Football’s Lost Homes: Leyton

Leyton FC

Although Leyton only began playing in 1997, they won a High Court case to say that they are officially a continuation of the original club of the same name, founded in 1868. This means that they were one of the oldest clubs in London, second only to Cray Wanderers who were formed eight years previously.

Their days back in competitive football were numbered, though, as an investigation by HMRC in 2009 led to the conviction and imprisonment of their chairman – who had also named himself manager on several occasions – and former director for their part in a £16 million VAT fraud. Despite an unbeaten run of six games at the end of the 2009/10 season, they finished in the relegation zone. They were awarded a reprieve due to the misfortunes other clubs around them, but the inevitable was merely being delayed and they withdrew from the league in January, subsequently folding. Their final attendance was a crowd of 45.

The ground still stands, and after a period where the pitch was used to house a gazebo for the local Indian restaurant, is now land dedicated for use as a car park, despite the remains of the ground crumbling around it.

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