Leyton Orient v Homerton College

Photo: Homerton College Student Football team

Who would have guessed that Homerton College was instrumental in the founding of one of England's most famous football clubs?  Of course the link is clear enough when you know that Homerton was based in Homerton High Street, London, before 1894 and that Leyton Orient was previously called Clapton Orient.

The key period for the foundation of Leyton Orient comes in 1881 when members of the College established the Glyn Cricket Club.  The name of Glyn's Bank was synonymous with cricket at this time, when the Bank's senior partner was the 1st Lord Hillingdon. In 1886 it changed its name to the Eagle Cricket Club and two years later, after a particularly successful season, they formed a football section to keep the players fit during the winter months, renaming the club Clapton Orient, to later become Leyton Orient.

Every year Homerton students play against Leyton Orient Supporters Club for the Challenge Trophy in celebration of the founding of the club in 1881.  The report of the match played on the 5th May 2013 is here:

Homerton started the brighter of the two teams but lost their influential right side mid-fielder with a torn hamstring and struggled to create many chances from then on.  Leyton Orient won a penalty mid-way through the 1st half which they converted, and then added a second goal just before half time to go in 2 – 0 up at the break.

After an even fifteen minutes players started to tire due to the heat and Orient made several substitutions.  Unfortunately Homerton were handicapped by having a squad of only 13 players and paid the price by conceding 2 more goals towards the end of the game.

The 4 – 0 score line was perhaps not a true reflection of the game but once again it was a thoroughly enjoyable match played in the best spirit.