'This Club Is Going Places' - England's First Phoenix Team Turns 15

27/06/2016 13:08 | Updated 27 June 2016

Since Thursday, we have, rightly, heard of nothing but Brexit. For the next two years, unfortunately, we will hear of nothing but it either. So, if like me you need a brief oasis from the storm, here's a story from June 23 which I suspect you will not have heard.

England's first fan-owned phoenix club celebrated their 15th birthday on the 23rd. Who are they? AFC Wimbledon? FC United of Manchester? I'm afraid you're way off.

Enfield Town Football Club was founded on June 23, 2001, after fans of former club Enfield FC grew disillusioned with a lack of progress on the pitch, and the sale of the club's Southbury Road ground by the chairman off it.

The club has enjoyed success during the 15 years, winning promotion to the Ryman Premier League in 2012, and have finished seventh and sixth in the last two campaigns, just outside the play-offs.

Manager Bradley Quinton said: "This club is going places. I'm confident we stand a great chance of being promoted in 2016/17. I feel we have unfinished business in that respect.

"The club as a whole is a shining example of what can be achieved with some efficient and effective management and the infectious enthusiasm of supporters and volunteers. Here's to the next fifteen years."

In the 1980s, the now defunct Enfield FC was knocking at the door to be let into the Football League, winning the Conference and the FA Trophy twice during that decade - before automatic promotion was introduced in 1986 - but were relegated in 1990 and were overtaken by a number of other clubs.

Enfield FC struggled along until 2007 before liquidation and forming a new club, Enfield 1893, which was merged with Brimsdown Rovers in 2010.

Enfield Town FC initially competed in the Essex Senior League and played at the ground of Brimsdown Rovers FC, in Goldsdown Road, to the east of the borough. In the 2000s, the dilapidated QEII Athletics Stadium in Donkey Lane, half a mile to the north of the site of the old Southbury Road ground, was identified as an ideal site for the club.

In October 2008, Enfield Council allowed renovation work to start on the QEII Stadium. Enfield Town moved in during November 2011, and played an inaugural friendly match against a Tottenham Hotspur XI in front of nearly 1,000 spectators. Other clubs, such as Brimsdown FC and London Skolars Rugby League, have played home matches at the QEII Stadium during various spells.

Chairman Paul Reed said: "Our fifteenth birthday is a milestone that everyone connected with the club can be proud of in terms of our achievements thus far.

"The club continues to grow at a sustainable pace and, after two promotions since formation, I am confident a third will come sooner rather than later.

"I would strongly recommend to anyone hearing about us for the first time that they come along and watch us play - it's a great match day experience without all the hassle associated with Premier League matches."