History - Pre-World War 2

At the start of 1919 the nation assessed the damage several years of War had created and the task of the Essex County FA’s reconstruction was begun in January. The principal towns in the County were visited by members of the Executive Committee, meetings were addressed and clubs were formed.

At the annual meeting the following September, it was reported there were 446 clubs and competitions in membership - a promising increase of around 75 per cent on the pre-war record. This total was re-counted in 1922 and the Association announced it had trebled its pre-war membership to 779 affiliated clubs and competitions and 257 Junior Cup entries.

However, the County received a further setback when, in 1924, the precious Senior Cup (pictured) was burgled on 25th May during one of its spells in the possession of Ilford FC. On the 21st January the following year, the Junior Cup, while being cared for by Wellington Athletic FC of Forest Gate, met with a similar fate. Neither trophy was ever traced.

Though the concern caused from this paled into insignificance during the years between 1939 and 1945. The Association continued to partly function throughout World War Two to provide football wherever possible for players employed at home on essential War services and for others “home on leave” or convalescing.

In a separate flyer inserted into the 1945/46 County Handbook, President JB Slade stated: “Almost all of our operations in the Football world will be suspended. I trust, however that we may all look forward to, and hope for, an early termination to the struggle, and in the near future to see our members return to the game which we all have so much at heart.”

If you've got any relevant documents, information or artefacts you think are relevant to the history of the Essex County FA, or local football in general, please get in contact and share the memories by calling (01245) 393085 or via E-Mail at info@essexfa.com.

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