The club also narrowly missed out on the Isthmian League Cup, losing on penalties to Premier League Concord Rangers after a 2-2 in the final, so it’s been a fine season for a team that tries to play good, passing football and, in midfielder Erhun Oztumer (he’s five foot two, he’s pink ‘n’ blue), possess one of the finest talents in non-League football. Next season the Hamlet face opposition including Enfield Town, Hampton & Richmond, Hastings United and Lowestoft Town in level 7 of the pyramid, and without star striker Daniel Carr, who has been snapped up by Huddersfield Town. But in Gavin Rose, the club has an astute and inspirational manager.
Yesterday showed there is plenty of excitement outside the hyped-up Premiership, and it was a pleasure to be in this tiny corner of south east London, tucked away in a stadium just behind Sainsbury’s on Dog Kennel Hill. As I said on the South London Hardcore podcast, Dulwich Hamlet will never be my team and I’m wary of patronisingly ‘adopting a non-league club’. In fact, I felt a bit of an outsider as we joined the celebrating fans on the pitch, but I also felt very happy. The club play good football, the atmosphere is friendly and welcoming, and the support is noisy, witty and confidently bolshy. And when the club played at home on St George’s Day, the club published this on its website;
There are some out there who have their own agenda for St. George’s Day, in society, who use the occasion to peddle their myths and lies about asylum seekers, refugees and foreigners in general, to push their ‘ English’ cause. You won’t hear any of that at Dulwich Hamlet! As a Club we are proud to be based in our great capital, where our fanbase is the most vibrant, buzzing & all-inclusive of the London non-league clubs. We don’t care where you are from, or what your heritage is, as long as you love PINK & BLUE! Why not help the Hamlet celebrate the fact that London is the greatest city in the world, where people from all creeds and countries mix together, indeed play football in the same Dulwich Hamlet teams by bringing a St. George’s Dulwich Hamlet decorated flag to the Crawley Down Gatwick game, if you are proud to be English? And if you are not English yourself, but love being in England then why not have your own flag behind the goal alongside, from the country you are from, or where you feel your roots are, and we can have a riot of colour behind the goal!
There are some great pictures of the title celebrations on the ever-readable Urban 75 blog – better than my efforts here. While always remaining firmly a Spur, I’ll be back at Champion Hill to see the pink and blues next season.