On October 14th 1893 Dulwich Hamlet played the first fixture we are currently aware of. The club was a old boys team, associated with the school of the same name. It is known that in the early years the “crowds” consisted of a smattering of friends and family. That same weekend, Old St Stephen’s F.C. were defeating Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 at Denmark Hill in front of a good crowd. Old St Stephen’s are one of many local teams who could – and in some cases should - have emerged as the dominant football team locally. Had they done so, DHFC would now be a long forgotten footnote in the history of football in Dulwich. As we enjoy the occasion today, we should thank all the officials – past and present – who have worked towards ensuring the club is where it is today. Their efforts have usually been voluntary. I’m sure that some of the current officials will find themselves not actually seeing the match, instead working behind the scenes to ensure everyone else has a good evening. Incidentally if Dulwich win tonight, and then win in the next three rounds, they will set a record as the Dulwich based football team who have gone the furthest in the F.A. Cup whilst wearing a largely pink kit. Hopefully that, and a lot more, will be explained in a new fund-raising booklet covering the story of the early years of football in Dulwich, and the very early years of Dulwich Hamlet, which we hope to release later this season. However; due to a family issue, it will be finished when it’s finished.