Club News

Meet Cascadia’s Hosts: Fisher FC the fan owned club that wouldn’t die

Great write up from Steve on Fisher and his team Cascadia who will be playing at St Paul’s on June 3rd in the Conifa World Cup. More info here: http://www.conifa.org/en/members/cascadia/

Team Cascadia play at three stadia in the upcoming ConIFA Football World Cup. They will meet Tamil Eelam, the Tamil populated section of northern Sri Lanka, on June 3rd.

That match will take place at the St Pauls Sports Ground, home of Fisher FC of the Southern Counties East Football League. The St Pauls Sports Ground lies in Rotherhithe in the London Borough of Southwark. If you alight at nearby Rotherhithe Station, you will navigate a pastoral tree-lined route down Salter Road to the basic but very clean and modern stadium.

The ground lies in the shadow of London’s iconic Canary Wharf, and  is the home of Fisher FC. Originally a club for underprivileged youth, it was named the Fisher Club in memory of St John Fisher, and was supported by the Fisher Society – the Catholic Society at Cambridge University. There is no locality called Fisher in the vicinity, but one of the team’s nicknames, the Dockers, gives you some idea of the proximity to the River Thames even though, the docking industry has long since left the Canary Wharf area.


“One day I suddenly saw a bunch of lads singing more loudly and cheering more crazily than before. I’d never seen some of them before. I asked a friend who they were. ‘They’re the new board’ he told me.’ It’s that kind of club!”


The club was once called Fisher Athletic but it folded in May 2009 after a year of financial troubles. The fans and the community did not let the club die though. Following a meeting in the fan’s heartland of Bermondsey on the evening of 28 May 2009, a supporters’ trust was formed to take control of all forthcoming club matters 42 founding members attended the meeting and it was that 42 who saved Fisher Athletic.

The club was renamed as Fisher FC and continued to play at Dulwich Hamlet. That however was far from their spiritual home of Rotherhithe/Bermondsey, although those familiar with the histories of nearby Charlton Athletic and Wimbledon will empathise.

The tree-lined walk down Salter to the stadium from Rotherhithe Station will make Cascadian fans feel at home.

At its AGM in 2013, the club unveiled proposals for a new community football facility at the St Paul’s playing fields site, just over the road from their old Surrey Docks Stadium to bring Fisher home. Southwark Council’s Planning Committee unanimously approved plans for the new developments at the site on Salter Road, bringing a return to Bermondsey/Rotherhithe possible. As the 2015/16 season drew to a close Fisher completed the club’s rebirth by moving back.

The ground is now owned by the Millwall Community Trust and the Millwall Lionesses also play their home games there. The fan-owned aspect makes the club unusual. Fan and occasional club photographer Dave Anderson told Prost:

“One day I suddenly saw a bunch of lads singing more loudly and cheering more crazily than before. I’d never seen some of them before. I asked a friend who they were. ‘They’re the new board’ he told me.’ It’s that kind of club!”

So the club that died and was given the kiss of life by its own supporters is back here on home ground. On the day, all at the club were welcoming and friendly. They hammered SC Thamesmead 6-1 and the players honoured a tradition of walking past their noisiest fans, some of whom were board members, for a high five. The club’s fanbase also has no shortage of genuine characters.

Looking forward to the ConIFA, those South London fans were also genuinely curious about Team Cascadia and the Cascadia region.

It’s not just the Salter Road trees that will give Cascadian fans a warm and friendly welcome on June 3rd when they arrive to play  the Tamils in the shadow of Canary Wharf.

More Cascadia and ConIFA

The home locker room at Fisher FC

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Conifa is an organisation that embodies states and regions that are not affiliated to FIFA.

The World Football Cup will feature 16 teams that include Matabeleland Select, Abkhazia, Bawara, Cascadia, Ellan Vannin, Felvidek, Kabylia, Northern Cyprus, Padania, Panjab, Székely Land, Tamil Eelam, Tibet, Tuvalu, United Koreans in Japan and Western Armenia.

 

Original version here: https://www.prostamerika.com/2018/04/25/cascadia-corner-fisher-fc-the-fan-owned-club-that-wouldnt-die/180639/

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