Big Free Bet

IDNet - Leased Lines, Broadband & Telecoms - IDNet Studio. Bridge House, 30A Bridge Street, Hitchin. Herts SG5 2DF. Tel: +44 (0) 1462 659 350.

FPM Facilities Services Ltd - 35-37 Hastings Street, Luton, LU1 5BE. Tel: 01582 484020

MasterCars - Quality New, Nearly New & Used Vehicles in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire. 1-2 Bunyan Rd, Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1NL. Phone 01462 457645

Consilium Financial Planning - 18-19 Woodside House, Walsworth Rd, Hitchin SG4 9SP. Phone: 01462 421775

From windows to conservatories, Barry Bolton Windows is the local specialist for Beds, Bucks & Herts. From our free quotes to our high quality service, backed by our 10 year insurance warranty, we've got what you need. Tel: 01582 484 600

Swinton Insurance - 16 Brand Street, Hitchin. Phone: 01462 436253

Ridgeons Timber & Builders Merchants - Hitchin Branch

At lionshome.co.uk, you can conveniently find new design ideas for your home, inspirations for garden design, DIY ideas and much more.

Specialists in SAP Data & Document Archiving

Screenbond - Manufacturers of  PCB's

More than just transport ...

Peak Fitness Gym

Richard Taylor Travel - Coach suppliers to Hitchin Town FC.

Kick It Out Campaign - click the image to visit the website

1958-59: Millwall come to town
History was made in 1958. Hitchin Town played host to Football League opposition for the first time in the FA Cup. In just 12 months since Laurie Scott’s appointment, Hitchin had gained some sort of national eminence by not just reaching the first round, but by taking the London side to two games. The FA Cup also provided much needed revenue for a club that only months earlier, was scrambling around for cash.

Laurie Scott continued his team building in the summer of 1958. Chairman Ken Griffin called for “vocal encouragement…please”, and described the Hitchin squad as a “team of possibilities and prospects.” New signings in the close season included Henry Bird from St.Albans, John Lusty from Letchworth and a trio of young players – Freeston, Puthian and Guile – from Welwyn. There was also the aptly named Wally Wing, an outside left from Cambridge and Michael Laing from Stockton.

David Hills, a player who would make an immediate impact and go onto greater things, made his debut on the opening day of the season. It was a much better start than in previous years with the Canaries going six games unbeaten, including a 2-0 win over East Anglian Cup, the first tie played by the club in that competition. But the season’s first defeat was in the next round when Bedford Town won 4-0 at the Eyrie. The first FA Cup hurdle was comfortably dealt with, a 6-2 win over Dunstable Town with Gordon Guile scoring a hat-trick.

In October the club was overjoyed when Peter Hammond became the first Hitchin player to be selected by England. Hammond, always a popular figure at the club since arriving in 1953 from Arlesey Town, played for his country against South Africa at Wycombe’s Loakes Park.

The FA Cup run continued with a 4-3 win at Stevenage Town, a game played before a tiny crowd after the original fixture was abandoned after 38 minutes. In the third qualifying round, Vauxhall Motors, so often a stumbling block in the past, were beaten 2-0 and then came a bruising encounter with Woodford Town, which was won 3-2 after a tense replay. That put Hitchin into the first round where they were paired with Millwall of the Third Division.

 This was a high point for the club. “Whatever the result this afternoon, this is an occasion which will go down in the history of this old club of ours, the first league visitors to Top Field,” said the matchday programme. A crowd of 3,986 attended the tie and Hitchin their illustrious hosts a run for their money. Bernard Joy of the Evening Standard, was impressed by the amateur side’s pluck. In the 64th minute, the Canaries stunned Millwall: “A strange referee’s decision led to Hitchin taking the lead in 64 minutes against the run of play. Figg appeared to charge Brady over as they ran for the ball, but the referee gave a free kick against Millwall. Figg pushed the ball square and Hammond lobbed in a shot which cleared Davies’s outstretched hands and dropped under the bar.” Ten minutes later, Summersby scored from the spot to keep Millwall, who were seventh in the third division at the time, in the Cup. The replay, two days later, saw Millwall win by the odd goal in three, but there was consolation in the form of a £ 917 6s 6d share of the 18,865 gate.

Amid the euphoria of pitting their wits against such highbrow opposition, league form had fallen by the wayside. The FA Amateur Cup saw the club return to knockout mode in a bid to recapture the spirit of Millwall. Faversham Town were beaten in Round One, but once again, Corinthian Casuals ended Hitchin’s hopes, this time 4-1 sat the Oval. The first league win since November came in late January, but by this time, Scott’s side were in desperate need of points to haul them away from the bottom end of the league table.

In the wake of the cup run, Brian Smith and John Whitby both returned to the club from Letchworth, but on February 7, David Hills made his last appearance for the club before joining West Ham as a professional. Hill, who would late return to Hitchin in a management role later in his career, had previously signed amateur forms with Manchester United.

The season was in danger of getting out of control, though. League wins were scarce and a poor Easter, combined with 11 games without a win to end the season, saw Hitchin finish third from bottom in the 16-team Athenian League. Injuries to key players such as Brian Figg and Henry Bird had weakened an attack that produced just 37 goals in 30 games. But when all was said and done, the memory of Millwall, the cap for Peter Hammond and the nurturing of David Hills, made the 1958-59 campaign notable in many ways.

See also
The story of 1957-58 and 1959-60 - the seasons either side of 1958-59

Tickets & Merchandise

Click image to puchase Match Day Tickets and Club Merchandise.

Click image to see information about the Cheese & Cider Festival.

Click image to puchase Tales Of The Town.

Fans Forum

Click image to visit the Fans Forum.

Follow us on Twitter @HitchinTownFC. Click image to visit the site.

Hitchin Town FC on Facebook - Click image to connect.

Hitchin Town FC on Google+ - Click image to connect.

Hitchin Town Instagram Account - Click image to visit the site.

Hitchin Town Photographs by Peter Else- Click image to visit the site.

HitchinTV, Hitchin Videos, Hitchin Shops, Hitchin video directory

AboutMyArea - The Community Website for Hitchin and the Villages

Local news, sport, music, arts, homes for sale, homes to let, cars for sale, jobs, competitions and much, much more!.

Game Of The People - Click image to visit the site.

Hall Hire

Function Hall Hire for all occasions. Click the image for further information.

The Arena

The Arena, Baldock. Click image to visit the Arena website and find out more.

Physio Clinic

Hitchin Town Sports Injury & Chiropractic Clinic.   Click image to find out more details.

Search The Site