Thames Ironworks ...
THAMES IRONWORKS FEDERATED CLUBS
Simon Chisholm originally came from Scottish non-league side Inverness Thistle F.C. and in the latter part of the 1896-97 season he made the long trip South to obtain employment at the Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company. He not only found work as Engine Fitter at the shipyard but he went straight into the football club's first eleven.
Chisholm played in all but one game in the side that won the London League in season 1897-98, Thames Ironworks were promoted to the Second Division of the far more competitive Southern League. They won the league at the first attempt by a margin of nine points. With Cowes F.C. from the Isle of Wight winning their South West Section of Division Two, the two teams played-off to decide which club would take the title.
Millwall’s East Ferry Road stadium was the chosen venue for the Championship Decider, much to the dismay of the Cowes club as it entailed a day trip for them whereas the Ironworks had just three miles to travel. The Ironworks triumphed 3-1 to take title.
Simon Chisholm’s 9ct gold Second Division Championship medal which is inscribed to the obverse “S.P.C.” must surely be one of the earliest West Ham medals in existence.
Winning the title however did not bring automatic promotion to the First Division, Thames Ironworks were required to play Test Matches against the bottom two clubs respectively in the First Division, Sheppey United and R.A. Portsmouth. After the Ironworks had drew 1-1 in their first game against Sheppey United, and before all the games were completed, the Southern League management committee decided to expand the First Division for the following season and accepted all four Test Match contestants.
Southern League Championship Division II (1898-99)
Southern League Championship Division II