During the 1969-70 season Fulham FC published in it’s programme a serialisation of a booklet from a former player and club secretary Mr H.D.Shrimpton entitled “Foundation History of Fulham Football Club”. The first part appeared on December 27th 1969 for the game against Barrow. The editor added this postscript to the serialisation:-
“Mr. E.W. Alexander, who lives in Birmingham yet supports Fulham with an inspiring tenacity, has sent us a copy of a booklet he bought recently. We found it fascinating. It is a great opportunity to set the record right on a number of things, so we will be reproducing parts of it from time to time.
We are not sure of the date but assume it is from before the first (world) war.”
In the spring of 1997 the same booklet was re-published for £1.00 to help with the funding of Fulham 2000 campaign.
I have always wanted to have such an important historical document available for a wider audience and with the advent of the cyber age this is now possible. I managed to trace (thanks to Geoffrey the cabbie on the official message board, and Jenny Gower at Fulham FC) Henry Shrimpton’s grandson, the former Fulham FC director David Shrimpton, whose family still support Fulham, and he very kindly gave me permission to reproduce the booklet exclusively for Friends Of Fulham, TOOFIF and Fulham USA. It must be noted that the writing is in the vernacular of that period, and that although at times the information appears disjointed it is nonetheless enthusiastic and interesting. I have deliberately not changed the wording of the publication in any way, and have left the original programme editors notes from 1970 in italics.
In the original accompanying notes with the series, there was a foreword from G.H.T Shrimpton, CBE., TD. The father of David Shrimpton. “My father published the booklet in 1950 and it is pleasant to learn there is still interest in his account of the origins of the club. My family still takes some pride in its association with Fulham. The record of four brothers playing for it, three of them regularly, seems unlikely to be equalled and is enhanced by the fact that one of them, Tom Shrimpton, captained the first Fulham team to play at Craven Cottage. My father and brother were in the side.
When his employers required my father to reduce his commitment to football, he turned out for Fulham under the name of S.D. Henry. However he was always known locally as ‘Mo’, a name he acquired as a young full back for Fulham against Dartford in an away Cup tie. Fulham who were not expected to win, took a 1 - 0 lead in the second half and thereafter my father put so many clearances in the river that the name of the boatman who was called each time to retrieve it remained with my father until he died in 1956, aged 81.
I was weaned on Fulham football and although I played rugby football for Kent and London Counties and was for fifteen years chairman of the Old Blues R.F.C., I used to return with my father to Craven Cottage when I was injured or the ground too hard for rugby.
Now my early conditioning has re-asserted itself. My sons, fourth generation Fulham supporters, and I rarely miss a first or reserves game there”
David Shrimpton has written a further postscript to accompany this ‘electronic’ serialisation.
"The family connection with Fulham is a genetic defect, but this applies to many long-standing Fulham supporters!
Our family involvement in Fulham goes through four generations. My grandfather, Henry, captained Fulham and claimed to be the first person to kick a football at Craven Cottage when on 10th October 1896 he led the team out to play Minerva, the opening game at the new ground.
Three of his brothers also played for Fulham; he then became Company Secretary, and the registered office of the Club was at the family home in Fulham, so he was well qualified to write the ‘Foundation History of Fulham Football Club’.
My father, George Shrimpton, was a life long supporter and a Vice President, and he and his father took me to my first match in 1949. I became a Director of the Club in 1991, worked with the Muddyman family to rescue the Club, developed the Dream Scheme to find someone seriously rich to take over the Club (instead of the terminal plan to reduce capacity down to 12,000 by building flats on three sides of the ground) and through an unplanned act of fate was responsible for introducing MAF to Fulham – and the rest is history".
Fulham FC began it's life 130 years ago this year (2009), and so to commemorate this - we bring you:-