Sports, bringing together the various sports club that played on the site. In 1955, the club purchased their home for £700, having previously rented it. In 1961, the club made the step up to the Hellenic League. Starting in Division 1, they finished as runners-up to Botley United in their debut season. A 10th place finish was a solid start at the higher level but results soon tailed off and they were relegated to Division 1 in 1967 before leaving the league altogether in 1972 to join the North Berks League. They'd remain there until 1977, rejoining the Hellenic League and remaining in Division 1 until 1982 when they were champions. They'd only last one season in the Premier Division this time, finishing bottom of the league and winning twice all season. It would take until 1995 for them to return, this time finishing 3rd behind Endsleigh and Milton United. The 1995/96 season was the best in the club's history as they finished 3rd in the Premier Division behind Cirencester Town and Brackley Town. They'd spend one more season in the Hellenic League before departing in 1997 for financial reasons. They joined the North Berks League Division 4 and won that and Divisions 3 and 2 in consecutive seasons, They then won Division 1 (and therefore were league champions) in 2006, 2008 & 2011. The latter of these titles saw them briefly join the Hellenic League for a couple of seasons, having mid-table finishes in each of the regional Division 1s. Player availability was an issue and this led to them resigning and ultimately resigning from the North Berks D1 midway through the following season. Returning in Division 2 in 2014, they'd win the title at their first attempt. Though they finished bottom of Division 1 in 2017, they'd remain there until 2021 when they dropped down to Division 2 despite finishing 6th. Last season they finished in 6th place in Division 2.
Lambourn Sports' only venture into the FA Competitions came in 1996 when they lost 1-0 to Bournemouth Poppies in the FA Vase. Local cup wins include the Berks & Bucks Senior Trophy in 1995, the Reading Senior Cup in 1960, the North Berks Cup in 2006, the North Berks Charity Shield three times and the North Berks War Memorial Cup twice. The most famous person associated with the club is Swindon Town legend Don Rogers whose two extra-time goals helped the Robins overcome Arsenal 3-1 in the 1969 League Cup final. He bought plenty of success to Lambourne Sports as manager between 1990 & 1996 before moving on to manage Swindon Supermarine and Hungerford Town. He runs a well-renowned sports shop in Swindon to this day.
The village of Lambourn has a population of around 4,100 and the football ground is also currently home to former Hellenic side Newbury Town after they were sold down the river by their local council. On 8 September 1944, a stricken B-24 Liberator flown by 2nd Lt Lawrence Berkoff DFC was returning from an aborted mission. Berkoff maintained control of the plane so that his crew could parachute to safety over Baydon, but saw that if he bailed out the plane would crash into Lambourn. He, therefore, remained at the controls to divert the aircraft and was killed when it crash-landed in a field on Folly Road at 10:45 pm, missing the village by a few hundred yards. Berkoff was awarded a posthumous Distinguished Flying Cross and a plaque in his honour was unveiled by his great nephew, Todd Berkoff, at Lambourn Memorial Hall on 26 June 2003. On Tuesday 13 April 1953 an articulated lorry carrying aviation fuel suffered brake failure as it came down Hungerford Hill (now the B4000). Despite the best efforts of the driver, it hit several buildings before overturning on Oxford Street. The lorry exploded, destroying the tobacconist's, confectioner's, watchmaker's, jeweller's and antique dealer's shops, but only the driver was killed. The burning fuel set fire to three houses, two thatched cottages and several flats, and 37 people were made homeless. It also flowed down the street and into the River Lambourn and set fire to property up to 50 yards away until the Newbury, Hungerford, Wantage, Swindon and Faringdon fire brigades helped the local brigade quench the fire. The village has strong racing connections with it being near Newbury Racecourse and several famous jockeys have lived in the village.