Club Legends

Mike Surridge

Mike ‘Old boy’ Surridge, is a true legend of our club, a former player, a pupil of Henry Thornton school in Clapham (Where our club name comes from), a current committee member and a staunch supporter of Old Thorntonians FC.

You can usually see Mike on the side-lines of one of our home games every Saturday, wind, rain or shine in his flat cap, cheering on the boys.

Mike has organised donations of trophies, wall plaques and kit and usually comes to all our big social events, including the booze ups!

His passion and love of the club is an inspiration to us and we hope it rubs off on you too.

You can see some of Mikes old team photo’s up on the walls of our clubhouse and check out his ‘match-worn’ yellow kit that we had framed on the wall too.

A proper Old Thorn.

Good on you Mike!

Richard Lundie

Einstein, Darwin and Hawking were all great thinkers of their time. But none of those mugs ever kicked a ball for Old Thorntonians. On that fact alone they will never enter our Hall of Fame. There is, however, one visionary who, as of today, will join the great Onions of the past by achieving this feat.

Richard Lundie, an intellectual free spirit and ‘outside of the box’ thinker has, for years, been the driving force behind all the best things that the club do. Crystal Palace and Spurs days, training with Julian Dicks and the Berlin tour are just a few examples of his brilliance in the field of football/social innovation.

Richard is unburdened by the simple details that could hold a lesser man back. Questions such as ‘Can we afford this?, ‘how will we get there?’ and ‘have I spelt his name right?’ never enter his mind. Richard is the man that makes playing for this club different and is a major part of why we are the best amateur club in the land.

Despite his handicap, dog walking and babysitting responsibilities Richard continues to play a leading role for the club and is already on top of the 2014 tour as well as a few other surprises. It’s because of his tireless enthusiasm that we welcome him into the hall of fame as well as re-naming the Clubman of the Year award – ‘The Richard Lundie Award’.

Congratulations and thank you, Richard

Ozzy Powell

For a guy who didn’t take up football until his early 50s Osric “Tripod” Powell has made quite an impact on this football club (and Fish’s head). Chairman, goalscorer extraordinaire and the glue that bound the club together in the early days of La Révolution, he also found time to be an all-round good egg, preposterous claims to being the fastest Onion aside. His sharpness and eye for a goal were of immense benefit to the first and, in his even later years, the second team. Equally as importantly, his gigantic, err, round buying at any given club function had Onions flocking to him like the cheapskates they are, and partially made up for his point blank refusal to put his hand in the his pocket at any other time of year; “Mine’s a Guinness”, anyone?

But by far the most irritating aspect of his character, however, is the fact that every single person who has ever met him can’t help but like the guy. Seriously, try it. I like him. You like him. Your Mum likes him. Your Boss likes him. The guy who tried to bottle Leighton likes him. The long list of drunks who have tried to attack Joe Fletcher like him.

Oz started playing for the OTs before many of the current squad were born, and 13 years of service produced 104 goals and countless made up assists before the lovely Tania broke all of our hearts by whisking him off to Australia, where he plays for the Old Thorntonians Expat Geriatrics XI. Probably.

A representative panel of society were asked to describe Oz in one word. Top came “like a baby’s arm holding an apple” but that not being one word, “legend” was the de facto winner. The word “legend” is bandied about too often in modern society – Francis Jeffers; Peter Andre; Ronny Rosenthal; Silvio Berlusconi; Jason Dozzell; Jeremy Kyle. None of these ‘people’ (you, Kyle) can hold a candle to our very own legend in every single-possible-conceivable-other-worldly sense of the word, Osric Powell – the man the DVLA would only allow to drive if he had ‘OAP’ incorporated into his number plate. No Onion missed as often on the pitch, nor been missed as much off it.

Joe Fletcher

A great footballer. Calm on the ball. Always the first to buy a round. The kind of guy you’d be happy for your sister or daughter to marry. None of these kind words apply to Joe. One longstanding Onion spent the first three years of knowing him thinking he was left footed. Many of you probably still do. He’s also one of the most cynical defenders the Thorns have ever seen. History tells of one inauspicious half-season spell of committing a horrendous last man scythe at least once a game without once getting sent off. More recently he has failed to get near enough to opposition strikers to assault them

That said, it will not be a shock to know that it was not for this chap’s questionable footballing skills that this glowing tribute was penned. When he joined the club in 2007 the then second team manager kept the club funds under his bed (that which wasn’t spent on his own beer), and he also convinced most of the team that Nathan was some kind of pseudo-satan character, whilst the first team were full of sociopathic egomaniacs. Some things never change. In short, the club was a bit of a mess. Joe oversaw an unprecedented uniting of the then three teams that comprised Old Thorntonians and with it ushered in a new era of prosperity.

We’ve all heard how much previous winners of this award did for this club, but this guy has done as much as anyone, and over as long a period of time as anyone, to get the club into a position of strength. Through Joe’s management of funds as club treasurer the club finally found financial health, to the extent the club was able to source its own ground, and a great one at that, which was inconceivable when he joined. In his typically boring financial way, he also put in place procedures to ensure the club is sustainable going forward, which is a pretty good legacy.

Almost lost in all this financial wizardry is the fact that he took the second team, despite a brief stint as the third team after a Nathan Gilligan coup, from south five to south one, all of this whilst having unquestionably the biggest bunch of drunks at the club playing for him.

Congratulations Joe on your well deserved entry to the OT’s Hall of Fame

Nathan Gilligan

After many years of faithful service to Old Thorntonians as a Manager / Fixtures Secretary / Accountant / Social Secretary / Player and overall good egg, Nathan earns his place amongst OT’s folklore by being inducted into the OTFC Hall of fame.

Everyone should know if they did not already that if it wasn’t for Nathan’s enthusiasm and hard work, the club might not be here today.

Back in the day the club used to run 3 completely closed squads with each team rarely coming into contact with each other. The league got wind of what was happening and threatened to kick us out of the league unless we did something about it.

After a minor blip whereby Nath accidentally copied in the then League Secretary on an email that was definitely not intended for him (oops!) Nath set to work on a complete restructure of the club. It was this reorganisation that laid the foundations for the extremely strong position we find ourselves today with a growing and connected club.

Congratulations & thank you Nathan.

Stuart Halliday

Back in the Summer of 2011, Old Thorntonians held their annual summer trials. Only players of the best technical ability and finest character would invited to join our great club. Unfortunately we ended up a bit short on numbers, so we asked a big fella called Stu to join as he looked like he’d probably be half-decent at winning headers from goal kicks. Plus it seemed like he enjoyed a beer as well so what the heck.

A year went by and alas, hardship crept upon on our club. Homeless, and leaderless following the departure of previous legends, we were in need of an iconic, fearless leader to take charge and push us forward. Unfortunately, there were no such worthy candidates, so we persuaded Stu to do it because – well, he was the oldest.

A reluctant leader can often prove to be a leader of the greatest kind though. And so it proved as Stu went about revolutionising the club into the great establishment it is today. Three fractured squads became united as one club, and we rapidly expanded to six sides over the next 3 years. Great success was seen on the field as the new Onion teams sprouted from the depths of South 10 and grew quickly, storming up the league pyramid with back to back promotions. Our first team too pushed on, finally reaching the promised land of the Premier League in 2015. The culmination of this revolution was finally finding a new permanent home at Richardson Evans Memorial Playing Fields for our six sides to do battle in black and blue every Saturday. Plus we are able to celebrate or drown our sorrows in a clubhouse of our own rather than some dingy pub in Worcester Park.

5 years on, Stu is still winning headers from goals kicks, and even set pieces too. He even once shanked one into the Onion Bag (thankfully not the Onion’s Onion Bag) using his dodgy knee from a yard out.

The club would not in the strong position on and off the field we are today without Stu’s unrivalled dedication and inspiration to others, in fact we may not even still be in existence, and his place immortalised amongst previous legends is undoubtedly deserved.

Cheers Stu!

Deji Ogunyemi

Deji has been an Onion for over a decade, and former manager of the 1st team for more than half of these illustrious years. In that time, the side has risen from the modest level of the Amateur Football Combination Intermediate South Division to a seat at the top table of Amateur Football in the AFC Premier Division thanks to 4 promotions under Deji's stewardship.

Deji has also remained a key 1s/2s player to this day, despite much younger, faster, fitter, more technically gifted, more tactically astute, better looking players being available for him to select.

In 2017/18 the first team achieved their highest ever finish in the AFC league ladder, with the team well poised to make serious title challenges in the coming seasons to deliver a maiden Premier Division trophy!

As Kevin Keegan would say,"He's using his strength and that is his strength, his strength". He also loves a nutmeg, producing enough per season to spice a large bottle of his favourite dark rum.

He has played a huge part in the club's meteoric rise in recent years, setting the standard for everyone around him and is fully deserving of legendary status.