While the nation united to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee over the weekend, Oxhey Jets were toasting an anniversary of their own.

The Spartan South Midlands Premier Division side were established 40 years ago on June 1 1972 and marked the occasion at their end of season presentation evening last Friday as well as on Monday in a joint celebration for the Jubilee.

General Manager John Elliott founded the club and has fond memories of their first season.

Starting out as an Under-12 side consisting of ten-year-olds, Jets first took to the pitch in a 9-0 defeat to Park Street Boys, but they would have their revenge at the end of the season, beating the same opposition 1-0 to claim the Supplementary Cup.

The club now boasts a senior first team, reserves and academy set up, showing an incredible progression during their history.

“No one dreamed it was going to end up like this. From junior football, to five steps off the Football League,” explained Elliott.

“It is quite a friendly club whilst trying to be as competitive as we can.”

The presentation evening saw 130 people attend, with the entertainment coming from a hypnotist, a comedy show and music later on.

Monday’s event saw a number of former players turn up, indicative of the affection with which the club is held by many.

One former Jet who attended was Neil Cooper, a player who was part of the Supplementary Cup winning side of 1973.

His presence was made all the more special by the fact he presented the club with his winner’s medal from that competition – a gesture that was not lost on Elliott.

“I hadn’t seen or spoken to him (Cooper) since but he turned up to say hello and gave us his medal. It summed it up for me. That was a really big thing for me.”

The presentations were made by former Watford player Dave Butler and Roy Reyland of Saracens, both of whom maintain strong connections with Jets.

Chris McIntyre was named Player of the Season while manager Bennie Higham picked up the Outstanding Achievement award.

“The manager Bennie Higham got the outstanding achievement award. As a manager with the size of squad we have got it is an excellent achievement,” continued Elliott.

“I would say he would have been involved with the club for about 25 years. He has seen the good times and the bad times. He has managed the club to its highest success rate.”

And Elliott was quick to praise not just the players, but also the club’s loyal band of helpers and behind the scenes staff, including General Secretary and Treasurer Dave Fuller.

“Dave’s contribution is priceless,” he enthused.

“He’s not recognised because he is behind the scenes. His contribution and help has helped to keep the club going.”

Jets finished 17th in the division but achieved a cup final treble, losing out in the Herts Senior Cup but tasting glory in the Herts Charity Shield and the West Herts St Mary’s Cup.

And Elliott believes it was a fitting way to help kick off the anniversary celebrations.

“To win the Herts Charity Shield and the St Mary’s Cup was the icing on the cake,” he continued.

“It was lovely. What a great way to go into your 40th birthday.

“To achieve so much, I was so proud of the boys. The league placing doesn’t reflect how good the side can be.”

The club stalwart lists clashes against AFC Wimbledon and Barnet as among the most memorable fixtures Jets have been involved in, but he is hoping there will be many more to come in the future.

“The club means the world to us,” he stressed.

“It means a lot. I am not finished yet. I would like to think we can take it up another level but I will always be wanting to take it forward.”

He added: “We are always looking to try and move on. I definitely don’t want us to sit on our laurels. We will always try to better ourselves.”