Club History

The club takes its name originally from the Henry Thornton School that was opened in Clapham (South Lodge, 45 South Side, Clapham Common, SW4) way back in 1929 and which itself took its name from one of the local area’s most famous residents.

Henry Thornton (left) was an English economist, banker, philanthropist and parliamentarian who lived in the Clapham area throughout most of his life in the late 18th and early 19th century. In economic circles he is still regarded as one of the foremost influences on 19th century monetary theory and he was also heavily involved in the campaign for the abolition of the slave trade at the time along with his close friend & cousin William Wilberforce.

The school changed from grammar to comprehensive status in 1968 which is how it remained until 1986 when it merged with another local school, Hydeburne, at their site in Balham and which is now called Chestnut Grove Academy.

The original school building was still used for educational purposes until 2003 when the building was eventually demolished.Despite the school all but disappearing the football club has gone from strength to strength. Ever present in the London Old Boys leagues and now the Amateur Football Combination, we run six successful football teams in one of Europe’s biggest amateur football leagues and have for the first time now acquired our own clubhouse and ground at the Richardson Evans Memorial Playing Fields in Roehampton Vale (former training ground of the London Broncos & Wimbledon FC in their Crazy Gang heyday!).

We have over 140 registered players and are always welcoming fresh blood into the squads to bolster our position as one of London’s finest amateur football clubs. Our dedicated committee of current players meet regularly to discuss and plan the running and development of the club and have organised numerous great social events for the teams over recent seasons including:

  • Club tours to Malaga, Berlin (below), Galway, Newquay, Tilburg, Gibraltar
  • Bike rides to Brighton & Cambridge
  • Participation in Tough Mudder events
  • Friendly games on Premier League pitches at Selhurst Park (Crystal Palace) & the Britannia Stadium (Stoke City)

Our nickname is ‘The Onions’ after a merchandising gaffe from one unnamed member of the committee who misspelt the club name on our brand new tracksuits as ‘Old Thorntonions’.

So if you’d like to join and become an Onion then get in touch. We hold trials for new players every summer and are always on the lookout for committed players who enjoy their football as much as we do.

Up the Onions!