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Hearts of Teddlothian FC – the how, the why and from where?

Hearts of Teddlothian FC our great football club was founded in 2007 by Paul Cecil (Chairman) and Simon Coggins (Club Secretary) and then expanded rapidly in the early years with the support and drive of many hard working parent volunteers including Steve McKay, David Clark and Ivan Lowe.
Recognising our many successes the club was proudly awarded the FA Charter Standard in 2010 and a big contributory factor behind this prestigious award was the setting up of our thriving girls’ football section led by Samantha Price and Beth Constantine. The creation of a Mini, Junior, Adult and Vets football sections quickly followed.

The club origins are linked to Sacred Heart Primary School in Teddington where a group of parents used to meet socially on Saturday mornings on Broom Road Rec to kick a ball around and have some fun and exercise with less than 15 children of mixed ages and ability. One summer many of these children decided to go for football trials at another local established club……...6 or 7 players got in and left us but sadly some children were excluded. Understandable circumstances maybe but how unfair on the unfortunate football friendships left behind and the risk that our very special Saturday mornings would never be the same again. So that is when Hearts FC was born with just a handful of children left behind and by the end of our first season the club grew to having over 150 players playing on many different pitches across the Teddington & Hampton area!

So why did the club grow so fast.………simply because we refused to have player trials based on ability and opened the club doors to any players who wanted to play and feel special about the sport that they loved and, importantly, without Hearts FC most would not have been playing the beautiful game and our national sport. The vast majority of youth do not play football in their adult years – that is a fact. So why should any youngster ever be deprived of playing the great game in their prime years or have any bad memories about not passing a trial or not being picked for their local football team with their pals? Certainly not the case at Hearts FC and where we had too many players we just found a willing parent (a Dad or in the case of Sam or Beth a Mum!) gave them some cones and a bag of balls and just set up an extra team. The rest is history with the club having grown to now offer football to more than 550 members and yes some of our teams do still win league championships and cups despite our all inclusiveness.

Prior to founding Hearts FC the club chairman Paul Cecil was a rugby coach. His vision was to set up and run a football club more like a rugby club, with a spirit of competitiveness yes but always with fairness to all our players and importantly always with decent touchline respect for match officials and the opposition teams. We need to all behave like this simply because it’s the right and proper thing to do and not because it’s a club or FA directive to behave or act in a certain way. This strong club ethos stands us out from the crowd.

So why the club name Hearts of Teddlothian FC? In truth this is nothing short of a bit of irony, that is a football club originating from a catholic school background named after a Scottish premier league football club (Hearts of Middlothian FC) that has protestant fan origins! However, perhaps this does allude to our ethos as a club of being fully open and all inclusive!

Many volunteers have got us to where we are today operating our club moto nil sine magno labore, which means “nothing without great effort” and you all certainly do not have to be a club officer nor a club coach to play an important role in ensuring we always maintain and respect our club ethos in the future.

Jatish Mistry (Club Chairman)

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