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Based: Ladbourne Sports Club, Weigall Road
Career Record: 15-10-0
Colours: White/Royal Blue/White
Honours: None

1988 Budweiser League Premier Division South London & West Conference 1-6-0
1987 Budweiser League Division One Capital Conference 7-1-0
1986 Budweiser League Central Division Two 7-3-0

Thames Barriers RB Tony Bring on the charge

Team notes: Played in the Budweiser League for 3 seasons between 1986 and 1988. Set up by Thames Polytechnic students including Mark Courtney, and kitted with cash from a TV advert. Had two good seasons in 1986 and 1987, winning 7 games in each season but failed to make the playoffs both times.

Here is an account of the Thames Barriers by Mark Courtney who used to play for them (from

This story starts in 1981, just after Dickey Davis and World of Sport (ITV Saturdays) had shown highlights of Super Bowl XVI, San Francisco 26 over Cincinnati 21. Like no sport I’d seen before, something from the future. In fact, not much different to the film ‘Roller Ball’ that I’d sneaked in to see a few years earlier.  I had to play this Game, I had/have no love for Soccer and the first time I played Rugby, I kneed myself on the nose. So that weekend I went out and brourt one of those orange molded plastic rugby balls used by schools the world over, that turns out be about the same size as a Wilson football. For a year I threw that ball to my brother, up on Plumstead common. Then in 1982, my parent’s house was connected to cable as part of a very small consumer test and we got live feed of College games, BYU Cougars becoming my team. Soon after Channel 4 started showing the NFL games (that's when I became  a Kansas City Chiefs fan) and finely I saw an article in the Observer Sunday newspaper about a group of blokes who had started playing football at Hyde Park and the very next Sunday I was there, with my brother, getting muddy. For two years I trained as a London Raven, back then I was a little shy, so I never tried out for the QB spot, Instead I played in the Defensive secondary. I had good times training with the Ravens, I picked up the nick name 'Cochise', got on the field for a few plays at the first Stanford Bridge game against the Chicksand U.S.A.F team, it was 6-0 to them and they had a man go down in the first play with a broken leg. the Ravens also got to meet the Minnesota Vikings at Wembley the day before the first ever NFL game in England and I got to talk to Curtis Ralf (spelling), nose tackle, who's thigh was the same circumference as my waist!?!. By now it was 1984 and the cost of travel and fees was breaking the bank, so sadly I had to quit the Ravens. 

All photos courtesy of Mark Courtney

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Fulham Cardinals v Thames Barriers

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Thames Barriers v London Capitals, 1986

But that did not stop me; I started advertising in the local paper to see if there was any interest in starting a team called ‘The Plumstead Pirates’ in Southeast London. I arranged a meeting for anyone who was interested and invited a couple Ravens players, who had by now started their own Football shop, to come and demonstrate kit and talk about playing the game. In the group that attended that meeting was Richard Stringer. He had been trying to get a team off the ground at Thames Polytechnic in Woolwich, so we joined forces and the Thames Barriers were formed.


Many people think that the Barriers were a student team but this is not totally true. The team was run from the Thames poly student offices but the aim of the team was to promote goodwill with in the local community with half the team made up of students and the other half being none-student locals. Together, Richard Stringer and I arranged trials on Plumstead common, with only a few balls and some cones we had to deal with over 200 people turning up on that first Sunday. From that, we began training every Saturday and Sunday on Plumstead common, which is how we met our head Coach Allen Sounders, walking his dog, an American living in the UK who had played high school football in his youth.


The team began to train hard, with an offence based on the pass, a hard-hitting defense geared around stopping the run and a 'live' scrimmage at the end of each training session, the Barriers began to toughen up. Money was raised with an appearance in a TV advert for Pro-sport sprays and support bandages and funding from Thames Poly Student union. This allowed the Team to buy the kit and the uniforms, which were based on the 1980’s BYU Cougars uniforms. On Saturdays the team benefited from American Mormons training with the team and they really know how to hit but they won’t play on Sundays, so never took the field with the team. The Barriers first kitted  game was against The Medway Mustangs, with the first play being a fake run up the middle and me keeping the ball and running 60 yards for the TD, lovely.


The Thames Barriers joined the Budweiser league in 1986 and went on to have moderate success, wining their division two out of three years but never making the playoffs. I retired from the game with a back injury in 1988 and haven’t played since. The Thames Barriers dissolved in 1989 with many of the players going to other newly formed local teams in the Southeast.

Thames Barriers all time Roster


Head Coach Allen Sounders


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    #45 CB      F. Aliefeh 

    #50 C        B. Anderson

    #68 G        P. Andrews

    #81 TE      B. Bring

    #26 RB      T. Bring

    #83 WR     R. Bell

    #35 FB      W. Butler

    #37 FS      D. Bobb

    #93 DT      S. Brown

    #4  QB       M. Courtney

    #24 WR     S. Courtney

    #52 LB       G. Coleman

    #54 LB       S. Clive

    #96 LB       T. Creighton

    #97 LB       M. Clarke

    #55 LB       K. Defreitas

    #32 RB      A. Dhaliwal

    #60 G        S. Dias

    #94 DT     A. Dickenson

    #86 TE      R. Diplock

    #49 FS      M. Formolli

    #11 QB     T. Hookway

#21 WR     F. Adeyeni 
#31 RB      A. Hall

#25 RB      D. Hall

#87 TE      B. Illing

#85 WR     R. Jackson

#38 CB      M. Jarrett

#99 LB       A. Jeffrey

#34 RB       I. Lesley

#33 RB       R. Litjerwood

#73 T         M. Long

#98 DT       T. McElroy

#95 DE       A. Merrington

#29 RB       A. Morgan

#77 TE       M. Mansfield

#39 CB       C. Peart

#36 CB       P. Spence

#91 DT       L. Savey

#40 SS       R. Stringer

#53 LB        G. Vallely

Chairman; Andy Morgan

Secretary; Bill Illing

Treasurer; Richard Stringer  

Kit Manager; Mark Courtney

Other Officials; Mark Mansfield

Keith Courtney

Barry Bring