SULSESC CLUB HISTORY
THE Chandos, a Sam Smith's pub off London's Trafalgar Square, only a stone's throw from Nelson's Column, just doesn't realise the momentous place it holds in the annals of football history.
For it was there, on Thursday, August 6th, 1987, that six capital-based Scunthorpe United followers met up to discuss the possibility of forming a London Supporters' Club for the Lincolnshire side.
The seeds of the idea had been sown during the 1986-87 season. It was Hereford away, I believe. Were all six there? Memory fails me - it was more than 18 years ago, after all - but I do have a vague recollection of some of the conversations.
The gist of which was that there were several of us at Edgar Street who had all travelled from London. Separately.
Stupidity, we decided, surely we could get together to split petrol costs, or at least have travelling companions on the train who shared a common interest. Such as watching a mediocre Fourth Division football team lose yet another mundane match somewhere in Middle England.
And so, from small acorns...
Some months later, it was agreed that we should actively pursue the idea of forming an official London branch.
A meeting was organised for the Chandos and there the first committee was 'elected'. Milton Keynes-based Mark Borrill couldn't attend the inaugural get-together - but that didn't prevent the others unanimously voting him in as chairman in his absence!
The following week, official approval for the London and South East Supporters' Club was sought from Don Rowing, the secretary of Scunthorpe United FC. In a letter dated August 21st, 1987, permission was granted and SULSESC was officially born.
Below: The original reply from SUFC to our request for official approval
Click image to enlarge
There were those who wondered whether there would be sufficient numbers of Scunthorpe fans in London and the south for the Supporters' Club to survive. But, more than 30 years later, SULSESC has not only survived but flourished, and is widely recognised as one of SUFC’s longest standing official supporters’ clubs.
In recent years, we have been regular match sponsors at Glanford Park, usually backing a home game near the end of the season to tie in with the presentation of our annual Player of the Year award, the John Birkett Memorial Shield.
The 2018-19 season proved something of a first for SULSESC as we completed a hat-trick of sponsorships in the same season – for kit (Levi Sutton), matchball (v Gillingham) and match (v Burton Albion).
Membership of SULSESC remains consistently around the 75-100 mark. True, it's not quite the sort of figure to tempt the committee to pack in their day jobs and go full-time, but it's more than enough to keep this healthy little club going. And more than justifies the faith shown by the 'Chandos Six' back in August, 1987...
Article by A. Skeels