A History of YALDING, Kent, England

This game has ancient origins but had few rules before the Victorian times. The National Association was not founded until 1863, and did not appear to have the same interest as cricket at that time, and consequently not so many games are recorded. The last local match of the 1887/88 season played against the Maidstone Church Institute was played on the Vicarage meadow lent for the occassion by the vicar on Saturday March 24th. Of the club the President was Dr Wood, Captain and Treasurer Mr Loud, with a committee of Messrs T Hards, P Thorne, S Williams, Aldous, and Secretary was W Galpin. The team had obvious improved when it was reported that they were playing with much more system in the 1889/90 season when the team had 4 wins 7 losses and 1 draw. Much more improvement was made over the years as the 1897/98 season started with 4 wins 2 loses and 2 draws. The wins were against a Medical staff corps, Hadlow, Maidstone Excelsiors and East Peckham. No mention was made of where matches were played except that in 1901 Mr Frank Reeves of Court Lodge allowed the Cricket and Football clubs free use of the Kintons, although it was stated that the village had no right to regard the ground at that time as a public playground. For the season that ended in 1907 the balance sheet totaled £ 25 8s. and they had played 21 matches, won 11, lost 4, and drawn 6, 72 goals for and 39 against. The main method of transport to matches was by pony and trap, using the facilities of Messrs Kingsland, Posee, Russell and Marks. On those records for 1907 a shirt cost 2s 9d.
In 1908 there is mention of a boys football club, when Mr Lambert who had given them a football, and Mr H Reader the use of a meadow, and on February 1st that year they journeyed to Farleigh on a horse and van provided by Mr Mitchell. They found the opposing team two short, so lent them two men, and beat them 3 goals to 2. For the season 1908/9 the balance sheet was £ 22 17s 6d. Cass Killick who had been secretary for the last nine years, at this time became Scoutmaster, and because of these other duties found it impossible to continue his connections with the club, which at that time was called the Yalding and Hunton Football Club.
The 1914 report stated that the now Y. F. C. was in a flourishing condition, they had won 8 matches, lost 4, drawn 2, and abandoned 2, with 45 goals for and 37 against. The two Hon. Secretaries that year were Messrs W T Taylor and E J Durbridge. One part of the report stated :-
`Especially of late, the home matches have attracted a goodly number of spectators, who have watched the play with great interest, and there have fortunately, so far, been few ocassions on which the weather has been adverse and unpleasant for lookers-on. In the opinion of their supporters the team have improved immensely in their play, the combination, passing, centering and goal-keeping being all far better than at the beginning of the season. It is a real pleasure now to see them in good form, attacking and defending more strongly, both scoring, and saving goals with greater certainty, as the season goes on, to say nothing of their improved power of lasting through a hard-fought match.'