Hendon finally celebrated a big victory at the Ryman Premier club’s new home at Silver Jubilee Park on Saturday nearly eight years since winning their last game at Claremont Road.
After Worthing spoiled their hopes of an opening day victory before successive draws with Burgess Hill and Dulwich Hamlet in the Ryman’s top flight, Gary McCann’s side finally ended the long wait for a win at their new home with a 5-2 hammering of Evo-Stik League Southern Cheshunt in The Emirates FA Cup’s First Qualifying Round.
Before opening the ground in Kingsbury for league business with a guest list led by Ryman League chairman Nick Robinson, vice-president Lord Rosser and London FA councillor Kevin Wilmot, the Greens officially open their new home back on 18 July when they hosted Queens Park Rangers in a friendly.
Hendon FC chairman Simon Lawrence, director Dave Bedford, OBE, and former director Rob Morris – the guiding light behind the project – as well as Ann John, OBE, former leader of the London Borough of Brent, all spoke at the opening ceremony.
In a statement afterwards, the club’s officials thanked Harrow Borough, Wembley, Northwood and Staines Town for allowing them to use their grounds for more than a decade and also singled out a number of individuals and groups for making the move possible.
The club said: “An awful lot of work has gone on over the intervening period, by Simon Lawrence as chairman ensuring, together with his fellow directors, that we still have a club to support along with all those who have been on the Supporters Trust board and Supporters Association committee, coming up with fundraising ideas and helping out where they can.
“A huge thank you goes to Rob Morris and his partners at Silver Jubilee Park for putting in so much work to help us have a home of our own. Without Rob and his team – we wouldn’t be looking forward to playing a home game today and would almost certainly be still playing at Earlsmead.”
The Greens, drawn away to Dulwich Hanmlet in Monday’s Emirates FA Cup draw, added: “We mustn’t forget Graham Etchell, our secretary, who has ensured that we have done everything we need to be able to continue playing. His experience and knowledge of football administration is invaluable.
“And of course there is Gary McCann, Freddie Hyatt, Scott Cousins and all the backroom staff and players who have ensured we’ve kept our Ryman League Premier Division status through some tough times.”