The town of Brentford was changing by the time its football club had played their first match against Kew on 23 November 1889. The railway station had been refurbished and the new recreation ground, a driver for the Club’s formation, had been opened on 17 October after almost three years planning.
The rowing club, having created a winter sports arm on 10 October, organised further matches on most Saturdays until the season ended in late March 1890. A majority of the games were played adjacent to where Clifden Road is situated now, with a handful of away matches organised over the course of the season.
Given the playing members lack of experience, the results attained were quite credible. They rounded off the campaign with a 3-0 win at Hounslow Standard, their second meeting of the season.
As a result of recent research undertaken at the British Library, more has been learnt of the Club’s forefathers. Between them, the backbone of the side were not only members of the rowing club but patrons of the Brentford Philanthropic Society, local Conservative Club, and Boston Park Cricket Club. The latter would become the Club’s home in 1900 before the move to Griffin Park.
The games laws were significantly different to today: goalkeepers could handle the ball in their own half (this wasn’t outlawed until 1912) and the penalty area – and kick – was yet to be invented.