Hornchurch striker Purcell breaks goal record in Hertford victory

PUBLISHED: 13:00 07 February 2018

Hornchurch striker George Purcell (Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Hornchurch striker George Purcell (Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Latest news from the supporters’ association

It seemed strange not having a midweek game, and, with the rain falling throughout Saturday morning and continuing during the afternoon, we began to wonder if we would have a match on Saturday.

The Hertford car park that greeted us was a full of puddles, and the pitch already appeared in poor shape, deteriorating rapidly in the second half.

With no cover along the sides of the ground, it was either stand behind the goal or sit in the impressive but very steep grandstand.

The large following from Hornchurch elected to stand behind the goal and they were quickly rewarded with an early goal from Theo Fairweather-Johnson.

It was a lead that we were grateful to get, as our defence had to soak up a lot of pressure from the lively home forwards, with Sam Mott in goal having a lot more to do than normal.

With half time approaching, Fairweather-Johnson got onto the end of a Nathan Livings free kick to put us two goals ahead, and as the second half wore on, the playing surface rapidly deteriorated and Hertford gradually lost their forward momentum, and it was no surprise when George Purcell added the third, from a penalty after Alex Bentley had been brought down.

And for Purcell, already our all-time leading scorer in senior football, it was yet another landmark.

Few of our supporters have heard of Robert A. Hall, and perhaps this is understandable.

He made his debut in our first season of senior football, at Vauxhall Motors in the Spartan League in 1938, and again played in the opening match of the 1939 season at Welwyn Garden City.

And then the War intervened. Senior football ceased.

He was a regular member of our team during the War years, when we played in local leagues, supplemented by friendly matches, often against military teams stationed at Warley Barracks, and he was a prolific goal scorer.

At the conclusion of the war, the then Upminster FC could not field a team in the Spartan League due to lack of sufficient players of senior standard, so they operated in the Romford & District League, winning the league by one point from Heath United.

Details of appearances are sparse in that season but we know that Robert Hall hit another ten goals, and when we returned to Spartan League football the following season he played just once, scoring in our 9-0 win over Stevenage Town.

So, although he only managed one goal from his three appearances in senior football, his scoring success in the War years was quite remarkable, and in total he scored 123 goals from his 83 appearances, an outstanding tally regardless of the standard of mainly wartime football.

And that record stood until 4.23 pm on Saturday, when George Purcell, covered in mud and soaking wet, hammered the ball hard into the net from the penalty spot for his 124th goal for Hornchurch.

So it’s congratulations once again to George Purcell, but let’s not forget Robert Albert Hall.

We know nothing about him, we do not even have a photo of him, but his outright scoring record stood for over seventy years.

We are at home to Haringey Borough this Saturday.

We won 2-0 at their ground in January, our goals coming from Theo Fairweather-Johnson and Leon McKenzie.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford Sports News

Yesterday, 17:00

London Super League: Romford 3 Wood Green 4

Yesterday, 15:00

A trio of valued Essex grassroots football volunteers have been presented with FA 50-Year Awards recently to commemorate their selfless efforts in the game.

Yesterday, 13:00

The Coopers’ and Coborn School enjoyed success at the Lee Valley Cup as the cross-country season gets underway.

Yesterday, 12:30

West Ham United have suspended youth coach Mark Phillips after he took part in a march organised by the Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA), the Premier League club have confirmed.

Yesterday, 12:00

Round four to take place in London in December

Yesterday, 11:00

Harold Wood Running Club members turned out at multiple park runs in force this week.

Yesterday, 10:00

Daggers have plenty of options to pick from in midfield, with former Dover Athletic man among them

Yesterday, 08:42

Marshalls Park Academy’s year eight boys booked a place in the next round of the National Cup with an exciting 4-3 win over Dulwich school Harris.


Vauxhall has completed its sport utility vehicle range with the third, and largest, Grandland X. We put the SUV, now available at Tony LeVoi in Romford, to the test.

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining,” so the saying goes. So if some warm weather is making your conservatory uninhabitable, think about replacing its roof with a flat one and adding a roof lantern instead.

The next step in renewable energy could be right beneath your feet as you walk through a Romford shopping centre.

Newsletter Sign Up

Romford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read sport

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

News from your area

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now