Who are We ?

 

The club has two Senior Teams, the first eleven playing in the Toolstation Western League at Step 5 of the Non League Pyramid and a Reserve Team in the Bristol Premier Combination at Step 8.

 

A Junior Section provides football for age groups Under 6, Under 7, Under 8, Under 9, Under 10, Under 11 & Under 12

HISTORY

 

The club was formed by members of a new community living at Lawrence Weston on the outskirts of Bristol, which had been developed shortly after World War Two. The club was named Lawrence Weston Athletic and played in the Bristol & District League, and it has moved forward steadily since moving to the village of Hallen in 1979, to conform with League Ground grading.

 

Much of the credit for the progress of this club can be accredited to the late Frank Fairman and his family. His son Francis, and grandson Lee continue the link with the club. In fact Lee played a major part in our fight for survival during the summer, when the club was in danger of losing its home. So it was no surprise when long serving Chairman Barrie Phillips nominated Lee to take over the chair from himself, at the clubs AGM.

 

The club became Lawrence Weston Hallen when it moved to Moorhouse Lane, joining the Gloucestershire County League in 1982, and under that title were runners up 1987-88, and Champions 1988-89, after which the club dropped Lawrence Weston from its title to become known as simply Hallen.

 

The club completed the double in 1992-93, when winning the Gloucestershire Challenge Trophy and the League title. Promotion was achieved, joining the Hellenic League Division One, and after further improvements to the facilities (particularly the erection of floodlights and a 200-seater stand), a runner-up position in 1996–97 led to another step up, to the Hellenic League Premier Division.

 

The club had always considered the Western League as its goal, as this League was more familiar with Bristolians than the Hellenic League. Their wish to transfer over was granted at the second time of asking but it was insisted that the club join the First Division for season 2000-01.

 

The club finished fourth in its first season in the Western League and reached the last sixteen of the F.A.Vase losing to Brigg Town 6-5 in extra time. Further progress was made when new manager Gary Damone led the team to the Division One title in Season 2003-4, and fourth place in the Premier Division at the first attempt. The club also reached the final of the GFA Trophy and were denied a place in the first round of the F.A. Cup when losing to Nationwide Conference side Canvey Island in the fourth and final qualifying round.

 

This success saw Southern League side Taunton Town tempt Gary Damone to try his hand at a higher level, which in turn saw Hallen have a dip in form, as players were also tempted away. It is however well known that a high percentage of players are happy to return to Hallen, and for season 2009-10 the club welcomed back Gary Damone as manager and many former players too. It is a credit to those who run the club, that players wish to play for Hallen, a club which does not pay its players.

 

The club finished in a disappointing twelth position in 2009-10, but a crop of long term injuries did not help. The club however were to lift the Western League (Les Phillips) Cup for the first time.

 

The club had experienced a bad start to the 2010-11 season, which saw the departure of manager Gary Damone who chose to take charge of his town club Wellington. Club stalwart Paul Owen was given the task of steering the team to safety. With just one win prior to taking over in November, he and his assistant John Tierney changed fortunes around and we were safe from relegation with six games left.

 

Paul Owen's first full season as manager saw the club challenging for the title, but a dip in form saw the club slip to fourth. The club had ensured promotion would not be denied, had the club won the title by obtaining the ground grading for Southern League football.

 

Season 2012-13 saw no repeat of a challenge for promotion, but the season was kept alive by reaching the final of the Les Phillips League Cup for a second time. In the final Willand Rovers won 1-0 before a crowd of 400 at Cribbs Friends Life FC. As Paul had already decided to step down at the end of the campaign, it was unfortunate that he could not see his side lift the cup.

 

By mid May the club announced that Hengrove Athletic manager Jamie Hillman was to take over as manager, He had been at the helm for eight years at Hengrove, and had just guided them to the Premier Division as runners up in April. The 2013-14 season under Jamie and his assistant Grantley Dicks, was a mixture of highs and lows. The highs being success in lifting the GFA Trophy for a third time and reaching the fifth round of the FA Vase losing away to West Auckland Town. In contrast we finished the League campaign without a win in fifteen games.

 

Manager Jamie Hillman announced that he would be leaving, and previous manager Paul Owen agreed to return for the 2014-15 season. By November the League form was a cause for concern and Paul decided it would be best to bring in a new face, rather than wait to the end of the season. Steve Winter a former Walsall and Torquay player was appointed with a view, of him settling in, prior to the coming season.

 

He was to resign in December 2015, and long serving player Tom Collett took on the role as player manager assisted by Rayan Wilson for the 2016-17 season.

 

Following another poor run of results,Tom Collett made way for former player Ben Willshire to return as the new manager.

 

How far this village club can progress up the pyramid without a players budget remains to be seen, but it would be wise not to bet against it. There have been players who could not be tempted away from this club and Terry Hale is a prime example, at fifteen he was rated as a far better prospect by Bobby Campbell of Bristol Rovers than Larry Lloyd who went on to play for Liverpool and England

 

HONOURS

 

Toolstation Western League

Division One Champions

2003-2004

 

Les Phillips (League) Cup

Winners

2009-2010

Runners Up

2012-2013

 

Hellenic League

Division One Runners Up

1996-1997

 

 

Gloucestershire County League

Champions

1988-1989

1992-1993

Runners Up

1987-1988

 

Gloucestershire Challenge Trophy

Winners

1989-1990

1992-1993

2013-2014

 

Gloucestershire County Senior Amateur Cup

2008-09 (Reserve Team)

 

FA CUP COMPETITIONS

FA CUP

Best Achieved

Fourth Qualifying Round

2004-2005

 

FA VASE

Best Achieved

Round 5

2000-2001

2013-2014

 

 

 

Members of:

TOOLSTATION WESTERN LEAGUE

BRISTOL PREMIER COMBINATION

 

Affiliated to : Gloucestershire FA

 

Ground & Headquarters

The Hallen Centre

Moorhouse Lane

Hallen

BS10 7RU

Tel: 0117 9505559

 

President:

Barrie Phillips

 

Vice Presidents:

David Caines

Terry Henderson

 

Chairman:

Lee Fairman

 

Vice Chairman:

Andy Hicks

 

Secretary:

Richard Stokes

 

Treasurer:

Francis Fairman

 

Committee:

Tom Collett

Lee Dumble

Graham Joint

Richard Nelmes

Barrie Phillips

Mark Reid

Mark Snook

James Wood

Tony Wybrow

 

Manager:

Ben Wilshire

 

Physio

Jak Martin

 

 

 

LONG SERVANTS

 

The club has come along way since its early days playing in the Bristol & District League, and it would not have been possible, without the efforts of those who have served on the Committee. here at Hallen. We have been fortunate to have had a number of long serving members. Few would argue that the Late Frank Fairman was the equivalent of what WG Grace was to Gloucestershire CCC. Below are four who received long service awards presented by the League.

Francis Fairman (Club Treasurer) 

Barrie Phillips

(Commitee Member and former Chairman).

Andy Hicks (Vice Chairman)

Charmaine Phillips

(Former Secretary and Treasurer)

 

THE EARLY DAYS

Life time member Gordon Bradley recalls the early days of the club.

 

I would like to take you back to the beginning of the club, formed in 1949, as Lawrence Weston Estate was being built, a group of men wanted to form a football team. Therefore a committee was put together and with the help of Mr.B.Hunt (Leader of the Avon Boys Club), money was loaned so that kit could be bepurchased and a rent was paid to Bristol City Council in order to play our football at Kingsweston House.

 

During the war, Kingsweston House was an Army Camp for the British Army. They left a nissen hut on the ground and this was our changing rooms! No lights- no heating - no water. We used hurricane lamps for lights and the water was taken from the Main House. It was heated up in a galvanised washing boiler outside the nissen hut by placing wood underneath it and hand pumped into a household bath in the hut. First player in had a bath, the rest had mud as there was only about 1 inch of water in the bath.

 

Before and after the game we had to put up our own goal posts, nets and flags and take them down at the end of the match. Then we took home our own kit so as to wash it for the next game. With all this "luxury" we had to pay subscription - 2/6d (12p) a game oor 5/- (25p). After a number of years we went to changing rooms with lights and showers in the cellars of Kingsweston House which the Council had built there.

 

On Saturday afternoon, if we were playing away, a coach was provided. In those days this was a day out for the family. I believe the cost for the coach per year was £100. Things do come to an end and the College of Technology required Kingsweston House and its grounds and the Council moved our club to St.Bedes playing fields in Lawrence Weston. In the end the College of Technology did not come to the house and grounds, but the Police took it over before moving to Portishead.

 

Well, here we are at St.Bedes playing fields - new changing rooms, showers and a new-looking football team. Over the years that have gone by, players have moved away to other parts of Bristol and some of us are much, much older.

Francis Fairman making presentations in 1999 to Life members Frank Fairman and Gordon Bradley for their 50 years service to the club 1949-99

Frank Fairman Snr, who had been with the club from the beginning, had put a very young team together.At the start they were losing more games than they were winning, but over the years they became older, better and stronger - a force to be reckoned with- and they won the GFA Junior Cup in 1969.

 

This team, for whom Frank's son (Francis Fairman) played in goal, must have been the best six-a-side football team in Bristol. Here we are now at Hallen. We did try to get a ground at Lawrence Weston but no one would help us, so we moved to Hallen and we became known as Lawrence Weston Hallen. There was a football pitch on the ground that Hallen Sunday Foootball Club played on and they changed in the village hall, just down the road from the 'King Billy' pub.

 

It was the start of the closed season for football with a lot of work to be done at Hallen. First we looked at the ground and agreed where the pitch should be, and that is where the main pitch is today.