Laindon Athletic FC
Laindon Athletic is one of Basildon’s oldest football clubs, founded in 1940 at a meeting held at the Laindon Hotel headed by Fred Wickendon and Jack Holman. In the early years they were a sports club for boys, but the football section was the most popular and the other sports were dropped.
Many friendlies were played during the war years and when hostilities ceased Laindon Athletic joined the Romford League. In 1950 Laindon Athletic joined the Brentwood and District league, but switched to the Southern Essex Combination in 1954. In 1958 Laindon Athletic was one of the founder members of the Basildon (Saturday) League, becoming League Champions in the first two seasons. After a number of successful seasons in the Basildon League, Laindon Athletic joined the Southend and District League in 1970.
Laindon Athletic achieved the Division One League and Cup double in the 1972-73 season, unfortunately the remainder of the 70’s and most of the 80’s were lean years apart from a runners up position in the Premier Division and a semi-final in the Essex Junior Cup in the 1984-85 season. At the end of the 1987-88 season the manager and the majority of the players left and the club was on the brink of closure, however, Roy Ginbey, Richard Everard and Barry Mead stepped in to save the club by starting a new team from scratch.
Three seasons later Laindon Athletic achieved the 1990-91 Division One League and Cup double, gaining promotion to the Premier Division. Two seasons later Laindon Athletic were undoubtedly the Southed and District League’s strongest team winning the League and Cup double in consecutive seasons, 1993-94 and 1994-95. The 1995-96 season saw a third triumph in the French Cup at Roots Hall, the Carradus Cup and third place in the Premier Division.
Laindon Athletic gained Intermediate status in 1996 joining the Essex Intermediate League Division Three for the 1996-97 season. Both the Senior and Reserve teams have been promoted and relegated, returning to Division Three where they started. To gain Intermediate status, Laindon Athletic had to leave their ground at Langdon Hills Rec., which had been their home since the beginning moving to Markhams Chase.
Laindon Athletic also fielded two veterans teams in the Southend Borough Combination Veterans League, the first team commenced competition in the 1992-3 season and the second in the 1998-9 season. The 2000-01 season saw the start of the Laindon Athletic youth policy with two teams playing in the Thundermite League, an Under Eleven side in the B Division and an Under Thirteen in the Premier Division.
Sadly today, Laindon Athletic consists of a sole Veterans side playing in the Southend Borough Combination Veterans League Division Three, with their home pitch at Gloucester Park.