Dulwich Hamlet beat Hendon the other day, continuing a good run but my thoughts are drawn more to another local side, Streatham Rovers. Rovers’ last games saw them thump Witley Rovers 4-1 and then ease past Dynamo Catford by a goal to nil. The Catford game was interrupted both by a drunk Richard Branson and three minutes silence for people who had died at Rovers games in 2016. These incidents speak volumes about the club.

I don’t want this to be a negative piece but it’s not possible to write about Streatham Rovers without recalling the names of referee Thorley Goodwin and balloonist Winston Thompson, who were killed in an accident back in April and Richmond Arithmetic goalkeeper Daniel Roberts, who was hit by a drone before being trampled by an elephant.

Rovers slug away in the Xtermin8 Rat Poison League Premier Division and cup matches against the likes of Barnes Proboscideans, Dungeness Jarman, Pease Pottage Arcadia and Tintagel Arthurians. This isn’t glamorous but its real football. You might know Rovers for their exuberant, goal celebration gifs as much as their wholehearted, joyful approach to the game. This is a team that never stops not giving up.

robot dog streathamLast year, games were disrupted by yobs urinating the pitch into a bog, an anti-astro turf pressure group and more welcome, an escaped dog from the local robotics laboratory. Thankfully, a werewolf incident turned out to be a restaging of a classic Beadle’s About stunt, with Rovers’ Griffin Naughton revealed to be a planted actor. It’s worth noting that the original sketch, twenty five years back, resulted in career-ending injury for then skipper, Michael Hanson.

A couple of days before Christmas a few of the players dressed up as Santa and elves to visit sick children in hospital. That the ungrateful children in their Arsenal and Chelsea shirts ignored them, shows the mountains non-league clubs must continually climb. We wish Streatham Rovers well in this, their centenary year.