The Monty football club today…
It started as a vision from Craig Holloway who is devoted to the game of football and when reforming the club in the Summer of 2019 his goal was simple, to put the club back where it belongs, at the heart of the local community.
Over three years on Craig Holloway, a former Samuel Montagu Youth Club member plus an Arsenal FC professional, continue to build on the legacy that great people started.
Working with a small and growing team of very skilled coaches and dedicated volunteers, Holloway is creating a home for young people to spend their evenings and weekends making their best childhood memories. In providing a positive alternative to youth offending and anti-social behaviour the current Samuel Montagu Football Club is the place to grab a ball and get lost in the game we love. ‘Where every player counts, where every child counts.’
Let’s step back in time to see where it all began...
What is in a name?
The original Samuel Montagu Boys Club is the namesake of successful British banker Samuel Montagu and dates back to the 1800s.
Samuel Montagu was born in Liverpool in 1832 to local watchmaker, Louis Samuel. Louis and his wife Henrietta Israel Montagu were known for their work in social services, serving as a Liberal politician in the House of Commons in the late 1800s and for their commitment to Jewish causes.
A family business…
Montagu married Ellen Cohen and together they raised four children. Their eldest child, Henrietta, was known and honoured for improving children's welfare and education which is close to the clubs’ heart. Henrietta married into the Franklin family who later partnered with Samuel Montagu to form British bank Samuel Montagu & Co
Later on the bank invested money into creating Samuel Montagu Boys Club, which was opened in 1965 by Sydney Franklin. It was just a playing field at the start, but the bank also donated funds to finance the building of the centre's premises. No expense was spared and the centre quickly become a popular facility for multiple sporting activities.
The birth of Samuel Montagu Football Club…
In 1986 local football coaches Gizzy Gillespie and Peter Thomas who had just left London Boys Football club were looking for a training ground. Driving around they came across Samuel Montagu Boys Club. They spoke to a youth worker Brian Harris, who agreed they could use the facility for football training and games.
Samuel Montagu FC was born!
It didn’t take long for the club to grow, adding more teams to the clubs ranks. The Monty became one of the biggest football clubs in the Bexley league, which was the local league at the time. They produced teams for under 9s, 10s, 11s , 12s, 13s, 14s, 15s, 16s, 17s, 18s, and also two senior teams.
With the football club and boys club growing side by side, the Monty became a hub at the heart of community life. Bringing people together, creating a sense of belonging and community pride while providing a home for kids to make memories that still live on in the hearts and minds of many today.
The club went on to win numerous Bexley League titles and along with London Cups.
The club produced many footballers at this time who went on to play in the professional game, the likes of:
Richard Rufus (Charlton Athletic FC)
Danny Chapman (Millwall FC)
Charlie Mitten (Gillingham FC)
Carl Hutchings (Brentford FC)
Michael Botswick (Lincoln City)
Tony Craig (Millwall FC)
Peter Sweeney (Millwall FC)
Kieran Richardson (Man Utd FC)
Andy Turner (Tottenham FC)
Ernie Cooksey (Oldham FC)
Craig Holloway (Arsenal FC)
Craig Rocastle (Chelsea FC)
Danny Bower (Fulham FC)
There were many other players that also had successful careers in the non-league game.
This would not have been achieved unless there were good people who were willing to put the effort in to make it the special place it once was. So a huge thanks goes to:
Plus many more who contributed to the Samuel Montagu Football Club.
The departure of Harris in the early 2000s, along with many other volunteers eventually led to the demise of the club with the football aspect living on in memory only until the club was reformed in the Summer of 2019.
Watch this space…UP THE MONTY!!!!