All at Cray Wanderers are saddened to hear of the passing of the author and long time Bromley supporter Dave Roberts who passed away on 28th November. We send condolences to Dave’s family and friends at this sad time.  Dave wrote the greatest novel about non-league football with the legendary Bromley Boys which focused on a very poor Bromley side in the early 70’s and became like a non-league version of Fever Pitch and was made into a film in 2001.

Please see here a tribute from Cray Wanderers club historian Jerry Dowlen about Dave and his legacy for football writing everywhere by supporters of clubs big or small.

Dave Roberts

It is so sad to hear that local-born author Dave Roberts has passed away. I know many football fans who loved reading his books. Dave made his name with ‘The Bromley Boys’ (2008) and its hilarious account of his schoolboy addiction to Bromley FC when they were bottom of the Isthmian League in 1970. The book was made into a film starring Alan Davies and Martine McCutcheon. Filming took place at Crockenhill’s ground instead of Hayes Lane. In a subsequent book ’32 Programmes’ (2010) Dave featured the Bromley team of 1976 when Johnny Biddle ex-Cray was manager and the players included ex-Cray Phil Emblen, Junior Crooks and John Duffy.

I think it can safely be said that Dave Roberts wrote the best book EVER about non-League football: surely the only one that has ever been turned into a film and certainly a popular ‘cult’ book that has been read and enjoyed all round the world. All credit to him for that and how lucky for us that the story is set in OUR local area of Bromley and the Isthmian League radius.

I met Dave three times including when our paths crossed at Waterstone’s in 2010. The respective books ’32 Programmes’ and ‘Forever Amber’ (Cray Wanderers 150-years club history) were being launched with promotional events at the Bromley and Orpington shops. Dave lived abroad for much of his life but he returned to England a few years ago to live in Leeds. We send our condolences to his wife Liz and his family. Liz tweeted on 28th November: ‘We have lost this wonderful man and we all are heartbroken’.


Jerry Dowlen