Ibis FC History

Can I book a room?

No. Contrary to popular belief, the club has nothing to do with the Hotel chain…

IBIS F.C. (Founded 1913)

The Prudential Clerks Society was, quite early in its history, renamed the Ibis Society. Some say it was renamed because many rowing clubs took the names of water fowl. Others believe it derived from the cry Come on the Ibis which habitually drowned out the supporters of the OBs in departmental team events. (IB standing for the Industrial Branch and OB standing for the Ordinary Branch of the Prudential).

The Ibis Cricket Club was established in 1870. Various other Ibis Clubs followed, including the Ibis Football Club in 1913.

After the suspension of most activities for the First World War, shortly afterwards Ibis FC joined the Southern Amateur League, for the season 1921-22.

Just prior to the Second World War the Prudential, in order to bring together most of its sporting activities, negotiated on behalf of the Ibis Society, a lease of the ground at Chiswick on the north bank of the Thames (opposite Watneys Brewery, and alongside the Boat Race finish). Indeed after the War, Cambridge finished in the Ibis Boathouse, with Oxford using the adjacent Polytechnic (also SAL) Boathouse.

Then, on the outbreak of war, the ground was requisitioned. Formal football was suspended until 1946-47, and it was the following season before Ibis F.C. had access to Chiswick.

Once IBIS were able to use the ground, we soon raised the number of League sides to four, and ran two or three friendly sides below that on four pitches. In the late sixties, Ibis Rugby Club merged with another club, so their two pitches were converted to football, and so we had six pitches for up to nine sides (with seven in the League).

When Ibis F.C. joined the SAL in 1921-22, its Hon. Match Secretary was H A Roberts. Members of visiting teams playing at Chiswick after the Second World War until the early eighties will probably recall being welcomed by Bobs Roberts, a duty he took upon himself till shortly before his death.

Some ten, or fifteen, years ago, the SALs 36 clubs were almost equally split between Business Houses, Old Boys and Private Clubs. In the nineties, the support offered by many of the Business Houses to their clubs seemed to evaporate a few have survived, some closed and some detached from their parents to become Private Clubs. Ibis F.C. was one of the latter. Ibis F.C. moved successively around Chiswick, Kempton and then Osterley. The Chiswick ground became a golf range and now a 9-hole course.

In 2005 Brentford F.C. acquired the ground we were using in Osterley, as a training ground, and a further move to Boston Manor Playing Fields has ensued.

In 2007 (are you still reading?) the opportunity arose to move back to IBIS spiritual home at Chiswick and in 2015, merged with BB Eagles to form one club.