Dulwich Hamlet FC: South London’s Non-League Gem Where Everyone is Welcome

Dulwich Hamlet FC

Dulwich Hamlet FC was founded in 1893 in the London Borough of Southwark.

Dulwich Hamlet

DHFC has been playing successful amateur football for over 125 years. The club has won the FA Amateur Cup in 1919–20, 1931–32, 1933–34, and 1936–37, and boasts an array of non-league titles.

Currently, the football club plays in the National League South, the sixth tier of English football, where it is fighting off relegation.

Notably, in the 2019-20 season, Dulwich managed to reach the first round of the FA Cup. In the best-attended home game for decades, Dulwich lost 1-4 to Carlisle United.

Champion Hill Stadium

Dulwich Hamlet FC
Katie Chan [CC BY-SA]

Champion Hill Stadium is located in East Dulwich and is the home of Dulwich Hamlet FC. Dulwich started playing on “the Hill” in 1912 and it has been its official home ground since then.

Today, the stadium’s official capacity is 3,000. However, its record attendances were over 20,000 during the ground’s glory days as one of the biggest amateur football stadium in the country.

In the over 100 years that Dulwich played on the Hill, there were two incidents where the club almost lost its ground for good. Once, in the early 90s, when the club suffered financial problems and sold a part of the ground to a development group. Then, again in 2018, as a result of a dispute with a property development company.

Dulwich is for Everyone

Dulwich Hamlet has one of the best non-league attendance rates in London. According to a club’s spokesperson, the average attendance in the 2019-20 season was over 2,250 at the time of writing.

Needless to say, people want to go see “the Hamlet.” However, fans are trecking to Champion Hill not just for football. Many attend the games because they know it is a safe space where everyone is welcome – regardless of age, gender, religion, race or sexual orientation – and there is the kind of party atmosphere that has been long lost at Premier League grounds.

Video by GOAL

In Champion Hill Stadium, you will find a colourful mix of people, ranging from hipsters to anarchists. Racism, homophobia or violence, on the other hand, will be hard to find. Dulwich supporters, nicknamed “The Rabble,” actively discourage this type of behaviour.

In light of the similarities between Dulwich and Altona FC 1893 from Hamburg – including the two fanbase’s political leanings – a friendship was formed between the two clubs and their supporters. Dulwich even went as far as to adopt the Altona 1893 home jersey as their away strip for the 2014–15 season to embrace the friendship. In the following year, Altona returned the favour and adopted pink and blue as their away colours. The two clubs have also played friendlies against one another.

If you are looking for an alternative to the expensive, atmosphere-starved Premier League in London, pop down to Dulwich. You will probably come back again!

Captain @ Hooligan F.C.

Alex is the founder and "captain" of Hooligan F.C. He is the editor-in-chief and handles the day-to-day operations. He supports SK Rapid Wien.

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