In 1948 a group of young men, and some not so young, got together and formed BARFIELD'S CRICKET CLUB which was based at Avondale Drive, South Loughton; although a majority of members live in Debden. In 1950, to establish an identity more in line with its origins, the club changed its name to DEBDEN CRICKET CLUB. A further name change occurred in 1954, when, with the formation of the club’s first football team the name DEBDEN SPORTS CLUB became more appropriate.
The club was only 10 years old when in 1958 it moved to its present home at Chigwell Lane, Loughton. With the aid of a grant of £400 from the National Playing Fields Association a clubhouse / pavilion was purchased and by a lot of hard work from those early members it was erected on its present site. Football continued to flourish and 1970 saw the start of Sunday teams playing in Debden’s colours. By the mid 1970’s the clubs origin (cricket) was languishing but the amalgamation with Selby Cricket Club in 1976 was its revival. A further amalgamation in 1986 with long established Highams Park Cricket Club (founded in 1908) was a strengthening of both ability and fixtures. However, the club’s backbone had been football, and over the years junior teams at under 12’s, under 13’s, under 14s and under 16’s have produced players for the Saturday and Sunday senior sides to such good effect that in 1993 a Saturday veteran team was formed.
Minority sports and activities have not been neglected and have been organised as and when demand dictated. Competitive Table Tennis (1966), competitive Darts (1986) and a Homing Pigeon section (1991) continue to thrive. At one time clay pigeon shooting was popular and held regularly, but we should mention ceased prior to the pigeon section starting.
Over the years additional facilities and amenities have been added to the original clubhouse / pavilion; a brick built toilet and shower block and an extra changing room. The increase in private car ownership necessitated the building of a tarmac car-park and with the introduction of flood lighting it can “double up” as a wet weather training area. Further floodlights have been installed over part of the ground adjacent to Chigwell Lane to provide an area for mid-week football training, thereby relieving the pressure on the pitches. In 1993 an all weather matting cricket net was laid nearer the pavilion and replace the old net in the far corner of the ground.
We have also been fortunate to attract a very good sponsor in Higgins and can only thank them for the help over the last few seasons. The improvements to the ground made due the sponsorship has made the club more attractive to the eye.
The club’s management and administration continues to maintain the original objective set out nearly fifty years ago, namely :-
“To offer a variety of sporting activities to the locality of Debden and the surrounding districts.”
The club unfortunately has lost its Cricket and Darts sections but still has several sections listed below.
Football : Saturday 3 adult teams plus 1 veterans team
Sunday 2 adult teams plus 1 under 12s team
Table Tennis Mid-week 4 league teams
Pigeons Friday 2 league teams
Petangue Weekends Friendly matches
As we now look to the future we can only hope to improve. 2006-07 was successful with the club winning no less then 6 trophies. We were able to enter a side into the Herts Senior County League would if possible like to enter a team in the Essex Olympian League.
We are also actively looking at our club house and facilities and hopefully with the right funding we would like to rebuild our club house and improve the drainage to the pitches. We know fund raising is difficult but all our members are now looking to push forward and help get the required funding in place. The club is also blessed in the fact that our younger members are taking an active role in managing the club.
We would also like to increase the amount of sports played at the club and hope to encourage more younger team and a female football team. If we do improve our facilities this should make this aim even more easier.