A BRIEF HISTORY OF ERITH & BELVEDERE FOOTBALL CLUB – 2017/2018
Deres were formed in 1922 and played their first Kent League match on 26 August at Park View, Belvedere – losing 3-1 to Chatham. In 1924 the Deres reached the Amateur Cup Final (losing 3-0 to Clapton at The Den), won the Kent Amateur Cup, and lost 2-0 home to Third Division Reading in the FA Cup.
Apart from two London League seasons, the Deres remained in the Kent until the war: third in 1928-29 was their highest finish. However they reached successive Kent Amateur Cup Finals in 1934/5. Another Amateur Cup Final in 1938 saw a 1-0 defeat to Bromley at The Den (att 33,346)
On the outbreak of war the Deres joined the SE Combination and became one of Kent’s top clubs. In 1941-42 they won the League and Cup double plus Kent Senior Cup, scoring 253 goals in 44 games. London Senior Cup winners in 1945, the Deres were founder members of the Corinthian League, winning the Memorial Shield three seasons in succession before joining the Athenian League in 1963.
In the late 60s the Deres won four Kent Amateur Cups in five years; they reached the Athenian premier division in 1971 and won the League Cup in 1974. The club chose to return to the Kent League in 1978, but in 1982 entered the Southern League as champions and League Cup finalists.
Life was hard for the Deres in the Southern League, with a best placing of 7th in 1993. In 1997 under Mike Acland the club could have folded when arsonists destroyed the main stand at Park View on 1 September 1997, leading to the ground share with Welling from 1999.
In 2005 the Deres were relegated, ending a 23-year Southern League stint. Back in the Kent League, the Deres were in promotion contention until the final day of 2005-06. 2009 saw the Deres reach the Kent Senior Trophy final, their first final in 25 years, but lose 3-2 to VCD.
Micky Collins took over in May 2010, and three years later took Deres to the Kent League title in a terrific tussle with VCD, won with a 7-1 win v Greenwich in the final game. Collins resigned and the subsequent Ryman North campaign was disastrous, Deres finishing bottom after a 16-game losing streak, but new manager Matt Longhurst revived the club with a 3rd-place finish last season and a run to the FA Vase quarter-finals. Last season also saw The Deres Under 18’s reach the final of the London FA U18 Cup losing 3-2 in a hard thought battle against Redbridge FC, with Redbridge scoring the winning goal in stoppage time. The Deres other youth teams also had a very rewarding season with two Selkent League titles, a Selkent Cup and a Kent Youth League title, the club was also recognised with the Kent FA Workforce Respect Award. In October 2015 Matt Longhurst left the club and now ex Deres player John Wilfort took over the reigns as first team manager, in his first season he saw the Deres reach the Macron SCEFL Challenge Cup Final but lost 2-0 against Hollands & Blair.
The 2016/17 season would prove to be a tough season for the Deres with a new fresh, young squad and John Wilfort resigned as first team manager in February 2017, the Deres have now appointed Luke Colman as the first team manager, but were relegated to SCEFL Division 1.
First Team Trophies
Kent League Premier Champions: 1982, 2013 Runners-up 2012
Kent League Premier League Cup Winners: 2013
Kent Senior Cup Winners: 1942 Runners-up: 1982, 2009
London Senior Cup Winners: 1945 Runners-up: 1939
Athenian League Division 1 Runners-up: 1971
Athenian League Cup Winners: 1974
Kent League Division 1 Champions 2005
Kent League Division 2 Champions 2004
Kent Amateur Cup Winners: 1924, 1948, 1966, 1967, 1969, 1970 Runners-up: 1934, 1935, 1947, 1952, 1974
South East Combination Champions and Cup Winners: 1942
Corinthian League Memorial Shield Winners: 1948, 1949, 1950 Runners-up: 1968
Kent League: Reserve Division(s) Cup Winners: 1983, 1984
Kent League: Reserve Division(s) Cup Runners Up: 2011
(Friendly) 16-2 v RAF, 4 September 1941
(Cup) 14-1 v Orpington, Kent Senior Cup, 14 March 1942
(League)14-2 v Royal Marines, Kent League, 18 November 1933
(Away) 10-0 v Ramsgate, Kent League, 17 January 1981
(League Aggregate) 19-3 (10-2 h, 9-1 a) v Sporting Bengal United 2008-09
0-15 v Ashford, Kent League,28 Apr 1937
5,573 v Crook Colliery Welfare, Amateur Cup,19 Feb 1949