A rough guide to... Bromley

Cod Almighty | Article

by Barry Whittleton

27 September 2021

How are you?

If you need to get a feel for Bromley FC then uber fan Dave Roberts (no not that one, their version) has written a series of books recounting his exploits and adventures while meandering around England watching Bromley.

If reading isn't your thing the initial one Bromley Boys was made into a film starring Eastenders stalwart cum warbler Martine McCutcheon, and that floppy-haired Arsenal fan Alan Davies. You can buy a DVD or stream them.

What have you been up to?

Bromley FC have existed for 129 years moving to their current Hayes Lane ground in 1938 from one a bit further up the same road. Originally members of the South London League they joined the Southern League two seasons later. The following 121 years were spent flitting between various southern leagues, including the Athenian which they won three times, the Isthmian (four times), Spartan (once) and the London League, which they failed to win but did bag a Division Two title. In between moving, they also managed three FA Amatuer Cup victories and a losing final in the FA Trophy in 2017-18. This came two seasons after their last title success when they secured the National League South to gain their current top tier status.

What kind of season did you have?

Bromley were undoubtedly one of the surprise packages of last season. Securing a seventh place play off spot just one point behind pre-season title favourites Notts County. Sadly for the Ravens the dream of League status ended at the first hurdle
beaten more soundly by eventual winners Hartlepool than the 3-2 scoreline suggested, in the wilds of Teesside; having won more points on their travels than at home they maybe anticipated better.

The FA Cup adventure ended in the first round proper when they lost to an extra time stoppage time Yeovil at Hayes Lane, having played with only 10 men since the 68th minute. They were beaten at home in the FA Trophy as well, on penalties to Woking in the fourth round.

How are you feeling?

A pre-season look at their fan sites showed optimism was high in South East London. They clearly, like BT Sport, were confident of dealing Town a blow on our first game back in the Conference until Covid intervened. Having retained most of the players from last season's squad who they wished to, they have added Joe Partington, a big centre half, from promotion rivals Eastleigh and re-signed Louis Dennis from Orient, having originally sold him to Pompey. His record of 35 goals from 130 appearances on the wing had secured him his shot at the big time.

Bromley fans will be hoping he can increase the supply line to top scorer Michael Cheek, whose one goal every two games record in the Conference, with Braintree among others, is the kind our own fan sites beg for from a striker. All that said, they currently sit 10th in the table. Their only home defeat came in a 3-2 reverse to Boreham Wood but they bounced back from that to win their last two games to nil against Barnet and Dover.  

Where are you from?

Bromley is a well-populated borough in South East London which owes its heritage to being a main coaching stop on the trip up from Hastings. It boasts two railway stations and a team of Morris Dancers founded in 1947. The town has an obsession with Ravens: the borough crest, club badge, schools, bars and even the club mascot all feature the signatories of death. Despite extensive research (meaning I Googled it) I can find no reason why, so probably there are just a lot of them close by.

Anyone with any street credibility knows one fact about Bromley. They sold the best pop from a truck in 1970s Grimsby, before Corona came along and nothing was the same again. No change there.

Culturally those of a certain persuasion (including me) will know that Bromley was at the forefront of the punk revolution in the late 1970s. The Bromley contingent were early adopters and followers of the Pistols and two - Siouxsie Sioux and Billy Idol - went on to become performers in their own right. There was another bloke from there who did a bit in pop music but his name escapes me.

Music however is not the only claim to fame with the Green Midget Cafe, made famous as purveyors of spam, being located in the town.

Fancy a pint?

For those among the Town fans making the journey to Bromley, the Bricklayers Arms offers a warm welcome to home and away fans and is just a short walk from Bromley South, toward the ground. Our last visit was also Tuesday night and to be honest other than that i can remember absolutely nothing about it! Enjoy the game.