Monday to Friday
12 noon to 11pm
12 noon till midnight
12 noon to 10.30pm
The Club was founded in 1920 as an Old Comrades Club by a group of ex-serviceman who met at the home of Mr T E Blake in Kings Worthy. In 1928, an ex-army barracks hut was purchased and erected in Legion Lane. A licence was granted to sell beer and spirits and the Club, known as The Worthies Social Club, was affiliated as a Class A member of the British Legion.
After the Second World War, the members found they were somewhat restricted by the rules of this organisation and during a meeting at the Springvale Hotel (now the King Charles Pub) in 1948 between George Sweetenham, Doug Wren and Bob Maskell, the foundations for the Worthies Sports and Athletics Club were formed. By the start of the 1949 season, there were enough players to form a football team and join the Winchester and District League under that name. A committee was formed with George Sweetenham, Doug Wren, Bob (Laddie) Maskell, George Harris, Roger Sherring and Bill Iddison as Secretary. Players were signed on, including some from the Navy such as Sharples, McIntyre, Tug Wilson and Ray Evans to name a few. Both Laddie and Berni Maskell along with Fred Mathews in goal signed from Micheldever with Ted Harris and Ted Iddiols signing from Sutton Scotney. Laddie Maskell at centre forward, with the help of Sharples and McIntyre, scored 60 goals in the first season of entering the league.
During the course of the season, Derek Sweetenham, our current President, and Arthur Butcher progressed from the youth team, then run by George Harris, to play in the first team. In the early 1950s, Bill Parker, who had finished playing, was now running the first team with Walter Lake in charge of the second team.
The team were having a good run in the various cups but struggled in the league. They were rewarded with a win in the semi-finals of the Northbrook Cup and went to Airlie Road in Stanmore, Winchester City’s ground, to play the final against King Alfred Old Boys. After a hard fought game, the Worthies ran out winners 2-1. George Frampton, who was the President of Worthies Sports and Athletic Club, drove an open top coach through Winchester with the team at the top of the coach showing off the Cup. The celebrations ended in the evening at the Eagle Hotel. A dinner and a celebration at the Jubilee Hall a few weeks later ended the season with officers from Winchester and District Football League in attendance.
A cricket team was formed at the start of the 1952 season. Playing in the first match were names such as Amey, Guppy, Lawrence, Maskell and Wren. A few games were played at Worthy Down, but others at away grounds until a cricket square was prepared and ready to use in August 1972 on Eversley Park.
In 1964, due to the growing success and expansion of the Worthies Sports and Athletic Club and with no real place to call home, talks were held with The Worthies Social Club which had premises at the top of Legion Lane. It was proposed that the two clubs should amalgamate and meetings subsequently took place between Derek Sweetenham and Bill Iddeson, President and Secretary of the Worthies Sports and Athletics Club, and Peter Hillary and Les Steele, Chairman and Treasurer of the Worthies Social Club. Sadly, after one of these meetings, Bill Iddeson passed away and never saw the final picture and the wonderful times to come. These meetings proved fruitful, the two clubs amalgamated and the Worthies Sports and Social Club was born in 1967 using the premises at the top of Legion Lane. The bar at that time was ably managed by Bett and Geoff Kemp.
The Club was a great success with indoor sports sections such as darts, bar billiards, snooker and table tennis becoming ever more popular. It was soon clear that new premises were needed to cope with the increasing number of people who wished to join this new exciting Club!
The Club now had premises and a football pitch, thanks to the Parish Council, but no facilities for cricket.
A piece of land in the corner of Eversley Park, was owned by Mrs Hunter-Fell who lived in Hinton House. She was very fond of cricket and agreed to sell the piece of land for £400. George Frampton, who was now the President, Peter Hillary as Chairman, Gareth James as Secretary and Les Steele as Treasurer formed the Worthies Supporters Club in 1969 to raise money for new facilities. The piece of land was in a state of disrepair and after being purchased, it was worked on to bring it up to recreation ground standards. With the expanding facilities and sections, new premises were needed. There was also increasing pressure from the residents of Legion Lane as the Club had become very popular, and as a consequence there was a significant increase of traffic. With the backing of the Parish Council and John Taylor (who at the time was the Chairman of the Recreation Ground Committee), a deed of exchange was drawn up and the Club swapped the piece of land in the corner of the recreation ground for the land where the Club premises currently stand. This was ideal as it had an entrance off Lovedon Lane. Two members, Bob Pink and George Kempster dug out the land ready for the Reema style building to be put in place in 1971. This was at a cost of £30,000. The members were invaluable in volunteering to re-site the football pitch and lay the cricket square as well as using their knowledge of plumbing, electrics and general handiwork. In order to prepare the cricket square, all the turf was removed by a machine and moved by some members one weekend, levelled out, then the members re-laid each turf the following weekend!
The Club celebrated the opening of the new building with an Inaugural Celebration Dinner on December 23rd 1971, and this was the first official function held in their new premises. By this time, the WSSC had 1800 members and as such, a waiting list and membership was restricted to Kings Worthy, Headbourne Worthy, Worthy Down, Abbots Worthy, Martyr Worthy, South Wonston and Easton. There were 14 sections attached to the WSSC including football, darts, cricket, snooker, golf, canoeing, whist and a crib team to name a few.
In the 1970s and 1980s Kings Worthy had a reputation for being one of the best cricket venues in Hampshire. Hampshire County cricketers regularly visited to play the President’s XI. Among them were West Indies Vice-Captain Malcolm Marshall, whose benefit match in August 1987 was watched by nearly 1000 spectators, when the captain of the President’s XI was Bob Stephenson the former Hampshire County captain. Other county players included Gordon Grenidge, Mark Nicholas and Tim Tremlett. Trevor Jesty and Barry Richards who also had their benefit matches in Kings Worthy. The Club had great connections with football too, with Pompey ex-professionals regularly playing WSSC including Ian Henderson, Ian St John, Jackie Henderson, Bobby Stokes, Jack Froggatt and Jimmy Dickinson. Dickie Davies, the TV broadcaster and presenter of World of Sport, also made an appearance to present the trophies. In 1975, a match was even arranged between the Worthies team and a ship’s team from a Russian cruise liner docked in Southampton!
The Club continued to thrive and the 1980s was the decade that saw significant change when the interior of the club building was completely refurbished, the stage moved to where it currently stands and the ceiling lowered.
The Club today is still thriving with currently 671 members and new members joining every month. There are still darts, football, snooker, pool and also Nuts Poker league played every week. Thanks to the current committee and our members, in the last few years we have added a Comfy Corner, refurbished the lounge, refurbished the snooker room, added a kids’ room and beer garden and most recently refurbished the bar which had been in situ since the mid-1980s. These new facilities have resulted in a venue which is constantly proving to be a popular choice for celebratory parties, wedding receptions, and a meeting place for many organisations such as the Scouts group, Growmore Club, Motorcycle Club, Wonston and Worthy’s Camera Club, local football presentation evenings, Royal Airforce Association Hampshire Region, Super League Darts and most recently the regrouped British Legion. The Club is also a major venue for events during the bi-annual Worthy’s Festival which include the Village Quiz night and a Beer Festival.
The Worthies Sports and Social Club
Loader Close, Lovedon Lane
Kings Worthy, Winchester
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