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Woking FC

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Woking FC are part of the back-bone of British Football - one of the smaller clubs where players all have full-time jobs and supporters live on the back of 'hope' as opposed to 'achievement'. Woking are known as 'The Cards', which is short for 'The Cardinals', due to their red strip.

Woking Football Club were founded in 1889 and joined the West Surrey League six years later, which they won at the first attempt. They then moved up to the Isthmian League in 1911, staying in the top division for 72 years.

The highlight of these 72 years was undoubtedly the 1958 'FA Amateur Trophy', where Woking beat Ilford 3:0 at Wembley, in front of 71,000 spectators (which ain't bad). This was the last televised final of the Amateur Trophy.

Unfortunately things went a little sour in the early 1980s, with Woking being relegated to Division One of the Isthmian League in 1982-3 (the first time they'd been relegated in almost 100 years!), and then went from bad to worse when they were again relegated in 1984-5.

After these years of misery, Woking suddenly transformed themselves under the guidance of a new manager - Geoff Chapple. Initially finishing second in their first season in Division Two (South), Woking were then promoted to Division One in the following year. They then finished in third position for two years running before clinching promotion back to the Isthmian Premier Division.

The Famous Cup Run

In 1990-1 Woking produced one of the great FA Cup runs of recent non-league history, in the third round of which they knocked out West Bromwich Albion, of Football League Division Two, who were four leagues and approximately 120 teams above them at the time. The score was 4:2, with Tim Buzaglo scoring an incredible hat-trick. Round four saw Woking up against Everton, of what was then Division One (now The Premiership, of course) - a staggering 150 teams above them. Again, Woking played incredibly against a squad full of international players, and in the end were beaten 1:0 at Goodison Park (with one Woking player hitting the post in the dying minutes...).

The 'Glory Years'

This heralded the 'glory years' for Woking Football Club - the following season saw them promoted again, this time to the Vauxhall Conference (now the Football Conference). Over the next five years Woking never finished outside the top five, and were runners-up twice. 1994 also saw Woking at Wembley winning the FA Trophy Final, the start of a run where they won the competition a record-breaking three times in four years. During this time they also continued with excellent FA Cup runs, beating League opposition most years, and including another glorious year where they knocked out Division Two leaders - Millwall FC in the first round, Division Three leaders - Cambridge United in the second round and drew the first tie against Premiership Coventry City before losing 2:1 at the Kingfield Stadium.

The Future

Unfortunately the years since then have not been as good. Geoff Chapple resigned and a variety of managers were brought in, but none could match Chapple's success. The team have been struggling in the lower half of the Conference for the last few seasons, but the end of 2001 saw the return of Geoff Chapple, and the supporters still dream...

Woking play at the Kingfield Stadium in Woking (opposite the Leisure Centre), and have a ground capacity of 6,000, including 2,000 seated. There are two main stands with the most recent built in the early 1990s, using the money from their very successful FA Cup runs. There is a minimal amount of parking at the ground, so usually you have to park in the entrance to the leisure centre1.

For more information, including ground location, ticket prices and upcoming games, check out their official website at the foot of the page.

Further Information

1The leisure centre do not seem to mind this.

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