A recently unearthed photograph that was going to be used in our matchday programme for Saturday’s now-postponed clash v Bromley shows what Fleet fans were doing exactly 100 years ago to this very day.
This photo, taken on St Patrick’s Night – 17th March, 1920 – shows members of Northfleet United FC’s supporters committee settling down for one of the season’s annual fundraising events – the whist drive and dance.
Decked out in their finery, the venue is Factory Hall – just up the hill on Northfleet High Street – a building which exists to this day and was then used as a focal point for many of the pre-war Fleet’s functions.
The situation at Stonebridge Road in March 1920 in many ways can offer those of us in March 2020 hope about our football club.
It was the end of the 1919/20 season and the Fleet had just resumed service following four years of conflict. They were to finish champions of the Kent League, runners-up in the Kent Senior Cup and received an invitation (eventually not accepted) to rejoin the Southern League.
And this week a century ago, other than the pictured whist drive and dance, the Fleet were celebrating a triple Kent-derby success: beating Sittingbourne 1-0 in the Kent Senior Cup semi-final at The Valley in front of 5,000 people, and then seeing off Margate 6-2 and Tunbridge Wells Rangers 5-1 in the league.