Back in the early 1980s, American Football was in it’s infancy in the UK. British fans of the NFL wanted more than to watch Channel4 reports late on Sunday nights about games played the previous weekend so amateur teams started springing up all over the country; like the Plymouth Admirals, Brighton B52s, London Ravens, Birmingham Bulls and Gateshead Senators to name just a few.
London has always been a force in British American Football, two of the best were the London Ravens and the Streatham Olympians (Later the London Olympians and London Os), these two squads won around 20 national (Div1/Premiere) titles between them in the last 30 years!
Two high profile people in the British game as players and coaches were Tony Allen and Gerry Anderson, they saw that there were limited opportunities for youths under the age of 19 to play in South London and develop them to be able to play at the highest level in the UK or have a great grounding in the game to be able to play in the US. So, in 1995 they formed the London Warriors Youth American Football Program. The aim of the program was to develop players to a high standard of understanding of the game, teach discipline and responsibility to be great players and good people. What about winning? Well, they determined that by doing the aims well, winning was a “by-product”, it was nice to have but it wasn’t the driving force behind the program.
The Warriors were competitive and dominant from the beginning; they won a lot of games and championships. The Warriors brought together youth players from all over London, from different areas, community groups, cultures and beliefs, the Warriors were a family, the Warriors were a nations; the Warrior Nation!
The players built huge bonds and the players that reached 19 years of age didn’t want to leave their younger teammates to join another squad in order to be able to play senior (19yr old+) football, they wanted to sit out a year until the younger group were old enough to graduate to the senior level. So Coach Tony Allen then formed a senior program for the graduates to go to; the London Cobras (changed to the Warriors 2011)
Since then the Warrior program has gone from strength to strength, there is now a team at every level in the British game. Now we are delighted to have squads in the following categories open to boys & girls, men & women:
- under 13s (Cadet) – non contact
- under 17s (Youth) -contact
- under 19s (Junior) - contact
- over 19 (senior/adult) - contact
- In 2014, the Warriors also added a women's team (contact & non-contact)
So, how do you measure success? Is it how many games you have won? Or, is it how many national championships? What about, how many awards the program has received or the number of players that have gone on to play at a higher level in Europe or in the US?
Well, the Warriors are happy for you to ask any of those questions because we have an answer to each of them. The Warriors can boast an impressive list of achievements in their short existence since those first days in 1995.
In that time the Warriors have amassed a total of thirteen National Championships including two from the under 16s program in 2010 and 2012, the Junior Program have won the National Championship five times 2005-2008 and 2013, the Senior Program have also won five championships in 2008 & 2009, 2013-2015 (Div2, Div1 & Premier). In 2015, the new Women’s Program won the Opal Series Flag championship.
The Warriors have also been winning off the playing field, the Warrior coaches have been recognised for their hard work and success by their peers. We have won Coach of the Year (COY) four times, Coach Gerry Anderson has won Junior COY twice (2009 & 2014), Coach Tony Allen was Senior COY (2014) and Coach Wes Roach was Flag COY (2014).
Warrior players have also earned squad places on teams at US colleges and semi pro teams:
- Michael Adesina ,Linebacker, Hudson Valley Community College, New York - 2009
- Dominic Fevrier-McPherson, Defensive End, Hudson Valley Community College, New York - 2009
- David Dooner, Kicker, Globe Institute of Technology, Brooklyn - 2009
- Michael Adesina, Linebacker, Hudson Valley Community College, New York - 2009
- Harry Innis, Tight End, Mexico City, Mexico -2010
- Dong Nam Chu, Fullback, Snow College, Ephram - 2012
- Ben LoPrimo, Wide Receiver & Defensive Back, Mercersburg Academy, Pennsylvania - 2012
- Alex Knight, Defensive End, San Jacinto College, Houston - 2013
- Sam Fossey, Defensive Back, Treasure Coast Bengals, Tampa Bay - 2013
- Wisdom Donkor, Linebacker, Wagner College, Staten Island - 2014
- Efe Obada, Defensive End, Dallas Cowboys, Texas - 2015
- Sean Anthony, Wide Receiver - 2015
It’s been an eventful 10 years for the London Warriors. We look forward to making the next decade even more of a success