For nostalgia lovers the club recently had an email from one of our great former players Phil Williams which you can see here.
Nice to take a minute off from work and search out how my old club is doing. I was centre-forward for around 5 years in the early 80’s and (I think) the first contract player the club took on for a very long time (or ever).
I fondly remember the days at Oxford Road and playing with the likes of Glen Cooper, Alan Payne (also as manager) with Brian Faulkener on the back team staff and the wonderful person who was Dennis Hargreaves running the club. I scored over a hundred goals and one of my most treasured memento’s came from a group of supporters who wrote me a letter and made a framed photo of one of my goals wishing me speedy recovery after a broken ankle.
We were not the best team but under Alan we played with a real freedom and buzz which was a great pleasure for players and spectators alike.
Regards and best wishes
I wrote to Phil and he is now living in Wembley. The offer was made for him to be a guest of honour at a future home game which he hopes to be able to do. Along with Ken Collishaw, perhaps the Cray centre-forward I wished that I had seen play. Here is his response.
Very humbling response. I live in Wembley now and have the good fortune to share some golden memories of my time at the club. I went to the Bromley ground just once when I was assistant at Kingsbury Town and I walked into the bar as a stranger only to find some elder supporters arguing about the best centre forward they had seen. One poor judge was insistent someone of my name was his choice…. I joined in the conversation on my own side until my champion clicked it was me. A great laugh.
If anyone else is daft enough to consider me worth a visit then I would be proud to represent that period of the club’s past – or I could play up front if your short on the day…….(60 with a pot belly).
Here is Phil in the Cray Wanderers lineup of 1982-83, his first season with the club, front row, 1st left – Team lineup- Back row l-r, Dave Jackson, Paul Edgar, Gary O’Neill, Micky Wills, Richard Heselden, Kenny Edwards, Steve Greenway, Alan Payne – Front row – Phil Williams, Alan Whitehead, Glen Cooper, Terry French, Neil Lawrence.
One of Cray Wanderers great players of the mid to late 80’s, Phil was one of the finest centre-forwards to ever play for Cray, Phil came to the club towards the end of the 1982-83 season having played in the Football League for Chester. He made one appearance for Chester against Preston North End in the 1976-77 season. Unfortunately an injury at Chester put an end to his pro career and went on to University in Nottingham for three years.
A player with great pace and with tremendous heading ability Phil was signed by manager Alan Payne (rumour has it following a meeting in a Fish & Chip shop) towards the end of the 1982-83 season and scored 8 goals in 9 games. The following season, 1983-84 saw him at his very best, notching 36 goals in 38 games including a double hat-trick in a 10-1 thrashing of Ramsgate at Oxford Road making him the last Cray player to do so. He helped Cray win the Kent League Cup beating Sheppey United in 1984 in a dramatic 4-3 win at Sittingbourne.
Although he did have injuries during his time with Cray he continued to score prolifically up to the 1989-90 season and in what was a mid-table Kent League side he played an impressive 221 games for the Wands and his goalscoring record wasn’t too shabby either with 126 goals putting him fourth in the all time list of Cray goal scorers and certainly one of the finest headers of the ball the club has ever had. Definitely Hall of Fame material.