The history of Whetstone Wanderers Youth FC dates back to 1991 when local accountant Mr Chris Panayi was not satisfied with the quality of the football coaching that his young son was receiving and he decided to do something about it. Some discussions too place with a few other local dads who Chris had met while waiting at the school gates to collect his son and the solution was to look into the possibility of forming a new football Club. The Club was duly formed in 1991 with the first matches taking place in 1992.
Chris Panayi is now the Club's Life President. Other important people in the early days of the Club were Joe McGillivray who won the first ever trophy in the history of Whetstone Wanderers Youth FC and subsequently served as Club Secretary until his retirement in 2012 and Gary Lamb who is still actively involved with the Club as our Vice Chairman and he remains one of the most highly-respected coaches in Grass Roots football.
The Club played at various locations in its early days which is why it decided on the name Wanderers until a home was found at the Woodside Park Club - pictured above. The changing rooms were no longer fit for purpose and they were knocked down at the end of 2015 and work is in progress to build new changing rooms thanks to the magnificient support we have received from the Football Foundation, Sport England and the Mayor of London's Fund. Our new purpose built facility will have a medical room, referee's room, accessible facilities for disabled people and a Club office as we continue to look to the future.
The Club has continued to grow as lots of new teams were started and by the end of 2005 it had expanded to 20 teams in various age groups and we were awarded Charter Status by the Football Association in. In 2012 the Club was awarded the Charter Standand Community Club status which is the highest award available in Grass Roots Football.
In 2013 we entered into a strategic partnership with Cockfosters FC which provides us with an Elite Player Pathway into Senior Adult Football and enables us to enter our top junior teams into the Eastern Junior Alliance which is the highest standard of youth football in South East England outside of the professional game.
In the 2015 / 16 season we had 39 teams playing in 4 different Leagues and we are able to offer grass-roots football to boys and girls of all ages and abilities in the local community.
Pictured above at one of Club Presentation Day's are :-
Gary Lamb - our current Vice Chairman - who has previously served as Chairman in the early years of the Club.
Mark Lawrence - a long term helper in the early years of the Club.
Chris Panayi - our Club's Founder and Life President.
David Marks - a generous Club Sponsor and benefactor of youth football in the local area.
There have been many trophies, Cup Finals, overseas tours and good times along the way. We are now at the stage of our development where some of the players from our early years are now proud Dad's themselves and they have returned home to coach teams or to help out on match days.
For details of all the trophies and individual awards won over the years please our Roll of Honour.
Pictured on the left are the first ever Whetstone Pumas round about the beginning of the century when they were a 7 a side team. This team were runners-up in the Middlesex County Cup Final as an Under 14 team in 2005.
Top Row - left to right
- Jack Ephgrave
- Harry Marks
- Mark Leach
- Luke Dimitriades
- Arrun Woodhouse ( Goalkeeper )
Bottom Row - left to right
- Robert Jones
- Jordan Lumsden
- Gary Lamb ( Junior )
- James Comley ( Captain )
Several of these boys went on to play for Academies and James Comley made 6 first team appearance for Crystal Palace FC between 2008 and 2010.