Club History

The original club was founded in 1908 by Michael Culliton, headmaster of the R.C. Dockhead School, Bermondsey and a Mr Norman Potter to provide sporting and recreational facilities for underprivileged youths aged 12 upwards.

The first club premises were based in Rose Court, in a building previously used as an old engineering shop. The ground floor was used for athletics, with the first and second floors used for recreational games such as ludo and draughts.

Three weeks after the formation of the club, Norman Potter called a meeting together with the club’s members to give the club a name. ‘The Holy Trinity Club’ and ‘The Dockhead Catholic Club’ were considered but Mr Potter was then inspired to name the club after the Catholic Martyr Saint John Fisher and so the Fisher Club were born.

The first sporting event of any note was a home inter-club boxing match against St. Patrick’s Club, Wapping in a 3-3 draw.

The first Fisher football match was also against St. Patrick’s, a 2-1 win for Fisher at Norbury.

The team competed in various district leagues before moving to the Parthenon League where they stayed until 1965. At this point the club folded and reformed, this time based in Mitcham, joining the Western Section of the Kent Amateur League for the 1966-67 season.

Fisher were elected to the Spartan League in 1974 and won back-to-back championships in 1980-81 and 1981-82. The latter season coincided with a move to the purpose-built Surrey Docks Stadium.

Fisher were elected to the Southern League’s Southern Division for the 1982-83 season and won the championship at the first attempt, earning promotion to the Southern League Premier Division. 1984-85 saw Fisher reach the first round of the FA Cup, losing 1-0 to Bristol City.

In 1986-87 they won the Southern League title and were promoted to the Football Conference (Blue Square Premier). The following year brought another run to the first round of the FA Cup where the Fish again lost 1-0, their nemesis this time being Bristol Rovers.

Fisher’s success came to an end in 1990-91 when they finished bottom of the Conference and dropped back to the Southern League Premier Division. The following season brought a second successive relegation, to the Southern League Southern Division, where they remained until the turn of the millennium, generally finishing in mid-table.

The 1999-2000 season saw the club win the Southern League Eastern Division. However Fisher’s success was short-lived, as after just one season in the Southern League Premier Division they were relegated back into the Eastern Division, where in the following season they finished 6th.

The following two season saw mid-table finishes, with Wayne Burnett taking over the managerial hotseat in February 2004. The club was moved to groundshare with Dulwich Hamlet while planning permission was granted for a new stadium and development at the Surrey Docks Stadium. A raft of top signings followed and the club were successful in 2004-5, winning the Southern League Division One East title and the London Senior Cup. The Fish were promoted to the Isthmian League Premier Division for the 2005-06 season.

Wayne Burnett resigned as manager for personal reasons on 21 November 2005. Under Justin Edinburgh Fisher finished third in the Isthmian League Premier Division that season, in addition to winning the Isthmian League Cup and London Senior Cup, and beat Hampton & Richmond Borough 3-0 in the play-off final to win promotion to Conference South.

The 2006-07 season saw the club finish in 10th place in the Conference South under Edinburgh. Wayne Burnett returned to the club in the off season, and assembled a supremely talented squad. The Fish played superb attacking football, but ended up finishing 4th, and losing to Hampton & Richmond Borough in the play-offs, the side they’d beaten to win promotion two years before.

The close season saw a player exodus, with six of the previous season’s squad moving to Football League clubs. The club’s financial difficulties also came to a head, as massive debts were found to be piling up. The club hadn’t been paying players since November 2008, while a winding-up order for unpaid income tax issued by the High Court was, on 13 March, adjourned for 49 days until 22 April, and then adjourned for a further 21 days to 13 May 2009.

A run of sixteen consecutive league defeats between 19 November and 9 March saw the club eventually relegated on 28 March. At the High Court on 13 May 2009, Fisher Athletic were wound up.

Following a meeting in Bermondsey on the evening of 28 May 2009, a supporters trust was formed to take control of all forthcoming club matters, with 42 founding members. Renamed as Fisher FC and continuing to play at Dulwich Hamlet, but no longer the owners of the Surrey Docks Stadium,  the Fish appointed Gary Lisney as manager and finished 13th from 16 in their first season in the Kent League Premier as well as embarking upon a fine run in the London Senior Cup.

The 2010-11 season was a disappointing campaign for the Fish, though started well with a brief run in the FA Vase that was ended by defeat in the first round proper. However a last-placed finish in the Kent Premier League was confirmed on the final day of the season.

For 2011-12, Steve Firkins has been appointed manager and Steve brings with him a coaching staff of Billy Walton and Adam Lawrence.

Club Records:

Attendance: 4,283 v Barnet, GMV Conference 4/5/91

Win: 7-0 v Lewes Sept 95, FA Cup

Defeat: 1-8 v Barnet, GMV Conference 90

Career Goalscorer: Paul Shinners 205

Career Appearances: Dennis Sharp 720

Transfer fee paid: £15,000 for Wesley Thomas (Thurrock 2007)

Transfer fee received: £45,000 for Paul Gorman (Charlton 1991)

Best Season:

FA Cup: 1st Rnd 84-85 (0-1 at home to Bristol City), 88-89 (0-4 at Bristol Rovers)

FA Trophy: Third Round replay 87-88

FA Vase: Second Round replay 82-83


Southern Lg 86-87 (R-up 83-84, Southern Div 82-83, Lg Cp 84-85, Championship Cup 87-88, Merit Cup), London Spartan Lg 80-81 81-82 (R-up 78-79, Senior Div 77-78, Div 2 R-Up 76-77), Parthenon Lg 61-62 (Lg Cup 63-64 65-66), Kent Amateur Lg 73-74 74-75 (R-Up 72-73), London Senior Cup 84-85 87-88 88-89 04-05 05-06, London Intermediate Cup 59-60 (R-Up 75-76), Kent Senior Cp 83-84, Kent Senior Trophy 81-82 82-83, Surrey Intermediate Cup 61-62, Isthmian League Cup 05-06, Southern League Eastern Division 1 04-05, Ryman Premier Play-off Winners 05-06

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