HWFC was established in 1997. A group of 8 women came together on Hampstead Heath on a Sunday morning for a couple of hours to play football whilst their partners played in Sunday leagues.
By 1998 they had employed their first coach, Brad Solomon, who stayed with them until 2000, teaching basic ball control and skills.
From 2000 to 2004, the team went through many changes and grew to a membership of 14 players. They started to play competitive matches in 2001. Between 2001 and 2004 HWFC played 20 matches and won nil.
In 2005, after a 5 year break, Brad returned and Hampstead joined a friendly summer league. HWFC found a new competitive edge to their game and with a squad of 17 players and weekly training sessions, they felt ready to join the FA Greater London League.
Their first season in the FA league saw both the squad numbers balloon to 25 and the addition of an Assistant Coach, as well as sponsorship deals with Maccabi GB, the Football Foundation and Pentland PLC.
Over the course of the season, there was a transformation in HWFC performances. They began playing real flowing football, with flair and a dynamic edge, finishing comfortably mid-table.
At the start of the 06-07 FA season, the club had a new momentum. The players knew they could win games, and they were confident that they could compete at the highest level. A belief that promotion was a real possibility stayed with the squad throughout the season, and indeed leading into the final 2 games, HWFC found themselves top of the league, needing only 3 points to seal promotion and 6 to finish top of the table. Their penultimate game was against their closest rivals Garston, but unfortunately a high paced end to end match finished with a Garston goal in the dying seconds that gave the visitors a 2-3 win and the title. The pressure was on. HWFC had to take 3 points from their final game. On the day, HWFC seemed destined not to score, until a wonder strike from Vice Captain Roberts hit the back of the net. 1-0 it remained and as the final whistle sounded, HWFC celebrated the culmination of a stunning season that saw 56 goals scored and promotion sealed.
The 07-08 season brought new challenges. Now in Division 2, the players knew many hard battles lay ahead. By Xmas though, mid-table safety seemed assured, and a quiet confidence was bubbling. Until that is, an administrative error lead to a 10 point fine from the FA. Suddenly HWFC were rock bottom of the league, and anxiety raged through the ranks. Although it seemed impossible, things were about to get even worse. Directly after a painful 0-6 thumping at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur Reserves, Manager Brad Solomon announced his decision to resign, purely for personal reasons, with immediate effect. Shell-shocked, and leaderless, the club rocked on the precipice of insolvency. Following a vote of confidence, Assistant Manager John Baker was thrust into the hot seat, and immediately began the process of rebuilding. Sadly 2 wins and 2 draws from their last 6 games was not enough to lift them off the bottom. Then all they could do was wait anxiously for the results of an appeal against the severity of the fine, to see if they would once again play D2 football the following season, or if they would drop back into the third division.
The appeal was a success, the fine was reduced to 6 points, and Hampstead stayed in Division 2 by the skin of their teeth.
The close season saw a number of fantastic new signings come in to create the strongest HWFC squad ever and they appointed a UEFA-A (pro-licence) qualified Head Coach, to work alongside their Manager. With all this in place, it was no surprise that HWFC then secured two very exciting and lucrative kit sponsorship deals with MS Dentistry, the official dentist of Chelsea FC, and W1 Productions.
On the field, Hampstead played beautiful, fast and flowing attacking football. They ended the season mid-table, and reached the Quarter Finals of the cup, being knocked out on penalties after conceding in the 90th minute of the match.
After a hugely successful season HWFC was recognised by the FA for its excellence, and was awarded the prestigious Charter Standard seal of approval. Acknowledgment of the excellent setup now in place at the club.
The 08-09 season was the best year yet. But with all this now in place, 09-10 was building up to be simply phenomenal...
Wow what a season.
Hampstead dominated their league, with an unbeaten run that stretched until the penultimate game of the season and earned them promotion to Division 1.
They reached the final of the Russell Cup, the Semi Final of the JGM Trophy and the quarter finals of the LFA Cup, being knocked out by a Tottenham first team who play 4 leagues above them.
Impressively Hampstead smashed nearly all existing club records, most notably of which, scoring a phenomenal 96 goals in only 27 games, and conceding only 13 league goals.
It was the clubs greatest ever season to date, but there is no doubt that even greater things lie ahead...
A first season in Division one and any normal team would be content with seeking survival. But not Hampstead. Yet another stunning season played out and HWFC stretched a long unbeaten run all the way through to the penultimate month of the season, but again just missed out on title honours in the final weeks, eventually placing second. It was enough however to secure a second successive promotion, this time into the county league. Combined with Quarter final exits in the LFA Cup and JGM Trophy, as well as a club historic first win in the National FA Cup, 2010-11 proved to be a phenomenal success.
Off-field Hampstead were rewarded with a renewal of their FA Charter Standard status, a further sign of the tremendous set-up behind the scenes. But on a sadder note, Head Coach Ian left the club after 2.5 phenomenally successful years that witnessed HWFC climb from the foot of London's second division to the lofty heights of county football. He will be missed.
Hampstead also joined Twitter, where all the latest news, views and gossip can be followed @HampsteadWFC
Their first season in the London & South East Regional League division 1 and yet again Hampstead smashed all expectations, as they topped the table by Xmas. It looked like they were going to run away with the title, but unfortunately their tiny squad was ripped apart by some serious injuries to key players and they couldn't quite keep up the momentum, eventually finishing the season in a magnificent third place, despite beating the eventual champions twice during the season. They also continued to make history by getting through to the third round qualifying of the National FA Cup, as well as Quarter final exits in the LFA Cup and JGM Trophy.
However, this phenomenal season was to be the club's last, as Manager John Baker announced his retirement, along with a host of the clubs stalwarts. Despite the best efforts of those who remained, it proved too big a gap to fill, and with a heavy heart, the club withdrew from participating in the 2012-13 season.
Hampstead Women FC has been a magnificent establishment that has genuinely changed the lives of those involved with it, creating friendships and bonds that will last a lifetime. That is the legacy it leaves behind, and it is one that we are tremendously proud of.
Rumours are already circulating that this sleeping giant's heart is still beating and that this is merely a season of hibernation, before the magnificent Hammies once again take to the pitch. No one knows what the future holds for Hampstead on the pitch, but we do know that whatever happens, the Love will live on in our hearts for ever.
Up the Hampstead.