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DAGGERS DICTIONARY

"Park Lane"
An area of tidal swampland that has been converted into something resembling a football ground with generous use of scaffolding and corrugated fencing.

 

 

Crest

Next Match


24 October 2017
7:45pm
Macclesfield Town
Home
Vanarama National League 
 

Last Match


21 October 2017
Wrexham
Home
Vanarama National League 
Lost 0-1


     On This Day


In 1993,The Daggers drew 2-2 with Cambridge City Away in the FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round


In 1999,The Daggers beat Walton & Hersham 2-0 at Home in the Ryman League Premier 


In 2004,The Daggers lost 1-2 to Farnborough Town Away in the Nationwide Conference 
Report



In 2010,The Daggers lost 2-3 to Rochdale Away in the NPower League One 


In 2012,The Daggers drew 1-1 with Exeter City at Home in the NPower League Two 


 

 


Tales Of Yesteryear
by Hardy on 14/01/2002

Hardy looks back on his experiences as a Dagenham supporter in the '70s including the FA Trophy trail to Wembley in 1976/77. (Originally published on www.thedagger.co.uk)

The Experiences Of A Dagenham Supporter In The '70s

Dagenham FC 1970/71

Back in 1972, a school friend of mine asked if I fancied a trip to a football match with him and his dad. "Sure," was the reply, and that Saturday we took the District line one stop to Dagenham East and wandered up to Victoria Road to see Dagenham take on the might of Wokingham Town in the recently formed Isthmian League Division Two. The Athenian had just merged with the Isthmian and formed the extra divisions, with Rothmans supplying sponsorship for that, and many of the other "lesser" leagues around the country.

The Daggers won comfortably (4-1 from memory) and I was hooked. I started going to all the home matches and saw Dagenham run away with the division and gain promotion to the Isthmian Division One.

At some point, a couple of seasons on, I began to realise that maybe life in the stands at Victoria Road wasn't for me and started cultivating a relationship with the guys that ran the Dagger shop. At that time the shop was nowhere near as grand as it is now, basically consisting of a converted garden shed painted in red gloss stuffed to the gunnels with programs dating back to the 50's. There were no replica shirts in those days. The supporters kit consisted of the red and white scarf and maybe a bobble hat. The more sophisticated bought the enamel badges, which were sought after by collectors around the world. So I spent my Saturdays and Monday nights in the shop until the game started and then outside watching the game from that corner of the ground. Great days.


Dagenham FC 1976/77

On the playing front the Daggers settled comfortably into the top division of the Isthmian and joined in an annual battle with Enfield and Wycombe Wanderers for top spot, invariably it seemed getting into a fixture tangle at the end of the season and finishing third. One very memorable season ended with what was basically a three way round robin between the clubs with us away to Enfield and Wycombe in the last two games. We lost both, and ended up third again, although with the satisfaction of Enfield not winning the division. They had never been forgiven for thrashing the Daggers 5-1 in the first appearance in the Amateur Cup final at Wembley.

So into season 76/77. Laurie Wilkinson, the manager in those days, had built a decent side by then. Ian Huttley was a fixture in goal, Paul Currie (Tony's brother) was a great attacking left back, Denis Moore playing much like his more illustrious namesake Bobby in the centre of defence (to the one eyed supporters club at least), with Willie Currie, his uncompromising partner in the middle of defence and Peter Wellman, a local lad up through the ranks, at right back. In the middle of the park we had John Borland, a sharp little midfield general acquired from Queens Park coupled with Jimmy Holder, a bearded energetic player with a thundering long range shot. Joe Dunwell supplied the culture in midfield which was completed by Frank Saul, the ex-Spurs player, and FA Cup winner from ten years before. Up front was a combination of Terry Harris, now first team coach, Mal Harkins, a lazy looking player with a great eye for a goal and Neville Fox, a long term Dagger.


Terry Harris scores the second
against Leatherhead

That seasons FA Trophy campaign began with a tricky trip to Leatherhead. They were the then cup heroes having had a couple of great FA Cup runs, but the Daggers consistently out performed them in the League. With full time approaching we were 1-0 down to a goal from the Leatherhead lip, Chris Kelly, and scrambled an equaliser in the dying seconds to bring them back to Victoria Road. The replay was a comfortable 3-0 win and we were on our way.


Terry Harris in action against
Yeovil. John Borland looking on

Next up, Yeovil at home. This was a great tie, ending 1-1 and forcing us to head back to the Huish for a midweek replay. It was one of those real memorable trips where we took three coaches despite it being an early start and a late return. The Daggers responded by dominating the game and winning 2-1, a result which considerably brightened up the long journey back from Somerset. So, we were into the last 16 and the talk on the coach was of Wembley again, and putting right the debacle of the two previous trips there.


Neville Fox heads for goal against
Runcorn

Then came another home tie against Runcorn. The Northern Premier outfit caused the Daggers a few problems. The Daggers earned a penalty, taken by Mal Harkins, that almost burst the net and saw the us through though and into the last 8 we went.


Mal Harkins attacks against
Chorley at Victoria Road

Next up was Northern League Chorley in the quarter finals, another long away trip. I couldn't make that one, and, in the days before teletext, had to wait for 4:50 before calling the club for the result, another 1-1 draw. Chorley brought vociferous support down for the replay and were rewarded by seeing the Daggers sweep their team aside 5-1. The team was playing better round by round, and there was a confidence in the Trophy matches that we could beat anyone.


Frank Saul in action in the first
Slough match

The draw for the semis was great for us, Slough Town from our own division, mid table and already beaten at Victoria Road earlier in the season. The semi was over two legs, home first. A nervous start ensued before the Daggers took the lead through Neville Fox. The crowd went nuts, and we managed two more by the end of the game to take a comprehensive 3-0 advantage to Slough for the return leg the following week, which was also won 3-2. Wembley, Wembley.


Jimmy Holder (out of picture)
scores the Daggers' second in the
second Slough match

Dagenham v Slough

Willie Currie in action at Slough
in the second leg


Dagenham v
Scarborough

The usual armies of one off supporters joined the regulars for the trip round the north circular in a convoy of double-deckers decked in red and white. We wandered round the ground, taking in the atmosphere then decamped through the gates to stand on the terraces at the tunnel end to cheer the lads on.


Terry Harris gives the Daggers the
lead in the 1977 FA Trophy Final
at Wembley.

The game was tight, but the Daggers were definitely on top using the space on the huge pitch well. Then we went 1-0 up, a cross from the right met by a Terry Harris header which thundered in. All was well. With about 20 minutes to go, Jimmy Holder picked the ball up in the centre of the park and ran at the defence who parted, we knew what came next a Jimmy Holder special and sure enough it flew in. Behind the goal we went nuts, 2-0 up with less than a quarter of the game to go, but the noise died away as the referee disallowed it for offside. From where I was, I couldn't believe how that could possibly be and I'm positive that whatever was the story behind it, there is no way with the modern interpretation of interfering with play that it would have been disallowed.

This was the 70's though and the crowd and team had the steam knocked out of it by that. Scarborough began to pile on the pressure and got a late equaliser, then in the dying seconds scored again to take the Trophy 2-1. We sort of stood in disbelief. The highs and lows of football demonstrated so graphically.

Back at Victoria Road after the game, the party was a little muted at first, but we soon picked ourselves up. Jimmy Holder spent the evening, and the following day as far as I could tell, in his playing shirt, complete with authentic Wembley turf stains and everyone convinced themselves that next time it would be our turn.


Dagenham FC 1979/80

Great days.


 

 

 

 

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