Few County Football Associations in England enjoy such a rich heritage as Hertfordshire. It all began, quite unintentionally, in a pub, The Farringdon in Holborn in 1885.

In the early 1880s there were already 20 clubs operating Hertfordshire and with interest continuing to grow, the Secretary of St Albans F.C., Mr R Cook called a meeting which was to have been held at The Football Associations Headquarters, then at 51 High Holborn but on arrival they found the offices closed.

In its first season 20 clubs affiliated and numbers substantially increased year on year.  Today stands close on 2,500 teams.

1885 - Association formed with 20 member clubs

1894 - Under the guidance of Mr.H.W. English, a master at Hitchin Grammar School and Secretary of the Association from 1894-98 a scheme to control the Association's affairs by a council was introduced.

The initial scheme, albeit developed and improved still forms the basis on which the administration of The Hertfordshire FA is conducted today.

1901 - Huge difficulties facing the association until a man of the moment, George Wagstaffe Simmons stepped in.  During Wagstaffe Simmons 18 years as Secretary the Association's fortunes were transformed.

When he took over there were less than 40 clubs with funds available under £20.  When he handed over to his successor the membership had grown, over 200 clubs affiliated and had assets of £500 - an enormous sum on money in those days, coming at the end of The Great War.

1924 - Wagstaffe Simmons appointed Chairman of The Hertfordshire FA Council and also represented The Hertfordshire FA on the Council of The Football Association, positions he held until 1951.  During his time with The FA he became Chairman of the International Selection Committee and established reputation, not only as an eloquent speaker on all subjects relating to the game, but as authority on its laws and admissions.

1935 - County Association reaches its Golden Anniversary with a Jubilee Banquet and Concert held at the Holborn Restaurant.  During the evening Mr. Wagstaffe Simmons was able to say 'I do not suggest that the Hertfordshire FA Council is perfect, but its not far off'.

Proposing the toast to the Hertfordshire FA was Stanley Rous, Secretary of The Football Association, who ten years prior to his appointment to football's top job was a member of The Hertfordshire FA Council.

1951/61 - During this period Hertfordshire's population increased by 34% which caused huge problems in relation to playing fields and recreational facilities.  The Association applied to The FA for financial aid, without which the necessary work could not be undertaken.

1960 - The Association celebrated its 75th Anniversary and at the Dinner Stanley Rous, now a knight of the Realm, proposed the toast to Hertfordshire FA.  In 1985 Sir Stanley completed an amazing treble when he was guest of honour at our Centenary Celebrations held at Watford Town Hall.

1961 - Sunday Football was brought under the Control of The Hertfordshire FA and its rapid expansion introduced many new players to the game by hundreds.

1998 - Hertfordshire County Youth F.A. becomes part of The Hertfordshire FA.

1999 - Hertfordshire FA becomes a Limited Company, one of the first Counties in England to take this step.

Managing Director Ron Kibble announces that our nomadic existence was finally over when we bought the Lease of Letchworth Football Club Ground through the hard work of Mr Kibble, Eric Hand and Cecil Hudson.  New County FA Headquarters were opened in Letchworth.

Hertfordshire have many people who served their County year after year, some being Ernest Scott, W.R. Watson, George Wagstaffe Simmons, Percy Poulter and Arthur Aldridge.  These names may mean little to players of today but if it was not for them the Hertfordshire FA would not have been able to progress and be were it is today.

Given such humble beginnings, their legacy is a substantial one - for it earned the Association an enviable reputation as one of the best-managed governing bodies of our national sport . . . a reputation that has continued into more professionally demanding arena of the 21st Century.

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