A few things you didn't know about TFFC
TEMPLE FORTUNE's official emblem was designed in 1983 by Nigel Kyte and was based upon the badge of Sunderland Football Club. An original hand-drawn shield emblem had been used on the cover of Temple Fortune’s official handbook issued in 1973, but it wasn’t until 1987 that the ‘83 shield was modified to its present appearance. The only change between the ‘83 and ‘87 shields was the wording 'Founded in 1968' which had been typeset rather than hand-written.
The logo appeared in mono form until 1996 when a new colour version (as shown on the HOME page) was produced. In addition to the mono and colour versions, a tinted shield logo also exists. The shield emblem first appeared on TFFC kits in 1987, printed in white on the Second Team's maroon/sky shirts sponsored by Kersens. Sample of various shield adaptations can be seen below.
The Club's circular emblem - or roundel which incorporates the shield in the centre, was first used for a printed shirt badge in 1989, printed in black on the Ultratown-sponsored yellow/red kit. To commemorate the Club’s 30th year since being formed in 1968, a new diamond logo was designed by Nigel Kyte in 1997 and was used primarily on the front cover of the 1997-98 newsletter. The yellow, red and navy colours incorporated in the design reflected the Club’s adopted colours as worn by Temple Fortune for 20 years in one form or another. A line version of the 30 years diamond logo was adapted for printing on the Haltons shirts in 1998.
The 1995 Kingsleys kit featured the circular emblem in reversed form, printed in navy, as did the red and yellow striped Honoraries kit a few years later; both carried a boxed panel under the badge saying 'Temple Fortune Football Club'. The First Team and Second Team shirts used during the 2002/03 season included the same logo printed in red but without the panel below, as did the Old Boys XI's Bekhor shirts for 2004/05.
At the start of the 2006/07 season, the Club unveiled a new embroidered badge to commemorate 30 years of Maccabi football. The badge appeared in the traditional colours of yellow, red and navy and also appeared on new navy training tops. The embroidered badge featured vertical yellow and red stripes within the inner circle and a navy and red star to reflect the Club's one MSFL championship success in 1985/86. The wording reads 'Temple Fortune FC' and '1976-MSFL-2006' stitched in navy within the outer circle.
The 1996 shield was modified in 2006 when the yellow was changed to 'TFFC Gold'. For the first time, Temple Fortune's red, yellow and navy were given specific CMYK values (a widely used 4-colour printing specification) so that usage would be standardised. For the technically-minded, the breakdowns are: TF Gold C5 M19 Y95 K0; TF Red C1 M99 Y97 K0; and TF Navy C100 M100 Y19 K7. The new red and yellow kit worn by the Old Boys for 2007/08 was an adaptation of the Club's traditional colours and featured a similar embroidered badge but with the wording "Founded in 1968" replacing '1976-MSFL-2006'.
To commemorate the 40th anniversary of being formed, Nigel Kyte designed a new crest incorporating the wording 'Fortune Favours The Brave' for the first time. It appeared on a new yellow and red kit sponsored by Ellis & Company and worn by the Old Boys Team for the 2008/09 season, the first time a TFFC badge had appeared in colour on a shirt. In August 2010, the same crest was adapted to show 35 years of participation in the M(S)FL and appeared in colour on the Daniel Stewart & Company kit used by the First Team during the 2010/11 season.
Club dinners and awards events
THE CLUB first arranged an end-of-season Dinner of any sort at the close of the 1983/84 season, when David Salamons and Peter Kyte jointly organised one at the Van Antonis Greek restaurant in Bushey. Further Dinners followed each season but sadly details were not recorded for all of them. For a few of the early Dinners and in more recent years, the presentation of Club Awards has been incorporated into the Dinner evening, making the event all the more enjoyable. On the occasions when awards were not presented at the Dinner, they were given out at the Club's AGM.
In addition to the end-of-season Club Dinners, TFFC also held at least two events at Christmas time, aptly named the "Fortune Festive Feast". Jeremy Fess ran one of these in 1987 but there was mention of one being held a year earlier (in a newsletter from the 1985/86 season) although no specific details exist.
At the end of the 2005/06 season, the Dinner was due to be held just before the 2006 World Cup but it was decided to cancel it because of a poor response. Instead, awards were presented for the previous season at a pre-season "Gala Morning" event in September 2006, complete with an post-match buffet at Hillingdon Borough FC, which incorporated a friendly between the First XI and Old Boys XI. Due to the success of this event, the idea was repeated for the following season which more or less signalled the end of the traditional Club Dinner.
The pre-season Awards Presentations continued for 3 seasons but was replaced by the Club's first Awards Presentation Lunch at the end of the 2008/09 season, held at the Round Bush in Aldenham, a quaint old public house with a beautiful garden. Attended by 29 people, it was a success and was repeated as the favoured format for season 2009/10, attracting 21 people.
THE HIGHEST win by Temple Fortune is 22-0 against Elstree Eagles ‘B’ in a Cyril Anekstein Cup tie during the 1990/91 season, achieved by the First XI at Bethune Park. Marshside recorded Fortune’s heaviest defeat during an earlier Anekstein Cup match in 1984/85 under extraordinary circumstances. A mass walkout of most the Club’s First XI squad left Fortune with a weakened team to play the quarter-final tie against the reigning M(S)FL Premier Division champions; the Club were forced to field mainly Second Team players as a result but a defeat of 1-17 was never envisaged despite the gulf between the two quarter-finalists.
Temple Fortune's best league win came in 1977, a 16-0 thrashing of Marylebone Dynamo in Division Two, whilst the heaviest league defeat was 14-2 by the 2nd XI against Westway in 1979/80. Incidently, the Second Team’s best win ever was 13-1 versus AFC Scope in 1982/83 Steve Feiger netted seven and worst defeat, a 15-1 Minor Cup mauling by Athletico Neasden 'B' in 1980/81. The Second XI’s 12-1 win against AC Gants Hill in 1998 came very close.
The most goals scored in one Temple Fortune match is 22 (the cup win against Elstree previously mentioned), followed by 19 in 1973 when Fortune beat Whitefields Grasshoppers by 15-4 in a pre-league friendly at Hendon College. In December 1993, the First XI beat a TF Guest XI by 17-2 at Bethune Park to equal the 19-goal aggregate.
There have been two instances of the Club being involved in two 7-6 scorelines, which is Temple Fortune’s highest result with a single-goal margin. In 1985/86 the First XI beat Bushey United 7-6 at King George V Playing Fields in Watford to win the Ralph Epstein Memorial Trophy. In 1997/98, the Second Team overcame a 0-4 deficit at one time to beat the First XI by the same score.
Representative team honours
RICHARD BATTEN was the first Temple Fortune player to win representative honours for the Maccabi (Southern) Football League in an inter-league fixture. Batten played during the 1977/78 season, which was only Fortune’s second in the League, and finished leading scorer. The last player from Temple Fortune to play for the M(S)FL representative XI was Jason Bookbinder in 1993/94. Prior to that it was Alan Mattey in 1988/89.
In between, eight others won M(S)FL representative honours; namely, in selection order, Len Wyse, Gary Hyams, Steve Feiger, Neil Hart, Farley Conway, Stuart Hyams, Jeremy Fess and David Klahr. Batten, Wyse, G.Hyams, Conway, Mattey and Bookbinder played for the M(S)FL's Senior XI. Feiger, Hart, S.Hyams and Klahr played for the M(S)FL Under 19s, whilst Fess played for a League Divisions 2 & 3 combined team. The twelfth Temple Fortune player to gain Maccabi representative honours was Paul Squires who played for the Maccabi Union Great Britain XI in a Maccabiah Games trial representative game during the 1982/83 season. Sadly, he didn’t make the squad.
Nigel Kyte represented a Maccabi Union Great Britain ‘B’ side which toured Israel in 1982. Then a serving officer on the Maccabi Union National Football Committee, Kyte went along as an organising official and refereed one of the games. But in the final tour match of three (all lost), the GB side were so depleted due to injuries that Nigel came on as a substitute for the closing twenty minutes! He’s the only TFFC player to have represented Maccabi GB abroad!
TEMPLE FORTUNE has always remained one of the best-run clubs in the League due to its strict 'avoid-fines' policy, and in most seasons have kept the M(S)FL fines tally at a reasonable level. The Club’s best season came in 1985/86 when not one single fine was imposed on either league team, covering 45 competitive matches a superb record which nearly (and ought to have) won Temple Fortune the M(S)FL Team Secretary of the Year award.
And that came just a year after both teams had finished bottom of their respective divisions after the 1984 'mass walkout' of First Team players which left the Club in a dire predicament for the rest of that particular season. On a few other occasions, the seasonal M(S)FL fines total has remained in single figures, no mean feat in the least. There have been two or three seasons where the amount has strayed too high for the Club’s liking but thankfully not too often.
TEMPLE FORTUNE have produced a few shock giant-killing wins over the years, none greater than the epic Peter Morrison Trophy (Southern Area) semi-final success against high-flying Kenton Maccabi in 1982. Kenton, from the Hendon & District Sunday League (one of the strongest Sunday competitions in London at the time) were odds-on favourites to romp through to the Final. It was like Liverpool playing Lincoln but Temple Fortune defied all the odds to win 2-1. A year previously, Fortune, then in Division One of the M(S)FL, played reigning AJY Senior League champions Clayhall Alandra in a Morrison Trophy tie and won 3-1. In those days, the AJY was considered to be a stronger league than the M(S)FL so the result was big news.
Temple Fortune again eliminated Clayhall the very next season in the same competition, this time on penalties, a game which was memorable for a most bizarre incident just before full time. With Clayhall losing 1-0, their goalkeeper, limping badly from injury, hobbled into the Fortune penalty area in a last-gasp attempt to save the match. It was he who headed home a corner to dramatically level the score as the full time whistle blew! However, Clayhall’s joy was short-lived; Temple Fortune won the spot-kick playoff thanks to the superb goalkeeping of Paul Squires.
In the early eighties, Fortune also knocked out top M(S)FL side Gants Hill Ivri Maccabi from the prestigious AJY/M(S)FL Invitation Cup which was certainly a shock at the time. In M(S)FL Premier Division football, Temple Fortune's list of big scalps included beating the first teams of Athletico Neasden, Brixton Old Boys, Glenthorne United, Huntsman, Leytonstone Old Boys, Marshside, North West Neasden and West Coast Armadillos, all of whom were well-established and elite teams in Maccabi football at the time.
THERE HAVE been several non-English players to have pulled on Temple Fortune jerseys over the years. Massoud Karimzadeh, a Persian who was in Nigel Kyte's class at the JFS in Camden Town, was one of the first to play for the Club in the 1970s. Fortune have fielded three French players, namely Sam Benfreds, Laurent Benhendu and Herve Lipack, and several Israelis.
Jeremy Solnick, a cousin of the Kyte brothers, was from South Africa, as was Hilton Nathanson in more recent times. Nearer to home, and diversifying from the ?foreign? heading, the Club have had four Scottish-born players: Phil Friend, Michael Peters, Alan Ross and Bryan Silver. There has been one black player to have played for TF in Maccabi football Irving Soremeikin, who despite his appearance, was certainly eligible and made his debut during the 1976/77 season!
THE CLUB’S first of a series of home venues was at the Parliament Hill Playing Fields, where Temple Fortune played for one season only, which was the Club’s inaugural Maccabi (Southern) Football League campaign in 1976/77. After that, Temple Fortune were allocated West Hendon Playing Fields, the Club’s first pitch hire from the London Borough of Barnet. Home matches were staged on the first sloping pitch there for five years. However, the Club were finally allocated a better pitch at Bethune Park and first played there in September 1982. Fortune’s pitch was located within a fenced-off athletics track and was one of the best in the Borough.
Unfortunately, Council cutbacks in subsequent years meant that the pitch no longer received the care first given to it and it gradually worstened. Sadly the Club’s formerly excellent Bethune Park pitch became an inadequately undersized paddyfield. In 1998, following complaints to the Council, the Club were offered another home venue, namely Childs Hill Park, which became first choice and was used primarily by the First Team. Childs Hill Park had a new drainage system installed during the previous summer and within a couple of months of Fortune’s debut there, the dressing rooms were refurbished as well. Problems still continued at Bethune Park which was being used by the Second XI. Vandalism of the dressing rooms resulted in the Club finally leaving the Friern Barnet-based pitch after 15 years midway through the 1997/98 season.
Temple Fortune were allocated West Hendon Playing Fields for the rest of the 1997/98 season and staged home fixtures there in addition to staying at Childs Hill Park. When the Club folded the Second Team at the close of the 2003/04 season, West Hendon was dropped and Childs Hill retained. But a problem with the Council at Childs Hill Park led to the Club controversially losing this particular venue. But the Club finally were allocated a new venue at Whitchurch Playing Fields for the 2005/06 season, hiring a flat pitch from Harrow Council. This was the first time Temple Fortune had staged home MSFL matches outside the London Borough of Barnet since 1977.
Season 2006/07 saw Temple Fortune being moved to Hatch End Playing Fields on the Uxbridge Road, the furthest away the Club have been from its original roots. But at least there were changing rooms located there with hot water and showers a welcomed luxury compared to Whitchurch! The Club managed to acquire a second pitch at Hatch End for the 2010/11 season after reforming the Second Team.
During the summer of 2011, the Club was given an opportunity to move MSFL home matches to The Hive, Barnet FC's training ground, which is located in Harrow but close to the London Borough of Barnet boundary! Twenty permits were hired costing twice as much as those at Hatch End! But, unlike the latter venue, The Hive offers excellent facilities, both in terms of the playing surface and changing rooms.
Over the years the Club have utilised Hampstead Heath Extention more than any other as an alternative home venue, mainly on occasions when the first choice location wasn’t available. Brook Farm in Whetstone has also been used several times for additional pitches.
THE MOST expensive match played by Temple Fortune before the Millennium was the 1987 Ralph Epstein Memorial Trophy encounter against Bushey United. The teams hired Queen’s Park Ranger’s old astroturf pitch at Loftus Road, costing £250. Adding to the expense of printed programmes, the two teams shared a bill of around £300. Fortune charged each player £11 which is the dearest match subscription fee ever collected!
The most expensive competitive match was the Peter Morrison Trophy tie against Cardiff Maccabi in Cardiff in November 1990. The Club hired a minibus (costing £60 including insurance) and spent £40 on petrol for the return trip. Each player chipped in £5 which at the time was the highest subs collected for a competitive Fortune match. Another game which proved to be quite expensive was a pre-season friendly a few yeas ago against Ebor Eagles which was played at Wembley Town’s ground. The Temple Fortune players paid a tenner each to cover the costs.
The Club broke the record regarding the most expensive mach ever staged on 3rd September 2006 when a "Gala Morning" event was held at Hillingdon Borough Football Club, incorporating a match on the G3 pitch, a catered buffet with drinks and the presentation of awards afterwards. The pitch hire cost £120 whilst the catering cost £149, giving a total of £269. If you add the cost of the trophies and engraving, plus the referee's fee, the grand total for that one event was around £542, give or take a few pence here and there!
IRISHMAN Tom Flynn became the first Temple Fortune player to be sent off. Flynn, a firey red-haired winger, was one of the Club’s original players who took part during Temple Fortune’s pre-league days. Fortune were playing Leeville Town in an ill-tempered match at Hampstead Heath on 18 April 1971. The game was played with corner flags as posts and has never counted in the Club records. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a referee present and Flynn’s reckless tackle on an opponent late in the game almost led to Leeville walking off in protest. They only continued after Temple Fortune agreed to send off Flynn following a prolonged dispute. Fortune won 8-4 after a further dispute regarding the final score! One month earlier, Leeville had hosted a full 11-a-side match on a proper pitch in South Tottenham. Temple Fortune won 11-4.
The first TF player to be sent off in a competitive match was Sam Benfreds during Fortune’s inaugural league season, 1976/77. Benfreds, a temperamental Frenchman, was dismissed twice in that season, the other coming in a friendly refereed by Temple Fortune Co-Founder Michael Rook. Temple Fortune had two brothers sent off on 11 October 1981 in the same game. Both Stephen and Richard Bourne were dismissed during a heated M(S)FL Premier Division match against Gants Hill. Worse was to follow with six minutes remaining when the referee abandoned the game because the brothers refused to return to the dressing room. The League let the score stand, which was 3-2 to Gants Hill, and awarded them the points. At a subsequent London FA disciplinary hearing, the Bournes were cleared of causing the match to be abandoned due to misconduct, although they collected suspensions and fines for the original sending off offences. The referee was reprimanded for over-reacting and the whole sorry affair made big headlines on the sports pages of the JC. This match versus Gants Hill was goalkeeper Richard Bourne’s debut for the Club!
The most players sent off in one game for Temple Fortune is three, in season 1989/90. The Second Team were drawing 1-1 with Scrabble ‘B’ in a Second Division fixture at Bethune Park. Neil Butters and Brad Scheffer had already been sent off for general swearing by Ronny Marlowe, a weak referee who badly over-reacted despite the game being played in a good spirit. The referee then sent off a third Fortune player, Neil Harris, again for swearing. Harris, completely incensed, threatened Marlowe and had to be restrained from approaching him. The referee panicked and abandoned the game. He ran to his car without changing, leaving his flags by the pitchside, and drove off at speed!
Because the game had been played without problems, other than the awful ref, the teams agreed to continue with Scrabble manager Adrian Lewis refereeing. The dismissed players came back on and the match finished 2-2! However, the League counted the match as void but awarded the points to Scrabble. At the London FA disciplinary hearing, Neil Harris was suspended for 154 days and fined a massive £120, the highest disciplinary punishment any Temple Fortune player has ever suffered. The Club were also fined £90 in costs, again a record high thankfully never surpassed, and were severely censured. Due to this incident, the Club radically changed its membership policy so that all players joining the Club were required to sign a membership declaration form agreeing to abide by the Conditions of Membership and general Rules and Regulations.
During the 2003/04 season, Temple Fortune First XI had 9 players sent off, the highest tally for many years. Two of the dismissals came in a league match v Barkingside Athletic 'B' at Fairlop which was abandoned with 2 minutes to play when Garry Simpson took his team off in disgust of referee Keith Hiller's poor officiating. This led to a London FA disciplinary hearing which resulted in a £50, an amount subsequently charged to the First Team players collectively. Incidently, Graeme Grossman, who was sent off by Hiller for an alledged spitting offence on the hearsay of the opposition, was totally cleared of the so-called offence, whilst Marc Herman, the other player dismissed, had his upgraded red card offence downgraded to yellow cards and a lesser suspension and fine.
A LONG running institution within TFFC is its own newsletter, 'The Fortune News', which has been produced on a regular basis every season since season 1976/77. However, the very first newsletter of any kind produced by the Club was the 'Fortune Review' during the 1972/73 season, a one-off two-pager which was typed in black and red on white paper. It was circulated to players individually who passed it around to each other.
A small booklet entitled simply 'TFFC' consisting of 8 pages was produced during the 1973/74 season in conjunction with the Oakfields Road Badminton & Table Tennis Championships which were running at the time. Again each issue was a one-off production on different coloured paper, typed in black and red ink as before. Each issue was passed to players or competitors individually. The first proper newsletter photocopied for players was entitled 'Temple Fortune' and appeared as a single page or 2-page issue, stapled in the top left corner. This was distributed monthly throughout the 1976/77 season, the Club's first in Sunday league football under the auspices of the Maccabi movement.
The newsletter continued over the years mainly in A4 or A5 format, often printed on one side but sometimes printed two-sided where possible. It was circulated at matches and sometimes posted to members when necessary, particularly in later years. Usually between 8 to 10 issues were produced each season. The last issue at the end of each season normally appeared as a summary edition, including results, appearances and goalscorers for the season. In more recent times colour was used on the front cover where facilities permitted; prior to that, colour paper differentiated the cover from the inside pages.
In 1986, the newsletter was produced on the Apple MacIntosh for the first time, in Pagemaker. In 1990, the MacIntosh was reintroduced for production with QuarkXpress being the DTP application used. From 1993 onwards, all issues were produced on the Mac with only a few isolated pages being typed on a traditional typewriter when necessary. In all other seasons prior to technology moving on to the Mac system, traditional typewritters were used.
The newsletter celebrated its Silver Anniversary during the 2001/02 season with the last of the traditional printed version. Season 2002/03 saw the newsletter being produced electronically for the first time, being distributed primarily to Club Members via email. This was done on a weekly basis under the guise of 'e-tffc!' and included monthly Results & Goalscorers editions, and bi-monthly Statistics Edition (including appearances and league summaries). For the first time, members were receiving issues on the same day as the matches were being played or on the following day!
In 2003/04, the title of 'The Fortune News' was reintroduced once again. The results, appearances and results information was combined with the regular news items and were updated weekly. So with the adoption of emailed issues, never before had TFFC's members received so much information so quickly!
Annual General Meeting
TEMPLE FORTUNE FC first held an Annual General Meeting in June 1977 after forming its inaugural Management Committee in the February of that year. The first Meeting was located at the Alyth Youth Centre, part of the North Western Reform Synagogue in Alyth Gardens, Temple Fortune. A small room was hired which remains the only time the Club has paid for hall hire to stage the AGM.
For the next seven years Meetings were staged at 'Woodside', which was the Kyte family home at One Oakfields Road, NW11. The house was located next to Princes Park where the Club first originated as Temple Fortune Town in December 1968. Woodside was the Club's headquarters for many years until the Club's Chairman Nigel Kyte moved to Hendon, taking everything to do with the Club with him!
After many years of having Club Members host the Meetings, the proposed host was unable to use his house in June 2001 which forced the Club to hastily arrange a venue at short notice. The PizzaExpress in Mill Hill Broadway came to the rescue and this pleasant location became the home for subsequent AGM for several years.
The AGM has always been held during the month of June, the earliest being the 1st in 1992 and the latest being the 26th in 2005. The event was first held on a Sunday morning in June 1993 and has remained on this day ever since. The record attendance came in 1989 when 20 members attended the Meeting held at the home of Jeremy Fess, the fewest being only five members four years earlier. On the occasions when annual awards were not presented at the Club Dinner, they were given out at the AGM.
The Chairman's impartiality
A QUALIFIED referee since 1975, TFFC Chairman Nigel Kyte had, by the end of 2001, officiated in 120 Temple Fortune games against non-TFFC opposition since 1975. The wins/defeats record astonishingly stands at 50 each, with 20 draws! The goals tally too was pretty close, Temple Fortune edging just seven ahead. Surely this amazing summary of parity over so many seasons and matches goes to prove his admirable impartiality! Nigel has refereed more than 40 inter-Club matches over the years involving any two of the First XI, Second XI, Old Boys XI and TF invitation sides.
During the 120 matches, Kyte had sent off SIX Temple Fortune players, compared to four opponents! Steve Feiger was the first to be red-carded during the infamous wiggling cock match in December 1985 at Bethune Park. Playing for the First XI against the Seconds, he swore loudly at Second XI players towards the end and was dismissed for foul and abusive language. The Second XI surprisingly won 3-1 to capture the Club’s Founders’ Shield.
Several years ago, John Charles for sent off for kicking an Apex player at Bethune Park during an Old Boys match, the first dismissal in a Temple Fortune Old Boys fixture. Charles was suspended for two Old Boys matches for his efforts. Kyte’s third dismissal of a Temple Fortune player came in 1997/98 during the Second Team v Sorsky Accoutants friendly at West Hendon Playing Fields. With ten minutes or so remaining, the argumentative Avi Tvila saw red on two accounts, the first being his hostile temper after being fouled by an opponent.
Nigel's fourth sending off of a Temple Fortune player was at West Hendon Playing Fields in 1999. Nigel Roth-Witty committed an awful flying tackle on Peter Kyte, of all people, during a Firsts v Seconds "friendly" and was red-carded. The fifth dismissal was Tony Espinoza for deliberate handball in the 1999 Ralph Epstein Memorial Trophy match at Whitefield Astroturf, the first and so far only sending off in the REMT series. In the closing minutes, Tony handled high above his head as the last defender to stop Bushey Old Boys from scoring. Why he bothered nobody knows Temple Fortune were 12-2 up at the time! Dismissal number 6 was Lloyd Botchin who, as the Old Boys goalkeeper, brought down former TF player Henry Charles of North West Neasden who was through on goal during a Maccabi Masters League match in 2001.
(c) Cecil Fettle