History - Black and White Stripes
By the 1956-57 season, Tooting & Mitcham Utd had been elected to the Isthmian League (currently known as the Ryman League) and to coincide with that they changed their shirts to the black and white stripes of one of their predecessors, Tooting Town, That season also saw the club reach the Second Round of the F.A. Cup for the first time, losing at home to Queens Park Rangers and in the 1957-58 season they were crowned Isthmian League Champions for the first time. Season 1958-59 saw what was possibly the club’s most notable (if not longest) run to date in the FA Cup when they reached the 3rd round for the first time in their history, beating Football League Clubs Bournemouth and Northampton Town in the First and Second Rounds. In the third round they were drawn at home to First Division Nottingham Forest and led 2-0 at half-time. However an own goal and a highly controversial penalty for handball enabled Forest to scramble a draw. In the replay, played in front of a crowd of 42,362, the Midlands side won 3-0 and they went on all the way to lift the F.A. Cup at Wembley.
The 1959-60 campaign was possibly the club’s most successful in its history. The Isthmian League Championship was won for the second time and the Terrors reached four Cup-Finals, winning two of them. They won both the London Senior Cup and Surrey Senior Cup and became the first amateur side to reach the London Challenge Cup Final for over 30 years, losing 2-1 to Chelsea in the Final at Stamford Bridge. The end of that season also saw recognition for the club’s most prolific striker of that era. Paddy Hasty, already an Irish amateur international, was selected to play for Great Britain at the 1960 summer Olympics and became the last player to score for a GB football team until 2012.
The next landmark in the club’s history came in March 1962 when they switched on their newly installed floodlights. In a game set up to celebrate the event, an Arsenal side containing a number of recognisable names from their First Team was beaten 4-2. The following season the Club recorded its largest ever win, 11-0 against Welton Rovers in the FA Amateur Cup, the Tooting team of that era containing several England Amateur Internationals. The team's young goalkeeper of the time, Alex Stepney, was a local lad who had come through the Tooting ranks having started in the Colts’ side. At the end of the 1962-63 campaign he went on to join Millwall (initially as an amateur on dual registration whilst also playing for Tooting), before a brief spell at Chelsea followed by a career defining move to Manchester Utd. Alex had an illustrious career at Old Trafford where he also became a full England international.