Continuing a look back at the history of Cray Wanderers in 50 historical pieces linking the club from its founding in 1860 to the hopes and aspirations for the future.
26. Cray through to Quarter Finals of the FA Vase – 1979-80
Cray Wanderers reach the Quarter Finals of the FA Vase after wins against BAC (Weybridge), Three Bridges, Eastbourne United, Cheshunt, Gorleston and Newbury Town (see picture) before losing to Stamford 0-1 at Oxford Road
27. 1980-81 Kent League Champions
One of the greatest ever Cray Wanderers teams, the 1980-81 Kent League Champions. Harry Richardson’s side won the title by three points but unfortunately due to the lack of sufficient facilities at Oxford Road the team couldn’t go as far as they would have wished.
28. 1983-84 Cray Wanderers win Kent League Cup
Cray win the 1983-84 Kent League Cup after a thrilling 4-3 win against Sheppey United at Sittingbourne. Phil Williams wheels away after scoring with the other scorers Don Butterfill, Peter Cappuccio and Kevin Walsh.
29. Kent Senior Cup Winners – 1992-93
One of our more unexpected triumphs, the 90’s was a fallow period for the club but in 1992-93 Cray won the Kent Senior Trophy after beating Whitstable Town 1-0 at Gillingham thanks to Sam Wright’s goal.
30. 1994-95 – Gary Hillman becomes Cray Wanderers Chairman
1994-95 – Gary Hillman takes over as Cray Wanderers Chairman with the club in dire straits. The impact, time and money expended on the clubs behalf by Gary has been enormous and without him we wouldn’t have a club to support and for him alone it would be great if his dream of a Cray Wanderers ground of our own can be realised.
31. Last game at Oxford Road – vs. Canterbury City, May 1998
The final game at Oxford Road v Canterbury City – May 1998. Cray won 5-0.
32. Cray Wanderers v VCD Athletic – August 1998 – The first match at Hayes Lane
August 1998 – After the first game at Hayes Lane following a ground sharing agreement with Bromley FC against VCD Athletic. The Wands won 2-1.
33. 2001-02 — 2013-14 – The Jenko and Joe era
2001-02 — 2013-14 – The Jenko and Joe era – Manager Ian Jenkins and Assistant Manager Joe Francis would steer Cray to places we’d never been.
34. 2002-03 Kent League Champions & Kent League Cup Winners
2002-03 Kent League Champions after a dramatic title three way with Maidstone United and Thamesmead Town. Cray also win the Kent League Cup for the second time beating VCD Athletic 2-0 in the final. Pic. Mark Avenell
35. 2003-04 Kent League Champions & Kent Senior Trophy Winners – Reserves also win double
2003-04 Kent League Champions and Kent Senior Trophy winners and promotion to the Isthmian League for the first time. Also the Reserve side won a cup double making it a Cray Wanderers double double.
36. 2003-04 FA Vase Quarter Finalists
2003-04 Cray reach the Quarter Finals of the FA Vase once again beating Deal Town, Chessington & Hook, Great Yarmouth Town, West Allotment Celtic and Keynsham (pictured) before losing to AFC Sudbury at Hayes Lane.
37. Cray Wanderers in the Isthmian League for the first time, reach playoffs
2004-05 – Cray Wanderers in the Ryman League Division One reach the playoffs in their first season. Current first team manager Tony Russell is in the back row with Michael Power. Some real Cray Wanderers legends in that team.
38. Cray Wanderers reach FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round – 2005-06
2005-06 – Cray Wanderers reach the FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round for the first time beating Steyning Town, Kingstonian, Camberley Town and Margate before losing 0-2 to Grays Athletic who were top of the Conference at the time. Pictured are Ian Rawlings, Joe Francis, Ian Jenkins, Gary Abbott and Jamie Wood.
39. 2007-08 Cray Wanderers reach Ryman South Playoffs and go 28 league matches unbeaten
2007-08 Cray finish third in the Ryman South and reach the playoffs where they lost to Tooting & Mitcham United. They also went 28 games unbeaten during the season.
40. 2008-09 Promotion to the Ryman Premier after playoff victory against Met Police
More glory as Cray celebrate promotion to the Ryman Premier after playoff victory against Met Police at Hayes Lane. Jamie Wood, Jamie Kempster and Mark Willy help lift the trophy.
41. Start of the Cray Wanderers Community Scheme 2009
March 2009 – The Cray Wanderers Community Scheme started by Tyrone Sterling and Reggie Oliver and the scheme continues on looking to improve youngsters life chances in the local area.
42. In the Ryman Premier – Academy graduate George Porter scores against Margate
In the Ryman Premier, Cray Wanderers Academy graduate George Porter celebrates scoring against Margate in December 2009. George went on to Leyton Orient in the summer of 2010.
43. 2010-11 Heritage Tournament Winners
July 2010 – 150th Centenary celebrations as Cray win the Heritage Tournament against Sheffield and Hallam FC, the three oldest clubs in the world. Sam Wright was the hero saving the vital penalty in the shoot out against Sheffield meaning he had won a trophy for Cray in open play and as a keeper.
44. 2010-11 – 2011-12 – Joint Highest ever league position 9th Ryman Premier
2010-11 & 2011-12 (pictured) – Cray finish in their joint highest league position, 9th in the Ryman Premier.
45. The Great Escapers 2014-15
After a couple of seasons of struggle and relegation from the Ryman Premier, another relegation from the Ryman North looked to be a probability but under Tommy Warrilow’s management he assembled a team of Gladiators who won 10 games in a row to stave off the dreaded drop back to the Southern Counties East League and to lay foundations for the future.
46. Tony Russell Appointed Manager
May 2015 – A major coup for Cray Wanderers as ex-player Tony Russell becomes manager having helped VCD Athletic achieve a great escape of their own from the Ryman Premier in 2014-15. Bringing the bulk of his side and coaching staff with him he helped make Cray competitive on the field again and also with his vision and confidence to get an U21 side and to promote the importance of a good youth structure. One of the most promising young managers in the game.
47. 2015-16 – Cray reach Ryman North playoffs
Cray Wanderers reach the Ryman North playoffs after finishing fourth in the league table- The team are pictured supporting Grant Basey as he ran the London Marathon for the Institute of Cancer Research.
48. Cray play last game on grass
April 17th 2017 – The final Cray Wanderers home game on grass against Greenwich Borough at Hayes Lane.
49. Cray Wanderers play first home league game on a 3G surface
August 2017 – The first Cray Wanderers home game on 3G against Thamesmead Town. Karl Dent scored the first goal on the new surface.
50. The future
The application for a new stadium and community hub of our own at Flamingo Park and hopefully members of the team to play there if common sense prevails and the dream comes true. The story continues …