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CRAVEN COTTAGE A starting point

This is a brief introduction The following six pages are specific to apects of the Ground

billp TOOFIF Updated Monday, 28 December 2020


1879 - Club founded as Fulham St Andrews. In the early days of organised football most small clubs of the era had a nomadic existence in their early days. Fulham were no exception and played on a multitude of undeveloped grounds, on both sides of the river Thames. The most notable of these Star Road near Earls Court, the Ranelagh Club, Lillie Road, Eel Brook Common, Purser’s Cross and Barn Elms.

1888 - Fulham drop St Andrews from the club name. Like most small clubs of the era, Fulham had a nomadic existence in their early days. Fulham played on a plethora of undeveloped grounds, both south and north of the river Thames, including Star Road near Earls Court, the Ranelagh Club, Lillie Road, Eel Brook Common, Purser’s Cross and Barn Elms.

1891 - Move to 1st enclosed ground-Half Moon Pub Land shared with Wasps rugby club.

1894 - FFC takes control of Craven Cottage land and start to develop it.

1896 - Craven Cottage hosts its first proper Home game Vs Minerva FC, Fulham win 4-0.

1897 - Fulham win their first silverware winning the West London Associations Cup

1898 - Fulham join Second Division of the Southern League.

1898 - Fulham vote and accept professionalism at the club.

1903 - Fulham FC become a Limited Company. Fulham gain promotion to Southern League 1st Division

1904 - Fulham appoint 1st Manager: Harry Bradshaw.

1905 - Stevenage Road Stand Built by Archibald Leitch.

1906 - Fulham win the Southern League.

1907 - Fulham win the Southern League again and are promoted to The Football League.

1907 - Craven Cottage used for England International against Wales.

1908 - Great Britain football team wins Olympic gold, Arthur Berry from Fulham FC plays.

1910 - Fulham beat the dark side in their first ever match 1-0.

1911 - Craven Cottage used for Rugby International.

1912 - Fulham make it to quarter finals  of the FA Cup.

1914 - Attempt to merge Arsenal and Fulham FC by ex-chairman Henry Norris fails.

1919 - FFC in Final of the Victory Cup (beating Spurs +Arsenal) but lose to the dark side 3-0.

1920 - John Dean returns as Director. 3 generations of Deans stay in control of the club.

1924 - Philip Kelso, Fulham's longest serving Manager of 15 years retires.

1928 - Fulham relegated to Division 3 South.

1931 - John McIntyre appointed Manager.

1932 - Fulham gain promotion back to Division 2.

1936 - Fulham reach FA cup Semi Finals but lose to Sheffield Utd 2-1.

1938 - Highest ever home attendance record set at 49,335 against Milwall.

1945 - Fulham resume football after World War II.

1949 - Fulham Division 2 Champions & promoted to Division 1-First time in the top flight.

1952 - After 3 seasons in Top Division, coming 17th,18th and 22nd Fulham are relegated. Jimmy Hill, future chairman and man behind 'Save Fulham FC' campaign signs . Johnny Haynes, Fulham Legend, starts his career with The Cottagers.

1956 - 2nd division Fulham lose to 1st division Newcastle in the 4th round of the FA Cup 4 - 5 in what many described as the best game ever played at Craven Cottage, a controversial goal denies FFC a draw. George Cohen MBE, World Cup winner, begins his career with Fulham.

1958 - Fulham reach Semi Finals of the FA cup losing 5-3 to Man Utd at a replay.

1959 - Fulham promoted to 1st Division.

1960 - Against all expectations The Whites come 10th in their new season in the Elite.

1962 - Another FA cup semi final, another need for a replay, Fulham lose 2-1 to Burnley.

1963 - Fulham record their biggest ever league win on Boxing day, beating Ipswich 10 - 1 at Craven Cottage.

1964 - Frank Osborne retires after 43 years involved with the club.

1965 - After 50 years as a player and trainer with Fulham, Frank Penn retires.

1966 - The first 'Great Escape' Fulham beat Northampton Town 2 - 4 and beat the drop. George Cohen plays for the winning England team in the World Cup Final.

1968 - Fulham relegated to Division 2 after disastrous season under Vic Buckingham.

1968 - Bobby Robson returns from managing Vancouver Royals in Canada to Fulham.

1969 - Robson sacked by Eric Miller and went on to a great managing career elsewhere.

1969 - Fulham relegated to Division 3 after just one year in second division. Fulham beat Halifax Town 0 - 8 at the Shay to record their biggest ever league away win.

1970 - The Maestro Johnny Haynes retires from playing for Fulham.

1971 - After being pipped at the post to be divisional champions Fulham are promoted.

1974 - Bobby Moore, England legend and World Cup winner signs for Fulham for £20k.

1975 - After an amazing Cup run, Fulham under manager Alec Stock make the FA Cup  final.

1975 - In front of 100,000 people the all London FA Cup final is lost to West Ham 2-0.

1976 - George Best signs for the club, alongside Rodney Marsh signing for a second time.

1977 - Ernie Clay in control of the club. After 50 years, Dean family no longer on board, you might say the blind were no longer leading.

1980 - Fulham demoted to Division 3.

1982 - FFC take it to the wire and a draw in the final game ensures promotion to Div 2.

1983 - Fulham miss out on promotion to the top flight (Division 1) at the last game, a controversial match at Derby that was abandoned due to a pitch invasion by the Derby fans where they attacked Fulham players - the FA did not grant a replay - so began 27 more years of hurt. In truth, our awful run of matches prior to this was really the reason for the failure. We lost 4 of the last 5 games, won 2, drew 2 and lost 6 of the last 10.

The list on this page, is borrowed from the Friends of Fulham site:

It is complete up to the start of the current season. I have appended and amended one or two entries and I'll bring the timeline from then to the present as and when time permits.

In any case, it will serve a a temporary reference to notable days in the history of Fulham Football Club, eventually it will centre on the stadium solely.

The pages concentrating on the stadium can be navigated to, using the buttons in the header panel, each relate to their relevant specialist content.


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1984 - Clay acquired option to buy Craven Cottage ground, the team nurtured and developed by Malcolm MacDonald and Ray Harford is broken up and sold and the steady decline begins.

1986 - Fulham again are relegated to Division 3.

1986 - Marler Estates buy the Club and ground from Clay - Fulham suffer a 10 - 1 defeat at Liverpool in the League Cup.

1987 - Marler Estates buy QPR and try to merge the 2 clubs into Fulham Park Rangers.

1987 - Former Fulham player Jimmy Hill leads a high profile campaign to save the club, and financed by The Muddyman family, Marler Estates is bought out and Jimmy Hill is installed as Chairman.

1992 - The owners of the ground (now Cabra Estates) goes into recievership.

1992 - Premier League's first season starts, restructuring the Football League.

1994 - Fulham relegated from Division 3 to 4. (renamed 3 after Premier league created). Ian Branfoot becomes manager, brings some important figures into the club including Micky Adams.

1995 - The lowest home attendance (in peacetime) is recorded of 2,176 V Rotherham.

1996 - Fulham placed 91st out of 92 in English League football, an all time low.

1996 - Mickey Adams given Managers job and reverses decline, we finally finish a respectable 17th, considering what had preceded his appointment. Encouraging news had been received just prior to his appointment regarding our tenure at Craven Cottage

1997 - The club given option to buy Craven Cottage ground for £7.5 million. Micky Adams' team is a revelation, battling it out at the top, finishing joint 1st with Wigan on 87 points, Wigan go up as champions as the rules that year were that teams on equal points would be separated by goals scored, not goal difference or goal average, had either of the old formulae been in effect, we'd have been champs. Ironically, that had been an innovation in which Jimmy Hill had had a hand.

1997 - Mohamed Fayed steps in and buys the ground and the club installing Kevin Keegan as as Chief operating Officer and Ray Wilkins as manager. Fayed funds the purchase of top flight players and promises to take Fulham to the Premiership in 5 seasons.

1999 - The Cottagers are crowned Division 2 Champions. promotion to Division 1 follows. One dide effecet of this promotion is the evocation of the Taylor Report produced as a consequence of the Hillsborough disaster. This meant that Fulham would need to have an all seater stadium within three years, this being the maxium time allowed for clubs newly promoted to the second tier to be all seater.

2000 - Jean Tigana takes the helm and inspires a revolution on the pitch.

2001 - After just 2 seasons in Division 1, Fulham become Champions and are promoted by a country mile, 10 points clear of second placed Blckburn Rovers. This improved on the 5 years which Fayed had promised (at the Supporters' meeting at Fulham Town Hall shortly after the takeover, when Fayed's spokesman Michael Cole read out the statement in Fayed's absencea we roared with laughter in incredulity at the temerity of this boast, more fool we!). After 34 years away from top flight in the English football leagues Fulham are in the Premiership.

2002 - Fulham come 13th in their first season in the premiership and win the Intertoto Cup by beating Bologna in the final.

2002 - The Cottagers get to the Semi Finals of The FA cup, but lose to the dark side 1-0, (John Terry dives to punch the ball ioff the line, missed by the ref'!).

2003 - Redevelopment of Craven Cottage means The Lilliewhites are exiled to Loftus Road. It soon transpires that the Chairman is intent on moving away from the Cottage sit and the cost of buildng the new stadium mysterioulsy keep rising.

2003 - Chris 'Cookie' Coleman Takes over as Manager of the Club from Tigana and saves the club from relegation. Fulham make their mark in the Premiership by beating Manchester United at Old Trafford 1 - 3. We learn that the ground ghas been sold to a property development company.

2004 - Cookie guides The Whites to their highest ever finish of 9th in the Premiership and Fulham FC return to their rightful home of Craven Cottage.

2005 - Johnny Haynes dies in a car crash.

2007 - After a run of disappointing results Chris Coleman is sacked as manager.

2007 - Laurie Sanchez oversees a solitary win over Liverpool to keep Fulham up, but his luck runs out and he is sacked in December.

2008 - Against all the odds Roy Hodgson manages 'The Great Escape' Fulham stay up. A statue to the famous Johnny Haynes is erected outside the ground by the Cottage gates.

2009 - Roy Hodgson transforms Fulham's fortunes and guides them to their highest ever league position, 7th place and subsequent qualification  for the newly formed Europa Cup competition.

2010 - Fulham 4-1 Juventus,  Fulham 2-1 Hamburger SV: History Is made As Fulham Reach first Ever Major European Final. Losing 2 -1 to Atletico Madrid 2010 - Mark Hughes replaces Roy Hodgson as manager.

2011 - Martin Jol becomes Fulham Manager. Fulham Qualifies For Europa League Via Fair Play League.

2012 - Former Fulham Manager Roy Hodgson Is Named New England Manager.

2013 - Mohamed Al Fayed sells the club to Shahid Khan.  Martin Jol is sacked and Rene Meulensteen becomes Fulham. Shahid Khan buys Fulham FC . Alan Curbishley appointed as First Team Technical. Ray Wilkins appointed Assistant Head Coach.

2014 - Fulham Football Club has announced the hiring of Felix Magath as First Team Manager Fulham's 13-year stay in the Premier League is over after the Whites were relegated at Stoke City.

2015 - Chairman Shahid Khan announces Kit Symons as the new Fulham Manager. Rigg Announces Symons Departure, Jimmy Hill: 1928-2015.  

2018 - Fulham finish 3rd and book a place in the playoff finals at Wembley. Fulham win the playoff finals at Wembley against Aston Villa 1-0. Fulham return to the Premiership and appoint Claudio Ranieri manager.

2019 - Scott Parker appointed manager. Fulham relegated to Championship 2020 - Fulham finish 4th and book a place in the playoff finals at Wembley. Fulham beat Brentford 2-1 in the Championship Play-off Final and return to the Premiership.