These two towns share many a historic connection: it was in Runnymede (which gives its name to the borough in which Egham is situated) that King John signed the Magna Carta in 1215, after many of the barons and bishops (and perhaps even the king himself) had spent the night at Staines.
The last time that the two football clubs met was three years ago, to contest a special pre-season friendly for the Magna Carta Shield, celebrating the 800th anniversary of this world-changing event.
Less than a mile and a half separates the centre spots at Staines Town’s Wheatsheaf Park stadium and Egham Town’s Runnymede Stadium, yet the fact that they have rarely played in the same league, and the Thames separates them into different footballing counties means that these neighbours very rarely meet.
The meeting this September will be only the second time that the clubs have met in the FA Cup: Egham FC (as they were then known) defeated Staines Town 2-1 at Mill Mead in 1933. RC Stephenson put the visitors ahead, and although Jack Hibbert levelled for Staines, G Prestoe scored an Egham winner early in the second half. It was to be another forty years (all but a week) before they were drawn together again, Staines again hosting the match, this time at their present ground in Wheatsheaf Lane, and gaining revenge thanks to two unanswered goals by the legendary Hans Vandenberg.
Between 1967 and 1971, Staines Town and Egham Town contested eight Spartan League fixtures and a League Cup tie, with Staines dominating the exchanges and losing only once. After that, however, the only meetings over the next 11 years came in the above-mentioned FA Cup tie, and in three minor competition matches, but again Staines went unbeaten in them.
In 1982 they were drawn together in the “Hitachi” Isthmian League Cup. The game should have been staged at Staines, but there was a problem with the drainage so it was switched to Egham, but was drawn after 120 minutes. The replay was also of course held at the ground then known as Tempest Road, and this time the Swans emerged with a win.
The first meeting of any kind for 9 years, and indeed the first league game for 31 years, took place in 2002, when Staines triumphed 5-0 in a “Ryman” Isthmian League Division 1 South game, the first of four meetings before Staines achieved promotion at the end of the following campaign. However, once again it was not staged at Wheatsheaf Park, as the Swans ground was being redeveloped, and they were at the time groundsharing … at Egham! Those last four competitive meetings resulted in two wins apiece.
Apart from these matches, there are a host of links between the two clubs in terms of personnel – perhaps accounting for the sometimes strained relations between the two clubs. Dozens of players have played for both teams (including current “Sarnies” favourites Ashley Lodge, Greg Haydon, Tom Windsor, Michael Kalu, and Kezie Ibe) all enjoyed spells with the Swans. Manager Bruce Butler joined Egham in the 80s after being dismissed from Staines, taking a number of players with him, and the same thing happened in reverse with Chris Wainwright a decade later (although in his case he also served at another club in between). And even Ken Williams, who retired as Staines’ Vice-Chairman in the summer, was a former Chairman at their rivals.
Meetings between Staines Town and Egham Town may be rare, but that alone will ensure that this most local of derbies is very keenly contested.
|8th September 2018||3:00 pm||FA Cup||2018-19|
|Wards Place, Egham, TW20 8XD|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|
|Egham Town FC||0||1||1||Win|
|Staines Town FC||0||0||0||Loss|