Dagenham and Redbridge football club play their home matches at:
The Chigwell Construction Stadium
Redbridge is the name of a London borough named after a bridge (made of red brick of course) over the River Roding that was demolished in 1921, whereas Dagenham is the name of a suburb that forms part of the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. Though Dagenham and Redbridge FC is often credited as an east London side, Redbridge is a district of Ilford located to the north east of football grounds Brisbane Road and the London Stadium of bona fide cockney teams Leyton Orient and West Ham United respectively. The London connection is merely political as all outlying London boroughs east of Waltham Forest and Newham are located within the Essex postal boundary hence the club’s participation in the Essex Senior Cup, which incidentally was their first piece of silverware thanks to a victory over Purfleet FC in 1998.
The majority of the fan base is arguably connected to the suburb of Dagenham, which is hardly surprising considering the existence of Barking FC and Redbridge FC, albeit at present lower down the football pyramid, though both clubs have their roots in Dagenham; the former play their home games at Mayesbrook Park in Dagenham and the latter were formerly known as Ford United based in Dagenham. The club badge as of 2015 was designed by fan Ben Cooper and features the image of their nickname ”The Daggers”, in the same vain as West Ham United’s Hammers, further emphasising the Dagenham-centrism of the two-district football club. The image of the daggers is a ‘happy’ accident because the noun Dagenham was initially spelt Daecca’s ham (the village of an Anglo-Saxon named Daecca).
Formation and Colours
In 1991 Walthamstow Avenue and Leytonstone/Ilford football clubs merged into Redbridge Forest in anticipation of playing their home fixtures at a site on the border of Waltham Forest. This never came to happen, so they shared Victoria Road with Dagenham FC for a single season before both clubs merged–into Dagenham and Redbridge FC in 1992 due to both clubs suffering financial difficulties.
Their first known televised fixture was Sky Sports coverage of the F.A cup first round tie in which they lost 5-4 at home to Leyton Orient on November 14th that year. The highlights are available to view on YouTube, and Dagenham and Redbridge wear red shirts, blue shorts and red socks. Though the colour red preserved the tradition of both founding clubs, the blue shorts were representative only of Redbridge Forest as Dagenham FC wore all red with white trim. So despite the current Dagenham-centrism of Dagenham and Redbridge FC, it was the Redbridge Forest colours that were wholly preserved initially.
In 1997, the Daggers made it to the F.A. Trophy Final but lost 1-0 to favourites Woking. On that day they wore red-and-blue-striped shirts which would be the last time the team would wear this pattern for 10 years. In the eight seasons that followed, they wore four different combinations of red and white. The strip worn in seasons 2007/08 and 2008/09 is quite possibly the ‘eternal’ Dagenham and Redbridge strip as it consists of all three colours.
Most Notable Matches
Ironically, three years before the trophy final defeat to Woking, the Daggers recorded their biggest ever victory to date by beating the Surrey club 8-1 at home on April 19th 1994.
The Daggers returned to the top tier of non-league football from the Ryman Premier League season in the year 2000. They secured promotion with a 3-2 victory away to Hampton and Richmond Borough FC on April 22nd 2000.
The Daggers set up a third round F.A cup tie away to Premier League side Charlton Athletic in January 2001 after beating fourth tier Lincoln City 1-0 away. The Daggers were robbed of a 1-0 victory in the last minute by a late equaliser. It remains the Daggers best result against top tier opposition as they were defeated 1-0 after extra time in the replay and 4-1 in the third round the following season at home to Ipswich Town which is currently the record home capacity with 5,949.
In 2003 the Daggers reached the 4th round of the F.A cup for the first time ever in their history. They were defeated 1-0 by Championship side Norwich City at Carrow Road in February. This is as far as they have gone in the competition to date. They were the first ever runners up of the Nationwide Conference (now known as the Vanarama National League) playoff final being defeated by Doncaster Rovers 3-2 at the home of Stoke City FC — the Britannia Stadium. The Daggers were 2-0 down but set up an extra time finish thanks to a brace from former Potters striker Mark Stein. The Daggers bowed out to a golden goal.
On 27th February 2004 the Daggers made the record books again, but this time for all the wrong reasons. They were thrashed 9-0 at home to Hereford United. The result currently holds the record for the highest scoring fixture in a top tier non-league fixture and the biggest home defeat.
On a more successful note, 2 years later on April 7th 2007, 15 year old Dagenham and Redbridge football club secured promotion to the football league for the first time with a nervy 2-1 league victory at home to Aldershot Town.
Having avoided relegation and narrowly missing out on a playoff spot in their first two seasons in League Two, the Daggers secured a playoff spot finishing 7th in the 2009/2010 season. They reached the playoff final at the new Wembley and secured promotion to League One beating Rotherham United 3-2.