Hashtag United Profile

Major Honours Division One South champions
Year Founded 2016

Essex Senior League and YouTube sensation soccer side Hashtag United have achieved early success in their brief history. Is this just the start of their path to glory?

Hashtag United are one of a kind. Founded by YouTuber Spencer Owen, the club has risen from grassroots soccer into the Essex Senior League within five years of their creation. The future only looks brighter.

Despite having their critics, they have broken down boundaries and continue to move forward as an extraordinary, never been seen before soccer club.

Early history

Hashtag United were formed in March 2016 by YouTube sensation Spencer Owen. To begin with the club consisted of friends from school and university, playing exhibition matches to grow the brand and increase exposure.

In the early days, 'The Tags' played against many sides such as the Manchester City staff, Google, and Comedians XI, gaining exposure quickly, as well as fielding the likes of Paul Dickov, Graeme Le Saux and Ray Parlour.

All their matches and content were uploaded to their own Hashtag United YouTube channel.

Spencer Owen's side won their first piece of silverware in 2017, winning the EE Wembley Cup. In the third series of the competition, hosted by the club's owner, Hashtag United beat Tekkers Town 6-1 infront of a crowd of 34,000.

Hashtag United's Spencer FC pictured at The EE Wembley Cup Final at Wembley Stadium connected by EE.

Originally beginning as a YouTube soccer team, things were about to take a step up for Spencer's club.

Joining the English football league system

After two years of exhibition matches, Hashtag United had grown drastically, gaining hundreds of thousand of followers on all social media platforms, as well as achieving millions of views on their YouTube channel.

In 2018, the club joined the English football league system, becoming a member of the Eastern Counties League for the 2018/19 season.

As the club transitioned into non-league football, manager Spencer Owen stepped down from his managerial roles, making way for current boss Jay Devereux - an experienced non-league manager and former player.

In their first season, 'The Tags' reached unthinkable heights, as Devereux's side won the Division One South title, earning promotion into the Essex Senior League.

As well as promotion they reached the semi-finals of the Division One Knock-Out Cup, where they lost 2-1 to Harleston Town.

There would've been further promotion and potentially title success in the 2019/20 campaign. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Essex Senior League was voided.

Hashtag United were second, a point behind the leaders with three games in hand.

2020/21 FA Cup run

In the 2020/21 campaign, Hashtag United aimed to do the unthinkable - reach the first round of the FA Cup.

They made club history when they won their first ever FA Cup match, beating Park View FC in the Extra Preliminary round 2-1. George Smith equalised from the spot before Toby Aromolaran scored the winner in the 78th minute.

'The Tags' drew Felixstowe and Walton in the Preliminary round. George Smith once again put his side ahead from the penalty spot to make it 1-0 in the first half. However, in the 73rd minute, Henry Barley of Felixstowe equalised, sending the match to a shootout.

After going to sudden death, goalkeeper Jamie Jackson saved Felixstowe's seventh penalty. But, Hashtag's attempt to put them through was also dramatically saved.

And after 12 successfully taken Felixstowe penalties, Jackson saved, allowing George Smith to send Hashtag through.

Devereux's side drew Soham Town Rangers in the first qualifying round, live on the BBC. The match also went to penalties after a Jesse Waller-Lassen 84th minute leveler, who also scored the winning penalty.

In one of the biggest games in Hashtag's history, the Essex side drew National League South side Braintree Town in the second qualifying round.

And in the most dramatic of circumstances, Toby Aromolaran put his side ahead in the 90th minute.

Toby Aromolaran of Hashtag United celebrates his goal during FA Cup Qualifying - Second Round between Hashtag United and Braintree Town at The Len Salmon Stadium, Bowers and Pitsea FC, Pitsea, UK on 03rd October 2020 (Photo by Action Foto Sport/NurPhoto)

However, after keeping Braintree quiet for 91 minutes, Olu Oluwatimilhin equalised. Braintree went on to win 7-6 on penalties, and the cup dream was over for another season.

Hashtag United legends

Striker Dan Brown was a member of the original Hashtag United side, where he displayed his natural goal scoring ability on the Hashtag YouTube channel.

The forward scored 70 goals for the club, placing himself firmly in the club's history books.

As well as Brown, academy series one winner Scott Pollock became a player to remember, introducing himself to the soccer world through Hashtag.

The midfielder certainly made a name for himself breaking into the first team, displaying his range of passing, dribbling and finishing. However, the Scott Pollock story didn't end at Hashtag United, it had only just begun.

In 2018, Pollock joined professional side Northampton Town, signing a two year scholarship. Two weeks after his signing, the midfielder debuted against Mansfield Town in League Two.

Fanbase

Hashtag United have a huge following, despite being in step five of the English soccer pyramid. The club have a YouTube subscriber count of over 550,000, and gain millions of views through their uploads.

They have a Twitter following over 200,000 and an Instagram following over 470,000. Hashtag United is a unique club and the friendly and open ethos between players, staff and fans makes them very accessible to a global audience.

Hashtag United play their home games at the Len Salmon stadium, ground sharing with Bowers and Pitsea in Essex.