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 The Poll

Daggers change of ownership: should we...

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DAGGERS DICTIONARY

"Welfie"
Someone who is rich.

 

 

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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 
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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 


 

 


Thoughts from

From Across The Pond
by Dave Indge on 12/04/2007

Dave Indge, a Daggers exile living in Canada, gives us his thoughts on life the universe and the Daggers at this exciting time.

From across the Pond

Dave Indge has been a Daggers fan since the mid 50's but left these shores for Canada in 1975. He's always kept tabs on how his Daggers have been faring and with them finally reaching the Football League, he sent DiggerDagger his thoughts.

Excited
To say I am excited is an understatement, and I know I'm going to sound like an old codger here when I say "I can remember when", but it's true. Living in Hunters Hall Road, I cannot count how many times I've wandered across Pondfield Park on a Saturday afternoon, or any given evening to watch "My" team. Watching the video's and pictures everyone has put on the various sites and u-tube has really made me feel part of the celebrations and I do thank everyone for thinking of others by doing that.

I go as far back as the mid fifties as a supporter and the first player I can recall was a centre forward named Dave Harris. He was the old style forward, big, strong and could out jump anyone to head in a cross. The crosses he jumped for were provided either by winger Kenny Gibson, or Ron Nugent. Dave Harris was the reason I became a Daggers fan and for that I am very grateful and I do hope he and his family are well. Assisting him up front were inside left Bryan Barber and inside right Eddie Curley. George Dudley was in his early years at Victoria Road, which ended up being where he spent most, if not all of his playing days. 

In the early to mid sixties a young half back joined the club and immediately made the team and this kids name was Denis Moore. Denis went to Eastbrook School and was a couple of years ahead of me so there was another connection with the team. He went on to be a long time stalwart of the team and earned several England amateur caps, which was a huge accolade for both him and the team. 

During this period the team played in the Athenian, Corinthian and Isthmian League(s) and were always considered a threat, but never really a "serious" threat. And, the thought of Dagenham EVER playing full time professional football was an absolute pipe dream. The football league was a very closed shop and the first pro team I can recall going broke were Accrington Stanley sometime in the early 60's. 

At the time with 92 teams in the four divisions, teams were "elected in" and "elected out" of the fourth division. The election was held behind closed doors, with the fate of the "fallen" team being decided by the remaining 91 teams. No new team had been elected out (and thus no new team elected in) for so many years, no one could remember. So, when Accrington Stanley went TU, there was some hope an amateur team was going to be let in. 

Unfortunately the closed shop mentality was fostered and vehemently endorsed by Bob Lord, who at the time was the owner of Burnley and by his efforts alone, Accrington survived and were re-elected. Bob Lord made his views well known, he wanted no amateurs in HIS league. How times have changed.

Father Ted and Dagenham FC
But I digress. In the mid sixties Ted Hardy arrived and Dagenham's fortunes improved. The Dave Harris/Brian Barber era was over and these fine gentlemen left Victoria Road. But, their impact on the fortunes of Victoria Road, I hope will be acknowledge in some manner in this period of celebration, as will all the players involved in Dagenham's history. On that point, I am sure there are many Ilford, Leytonstone & Walthamstow players whose efforts impacted those teams also and they too, as part of Dagenham & Redbridge's heritage, should also be acknowledged.

With Ted's arrival, the quality of commitment changed almost to a full time employment status, and there were always questions how some of these guys were able to commit the time they did to playing for Dagenham, without getting paid. Or at least only getting paid "expenses". I'll let you draw your own conclusions to that statement.

Ted was a brilliant manager and demanded lots from his players. He came to the club with that reputation and many players followed him. Some of the players Ted brought to Victoria Road were Roy Drake, Jimmy Holder, Kenny Edwards, Tony Bass, John Dear, Ian Huttley, Martin Smith an so many others who all carried themselves with distinction while playing for him. And of course, another player who showed up later was a centre half named John Still. What an impact Ted's association with this club has been. He should be given the key to Dagenham.

I was fortunate to have seen his work evolve into some of the best soccer seen anywhere in England. Also, watching him have a ballistic attack sitting on the bench when George Dudley would always clear the ball into the parking lot instead of down the field was worth the price of admission. In fact, I cannot recall seeing George hit to many clearance balls in a straight line in all the years I watched him play. Roy Drake also new the way to push Ted's buttons and when he did that WAS worth the price of admission. Martin Smith also had the ability to piss Ted off quickly and the language was, shall we say, always colourful. 

Three players that stand out of those that played in the Ted era for me at least, were a forward called Peter Greene who was, in my opinion, one of the best players to don a Daggers shirt. Sadly, Peter was something of a nutter (along with Roy Drake) which really detracted from his magnificent playing ability. His ball control and skills were nothing like I had seen in non league football and several pro teams were after him. His attitude let him down though and he left for South Africa in the early 70's. 

In my opinion though, with no insult intended to any past or present player, the best and classiest all round player Ted brought to Victoria Road was Kenny Gray. Pure magic. He could read the game like no other player and had one of the hardest shots on a consistent basis that I've ever seen. Alas, his career was cut short by an injury I witnessed at the Pondfield Road end I believe in the '74 season. 

I still cannot believe that as a 7 or 8 year old kid, playing over at Pondfield Park alongside other kids, we would don our Dagenham shirts, choose which player we were for that game and (in our minds) be playing and beating the likes of Arsenal, Spurs, Inter Milan and Juventus, getting all the way to the FA Cup Final or European Cup final, or both. But it was always playing for Dagenham who had somehow "miraculously" made it through. West Ham sucked in those days too, so they were never in it.

This week
On November 1st 1975 I watched my last game before emigrating to Canada. I believe the manager then was Laurie Wilkinson who had taken over from Ted who had left for Bishops Stortford some years earlier. I think the result was a 1-0 win over Harwich & Parkston and since that time in the last 32 years have seen Dagenham play once, in March 1982. But I've never given up cheering for them, always with the dream that what is about to take place, would one day happen.

On Sunday, I called a friend (Dennis Curtis) who lives on Langhorne Road by the Church Elm, whom I have not spoken with for 13 years to get his views on the game. Spectacular was all he would say. My brother with whom I and Dennis watched many games, home and away, sent me an e mail last week about Dagenham & Redbridge's success. In that e mail, he reminded me of many friends and relatives with whom we travelled, and friends we made following and supporting the Daggers. He also made me think that many of those friends and relatives are no longer with us. 

In that vein, I am sure we all have someone we would like to have standing on the sidelines besides at this moment, to enjoy the celebrations with us. They would be proud of their team at this moment. I would ask for everyone who reads this, to spend a minute thinking about those we miss. 

So what does the future hold now?
From being a ground where, when I first set foot there at least, you had total freedom of movement, no segregation or crowd troubles, and at half time you could get a cup of tea and sausage bun in 2 minutes and just move from one end to the other to see Daggers score. Those days unfortunately from what I understand have been long gone. And, with our move into "the big time", so will arrive the big time hooligans. Just think, a great season for us next year, and a continuation of a bad one for a couple of teams, through promotion and relegation, could see Leeds United playing at Victoria Road in a couple of years. Millwall too.

Also, where we have basically dominated this league, next season, don't be surprised if we are just an average team. We will be up against a lot stiffer level of competition on a weekly basis making the games harder to win EVERY time. This is where John Still will need the support of the crowd, as the expectation level after this season will be high. Hopefully I am wrong, but how will we cope with average. How soon will those "fans" who earlier in this season called for John to be fired, then with success, all jumped on the JS bandwagon. Will they support John through the first, and perhaps toughest campaign of next season. Or, 10 games in with average results, will they be jumping (once again) off of the bandwagon and calling for his head again.

Lastly, and a pet concern of mine, is the finances. John and the directors have done an exceptional job in turning the finances around. However, as things unfold, new players will be brought in, operational expenses will increase, ground improvements will be mandatory, and most of all, will we average attendances of 4,000 as we did last Saturday.

I truly hope, their fiscal sense continues.

My thoughts are we will be middle of the pack next season, and I do believe we will improve with time and with a good first season, we can be in the pro leagues for a very long time. Yes, I can see it now, Dagenham & Redbridge at home to Manchester United. Don't laugh, if you would have told me years back, that some day we would be playing the likes of Hereford, Swindon, Notts County and Walsall on a regular basis as a "Division 4" team, I would have found it difficult to believe.

Enjoy the ride boys, you've certainly earned it.


 

 

 

 

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