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Our history

Our club, whose friendly atmosphere attracts players from as far afield as Essex and Berkshire, began in 1946 when a group of Richmond fathers met in a pub and chipped in a fiver each – then about two weeks' average wages – to found a sports club to keep their sons out of mischief.

 

Subscriptions were 12p a year – free to members of H.M. Forces.

 

For the next four or five years the sons, mainly pupils of Gainsborough Secondary Modern School in Kew and members of the local Air Training Corps, and some of the fathers played a large number of football matches and only the occasional game of cricket.

 

Indeed the first known photograph of the Nomads, taken in 1947, shows the football team in the pre-war Arsenal strip which they had obtained on the cheap.

 

But the fledgling Nomads failed to hold their own in the local football leagues and the cricket became more and more popular. By 1951 cricket had taken over completely with a match every Saturday.

 

The teams, which in the early days had turned out in everyday clothes because of rationing and lack of funds, began to appear in whites (decorators' trousers £1.50 each in a job lot from Millett's). The first proper whites were eventually obtained from a sports shop run by Wally Barnes of Arsenal and England.

 

Cricket boots were still too expensive, so the lads turned out in plimsolls. Nobody owned his own bat, but a complete set of kit was bought from a club in Shepherds Bush which had folded. The club retained the Arsenal colours with which it had started, appearing in white sweaters with a red trim and natty red and white hooped caps.

 

The Nomads, as their name implies, originally played all their games away, but by the early Sixties were renting grounds for home matches, including Richmond Green for a few years in the late Seventies.

 

The 1973 season provided the only instance of a first-class cricketer playing for the club when Tim Lamb of Middlesex and Northants, brother of long-serving Nomad David Lamb, turned out against

Heston Methodists at Old Deer Park. Sadly his analysis of 5-14 bowling gentle off breaks instead of his usual seamers, was not enough to prevent defeat.

 

The club's 50th anniversary in 1996 was celebrated by a get-together of Nomads past and present for a special match followed by a six-a-side tournament. Ten years later came a 60th anniversary tour of Estonia, with two matches being played against the Estonia national eleven. This year the club is planning a tour of Somerset in August to celebrate its.70th anniversary.

 

Since 1998 the club's regular home ground has been the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington. The current fixture list – Sunday friendlies only – includes attractive away trips to BBC Caversham, the chocolate box village of Tilford, Marlow Park beside the Thames, Egham Roses in the shadow of Windsor Castle and Reigate Pilgrims in the delightful Surrey village of Betchworth.

 

New members are always welcome and anyone considering joining can find out more about the club on richmondnomads.co.uk or on Twitter and Facebook.

 

 

 

 

1946-2009(1)