(Last updated: Sept. 2013)
The Early Years
St Peter’s Football Club was formed in 1919 and started playing in the old Country Parish Football Association in the season 1919/20 when matches were played on pitches at St Peter’s Arsenal and St Peter’s Barracks.
As members of the old C.P.F.A. the club’s first success was to win the Western Division in 1922. Also in that season the club reached the final of the Trinity Shield losing 1-0 to Trinity.
1923 saw the junior team carry off the Junior K.O. Cup which they succeeded in winning again in 1932.
The club was now beginning to establish itself and in 1926 went over to London to play against the famed Wycombe Wanderers from the Athenian League. In the seasons which followed, the club played its part in the development of parish football.
The next major success came along in a war time Le Riche Cup Final in 1942, when the club defeated Sylvans. The cup was retained the following season.
Although experiencing hard times during and after the war, St Peter’s continued to promote the good name of club and island football. The club was now playing in the Saturday Football League with the games being played on our present Clos des Pauvre ground.
It was not long before more honours began to arrive! In the fifties we won both league and cups, reaching a purple patch with winning the Woods Cup on four occasions out of five finals which led into the early sixties. However, as sometimes happens after a lot of success, a number of players retired or moved on and some officials decided to call it a day.
History shows that we came very close to bankruptcy due to a number of problems and an apparent lack of interest. Out of adversity good often arises! A small band of loyal officials and players were determined not to let the club die and although at times it was very hard going, the club gathered a group of young players together. This, without doubt, gave us the foundations on which the club has been built ever since.
You will see from the list of honours won that we have not looked back! At times the club and its members have performed with outstanding character and loyalty in achieving results against massive odds.
The 1970’s and 80’s
Honours in the 1970s include winning the Le Riche Cup three times in four successive finals, the Willis Cup twice in three successive finals and the oldest trophy in CI football, the coveted Trinity Shield, for two successive seasons. Our greatest cup win for the club up to that time occurred when, for the first time of entry, we took Guernsey’s premier Knock Out trophy, the Jeremie Cup, on penalties in the never to be forgotten 1976 final.
In 1977 the club embarked on a scheme to build our own clubhouse. Saturday 13th August was to be a very proud day for all the members who witnessed the opening by that grand old gentleman of Parish & Island Football, the late Mr C L J Anthony. The opening was followed with a match against the Alderney Island team. Another lasting chapter had been written for St Peter.
The club celebrated its Diamond Jubilee in 1980 by playing Second Division Football League club, Plymouth Argyle. The match was followed by a Gala Dinner.
Under the previously sponsored Rothmans League during the first sixteen years of the Combination, now under the Jersey European Airways sponsorship, the club has been a major force in many knock-out cup competitions, but yet have to achieve the ultimate prize of the first division championship.
During the late eighties we entered the Devon County Premier Cup, reaching the quarter finals in 1989. Due to travel problems and development priorities, the club did not enter the competition again until 1995, when we had an away draw against Cheriton Fitzopane, who proved to be too good for us on the day.
In 1990 St Peter took a giant leap into the unknown with the formation of a Ladies team.
On Sunday 10th October 1993 we had the pleasure of entertaining the then Premier league club Swindon Town, who included our ex-player Chris Hamon. A record crowd of over 700 saw a very entertaining match, which Swindon won by 6 goals You will see from the list of honours won that we have not looked back! At times the club and its members have performed with outstanding character and loyalty in achieving results against massive odds.
In 1995 St Peter’s FC celebrated its 75th year! The officials and members led by the President, Tom Du Feu proudly acknowledged the club’s achievements with the building of the first all-seater stand for any club in the Channel Islands. We also vastly improved the clubhouse facilities. It had been hard work on everyone’s part, but with the loyalty of officials like then Vice Presidents Ken Huelin, Kerr Cameron, Peter Fleury and Chris Benest, along with our Secretary Stan Journeaux, and with a hard working Committee, many of our dreams had become reality.
So well received were the new facilities that in 1996 the inter-insular match against Guernsey, known as ‘The Muratti’, was staged at St Peter whilst the main Island sports stadium at Springfield was being rebuilt. A real feather in the cap of our forward thinking Committee!
1997 was a disastrous year as St Peter’s was relegated to the 2nd Division. Only a restructuring of the League when 3 teams pulled out, prevented it actually happening.
1998 saw a complete reversal when the club finished as runners-up to Jersey Scottish as they did again in 1999.
The Millennium year saw continued progress. Yet again we were the League runners-up, this time to St Paul’s. We were semi-finalists in the Wheway, Le Riche and Devon cups. Barry Hardisty won the Jersey ‘Player of Players’ award and the ‘C’ team won the Richomme Memorial Trophy.
The Ladies side had gone from strength to strength and, such was the demand, October 2000 saw the formation of a Junior Section with 30 + girls undergoing regular training. In the years since 1996 when the Ladies team (then known as the Jersey Cougars) started using our club facilities for training, they have won the championship every year.
2001 opened with a very good spirit within the club. We had won the Charity Shield in September beating Jersey Wanderers 6-1 in the Final. We had built up a good head-of-steam and were optimistic about winning the League for the first time in our history. In March we won the Le Riche Trophy 1-0 against St Pauls.
On 31st March 2001, after 82 years of League football, we at last succeeded in winning the League and we still had 2 games to play. The scenes at the ground were wonderful! Our President Tom Du Feu could not stop smiling even when deluged with water whilst being interviewed by the local media. Partying lasted late into the night! Great credit must be given to Peter Vincenti, (ex-Island player & manager), who built up and managed the victorious squad.
In April we won our 4th trophy for the season when beating Guernsey’s St. Martins 5-2 to take the Wheway Cup, and our 5th when we beat Guernsey Sylvans 5-0 to become CI Champions and win the Upton Park Cup. We finished the 2001 league with 52 points out of a possible 54.
2002 Saw us retain the Men’s league title. We also started to see real progress in the Junior divisions under the guidance of Keith Le Cornu. The U 14’s won their division.
2003 The Ladies retained the league title and won both the KO Trophies
2004 Ladies retained the league, won the Zenith Trophy and also entered the Women’s FA Cup for the first time losing to Aldershot in extra time.
2005 Under 14’s won their division.
The Academy (U10s), managed by Mike Horman, entered their first ever tournament by playing in the Guernsey Minis Festival against sides that included Arsenal & Everton Minis. They were successful in winning the BWCI Plate trophy for teams knocked out in the early stages of the tournament .
2006 We won the Men’s league for the 3rd time and win the Charity Cup. Reserve team also wins their division title.
2007 First team win the Charity & Le Riche Cups. Minis regain the BWCI Plate in Guernsey.
2008 Under 18s won the Oakland’s Trophy – Winners of Division 2. Minis retain the BWCI Plate in Guernsey.
Over the years St Peter’s FC has been well served by many generations of loyal and hard-working members, names like W P Le Marquand, Peter and Frank Surcouf, Frank Gallais, Jack Tardivel, Oscar Delanoe, Stan Journeaux and our most recent Past President “Gentleman” Jack Le Feuvre. All these and many others rekindle many memories of the club’s history.
Today and In the Future…
In the current decade the club has been well served by some modern day heroes who despite holding down a full time occupation, have given a phenomenal amount of their personal time and effort to St Peter’s Football Club. Although St Peter’s is blessed with a hard working Committee, those who deserve special mention include Andy Forskitt and Roger Pugsley who as skilled tradesmen, have done so much work for the club over a number of years.
We are blessed with a committed President Tom Du Feu who for many years has orchestrated the team of unpaid committee members to willingly to give their all in the cause of building St Peters Football Club into the club we are all eminently proud of. There are many others who give of their own precious time and to all of them we express our special thanks, without your contributions the club would not be the thriving community that it is, bringing enjoyment to so many others.
Along with the support and help that we get from so many people who have an interest, St Peter’s Football club will ensure that we go from strength to strength in the continuing history of our popular club.