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Hampton’s Greatest Sporting Moments: Nick Jupp wins FA Vase

Over the next term, HSC will be attempting to discover the identity of Hampton’s Greatest Sporting Moment, with your help. This article looks back on Nick Jupp OH (2007) and his FA Vase win with Chertsey Town FC in 2019. This will compete against three other moments in Group Four. Vote in our Twitter poll on Friday to decide your favourite moments – the winner will progress to the quarter-final stage!

Most teenage boys who kick a ball about or pull on a replica shirt are said to dream of playing at Wembley, climbing the 39 steps and collecting their medal before showing the trophy to the crowd.  There again, most teenage boys dream of all kinds of things that aren’t going to happen, but in the case of Old Hamptonian Nick Jupp, this was a dream that came true.

Nick had been making headlines as a goalkeeper for over half his life.  As a youngster at Hampton, he had starred in the 2005 1st XI that had battled through to the Final of the ISFA Cup against a rampant Millfield.  In the semi-final, at home to Repton, Nick, then aged 15, had caught the eye of the journalist from The Times sent to cover the match: “After an uninspiring goalless semi-final in front of 700 pupils,” reported Russell Kempson, “the Repton captain had to score from the spot to prevent his team from losing …  Yet it was Jupp who seized the moment, handing the ball to [Repton’s] Duggan and chirping: ‘You don’t want to miss this one, otherwise you’re out of the competition.’”

“It had the desired effect,” The Times reported, and Hampton duly made it through to the final, where a first-class Millfield led by Reuben Reid (later of Plymouth Argyle and Rotherham among other clubs) provided the opposition.  “Reid’s duel with Hampton goalkeeper Nick Jupp was an ongoing feature of the night,” reports the ISFA web site, “both players performing magnificently.” Hampton took an early lead before Millfield fought back to take the spoils 3 – 1.  But Jupp had begun to make his mark.

Two years later, and Jupp is now among the most experienced schoolboy footballers in the country, a status recognised not only with ISFA England caps but also the award of ISFA Player of the Year, an extraordinary achievement for a goalkeeper.  Once again Hampton reach the final of the ISFA Cup, and again it’s a tense affair. 

Jupp in action in the final

Charterhouse take the lead, then miss a penalty (there’s a theme here), then concede an equaliser – so when after extra time the score is one – one, the spotlight falls on the formidable figure in the Hampton goal, whose presence sees the London team to a 4 – 2 penalties triumph.  At this level, there is nothing left for Jupp to prove.

Jupp’s career in the adult game has taken him from Watford (working alongside Ben Foster) to Barnet (as understudy to ex-Arsenal keeper Graham Stack) via Aldershot, Harrow Borough and St Albans City.  His best season was the 42 matches he played for Barnet in 2013 – 4, where he won the praise of manager Edgar Davids: “He has done very well and I am happy about that,” said the former Holland star. “He gives the team confidence in defence.”

More recently Jupp found his way to Chertsey Town, and the road to Wembley sign-posted by the FA Vase, where a tight win in extra time must have triggered memories of his school days.  The Surrey side took the trophy with a 3 – 1 victory over Cray Valley, fighting back after going a goal behind to send Jupp and his team-mates up the 39 steps to act out every schoolboy’s dream, a highlight in a career that has been no stranger to them.

Mr Peter Smith, Teacher i/c, Hampton Sports Chronicle

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