Hartley Wintney is classified as a village, though a sizeable one these days, located close to the main town of Basingstoke in North Hampshire, within central southern England. The Football Club was founded in 1897, were founder members of the Home Counties League, and following promotion from the Combined Counties League Premier Division in 2016/17, the First Team will play in the Evo-Stik League Southern Division 1 Central in 17/18.
The Club, nicknamed 'The Row', has come a long way and is indebted to the volunteer workers and sponsors who have not only continued to keep the Club afloat but have seen it meet with success on and off the pitch.
We have our ground at The Memorial Playing Fields, Green Lane, Hartley Wintney, Hants RG27 8DL. The club now has four covered stands, two with seating, and a low level area to accommodate wheelchairs. The pitch is fully floodlit and there is a well-equipped, licensed clubhouse offering hot and cold drinks and snacks, as well as dual-zone satellite TV with large screen in the main area.
CLUB CONSTITUTION (PDF file)
Last updated August 2016
Hartley Wintney Football Club, as our records indicate, was founded in 1897 and played in an area situated at Causeway Farm, not far from our present headquarters and adjacent to the village's golf and cricket clubs. From stories told by the older members, and from the old club records, it appears that the village side competed well against local opposition, despite the facilities not quite being up to today's standard, with only a horse trough or the pond to remove the heavy mud from a sub-standard pitch. In 1953, the club moved to its present ground in Green Lane, known as 'The Memorial Ground'. A pavilion was erected and the team played in the Basingstoke League and, later, in the Aldershot League.
In 1973, Glynn Howell was appointed Manager and, with an influx of players, Hartley Wintney FC was put firmly on the local football map. In his six year reign, the team managed to win the Aldershot Senior League three times in succession and, on a night to remember, the Aldershot Senior Cup. In 1975, the facilities were once again improved, when a bar was built within the pavilion.
After several seasons in the ASL, Hartley were admitted to the Combined Counties League, the competition that replaced the Surrey Senior League. After the first couple of seasons and two changes of management, the club appointed Ian Bedford as Manager. Once again an influx of senior players brought Hartley success. Within his three years in management, they gained trophies including the League Title (1982-1983) and Runners Up (1981-1982), Aldershot Senior Cup Winners (1980-1981), and George Allen Cup Winners (1981-1982). They were also Runners Up in the League Cup (1982-1983) and Aldershot Senior Cup (1981-1982).
During this period a new Club House, which is our present H.Q., was opened by ex-Chelsea star Peter Osgood. Our facilities are now ranked as amongst the best in the league. David Willoughby, the then Secretary/Treasurer, and Bill Mitchell, the then club Chairman and now President, devoted exceptional hours in the embryo stages of this venture - one of the bars is now named 'The David Willoughby Room'.
Hartley Wintney FC has come a long way, from 'village side' in every sense of the term, to today's 7 days a week modern football club, but its hard working committee has succeeded in retaining a village atmosphere. In recent years, the club has invested in floodlights, completely rebuilt the changing rooms at a cost of over £100,000, erected a stand with seating, and continues to look to improvements to meet the ground grading requirements that will enable it to play at the highest level that achievements on the pitch merit. As with so many clubs at our level, the Club is indebted to the volunteer workers who continue to keep the Club alive.
The club gained promotion from Division One of the Combined Counties League in 2007-08 under manager Mike Scott. But 08-09 began poorly and ended in relegation by a narrow margin. Under a new management team of Pete Gray and John Condon, the first team rallied, finishing 5th in CCL Div 1 in 09-10, and 7th in season 10-11 under manager Louis King after Pete Gray had stepped down for family reasons.
The 2011-12 season under manager Neville Roach, Assistant Mick Wollen and Coach Scott Tarr was a notable one for the club as they again achieved promotion to the Combined Counties League Premier Division, as well as having a fine FA Cup run that took them to the Third Qualifying Round, with wins against higher league opposition, away to Alresford Town and at home to both Southern Premier League Bashley and Southern League Bideford AFC. Hartley Wintney eventually went out after a brave performance at Conference South near neighbours Basingstoke Town.
The euphoria of the cup run and promotion was dampened at the end of the 2011-12 season when the coaching staff left to join Thatcham Town. The entire squad bar two players departed, so new manager, ex-Millwall player Dave Tuttle, was faced with the task of rebuilding a squad competitive enough for the CCL Premier. Unfortunately, a string of poor results led to a second change in management in less than 4 months, with 24 year-old ex-Hartley player Ben Dillon given his first managerial position for the 2012-13 season.
Once again there was an almost total outflow of players from Tuttle's squad, and Ben, with assistants Jason Minton and Joe Lawler, set about again rebuilding the squad, but by this time with Hartley well and truly set adrift at the bottom of the table. It was a baptism of fire for the young manager, but his enthusiasm, belief and the introduction of a talented group of new players quickly restored the spirit around the whole club. In what became known as the club's 'Great Escape' season, Hartley Wintney's place in the CCL Premier was secured against all the odds after a truly remarkable second half of the season.
With the benefit of a full pre-season to prepare, Ben Dillon further strengthened the squad, with Steve Saunders and player/coach Dan Brownlie brought in to the coaching setup alongside Jason and Joe. The 2013-14 season started well and there were wins in the FA Cup away to Eastbourne Town and very memorably in a replay at Clevedon Town - where Hartley came back from 2-0 and 3-1 down to win 4-3 in injury time - setting up a home tie in the 4th Qualifying Round for the first time in the club's history, eventually losing out to an in-form Daventry Town in front of a crowd of over 1,000. The cup run took its toll on the league form but the club finished a creditable 7th in the Premier Division.
Hartley Wintney FC commissioned a new Club crest for 2013-14 and chose a design that holds true to the traditions of a village club founded over 100 years ago. The new crest, designed by Philippa Bell, incorporates several elements of historical significance. Recorded in the 13th century under the name of Hertleye Wynteneye, meaning "the clearing in the forest where the deer graze by Winta's island", the crest shows a tree and a stag, as well as the rose emblem of the Club's home county, Hampshire. The Club's nickname of 'The Row' is believed to have been taken from 'Hartley Row', a former hamlet within Hartley Wintney. The nickname and the year in which the Club was founded are also incorporated in the new crest.
There were fewer cup highlights in season 2014-15 but the club consolidated its CCL Premier Division membership by finishing a comfortable 9th. Ben Dillon took the decision to step down at the end of the season. Dan Brownlie and Anthony Millerick were appointed as Joint First Team Managers, with Joe Lawler remaining part of the coaching setup and Luke Tuffs coming in as First Team Coach, as well as continuing as the club's Youth Team Manager. It was to be a very eventful and successful 2015-16 season.
After a memorable 1-0 win away at Southern League Merthyr Town in the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Cup, Hartley were faced with an away tie at Conference South Eastbourne Borough. At 2-0 down early in the second half it seemed all over, but Hartley battled back to 2-2 and appeared to have earned a deserved replay until the hosts struck deep into injury time. In the FA Vase, Hartley Wintney broke a longstanding club record by reaching the 5th Round Proper for the first time. A hard fought 3-1 win at home to Bradford Town in the previous round had setup a home tie against cup favourites Hereford FC. In front of a sell-out 1,300 at Green Lane, eventual finalists Hereford proved too strong, but it had been a fantastic run.
Despite the cup commitments, and thanks to a squad with the depth to cope with the inevitable player fatigue, the club topped the CCL Premier Division for most of the season and claimed the 2015-16 league title, finishing 10 points clear on 106 points, with a goal difference of 87 and having lost just four league games all season. Club captain, Sam Argent, swept most of the end of season awards but the entire squad deserved huge praise. Promotion, however, was denied due to ground grading issues. Runners-up Ashford Town took the place on the last day of the season, but only after Hartley Wintney put in one of their best performances to defeat promotion-seeking Camberley Town and as a consequence revenge an earlier league defeat and hand Ashford promotion.
Under longstanding Club Chairman, Luke Mullen, the football club has established a clear line of progression for young players with the establishment of an U18 Youth setup, currently playing in the Allied Counties Youth League, a Reserve team playing in the Suburban League, and an A Team playing in the Aldershot & District Football League. The Senior setup has also moved to improve links with the Junior club. These factors are huge positives which the committee hopes will greatly improve the club's chances of continuing to play and maintain their position at an elevated level of amateur football.
THE COMBINED COUNTIES FOOTBALL LEAGUE
THE SUBURBAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE
THE ALDERSHOT & DISTRICT FOOTBALL LEAGUE
THE ALLIED COUNTIES YOUTH FOOTBALL LEAGUE
AFFILIATED TO THE HAMPSHIRE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION
Hartley Wintney FC have their ground at The Memorial Fields, Green Lane, Hartley Wintney, Hants RG27 8DL. The club has covered standing and seating meeting current Step 4 FA grading requirements, and an area to accommodate wheelchairs. The pitch is fully floodlit and there is a well-equipped, licensed clubhouse offering hot and cold drinks and snacks on match days, as well as offering the facilities to host varied events including wedding receptions, birthday parties and social or business meetings.
DIRECTIONS - refer also to the map here
FROM THE A30
On entering Hartley Wintney via the A30, take the turn at the mini roundabout signposted A323 Fleet. Take the 1st right turn, Green Lane, which has St John's Church on the corner. Continue down Green Lane for about 800 metres and turn right into the car park at the second entry slip road (the parking area operates a one-way system and the first slip road you'll pass is the exit). This car park has a shared access with Greenfields School.
FROM FLEET DIRECTION
Turn left at St John's Church if coming down the A323 from Fleet.
Please use the contact form wherever possible. During times when the Clubhouse is open, the club may be contacted by phone on 01252 843586.