"The Meaning of Temple Fortune"
tem'ple n. building for religious worship;
n. flat part on either side of the forehead.
for'tune n. chance; luck; good luck; prosperity;
wealth, stock of wealth.

"I'm doing a feature called 'The Meaning of Temple Fortune' this season. Please can you write something suitable." The Editor's request put paid to my restful Sunday afternoon of Formula 1, and thoughts of holidays, sunshire and cricket evaporated to be replaced simultaneously by those of Association Football. So soon already! Mid-August and I'm being asked to don my TF journalistic hat. Scandalous!

The Meaning of Temple Fortune! Flippantly, I reeled off obvio us meanings of the two words. No sooner had they left my tongue, the response rammed my joviality back down past it. "Great! That'll make a good heading!'' And there it is above us. My idea but no royalies! So here we go, here we go, here we go – as the footy song goes... Temple Fortune.

The former name is, indeed, a place of worship or the sides of your bonce; the latter means chance, luck, loadsamoney. But put these two words together and you've got an actual place. Temple Fortune, located in downtown Golders Green. For the benefit of you dwellers from Edgware, Harrow, Herts, or anywhere else within the four corners of North West London and thereabouts, I would define the area thus: Place an X approaching the midway point along the Finchley Road between Golders Green tube and Henleys Corner (which is still known as Henleys Corner although Henleys disappeared a few years ago), another X at Henleys Corner and a third where Bridge Lane joins the North Circular going West. Join them up and loosely speaking everything within those boundaries is Temple Fortune which comes under the postal district of North West Eleven. (Editor's comment: Scroll down this page for a map)

Neighbouring the posh Hampstead Garden Suburb suburb, Temple Fortune has its owm Parade and Lane, suitably named. WHSmith has been there for years and there used to be a big Odeon further down. Temple Fortune Tennis Club is located off Bridge Lane and Temple Fortune Bowls Club play nearby. And, since 1968, the area has had its own football club too. But where was it actually formed?

'Princes Park completes your
pilgrimage to TFFC's birthplace'

By the long-existing Royal Oak pub, turn into Bridge Lane opposite the equally old garden centre on the corner of Temple Fortune Lane. First left, first right and second left takes you past the large church and into Oakfields Road, NW11. Stop outside the last house on the right before Princes Park and you have completed your pilgrimage to Temple Fortune Football Club's place of formation, as well documented in the Club's history as anything else previously included in any TF-related literature.

That's where 'we' were born! We, meaning, of course, a place of worship or the sides of your head combined with chance, luck or your lottery win-to-come, adding FC onto the end. The famous LBW (Low Brick Wall) may have been replaced by the new owners at Number One Oakfields Road, but that was the loaction where four youngsters warmed their bums on a cold wintry December day whilst discussing the pros and cons of forming their new footy team.

The actual action took place next door in the smallish park, where, behind tennis court number two, the boys of '68 kicked brown lace-up leather between the trees. Misinformed, the original founding foursome sat on the LBW and strangely tagged 'town' on the end of their new name. A 'town' Temple Fortune ain't and, despite the fond abbreviation of TFT (the new club was known as nothing but in its earliest days) being constantly used, the teenagers corrected the title to just a "flat part on either side of the forehead" plus "chance, luck" etc in 1971.

And that is the meaning of Temple Fortune. Yet, the Club's badge has never reflected its meaning. As long as I can remember, the TFFC has had a shield filled with the letters TFFC reversed white out of a black panel, located above a black panelled football with thin vertical lines running down. The badge carries the year of formation and the story goes that it was adapted from the crest of Sunderland AFC many moons ago. The old Sunderland ship (symbolic of the shipyards trade) was replaced by the TFFC lettering and the badge appeared in black and white until a colour version was introduced several years ago. It now reflects the Club's colours of yellow, red and navy (as you will no doubt verify on the home page of the Club's website.)

But I think that Temple Fortune's ageing badge should be redesigned to synchronise with the Club's aforementioned meaning. (The Editor started all this 'meaning' lark, not me!) Let's go the full hog and start from scratch. Temple – place of worship, sides of the cranium and all that; Fortune – fortitude, luck, cash, etc, etc, etc. So let's have a building resembling a temple with those ancient Greek-like columns with money bags infront. Or a man holding money bags with two arrows pointing to his temples! Now, they really would be the true meaning of Temple Fortune!

'You don't hear people calling
Crystal Palace just Crystal'

Still on the subject of the Club name, here's another thing to contemplate, good reader. Apart from being football clubs, what have Crystal Palace and Temple Fortune in common? Easy! Both clubs have two words in their titles and both are often referred to by their second name only. Yes, that's right! So never, ever refer to Temple Fortune Football Club as TEMPLE. It's a sackable offence! It's the same with Crystal Palace. You never hear anyone calling them 'Crystal' on its own, but, of course, 'Palace' is an acceptable term. And so it is the same with this Club. TFFC's newsletter has frequently used the second name in articles. The Fortune News, Fortune Teller, Fortune Facts & Figures etc, are all derivatives of the Club name in acceptable form.

I recall the story of the Chairman who was watching a TF match at Bethune Park several years ago when one of the Fortune players called out: "Come on, Temple!" Aaaaarrrrgrggh! Apparently, Mr K almost blew a gasket and at the earliest opportunity the player was admonished. Temple! No, no, no! After all, you don't call Man. United 'Manchester' or Sheffield Wednesday just 'Sheffield'.

So, remember well – especially the newcomers amongst you – "Come on, Fortune' is fine. "Come on, Temple" is a fine! And there you have it! Your correspondent explaining the rights and wrongs of the Club's name, indeed 'The Meaning of Temple Fortune!'

"The Meaning of Temple Fortune"
tem'ple for'tune foot'ball club n. an amateur sporting organisation in London which plays Association Football, competing in two Sunday football leagues affiliated to the Maccabi movement.

This article appears with the permission of Alfred Boiler and the Club's grateful thanks go to him. The article was originally featured on his website 'Alfred Boiler: Gets Right To The Point' – copyright June 2004.