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Fútbol Internacional Premier League

Hoddesdon FC, the illusion of a town: Interview with Roger Merton (Chairman)

The union between a town and its football team is, at times, something indescribable. So it is with Hoddesdon FC, who are very much loved by the people of Hoddesdon. Today we speak with Roger Merton, president of the club. Thank Roger and the club for their kindness and closeness!

Hoddesdon FC

The club is very old. What is the secret for a humble club to last so many years?
Yes, but good management and good players give the Club a reputation. Please see our website for the history etc.

Hoddesdon FC were the first FA Vase winner. How was this victory?
Sadly I only moved to Hoddesdon in December 1978 and had never heard of Hoddesdon in 1975, let alone Hoddesdon Town FC. However, people to whom I talk ‘who were there’ on that eventful day, speak of it with enthusiasm and happiness and will never forget the day and the following days. The name of Hoddesdon Town FC will forever be inscribed in history as the inaugural winners of the FA Vase. 

Hoddesdon have won many trophies. Which would you say is the most important?
The FA Vase but see our website for the history of trophies won.

Who would you say is the best player in the club’s history?
I have only been involved since 1979 so I have not seen all the players over 140+ years! In my time probably Stuart Parker as a defender and Gary Cummins as an attacker. 

What is the relationship between the club and the city?
Hoddesdon is a town but the Football Club is well respected by the inhabitants and supporters. I should add that we have a consistent and loyal following and frequent visits of ‘groundhoppers’, many of whom come to obtain a copy of our award-winning programme. 

Has there been a Spanish player in the club?´
Not to my knowledge but our patron is Ossie Ardilles, two of whose sons have played for us – in particular over many years elder son Pablo.

What are the ethical values of the club?
Good management, player loyalty, welcoming to opponents and Match Officials, upholding the Laws of the game and the Rules of the competitions in which we play.

How did the covid affect the club?
Having 2 seasons in succession decided ‘null and void’ has affected the Club’s finances. The stop, start of the seasons has not helped the players but their enthusiasm has been undimmed on each return. 

What do you think of the super league?
Although I understand the Clubs’ reasoning, it is not what football is about. Clubs need supporters and the idea was badly promoted to them. If it was conceived to replace the midweek Champions’ League, as it appears, and to attract television viewers overseas, then the Far East will be sleeping and the USA will be working when matches are played. In my opinion, there is too much money in football, particularly the Premier League, since Sky entered the television stakes (1992), now followed by BT and Amazon – sadly it will not stop. 

Finally, what would you say to a Spanish reader to become a fan of Hoddesdon FC?

Come and visit us and see what we can offer you – good football, good hospitality and good friendship.

Hoddesdon FC

Author: Pablo Triguero

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