SEASON 1985/86
Temple Fortune's memorable Second Division Championship success
Season 1985-86? What a marvellous season for Temple Fortune!

The previous two seasons had been a nightmare for the Club. Two successive relegations were endured from the Premier Division and First Division respectively. The ageing Steve Bourne team, which had enjoyed some success for several seasons, was rapidly coming to an end and the majority of his side decided to call it a day midway through the 1984/85 season, leaving the First Team extremely short of players.

On one incredible day – sadly memorable for the wrong reasons – the First Team, filled mainly with Second XI players due to the player shortage, had to fulfil a cup quarter-final against Premier side Marshside in the morning, incurring Temple Fortune's record defeat. Then the majority of the team had to rush to Cassiobury Park in the afternoon to play a Second XI league fixturee against Bushey, enduring a second heavy loss. Somehow that extremely difficult campaign was completed with a depleted squad fulfilling both sets of remaining fixtures. Double relegation was inevitable and Temple Fortune's First Team had to contemplate life in Division Two in September 1985.

EAT ORANGE! The First Team players tuck into their half-time refreshments during a Second Division fixture against Bushey 'B' at King George V Playing Fields, Watford in October 1985. from left to right: Clive Cookson, Clive Pollard, Paul Corper, Jeremy Fess (no.11), Henry Charles, Steve Levy (no.7), Tony Stock, Steve Feiger (blond head above Stock), Robbie Freedman (no.12), Dave Salamons and goalkeeper Richard Carlowe.

Yet, with several newcomers joining the Club, Temple Fortune certainly rose to the challenge ahead and, after the previous season's nightmare, completely turned the fortunes of the Club around. The newlook First XI won the opening ten games of the season and suffered only two league defeats up to the halfway stage of the campaign. The Firsts put together an even better run of unbeaten matches in the second half of the season and soon Temple Fortune were top of the table with both Glenthorne and Brady challenging strongly.

Notable victories included the 8-1 and 9-1 massacres of Bushey United 'B' and Highgate Wanderers (a mid-table team which included Steve Bourne and Nick Waitsman) respectively, whilst an amazing comeback from 1-4 down enabled the Firsts to pull of a great 6-5 win against North West Warriors at Brook Farm. Leytonstone and Victoria were both hammered twice as Temple Fortune scored freely. Prior to Fortune securing the Second Division championship, only Glenthorne (4-6) and Scrabble (3-4) managed to stem the tide during the entire league programme.

The crucial 'crunch' match came towards the end of April 1986, when Fortune met Brady at wind-swept Hackney Marshes. Brady did well to pull back a two-goal deficit, but Jeremy Fess then netted the all-important clincher to capture Temple Fortune's first – and so far only – M(S)FL Championship title. Goalkeeper Tony Espinoza made an incredible one-handed flying save towards the end to keep Fortune ahead. A week later, the Firsts completed this historic season with a 1-1 draw in the return fixture against Brady. The Div.2 title was won by 4 points with Glenthorne finishing runners-up and Brady third.

WARM UP! Temple Fortune's First Team prepare for the crucial M(S)FL Second Division clash against title challengers Brady Maccabi on Sunday 27th April 1986. The Firsts, wearing 'clash' colours, required one win from the two remaining matches, both against Brady, to secure the Division 2 championship.

At the time, Steve Levy broke the Club's goalscoring record in a season with no fewer than 46 for the First Team. Previously the record had stood at 35 by Steve Hyams several years earlier. Steve Feiger also enjoyed a very successful season with 43 goals, a total which in almost every other Temple Fortune season would easily have won the team's Leading Goalscorers' award.

Off the field, the Club's admin record during the 1985-86 season was impeccable; Temple Fortune did not receive asingle M(S)FL fine from over 45 competitive matches played by both the 1st and 2nd teams. The final league table for the campaign showed that Temple Fortune won 17 matches out of twenty, a Club best. Also, for the first time, the First XI topped a hundred goals and the points tally was the highest ever as well.

Henry Charles was Player of the Year for his superb performances at an attacking midfielder. He completed a personal double by winning the M(S)FL Division 2 Player of the year as well. Tony Espinoza, who took over in goal from Richard Carlowe halfway through the season, won the inaugural Clubman of the Year award whilst First Team Secretary Dave Salamons captured the Merit Award for running the team superbly.

All in all, 1985-86 was a most wonderful season, made all the more memorable due to the arduous plight suffered just a year ealier.


CHAMPIONS! The jubilant First Team celebrate winning the M(S)FL Second Division championship immediately after the Brady match. From left to right, back row: Jonathan Davidoff, Tony Espinoza, Dave Salamons (the First Team Secretary at the time), Jeremy Fess, Clive Cookson, Evan Hay, Paul Corper and Steve Feiger. Front row: Henry Charles, First XI Captain Tony Stock, Steve Levy and Ray Dinkin. Fess (2) and Feiger were the goalscorers. The First XI broke several Club records in winning the Second Division title in 1985-86. Amongst them were 17 victories out of 20 matches and 103 goals scored. The points tally was also the Club's best ever. The First Team also won the Ralph Epstein Memorial Trophy for the first time, beating First Division Bushey United by 7-6 in October 1985. Altogether a great season!
WINNERS! Henry Charles takes a look at his newly engraved name on the First Team Player of the Year Trophy at the Club Dinner in May 1986, watched by Dave Salamons who collected the Chairman's Merit Award. Seated immediately to the left of Henry is Steve Levy, the First Team's leading goalscorer 1985/86.
ONE FOR THE CABINET! The M(S)FL Second Division Championship shield presented to Temple Fortune at the M(S)FL Awards Evening in June 1986.
Below is shown one of the M(S)FL Division Two champions' medals which all members of the 1985-86 squad received.

TFFC FIRST TEAM'S LEAGUE RESULTS...
DIVISION TWO OPPOSITION, 1985-86
HOME RESULTS
AWAY RESULTS
BRADY MACCABI
DREW 1 – 1
WON 3 – 2
BUSHEY UNITED (2nds)
WON 8 – 2
WON 8 – 1
GLENTHORNE UNITED (2nds)
LOST 4 – 6
WON 4 – 2
HIGHGATE WANDERERS
WON 4 – 2
WON 9 – 1
LEYTONSTONE OLD BOYS (2nds)
WON 6 – 0
WON 6 – 1
NORTH WEST WARRIORS (2nds)
WON 5 – 1
WON 6 – 5
SCRABBLE
WON 4 – 2
LOST 3 – 4
SON OF NEASDEN
WON 7 – 3
WON 3 – 2
VICTORIA COMMUNITY CENTRE
WON 5 – 1
WON 5 – 0
WILLESDEN WANDERERS
WON 7 – 4
WON 5 – 2
... AND THE 1985-86 M(S)FL DIVISION TWO TABLE
M(S)FL DIVISION TWO
PL
W
D
L
F
A
PTS
TEMPLE FORTUNE
20
17
1
2
103
40
35
GLENTHORNE UNITED (2nds)
20
15
1
4
61
27
31
BRADY MACCABI
20
13
4
3
55
35
30
WILLESDEN WANDERERS
20
10
3
7
43
43
23
HIGHGATE WANDERERS
20
7
5
8
41
45
19
NORTH WEST WARRIORS (2nds)
20
7
2
11
61
56
16
SCRABBLE
20
7
1
12
49
52
15
LEYTONSTONE OLD BOYS (2nds)
20
6
2
12
42
58
14
BUSHEY UNITED (2nds)
20
7
0
13
39
63
14
VICTORIA COMMUNITY CENTRE
20
6
0
14
31
77
12
SON OF NEASDEN
20
5
1
14
37
66
11
THE GLORY YEARS: Temple Fortune's Peter Morrison Trophy run to the Final in 1981/82
THE GLORY YEARS: The Second XI's RSS&T Memorial Trophy success in 1998/99
THE GLORY YEARS: Fortune's run to the MSFL Barry Goldstein Minor Cup Final, 2004/05
THE GLORY YEARS: The Club win the MSFL Division 2 championship again in 2010/11