We take a look at some of the other Wanderers from all around the world and first up are our friends at Wycombe Wanderers.
Wycombe Wanderers were founded in 1887 in a meeting held at the local pub, The Steam Engine, with their name likely to have originated from the Wanderers team that were the winners of the first ever FA Cup in 1872.
The club spent most its early years playing in the amateur leagues, with their greatest feat coming in the FA Amateur Cup Final at Highbury in 1931, defeating Hayes 1-0 in front of 32,000 fans.
In 1990, the club moved to current home Adams Park, named after former captain and benefactor Frank Adams who had gifted to the club the land on which its former home, Loakes Park, was built. Loakes Park, although situated closer to the town centre, was more commonly associated for its 12-foot sloping pitch!
The move to Adams Park was the catalyst for the Wanderers moving up the football pyramid, flirting between the 3rd and 4th tiers and competing in several memorable games along the way, including cup ties against Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea. We also managed to set a Guinness World Record for scoring 2 goals within 9 seconds – and the opposition didn’t even touch the ball in between! Have a think about how that was even possible…
Summer 2012 saw the club move into the hands of its Supporters Trust, becoming one of the few fan-owned clubs in the Football League, providing the opportunity for the club’s fans and its local community to ensure its survival and sustainability for the years that followed.
On the brink of dropping out of the Football League altogether in 2014, a miraculous final day escape at Torquay ensured the club remained afloat and instigated our most recent period of success, with the club clinching promotion to League 1 in the 2017/18 season as Gareth Ainsworth led the side to a third-place finish. At the start of the 2019/20, the US-based Couhig family arrived at the club and later became majority shareholders as the club - despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic - recorded a 2-1 victory against Oxford United in the play-off final to reach the Championship for the first time in its 133-year history.
The club is nicknamed the Chairboys because of the tradition of chair-making in the town of High Wycombe. Situated just 25 minutes outside London by train, the town is surrounded by scenic woodlands in the Chiltern Hills that provide a beautiful backdrop to matches. One of the most unique aspects of the club is the iconic light and dark blue quarters that feature on its home kit. The club’s mascot ‘Bodger’, named after record appearance holder and all-time leading goal scorer, Tony ‘Bodger’ Horseman, can be seen adorning the four quarters at all home games as he entertains fans with his touchline antics. With his fair hair and pale skin, we’re not sure how he’d get on in the Sydney sun, so it’s lucky he’s our mascot and not getting burned at the Bankwest Stadium!
Bodger isn’t the only big character at Adams Park. Adebayo Akinfenwa, often referred to as ‘The Beast’, is acknowledged as ‘the strongest player in the world’. Rated with 97 strength on the FIFA video game, Akinfenwa is the club’s Football League record goal scorer with 54 goals and we’re looking forward to seeing him tear it up in what will be his first time playing in the Championship at the ripe age of 38.
Manager Gareth Ainsworth, often seen sporting a leather jacket on the touchline and infamous for his long hair and love of rock music, is the longest serving manager in the English Football League. After taking over as player-manager in 2012, he has gone on to lead the club from the brink of exiting the Football League altogether to where we are today.
Last season became one of the most memorable to date. After the turbulent finish caused by Covid-19, it was agreed the league would be concluded on a points-per-game basis, meaning the Chairboys leapfrogged Peterborough from 7th to 6th and confirmed their place in the League 1 Play-Offs. After defeating Fleetwood Town 6-3 over the course of two games, the team confirmed promotion by defeating Oxford United 2-1 in the final at Wembley. Goals from Anthony Stewart and Joe Jacobson were enough to secure Championship status for the first time in the club’s history.
Over the summer, the club added several new signings to add depth to the first team and further reinforcements to the newly formed B Team, although the Chairboys have encountered a difficult start to life in the Championship. The fixtures come thick and fast as we move into the winter months and there is no end in the quality of opposition we encounter. It promises to be a hugely exciting season with plenty of twists and turns along the way, and although it is a huge shame that our supporters are currently unable to be with us at Adams Park, we are confident they will see us play Championship football in the not too distant future.
Playing in the 5th most watched league around the world is a fantastic prospect, not only for our fans back home, but also for our global fan base. As part of the Worldwide Wycombe Wanderers Phenomenon, we are making a huge effort to better-connect with our international fans and we’ve recently introduced our International Membership to allow them to stay connected with the club. Visit our website to get involved and receive a wide range of benefits!
A massive thank you to Western Sydney Wanderers for helping us share our story! Interestingly enough, your recently appointed manager, Carl Robinson, will already be familiar with our club... he scored against us whilst playing for the Wolverhampton Wanderers during his playing days back in 2001! It has been fantastic to connect with another ‘Wanderers’ and share our heritage with each other and we wish the club and their fanbase the best of luck for the future We hope this isn’t the last time our two club’s cross paths.