Formed 1929. Wound up 1932.
Elected to Division Three (South) 1930. Resigned 1932
Thames Association FC was formed as a speculative venture by business men who had built the enormous West Ham Stadium in the East End of London for greyhound racing. There was no connection with West Ham United, who played at Upton Park, aside from the name and their proximity. At the time dog tracks could expect to attract over 100,000 paying customers to a midweek meeting; admission charges alone could be worth a fortune and additional income could be earned by licensing bookmakers. At weekends, however, this vast stadium lay empty so the directors decided to form a professional football team to bring in additional income. After playing in the Southern League Eastern Division, Thames Association FC was elected to the Third Division (South) in 1930, replacing Merthyr Town by a single vote. On taking up its place in the Football League, the club shortened its name to Thames FC.
Faced with competition from established East End sides, Charlton Athletic, West Ham United, Clapton Orient and Millwall, Thames were bound to struggle and they attracted meagre crowds, including a mere 469 who watched Luton Town on 6 December 1930. In a stadium capable of holding 120,000, this must have been a dispiriting event. After finishing 20th (out of 22) in 1931 they were last in 1932. Rather than attempt re-election, the directors cut their losses, resigned from the League and wound up the club. The stadium continued to be used for greyhound racing and speedway until it was demolished in the early 1970s.
Thames FC should not be confused with Thames Ironworks who later became West Ham United.
- (a) Club Colours (Bob Bickerton)