Described as a hundred and twenty five years in the making, a new book charting the history of Ryman South play-off chasers Herne Bay has gone on sale.

‘The History of Herne Bay Football Club, 1886/1887 – 2011/2012, The First 125 Years’ was published in March after being researched, compiled and edited by club stalwarts Steve Barton, Ray Kelly and Doug Smith.

Between them, the trio have been watching the Kent club for over 140 years and after devoting the last four years to the book, they are now looking forward to its official launch at Winch’s Field on Saturday 9 April after Herne Bay host South Park.

Officials say a host of ex-players, managers and others associated with the club over the years have committed to attend the launch party to sign copies for supporters after the event kicks off in the bar at 7pm.

Containing over 120,000 words and nearly 1,000 photos and illustrations, with over 400 in full colour, the book covers the club’s history from its formation in 1886 to its 125th nnniversary season in 2011-12 when Herne Bay won the Kent League and promotion to the Ryman League.

The A4-sized softback book with laminated cover also includes more than 70 team group photos and over 300 individual photos of players who have worn The Bay’s blue and white strip and is priced at £25.

All three authors have covered the club before and spoke about the results of their combined effort in a statement inviting supporters and the media to the launch party.

Barton said: “Myself, Doug and Ray had produced various publications in different forms in the past. We felt that the time was right to put them all together in one book and have it professionally produced.”

Smith said: “This is the culmination of work which I started in the mid-1990s, spending hundreds of hours searching through the archives of the local newspapers, talking to anyone that would listen and listening to anyone who would talk, to glean as much information as I could about Herne Bay FC before they moved into Winch’s Field in 1953.

“Since then, as club historian, I have built up a massive collection of paper cuttings, photos, programmes and other memorabilia of Herne Bay FC through the years.”

Former player Kelly said: “I was amongst the over 1,000 spectators at Herne Bay’s first match at Winch’s Field on 26th August 1953. I later played for the club and have been involved ever since. It’s such a friendly club and a real community club. Most of the players come from near the Bay, which can’t be said of some other clubs, and that really makes a difference.”

For more information on the book or to purchase an advance copy, email:


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