Southern Football League
Together with the Isthmian League and the Northern Premier League it forms levels seven and eight of the English football league system. The structure of the Southern League has changed several times since its formation in 1894, the Premier Division is at step 3 of the National League System, and is a feeder division, mainly to the National League South but also to the National League North. Feeding the Premier Division are two divisions, Division One South & West and Division One Central, which are at step 4 of the NLS. These divisions are in turn fed by various regional leagues, professional football developed more slowly in Southern England than in Northern England. Additionally, a league, the Southern Alliance was founded in 1892, with seven clubs from the region. Nonetheless, another attempt was made to form the Southern League, a competition for both professional and amateur clubs was founded in 1894 under the initiative of Millwall Athletic. Initially only one division was envisaged, but such was the enthusiasm, the sixteen founder members were, 2nd Scots Guards withdrew before the first season started and were replaced by Southampton St Marys. Woolwich Arsenal attempted to add their reserve side to the second division, the Southern League soon became the dominant competition below The Football League in Southern and Central England. By the turn of the century a few of the Southern League sides began to rival the Football League in the FA Cup, Two Southern League clubs, Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur reached the final of the FA Cup around the turn of the century. Tottenham Hotspur are the club from below the 2nd level of English football to have won the FA Cup. The champions of the two leagues during this period met in the annual Charity Shield, in 1907, it accepted Bradford Park Avenue, a northern club, as a member, reflecting its senior position at the time. In 1920, virtually the top division of the Southern League was absorbed by the Football League to become that leagues new Third Division. A year later the Third Division was expanded and regionalised, the Third Division clubs from the previous season became the Third Division South, with the addition of the Third Division North. Of the original members, six – Gillingham, Luton Town, Millwall, Reading. For the next six decades, the Football League and Southern League would exchange a number of clubs as a result of the older leagues re-election process. From 1920 onward, the Southern Leagues status as a league was firmly established. In turn, the APL would eventually succeed in becoming a feeder to the Football League, the league lost more of its top clubs in 2004 when the Conference added two regional divisions below the existing National League, the Conference South and Conference North. The first sponsor of the Southern League was Beazer Homes who sponsored the league from 1987–96, the sponsors after Beazer Homes to the present day are, Dr Martens, British Gas, Zamaretto, Evo-Stik, Calor Gas, and Evo-Stik
Wimbledon Football Club was an English football club formed in Wimbledon, south-west London, in 1889 and based at Plough Lane from 1912 to 1991. Founded as Wimbledon Old Centrals, the club were a team for most of their history. The team rose quickly from obscurity during the 1980s and were promoted to the then top-flight First Division in 1986, the team remained in the First Division and its successor the FA Premier League until they were relegated in 2000. In 2001, after rejecting a variety of local sites and others further afield. A group of supporters responded by forming a new club, AFC Wimbledon, Wimbledon played their first match in Milton Keynes in 2003, and adopted the name Milton Keynes Dons in 2004. Wimbledon Old Central Football Club were formed in 1889, taking its name from the Old Central School on Wimbledon Common where players had been pupils. The clubs first match was a 1–0 victory over Westminster, Wimbledon won the Clapham League again in 1900–01, as well as two minor trophies. The club was restarted a year later under the name Wimbledon Borough, though Borough was dropped from the name after barely a year. The club continued to play on Wimbledon Common and at other locations in the Wimbledon area until 1912. Wimbledon joined the Athenian League for 1919–20, and in the season in its new division finished as runners-up. The club then joined the Isthmian League, winning four Isthmian League titles during the 1930s, and reaching the FA Amateur Cup final in 1934–35, Wimbledon began to prosper. The club reached another FA Amateur Cup final in 1946–47, Wimbledon won the Isthmian League for the fifth time in 1958–59 before starting a period of domination that saw three successive championships – 1961–62, 1962–63 and 1963–64. Following these successes the decision was taken to turn professional for the 1964–65 season, Wimbledon had continued success in their new league, finishing as runners-up at the first attempt. They then became the first non-League team that century to beat a First Division side away from home by defeating Burnley at Turf Moor. In the fourth round the good form continued, as the team held the reigning First Division champions Leeds United to a 0–0 draw at Elland Road. Goalkeeper Dickie Guy saved a penalty from Peter Lorimer to earn a replay, after winning the Southern League three times running from 1974–75 to 1976–77, Wimbledon were elected to The Football League in place of Workington for the 1977–78 season. The 1977–78 season was a satisfactory Football League debut for Wimbledon, Allen Batsford had resigned as manager on 2 January 1978 to be succeeded by Dario Gradi, who guided the club to promotion in 1978–79. Wimbledons first stay in the Third Division was not a successful one, the team struggled, and were relegated in bottom place, winning just 10 league games all season
English Football League
The English Football League is a league competition featuring professional football clubs from England and Wales. Founded in 1888 as the Football League, the league is the oldest such competition in world football and it was the top-level football league in England from its foundation in the 19th century until 1992, when the top 22 clubs split away to form the Premier League. The league has 72 clubs evenly divided into three divisions, which are known as the Championship, League One and League Two, with 24 clubs in each division, the Football League has been associated with a title sponsor between 1983 and 2016. As this sponsor changed over the years the league too has been known by various names, the English Football League is also the name of the governing body of the league competition, and this body also organises two knock-out cup competitions, the EFL Cup and the EFL Trophy. The operations centre of the Football League is in Preston, while its commercial office is in London, the commercial office was formerly based in Lytham St Annes, after its original spell in Preston. The Football League consists of 70 professional association football clubs in England and 2 in Wales and it runs the oldest professional football league competition in the world. It also organises two knockout cup competitions, the Football League Cup and Football League Trophy, the Football League was founded in 1888 by then Aston Villa director William McGregor, originally with 12 member clubs. Steady growth and the addition of more divisions meant that by 1950 the League had 92 clubs, the Football League therefore no longer includes the top 20 clubs who belong to this group, although promotion and relegation between the Football League and the Premier League continues. In total,136 teams have played in the Football League up to 2013, the Football Leagues 72 member clubs are grouped into three divisions, the Football League Championship, Football League One, and Football League Two. Each division has 24 clubs, and in any season a club plays each of the others in the same division twice, once at their home stadium. This makes for a total of 46 games played each season, clubs gain three points for a win, one for a draw, and none for a defeat. At the end of the season, clubs at the top of their division may win promotion to the higher division. At the top end of the competition, three Championship clubs win promotion from the Football League to the Premier League, with the bottom three Premier League clubs taking their places, reserve teams of Football League clubs usually play in the Central League or the Football Combination. Since the 2004–05 season, penalties have existed for clubs entering financial administration during the season and it is also required that a club exiting administration agree a Creditors Voluntary Agreement, and pay in full any other footballing creditors. Failure to do either of these result in a second. The other main situation in which is a club may lose points is by fielding an improperly registered or otherwise ineligible player. If a club is found to have done this, then any points earned from any match that player participated in will be deducted, the EFL organises two knock-out cup competitions, the EFL Cup and the EFL Trophy. The EFL Cup was established in 1960 and is open to all EFL and Premier League clubs, the EFL Trophy is for clubs belonging to EFL League One and EFL League Two
Workington Association Football Club is an English football club based in Workington, Cumbria. The club competes in the Northern Premier League, the tier of English football. The club plays its matches at Borough Park, which has a capacity of 3,101. The club is referred to as Workington Reds to distinguish it from Rugby League club Workington Town. Its traditional rivals are Carlisle United and Barrow, Football in Workington has a very long history. Close by and adjacent to the home of Workington A. F. C the folk game of Uppies and Downies is still an annual event. There are records about the game from 20 April 1775 in the Cumbrian Pacquet which is one of the earliest reports of a football match ever. This report says the match on which it is reporting is long contended thereby noting an even longer history of the game in this Cumbrian Town. Association football was introduced to Workington in the 1860s and further popularised when a group for steel workers migrated to the town from Dronfield and they were workers of the Charles Cammel and Co steel works that arrived in the town in 1884. It is estimated that 1,500 townspeople moved to Workington, dronnies, as the people of Workington called the newcomers, formed Workington AFC in 1888. This is also confirmed in a history of the club which was produced as part of 16 page brochure in the clubs application to the Football League in 1951. The original Workington A. F. C. were one of the members of the Cumberland Association League in 1888. In 1894 they moved to the Cumberland Senior League, and in 1901 joined the Lancashire League, however, the league closed two seasons later, and they returned to the Cumberland Senior League. In 1904 the club were admitted to the Lancashire Combination, but in 1910 seasons they decided to economise, however, after only one season, the club folded. The new Workington A. F. C. was born in 1921, during the 1933–34 season, the club managed its best-ever FA Cup performance, reaching the 4th round, before losing to Preston North End. Later in the decade, the moved to its present home. In 1951 the club was voted into the Third Division North of the Football League replacing New Brighton. The early Football League Years of Workington Reds are chronicled in a series of books entitled So Sad So Very Sad – The League History of Workington AFC part 1, part 2 and part 3
Chelmsford City F.C.
Chelmsford City Football Club is a football club based in the city of Chelmsford, Essex, England. They are currently members of the National League South and play at the Melbourne Stadium, Chelmsford Football Club was established in 1878 by members of the Chelmsford Lawn Tennis and Croquet club in order to give them something to do in the winter. The club won the Essex Senior Cup in 1892–93 and again in 1901–02, in 1895 they were founder members of the North Essex League, but left in 1900 to join the South Essex League. In 1903–04 the club entered a team into the newly-formed South East Anglian League. In 1908–09 they spent a season playing in the Eastern Division of the Spartan League, in 1912 Chelmsford were amongst the founder members of the Athenian League, although they also continued to play in the South Essex League for another season. In 1922 the club failed to be re-elected and dropped into the Middlesex County League, in 1923–24 they also entered a team into the Essex & Suffolk Border League. That season saw the win the Middlesex County League and finish second in the Border League. In the following season, Chelmsford won the East Anglian Cup, the club won the London League Premier Division title in 1930–31, before becoming founder members of the Eastern Counties League in 1935. Two years later left the ECL to become founder members of the Essex County League. In 1938, it was decided to form a club in order to join the Southern League. Chelmsford City was established in 1938 and took over Chelmsfords New Writtle Street ground and they joined the Southern League and made an immediate impact in the FA Cup, reaching the fourth round in its first season. In the fourth round they lost 6–0 at Birmingham City, at the end of the season the club applied to join the Football League, but received only one vote. The club were the Southern Leagues first champions when football resumed after World War II, Chelmsford won the league cup again in 1959–60 and the league title in 1967–68 and 1971–72. They continued to apply to join the Football League, making bids in 1960,1961,1962, the club remained in the top division of the Southern League until 1976–77, when they were relegated to Division One South. In 1977, City were one of six clubs to represent England in the Anglo-Italian Cup, after the formation of the Alliance Premier League they regained their top division status in the Southern League. The club were relegated again in 1987–88 but made a return to the Premier Division after winning Division One South the following season. Another relegation was experienced in 1996–97 and after an issue with the seating at the ground meant they were refused promotion in 1997–98, in 2004, Chelmsford transferred to the Premier Division of the Isthmian League and were champions in 2007–08, earning promotion to the Conference South. They reached the play-offs in the season but lost to Hampton & Richmond in the play-off semi-finals
Margate Football Club, originally called Margate Town, is an English football team based in the seaside resort of Margate, Kent. They currently play in the National League South, the tier of English football. The club was known for a number of years during the 1980s as Thanet United, the club was founded in 1896 and joined the Southern Football League in 1933. The team, nicknamed The Gate, have to date reached the third round proper of Englands premier cup competition, on the second of these occasions they played Tottenham Hotspur, a First Division team and the reigning UEFA Cup holders. This ground became known as the Hall-by-the-Sea Ground, taking its name from a dance hall. After the First World War, Margate joined the Kent League, but in 1923 the league suspended the team due to financial irregularities and the club promptly folded. A year later the reformed, initially under the name Margate Town, and returned to the Kent League, still playing at Dreamland. In 1929 the club reformed again and moved to its present home at Hartsdown Park, around this time Margate signed a Dutch player, a highly unusual move in an era when it was almost unknown for Continental players to move to English clubs. Goalkeeper Gerrit Gerard Keizer, who joined the Kent club from Ajax Amsterdam, from 1934 until 1938 Margate, by now playing in the Southern League, served as the official nursery side for Arsenal. Under this arrangement the London club regularly loaned promising young players to Margate in order for them to gain match experience, star players such as Eddie Hapgood also turned out for Margate whilst regaining match fitness after injuries. After the Second World War the Gate continued to play in the Kent League under new manager Charlie Walker, who led the team to two Kent League championships but was then controversially sacked. The team slumped during a succession of managerial changes which only ended in 1950 when Almer Hall was appointed manager. Under Hall the team won a host of local cup honours and reached the proper of the FA Cup on a number of occasions. In 1959–60 Margate returned to the Southern League after the Kent League folded, two years later the club turned full-time professional but this policy proved financially untenable when the team were relegated back to Division One in 1965–66. Nonetheless, they won promotion at the first attempt and returned to the Premier Division in 1967, during the 1970s Margate endured severe financial problems and a series of mediocre league seasons, but took part in two famous FA Cup ties. In 1971 the Gate lost 11–0 to Bournemouth, with Ted MacDougall scoring a cup record nine goals, then, a year later, Margate beat Swansea City and Walton & Hersham to set up a third round tie against First Division Tottenham Hotspur, then UEFA Cup holders. A record crowd of around 14,500 packed into Hartsdown Park for a match which Margate lost 6–0. The negotiations floundered, however, and Ramsgate ultimately had no involvement in the formation of Thanet United F. C. in 1981, which turned out to be purely a name change for Margate
Burton Albion F.C.
Burton Albion Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, England. The team play in the Championship, the tier of English football. Burton Albion competed in the non-League of English football from their formation in 1950 until 2009, when they were promoted to the Football League. The clubs home ground is the Pirelli Stadium, having moved from Eton Park in 2005, Burton Albion were formed in 1950, and joined the Birmingham & District League. They finished the 1953–54 season as runners-up, and in 1958–59 joined the Southern League North Western zone, in 1965–66 Burton missed out on the runners-up place on goal difference, but were still promoted to the Southern League Premier Division. They avoided relegation in 1968, thanks to Stevenage Town folding, Burton missed out on promotion on goal average in 1970–71, but finished as runners-up the following season and were promoted back to the Premier Division. The next two seasons saw them relegated, and then promoted back to the Premier Division again and they stayed in the same division until being relegated once more at the end of 1976–77. In October 1998, Nigel Clough was appointed as player-manager and he led the club to two successive runners-up spots, in 1999–2000 and 2000–01. Burton were again moved to the Northern Premier League Premier Division in 2001–02, the club were promoted to the Football Conference for the first time. The club was brought to attention when they were drawn at home against 11-times winners Manchester United in the third round of the 2005–06 FA Cup. The Brewers held the Premier League team to a 0–0 draw at home, at the end of the season Roy McFarland left the club and was replaced by Paul Peschisolido, with Gary Rowett acting as his assistant. Burtons first win in the Football League was 5–2 against Morecambe at the Pirelli Stadium, in their second season Burton claimed a notable scalp in the FA Cup third round when they knocked out Championship team Middlesbrough 2–1 at the Pirelli Stadium. In the league, Burton experienced a 17-game winless run and fell from fifth place on Boxing Day to 17th place at the end of the 2011–12 season, Gary Rowett was appointed as the new manager of Burton in May 2012. In his first full season in charge, he led Burton to a fourth-place finish, Burton lost their play-off semi-final 4–5 on aggregate to Bradford City despite winning the first leg 3–2 at Valley Parade. In the 2013–14 season, Burton finished sixth, reaching the final in which they lost 1–0 against Fleetwood Town. During the 2014–15 season, Rowett left to join Birmingham City, under Hasselbaink the Brewers won League Two and were promoted to League One for the first time in their history. Hasselbaink left by mutual consent in December 2015 to join Queens Park Rangers as manager, Clough returned to Burton to replace him for his second spell as manager and led the club to a second-place finish in the league, earning promotion to the Championship, another first for Burton. Albion began life at the Lloyds Foundry ground on Wellington Street, Eton Park was built off Derby Road and officially opened on 20 September 1958, coinciding with the clubs promotion to the Southern League
Worcester City F.C.
Worcester City Football Club is an English football club based in Worcester, Worcestershire. The club participates in the National League North, the tier of English football. Established in 1902, they have spent the majority of their history in non-league football and they currently play at Victoria Ground, home to Bromsgrove Sporting, after leaving St Georges Lane in 2013. Initially they played on Pitchcroft on an area called Severn Terrace. They played there until the start of the 1905 season and it was in 1905 that they reached the first round of the FA Cup, losing 6–0 at home to Watford. In 1924–25 they won the league for the first time, the club won back-to-back league titles in 1928–29 and 1929–30, also reaching the FA Cup first round in the former, losing 3–1 at Walsall. In 1938 they joined the Southern League, in 1940 they won the Southern League Cup beating Chelmsford 7–3 over two legs under the guidance of former Fulham F. C. legend Syd Gibbons. During World War II the club returned to the Birmingham & District League for two seasons, after the war Worcester rejoined the Southern League. In 1958–59 the club reached the first round of the FA Cup again, after beating Chelmsford City in a replay and then Millwall 5–2 in the second round, they were drawn against Liverpool. A 2–1 win saw Worcester qualify for the round against Sheffield United. They were defeated 2–0 in front of a home attendance of 17,042 at St Georges Lane. In 1973–74 the club were relegated to Division One North of the Southern League and they returned to the Premier Division as Division One champions in 1977, and in 1978–79 won the title. The following season they became members of the Alliance Premier League. However, they were relegated at the end of the 1984–85 season, the 1973–74 season saw City reach the quarter-final of the FA Trophy. They beat Taunton Town 1–0 away from home and then a 5–1 home win over Bletchley saw the club reach the third round. Having beaten Sandbach Ramblers 4–1, City progressed to the last eight where a 2–0 away defeat followed a draw against South Shields ended their cup run. In the 1978–79 season, Worcester reached the semi-finals after beating Cardiff City 3–2 in the quarters and they again played Shrewsbury, this time losing 2–0 away. The club remained in the Southern League Premier Division until 2004, in 2008 they were moved to the Conference South after no southern teams were relegated from the Conference National
Barnet Football Club /ˈbɑːrnɪt/ is an English professional football club based in Edgware, north-west London. The club currently participates in League Two, the tier of English football. The club was founded in Chipping Barnet, then part of Hertfordshire and they played their home matches at Underhill Stadium from 1907 until 2013, when they moved to the new Hive Stadium in Edgware. Barnet were first promoted to the Football League in 1991, after winning the 1990–91 Football Conference under manager Barry Fry, in 1993 they reached the Football League Second Division, then the third tier of English football, but were relegated after one season. They were relegated back to the Conference in 2001, but returned to the Football League four years later winning the 2004–05 Conference National. They then spent the eight seasons in League Two before being relegated to the Conference once again in 2013. In 2015, they returned to the Football League once more, the club also competes in the Middlesex Senior Cup. Before moving to the Hive, they competed in the Herts Senior Cup, for a complete list of seasons, see List of Barnet F. C. seasons Barnet FC were formed in 1888, having formerly been known as New Barnet FC and Woodville FC. The clubs origins are from ex-scholars of Cowley College and Lyonsdown Collegiate School and they were known as The Hillmen and played in New Barnet before moving to Ravenscroft Park in Queens Road in 1889. Initially they played friendly games before becoming members of the North London League in 1892–93. They went on to have success in the North Middlesex League Division II, Division I, promoted to the London League Division II, Barnet became champions in 1897–98 and spent the following seasons in London League Division I before ceasing to exist in the 1901–02 season. Two local clubs, Barnet Avenue FC and Alston Works AFC continued to attract support, Avenue played their home games initially at Hadley Green before moving to Queens Road. Alston Works AFC, later Barnet Alston FC, were formed in 1901, formed from workers at Alston Works, a dental manufacturers, they were known as The Dentals. Their club strip of amber and black is the basis of the current Barnet team strip, in 1907 they moved to the clubs current ground at Underhill, Barnet Lane. Their first match was a 1–0 win over Crystal Palace on 14 September 1907, after merging with the Avenue team in 1912 they spearheaded the new Athenian League as Barnet and Alston FC. After the First World War in 1919 they became the third instance of Barnet FC, for over 50 years Barnet FC competed in the Athenian League. Inaugural members in 1912–13 they were league champions no fewer than seven times between 1919–65 before turning professional in 1965, during the 1920s Barnet consolidated their amateur status in the Athenian League under team secretary Tom Goss. The 1930–31 season saw Barnet gain their first Athenian League Championship to be repeated again the following season, in the two seasons after World War II, Barnet won the FA Amateur Cup, the Athenian League Championship twice, and the London Senior Cup
Cheltenham Town F.C.
Cheltenham Town Football Club /ˈtʃɛltnəm ˈtaʊn/ is a professional association football club based in the town of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England. The team compete in League Two, the tier of English football. Their nickname is The Robins, and the club is affiliated to the Gloucestershire County FA. Promoted to The Football League as Conference Premier champions in 1999, Cheltenham have played as high as League One and their best FA Cup run saw them reach the last 16 in 2002. The last piece of silverware won by the club was the National League title in 2015–2016 and its league status was lost with relegation in 2015, only for the team to return, as champions, a year later. Cheltenham has a history of prior to The Robins. In 1849, the first use of three referees in a match, two in field and one in tribune, was recorded in the town. However, the club was founded in 1887 by Albert Close White. The club spent its first three decades in local football, notable players from those days include cricketers Gilbert Jessop and brothers Charles Barnett and Edgar Barnett. In the early 1930s the club turned professional and joined the Birmingham Combination before joining the Southern League in 1935 and they won promotion to the Alliance Premier League in 1985, but were relegated seven years later. They were promoted back to the Conference in 1997 and two years later gained promotion to the Football League, after two mid-table finishes in Division Three they won via the playoffs and were promoted to Division Two. The appointment of Steve Cotterill as manager during the 1996–97 was the start of a period of success at the club resulted in Cotterill being their most successful manager. In 1997–98, Cheltenham finished runners-up in the Conference and were close to champions Halifax Town until the end of April 1998 and they secured a place at Wembley in the FA Trophy final, beating Southport 1–0 in front of a crowd of 27,000. In 1998–99 Cheltenham secured the Conference title and entry to the Football League, after two mid-table finishes in Division Three, Cheltenham finally won promotion to Division Two at the end of the 2001–02 season. Shortly after winning promotion, Cotterill left Cheltenham to join Stoke City as their manager, Cheltenham replaced Cotterill with first-team coach Graham Allner who had won the Conference championship with Kidderminster Harriers in 1994. Allner and assistant manager Mike Davis, who was assistant to Cotterill, were sacked in January 2003, after six months in the job. Cheltenham turned to Bobby Gould, one of the most experienced managers in English football whose exploits include an FA Cup victory with Wimbledon in 1988. Cheltenham continued to struggle, and defeat in their game of the season condemned the club to relegation back to Division Three after just one season
Metropolitan Police F.C.
Metropolitan Police Football Club is the football club of the Metropolitan Police Service. While originally consisting of serving officers, this rule was removed when the Commissioner refused to sanction time off for the team. The team has not had a serving officer playing for it since 2011, and they are currently based just outside London in East Molesey, Surrey and play in the Isthmian League Premier Division. The club was formed in 1919 and played friendlies until they joined the Spartan League in 1928, the club switched to the Metropolitan League in 1960, and joined the Southern League in 1971. They joined the Isthmian Leagues newly formed Division Two in 1977 and were promoted at the first attempt, in 1982 they came close to promotion, missing out by just two points, but in 1985 were relegated back to Division Two. In 1988 they were promoted again, but 1991 saw them drop to Division Two once more. In 2004 the league was reorganised again and the Met played in Division One for two years, but in 2006 the regionalised divisions returned. In 2010, the Metropolitan Police won their first senior trophy and they finished the 2010–11 season as champions of the Isthmian League Division One South, winning the league by one goal difference over Bognor Regis Town. Metropolitan Police play their games at the Metropolitan Police Sports Club, Ember Lane, East Molesey, Surrey. The clubs home at Imber Court is a police sports facility which the Force acquired in 1919. Significant ground improvements, including a new stand, have taken place since the 1980s, note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality, note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality, players that have played/managed in the football league or any foreign equivalent to this level. Players that hold a club record. C
The Isthmian League is a regional mens football league covering London, East and South East England featuring mostly semi-professional clubs. It is sponsored by Ryman, and therefore known as the Ryman League. It was founded in 1905 by amateur clubs in the London area and it now consists of 72 teams in three divisions, the Premier Division above its two feeder divisions, Division One North and Division One South. Together with the Southern League and the Northern Premier League, it forms the seventh and eighth levels of the English football league system and it has various regional feeder leagues and the league as a whole is a feeder league mainly to the National League South. Before the Isthmian League was formed, there were no leagues in which amateur clubs could compete, therefore, a meeting took place between representatives of Casuals, Civil Service, Clapton, Ealing Association, Ilford and London Caledonians to discuss the creation of a strong amateur league. All the clubs supported the idea and the Isthmian League was born on 8 March 1905, membership to the league was through invitation only. The league was strongly dedicated to amateurism, the champions did not even receive a trophy or medals, teams less able to compete financially thus gravitated to it rather than the Southern League, while those with ambition and money would move in the opposite direction. By 1922 the league had fourteen clubs and over the five decades, only a few new members were admitted. Most new Isthmian League members joined from the Athenian League, which was dedicated to amateurism. The league began to admit professionalism in the 1970s, a second division of sixteen clubs was formed in 1973 and a third division followed in 1977. The reward of promotion into the Conference means that, since 1985, the Athenian League disbanded in 1984 when the Isthmian League Second Division split into North and South Divisions. These were restructured again to Second and Third Divisions in 1991, in 2002, the league was restructured again, with the First and Second Divisions merging to become Division One North and Division One South, and the Third Division being renamed as Division Two. In 2004, The Football Association pushed through a restructuring of the non-league National League System. The Isthmian League was reduced back down to three divisions, and its boundaries were changed to remove the overlap with the Southern League, in 2006, further reorganisation saw a reversion to two regional Division Ones and the disbandment of Division Two. This current plan calls for clubs based on the edges of the Isthmian Leagues territory to transfer to, One team, Clapton, had been ever-present in the Isthmian League since its foundation, but they moved to the Essex Senior League for the 2006–07 season. Dulwich Hamlet, who joined the league in 1907, are currently its longest serving member, for the 1973–74 season, the Second Division was added. For the 1977–78 season, the Premier Division was added, for the 1984–85 season, the Second Division was reorganised into North and South regions. For the 1991–92 season, the regional Second Divisions were merged, at the end of the 1994–95 season, Enfield were denied promotion to the Conference
Minehead Association Football Club is a football club based in Minehead, Somerset, England. The club are members of the Somerset County League Division One West. The club is affiliated to the Somerset County FA, the club was established in 1889, and initially played in local leagues until joining the Western League in 1923. After finishing in place in 1924–25, they were relegated to the newly established Division Two. However, after finishing bottom in 1926–27 and 1927–28, the club withdrew from the league, Minehead returned to the Western League in 1949, joining Division Three. After finishing third in their first season back, they were promoted to Division Two, a fourth-place finish in 1957–58 saw the club promoted to Division One. In 1970–71 they reached the first round proper of the FA Cup for the first time, after finishing as runners-up in 1971–72, the club were elected to Division One South of the Southern League. A fifth-place finish in 1972–73 was followed by finishing fourth in 1973–74 and third in 1974–75, before the club won the division in 1975–76, despite reaching the second round of the FA Cup the following season, the club were relegated after finishing second bottom of the Premier Division. In 1982–83 they finished bottom in the Midland Division. In 1988–89 they were relegated to Division One after finishing bottom of the league, however, the club recovered to win Division One the next season, earning promotion back to the Premier Division. In 1993–94 the club finished bottom of the Premier Division again, and returned to Division One, in 1998 the club changed its name to Minehead Town, and won Division One in the season that followed, losing only one match all season. However, the finished bottom of the Premier Division for two consecutive seasons, before returning to Division One. In 2009–10 they finished bottom of Division One and were relegated to the Somerset County League, Minehead play their home games at Irnham Road, Minehead, Somerset, TA24 5DP. Players that hold a club record, gerry Cakebread Cliff Myers Club website
Kettering Town F.C.
Kettering Town Football Club is an English football club originating in Kettering, Northamptonshire but currently based in the town of Burton Latimer. The club participates in the Southern League Premier Division, the tier of English football. Kettering Town were originally formed in 1872, turning professional in 1891, the club graduated through twelve different leagues from 1892 until they became founding members of the Alliance Premier League in 1979. The club maintained its status in the top flight of football until the 2000–01 season. Many honours have found their way to Rockingham Road, winning the Midland Football League title in 1896 and 1900, the Southern League Championship was won on three occasions by the club, in 1928 and 1957 under Tommy Lawton and in 1973 under the guidance of Ron Atkinson. In the 1930s the club won the East Midlands League and in 1948 the Poppies became Birmingham League Champions, during the 1970s, Kettering Town sought election to the Football League, coming five votes short of election in 1974. The deal was brokered by chief executive and manager Derek Dougan, four days later, The Football Association ordered the club to remove the slogan, but Dougan changed the words on the shirts to Kettering T, and claimed that the T stood for Town. Nonetheless, the FA ordered the club to remove the words, shirt sponsorship was eventually permitted within the English game in 1977, although the ban on shirt sponsors in televised games wasnt lifted until 1983. Kettering are also the first ever British team to have their initials on their grounds floodlights, the club finished runners-up in the Football Conference in 1981,1989,1994 and 1998. The GMAC Cup was won in 1987 and the Poppies were runners-up in 1995, County competitions have been won regularly by Kettering Town, with the Northants Senior Cup won on 28 occasions and the Maunsell Cup 13 times. The FA Cup has brought success and publicity to Rockingham Road with the first round proper being reached on 41 occasions. During the 1994–95 season the club made their debut live on Sky TV in a first round tie against Plymouth Argyle, as of 2016 the Poppies had scored more goals than any other team in the FA Cups history, with 870 goals scored in 381 appearances. Wembley has been reached on two occasions before, the Poppies lost 2–0 to Stafford Rangers in the 1979 FA Trophy Final. More recently, the FA Trophy Final in 2000 saw the Poppies lose a closely fought final with Kingstonian 3–2, most recently, the club were narrowly relegated on the last day of the 2000–01 season which ended 30 years in the top flight of non-league football. The following season was a disappointment and the club, rarely out of the bottom three, were again demoted – this time to the Isthmian League. Carl Shutt left the club in April 2003 and Dominic Genovese, after a period as acting manager. After a poor run of results and a disappointing defeat to Boreham Wood in the FA Cup Dominic Genovese was replaced by former Northampton Town manager. Changes to the team were made and the finished the season on a 12-game unbeaten run
Bath City F.C.
Bath City Football Club is a semi-professional association football club based in Bath, Somerset, England. The club participates in the National League South, the tier of English football. Formed in 1889 as Bath AFC, Bath Citys history is entirely in non-league football and they changed their name to Bath Railway in 1902 before settling on the name Bath City F. C. After many years playing in the echelons of non-League football they spent a decade in the Southern League after being relegated from the 1996–97 Football Conference. They were promoted to the Conference South by winning the Southern League in the 2006–07 season and they have reached the FA cup third round six times. In 2004 they lost in the FA Cup second round to Peterborough United, in 2009, City beat Football League Two side Grimsby Town in the FA Cup first round, only to lose to Forest Green Rovers in the second round. In 1889 Bath City were formed as Bath AFC and began to play at the Belvoir ground, in 1908 they commenced playing competitive league format football, joining the Western League Division Two. For the 1921–22 season they moved up to Southern League, English section, after the War they were forced to resume playing in the Southern League which they won in the 1959–60 season. A year later they were runners up in the same league, over the next thirteen years they were three times relegated into and again promoted from the Southern League Division one. In the 1977–78 season they won the Southern League title for a second time, for the next season they fell short of election to the Football League by a narrow margin so they became founder members of the Alliance Premier League, now the Conference National. They narrowly missed out on election to the Football League, in 1989 however they were relegated back to the Southern League but were promoted back next season. Here they remained until they were relegated once more to the Southern League in 1997 and they narrowly missed out on promotion to the Conference South in the season 2005–06 season finishing second in the Southern League and lost to Bedford Town. However the following season won promotion as winners of the Southern League in their second season under manager John Relish. They finished in 8th position in the Conference South in the 2007–08 season, in the same season they developed a local arrangement to establish a junior footballing set-up called Bath City Youth. This set-up is now being developed into an academy and in October 2008 manager John Relish moved aside from managerial duties to concentrate on creating this. He was replaced by his former assistant Adie Britton, however, ESPN did not play the extra time, instead cut back after the end of the match. In the 2011–12 season, Bath City had a run of bad results, therefore being relegated from the Conference National. They were the first football club in the top five divisions of England to be relegated and they are currently playing in the Conference South following this relegation
Nuneaton Town F.C.
Nuneaton Town Football Club is an English football club based in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. The club participates in the National League North, the tier of English football. In 1889 Nuneaton St. Nicholas were the first team to senior football within Nuneaton. Five years later, they changed their name to Nuneaton Town, however, two days later Nuneaton Borough F. C. were founded. In 2008 the club was liquidated, and due to a FA ruling were reformed as Nuneaton Town – suffering a two division demotion, the club is still known as The Boro by its supporters. The club currently play their fixtures at Liberty Way, Nuneaton. The clubs home colours are blue & white, local rivals include Tamworth, Leamington, Bedworth United and Coventry City. The club origins date from 1889 when young men from Nuneaton St. Nicolas Parish Church formed a team to represent the town. Originally playing only friendly games, from 1892 Nuneaton St. Nicolas entered Charity Cup competitions, in September 1894 the Nicks’ changed their name to Nuneaton Town Association F. C. This was despite Nuneaton Town being financially sound, following the disbandment of the Boro by its shareholders, a new group of local gentlemen decided to reform the football club. The new name Nuneaton Borough reflected the royal charter status that the town had been granted, Southern League Cup, Winners 1995–96, Runners Up 1962–63, Southern League Championship Match, Winners 199. Runners Up 1996, Home, At Manor Park 22,114, in May 2007, the curtain came down on Manor Park as they drew the last game 1–1 against Vauxhall Motors. Striker Gez Murphy took the honour of being the last Nuneaton Borough scorer at the ground, in the 2007–08 season, ill-health meant that the clubs owner, Ted Stocker, decided to sell his shares. March 2008 saw local businessman Ian Neale planned to take ownership of the club for a trial period, however, he took 100% ownership of the club in April. In May 2008, Mr Neale found some irregularities in the finances of the club, on 2 June 2008 Nuneaton Borough went into liquidation. Following the clubs liquidation, the reformed, this time as Nuneaton Town. The new club was forced to revert to its name of Nuneaton Town. Falling foul of regulations regarding football finance, the new club was demoted two divisions from Conference North to Southern League Division One, nevertheless, successive promotions saw the club quickly regain its former league status
Bedford Town F.C.
Bedford Town Football Club is a football club based in the Borough of Bedford, England. The club are members of the Southern League Division One Central and play at the Eyrie in Cardington. They are full members of the Football Association and affiliated to the Bedfordshire County Football Association, a Bedford Town Football Club was in existence by 1884, although it changed its name to Bedford Association in 1887. As there were no leagues at the time, the club played matches in cups, including the Kettering Charity Cup. The name Bedford Town reappeared in 1894 when Swifts, a club founded in 1890, were renamed and they absorbed Bedford Rovers in 1896, and although local leagues had been formed, the club continued to play only cup matches and friendlies. However, the club disappeared around the turn of the century, on 31 July 1908 a new Bedford Town was formed at the Association Rooms on Harpur Street. They joined Division One of the Northamptonshire League, finishing bottom of the table in their first two seasons, but avoiding relegation to Division Two. They went on to finish as runners-up for three seasons between 1911–12 and 1913–14 before the league closed down due to World War I. They also won the Northamptonshire Senior Cup in 1912–13, after the war the club continued in the league, finishing as Division One runners-up in 1929–30 before winning the title in 1930–31. The following season saw them finish in place again, after which they won back-to-back titles in 1932–33. The league was renamed the United Counties League, with Bedford finishing as runners-up in 1934–35 and reaching the first round of the FA Cup for the first time. They finished as runners-up again in 1936–37, remaining in the league until World War II, in 1945 Bedford joined the Southern League. They reached the first round of the FA Cup several times in the early 1950s, losing 2–0 at Swindon Town in 1951–52, 4–0 at Weymouth in 1953–54 and 2–0 at Dorchester Town in 1954–55. In 1955 they applied for election to the Football League after finishing eighteenth in the Southern League, the 1955–56 season saw them reach the first round of the FA Cup again, and for the first time they progressed to the next round after beating Leyton 3–0. The second round saw them defeat Football League opposition for the first time as they won 3–2 against Watford, the first match at Highbury ended 2–2, with Arsenal winning the replay 2–1. They applied for election to the Football League again following a third-place finish in the Southern League, in the following season the club again beat Football League opposition in the FA Cup, defeating Norwich City 4–2 at Carrow Road before losing 1–0 at Reading. They finished as runners-up in both 1956–57 and 1957–58, again applying unsuccessfully for Football League membership, although they received one vote in 1957, despite winning their division, they failed to receive a single vote in the 1959 Football League elections. The following season saw further league re-organisation, with Bedford placed in the new Premier Division, however, the mid-1960s was an extremely successful period for the club in the cup, in 1962–63 they reached the second round where they were again beaten by Gillingham
Yeovil Town F.C.
Yeovil Town Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Yeovil, Somerset, England. They play in League Two, the tier of English football. The club won the League Two championship in 2004–05, and promotion to the Championship through the play-offs in 2013, founded in 1895, Yeovil took 108 years to enter the Football League when they were promoted from the Football Conference as champions in 2003. This success was repeated in 2005 when they reached the round and were drawn away against Charlton Athletic, then in the Premier League. Yeovils home ground is Huish Park, built in 1990 on the site of an old camp and named after their former home, Huish, itself known for its pitch. The clubs nickname The Glovers is a reference to the history of glove-making in the town of Yeovil, Yeovil Football Club was founded in 1890, and shared its ground with the local rugby club for many years. Five years later the club was renamed Yeovil Casuals and started playing games at the Pen Mill Athletic Ground. In 1907 the name Yeovil Town was adopted, which on amalgamation with Petters United became Yeovil, the name reverted to Yeovil Town before the 1946–47 season. The club came to attention as giant-killers during the 1948–49 FA Cup, in which they defeated Sunderland 2–1 in the fourth round. They were defeated 8–0 in the round by Manchester United. Between 1955 and 1973 they were champions of the Southern Football League three times, and runners-up twice, during this period, Yeovil Town applied for election to the Football League on a number of occasions, coming within a few votes of being elected in 1976. In 1979 the Glovers were founder members of the new national non-league division, in 1985, they were relegated to the Isthmian League. Yeovil won that championship in 1988 and returned to the Conference, there was success in the Bob Lord Challenge Trophy in 1990 and three years later Yeovil finished fourth in the Conference, their best finish ever. In January 1995, former Weymouth and Spurs player Graham Roberts was appointed manager, Yeovil secured promotion back into the Conference in 1997 after winning the Isthmian League with a record number of points –101. Colin Lippiatt became manager for the 1998–99 season and brought Terry Skiverton to the club as a player and their team included many top players, some of whom went on to play Premier League football. Notable players include Gavin Williams who moved to West Ham United, Lee Johnson, Chris Weale, Darren Way, Yeovils first game in the Football League was a 3–1 away win over Rochdale. The Glovers finished their first season in position, and reached the third round of the FA Cup before losing 2–0 at home to Liverpool. The following season Yeovil finished as champions of League Two with 83 points, partway through the season the club was sold by Jon Goddard-Watts to David Webb, who took over the role of chief executive from chairman John Fry
Grantham Town F.C.
Grantham Town Football Club is a football club, based in Grantham, Lincolnshire. The club plays in the Northern Premier League Premier Division and they are nicknamed The Gingerbreads and they play their home matches at the South Kesteven Sports Stadium. The club was established in August 1874, granthams first match was a 2–1 friendly win against Third Lincs Volunteer Rifles on 29 October 1874. In 1877–78, the club one of the first to enter the FA Cup. On 7 April 2012 the club became champions of the Northern Premier League Division One South, players that have played/managed in the Football League or any foreign equivalent to this level. Players that hold a club record, terry Bly Edwin Cooke Frank Watson Official website Grantham Town at the Football Club History Database Grantham F. C. at the Football Club History Database
Maidstone United F.C.
Maidstone United Football Club is a semi-professional English football club based in Maidstone, Kent. They currently compete in the National League, the tier of English football. The current club filled the void left by the old Maidstone United and that club was forced out of the league through bankruptcy but the nucleus of a new club was built around the youth squad. They changed their name to Maidstone United in 1995, Maidstone were without a stadium of their own from their creation until 2012 when the Gallagher Stadium, located near Maidstone town centre, was opened at the start of the 2012–13 season. Maidstone Invicta were originally a club and were taken over within days of the Football League side folding. The clubs home games took place on the original Maidstones reserve and training pitch, initially Jim Thompson ran the club, but was banned from football for his part in the demise of Maidstone and Dartford and Paul Bowden-Brown took over as Chairman – a position he retained until 2010. They also managed to win the West Kent Challenge Shield and the Tunbridge Wells Charity Cup, during the close season of 1994 the club managed to gain promotion to Division 2 of the league after restructuring. The club went on to win Division 2, picking up the Kent Junior Cup on the way, the 1999–2000 season saw Maidstones début season in the Premier Division, with the team finishing in a respectable third place. The next season saw the club, which was now managed by another former Maidstonian in Matt Toms, successfully apply to become a senior club and these factors now left the door open to seek elevation to the Kent League. The clubs application was accepted and the Stones started the 2001–2002 season in the Kent League, in its first Kent League season since reformation, Maidstone won the Kent League and Cup double under the management of Jim Ward. However, the club could not gain promotion to the Southern League Eastern Division because of problems with the lease on Central Park. The 2002–03 season saw Maidstone enter the FA Cup for the first time since reformation, the years 2003 till 2005 contained two indifferent seasons for the Stones, on the pitch at least. Both campaigns saw the club finish 4th in the league, although this disappointment was offset somewhat by reaching the third qualifying round of the FA Cup in successive years. Off the pitch, the took a huge step forward when in November 2004 it successfully applied for planning permission to build a new stadium at James Whatman Way. However, construction of the stadium could not begin until a lease for the site was agreed with its owners, the 2005–06 season saw Maidstone, now managed by Lloyd Hume after a spell in charge from Mal Watkins, win the Kent League title. They spent the season toe-to-toe with Beckenham Town before securing the championship on the day of the season. The title win meant the club gained promotion to Step 4 of the non league pyramid. However the overwhelming success on the pitch was overshadowed by little visible progress being made in the building of the stadium at James Whatman Way
Ebbsfleet United F.C.
Ebbsfleet United Football Club is a football club in Northfleet, Kent, England, which is in the National League South, the sixth tier of English football. The team plays matches at Stonebridge Road. Before 2007, the club was called Gravesend & Northfleet, from 1969 and 1971, Roy Hodgson, who later became manager of the national teams of Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Finland and England, was a player at the club, making 59 appearances. In 1979, the team was one of the members of the Alliance Premier League. For the 1997–98 season, Gravesend & Northfleet left the Southern League, on 13 November 2007, it was announced that the website MyFootballClub had entered a deal in principle to take over the club. Approximately 27,000 MyFootballClub members each paid £35 to provide an approximate £700,000 takeover fund and all owned a share in the club. Members had a vote on transfers as well as player selection, because of the nature of MyFootballClub, it was announced that manager Liam Daish would become instead the first team head coach. His backroom staff would remain at the club, both resulted in overwhelming Yes votes,95. 89% voted to proceed with the takeover while 95. 86% voted to allow Daish to continue his transfer plans. The deal was ratified at an Extraordinary General Meeting of the board on 19 February. On 10 May 2008, Ebbsfleet United won the FA Trophy, defeating Torquay United 1–0 in the final on the clubs first trip to Wembley, becoming the first Kentish team to win this trophy. Ebbsfleet United went on to win the Kent Senior Cup in the same season, with a 4–0 victory over Cray Wanderers on 26 July 2008. After one year of ownership a majority of MyFC members failed to renew, the club had previously stated that 15,000 was the minimum required. As of September 2010, two and a years after the takeover, there were around 3,500 members. Both the manager and the club secretary opposed the change, Liam Daish subsequently departed as manager and the new ownership appointed Dover Athletic coach and former Charlton Athletic defender Steve Brown as the new manager. Steve Browns first competitive game was a draw at home to Havant & Waterlooville. A club record was broken just before Christmas as Browns team achieved nine wins in succession, Ebbsfleet eventually reached the playoffs, helped by goalkeeper Preston Edwards keeping eleven clean sheets at Stonebridge Road over the course of the season. The playoff semi-final first leg against Bromley at Stonebridge Road ended in a 4–0 win for the Fleet, despite Bromley winning the second leg, Browns side won 4–1 on aggregate. The playoff final was against Dover Athletic at Stonebridge Road in front of a 4,200 crowd, Dover dominated the encounter, winning 1–0 with a goal early in the second half from former Ebbsfleet striker Nathan Elder
Leamington Football Club is a football club in Whitnash, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, England, who are currently playing in the Southern Football League. The club was founded in 1933 as Leamington Borg & Beck, known as Lockheed Borg & Beck, the team soon became Lockheed Leamington, and then in 1973, as the works team for Automotive Products. In 1985 the club returned to their name, but within three years the ground had been sold and the club went into hiatus until re-emerging in 2000. With the club at its pinnacle, Automotive Products decided to sell the Windmill Ground in Tachbrook Road for housing. The last match was played in April 1988, three years later Leamington gained promotion to the Midland Alliance. At the start of the 2008–09 season the team became affiliated with Leamington Lions, the ladies team. The 2012/13 season saw the win the Southern Football League title. The 2014/15 season saw the club get relegated from the Conference North to the Southern Football League, famous ex-players include former Coventry City captain Charlie Timmins, George Green, who won the 1925 FA Cup Final with Sheffield United and Harry Redknapp. Leamington FCs colours are gold shirts, black shorts and yellow stockings, the Leamington FC badge shows a windmill and a football. The windmill image has been associated with the club for a long time, the away kit for 2015–16 is royal blue with a yellow stripe down the arms and around the collar. Home to Leamington Town, Lockheed Leamington, AP Leamington and Leamington FC the Windmill Ground was situated on the Tachbrook Road, in 1937 Leamington Town fell foul to money matters, the club was voluntarily wound up, and the Windmill Ground was sold to Coventry City. Coventry paid £1,739 6s and 8d for the ground which was to be used for their A team, during the 2nd World War the ground also hosted Forces matches and Birmingham City matches. Lockheed, the company situated opposite the Windmill Ground, saw their social club form a club in 1946 called Lockheed Leamington and it was after this time that the ground saw most of its development work – stands, terracing, etc. The floodlights were installed in 1965, by its demise it boasted a 440-seater stand running half the length of the Tachbrook Road side. At the left side were the changing rooms. To the right, and extending behind the goal, was terracing. The terracing gradually faded into a gently sloping gravel bank that continued round the other 2 sides of the pitch, the north end was covered, as was a very small section of the embankment opposite the stand. The stated capacity of the ground was 5,000 – with cover for 1,600 spectators, the clubhouse sat behind the stand, up towards the northern end of the ground
Redditch United F.C.
Redditch United Football Club is an English football club based in Redditch, Worcestershire. The club participates in the Southern League Premier Division, and play their games at The TRICO Stadium. Redditch Town were established in 1891 and immediately joined the Birmingham Combination, the club achieved its first success by winning the Worcestershire Senior Cup in 1894 and becoming runners-up in 1898. In 1914 they won the Birmingham Combination Championship for the first time and, finally, the 1930s were a much more rewarding period for the club and its supporters, starting by winning the Worcestershire Senior Cup and the Birmingham Senior Cup in successive seasons. Reds almost achieved a double in 1932–33 when, having won the Combination. Apart from an appearance in the Birmingham Senior Cup final just before the World War. In 1953 Redditch regained the Combination Championship and were runners-up in the Worcestershire Senior Cup and this Championship success was repeated in 1955. In 1957 they were runners-up in the Birmingham Senior Cup, in 1971–72 the club reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, losing 6–0 in the replay at Peterborough United after a 1–1 draw at home in front of a crowd of 4,500. At the end of the season they finished sixth in the West Midlands League Premier Division and they won the Worcestershire Senior Cup in 1974 and 1975. The following season they won Division One North and were promoted to the Premier Division, in 1978–79 they finished eighth in the league, and became founder members of the Alliance Premier League. However, they finished bottom in its first season, and dropped into the Southern Leagues Midland Division, after finishing as runners-up in 1985–86, the club were promoted to the Premier Division, where they remained until relegation in 1989. The following season, they reached the first round of the FA Cup, at the end of the season they beat Northwich Victoria 4–3 over the two-legged final of the Staffordshire Senior Cup. In 1997–98 the Reds reached two cup finals, the Southern League Cup and the Birmingham Senior Cup, both were lost, and the cup run caused a large fixture backlog that resulted in the club having to play nine matches in nine days at the end of the season. In 2003–04 the club won the Southern League Western Division, due to league reorganisation caused by the establishment of the Conference North and South, the club entered play-offs to be promoted to the new leagues. After beating Kings Lynn 1–0 and Merthyr Tydfil 3–0, the club were promoted to the Conference North, after a ninth-place finish in 2004–05, Redditch struggled in 2005–06, only avoiding relegation on the final day of the season. After a very difficult 2010–11 campaign in the Conference North, Redditch were relegated to the Southern League Premier Division where they remain currently, on 17 March 2011, businessman Chris Swan took over the club, after a previous attempt to purchase Kidderminster Harriers fell through. This is 5 recent Redditch United seasons for a full history look List of Redditch United F. C. seasons Note, players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Players with international caps in bold See Redditch United F. C
Wealdstone Football Club is a football club based in Ruislip, west London, England. The club is affiliated to the Middlesex County Football Association and currently plays in the National League South, the team play in royal blue shirts, white shorts and royal blue and white socks, and are nicknamed The Stones or The Royals. The club appeared in the first televised match in 1946. They were also the first club to win the non-League double, the club was formed at the start of the 1899–1900 season. Their first game was a match on 7 October 1899 against Northwood. They joined Division Two of the Willesden & District League, and were promoted to Division One for the 1900–01 season after Division Two was scrapped, the club was reformed in time for the 1908–09 season, rejoining Division One of the Willesden & District League. In 1910 they moved to Belmont Road, and won Division One again in 1912–13, following World War I the club joined the London League and the Middlesex Senior League. They moved to the Lower Mead ground at the start of the 1922–23 season, the club had their record win on 13 October 1923, beating the 12th London Regiment 22–0 in an FA Amateur Cup game. In 1928–29 they switched again, this time joining the Athenian League. In 1929–30 the club won the Middlesex Senior Cup and the Middlesex Senior Charity Cup for the first time, during World War II the club continued to play, playing at Wembley Stadium in the final of the Middlesex Senior Red Cross Cup in 1943. The following year recorded their heaviest-ever defeat, losing 14–0 to Edgware Town in the London Senior Cup. In 1946 the BBC showed part of Wealdstones Athenian League match at Barnet, after beating Colchester, Wealdstone reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, losing 1–0 to Port Vale. In 1951–52 the club won the Athenian League, and went on to win the Middlesex Senior Cup in 1959,1963 and 1964, in 1964 they switched to the Isthmian League. In 1965–66 the club reached the first round of the FA Cup again, losing 3–1 at Millwall, the following season saw Wealdstone entered at the first round of the FA Cup, losing 2–0 at home to Nuneaton Borough. The club joined the Division One North of the Southern League in 1971 and they were moved to Division One South the following season, and won the division in 1973–74, earning promotion to the Premier Division. In 1979 the club were members of the Alliance Premier League. In 1984–85 the club won the Alliance Premier League, and also went on to win the FA Trophy, however, a period of decline set in, after finishing tenth the following season, they finished 19th in 1986–87, and were relegated the season after. At the end of the 1990–91 season financial problems led to the club selling their Lower Mead ground, in 1993 they moved to the Warren, Yeadings ground
Hillingdon Borough F.C.
For the administrative area see London Borough of Hillingdon. Hillingdon Borough Football Club are a football club based in Ruislip. The club is affiliated to the Middlesex County Football Association and it was also the name of a now-extinct club that existed between 1965 and 1987. They currently play in the Spartan South Midlands League Division One, the first club was founded as Yiewsley F. C. in 1872, and played on a small area of open ground in Falling Lane, Yiewsley, in Middlesex. The club made its debut in the FA Cup in the 1939–40 season, in 1951 they were one of the 14 clubs who founded the Delphian League. Two seasons later at the end of the 1953–54 campaign they moved to the Corinthian League, in 1958 a decision was made to turn semi-professional, and the club joined the South-East zone of the Southern League. Their most noteworthy achievement until that point was holding Third Division Gillingham to a 2–2 draw on their ground in the first round proper of the 1956–57 FA Cup. Jackie Milburn also played for the club briefly when he retired professional football in the early 1960s. The club renamed itself as Hillingdon Borough in 1964 in line with the local government reorganisation in London that saw the formation of the London Borough of Hillingdon. The change of name saw their fortunes change, as in their season they were promoted to the Premier Division of the Southern League after finishing runners up. Their most successful period followed over the five years. In 1968–69 they finished runners-up to Cambridge United, who were elected to the Football League. The following season, they reached the third round proper of the FA Cup beating Wimbledon and Luton Town before losing to Sutton United 4–1 in a replay. In the 1970–71 season, they reached the FA Trophy final at Wembley losing 3–2 to Telford United and these achievements were all under the managership of Jimmy Langley, who was himself an ex-Yiewsley player. Other notable managers of the club included Barry Fry, latterly of Birmingham City, the club failed to build on the success of the late 1960s and early 1970s. This club ran for two seasons before changing their name back to Burnham, and continue to play in the Southern league. The newly named club then joined the Premier Division of the Spartan League for the start of the 1990–91 campaign, the club would then go on to finish Runners-up twice before the league merged with the South Midlands League to form the Spartan South Midlands Football League. The club was placed in the Premier South Division, in 2006, Hillingdon Borough reached the FA Vase final at St. Andrews, Birmingham, after an 11-game qualification route starting in the competition as early as the 2nd qualifying round
Atherstone Town F.C.
Atherstone Town Football Club is a football club based in Atherstone, Warwickshire, England. They were officially established in 2004 after a club bearing the same name folded in 1979. They currently play in the Midland League Division One, the original Atherstone Town club was formed in 1887, and after drifting between various local leagues, settled in the Birmingham Combination in 1911, where they remained until 1954. Prior to this the Adders had gained recognition by reaching the semi-final of the FA Amateur Cup in both 1907 and 1909. After several decades of varying performance, the 1947–48 season saw the Adders claim the Birmingham Combination League, in 1954 they stepped up to the Birmingham and District League, where they were runners-up in 1972 and moved up to the Southern League. In their first season gained promotion to the Premier Division, where their best position was third in 1973–74. A group of enthusiasts managed to fulfil the teams reserve fixtures in the West Midlands League under the name Atherstone United. In 1982 the new club won promotion to the West Midlands League Premier Division, followed in 1986–87 by winning the Premier Division title, two years later they were promoted again, to the Southern League Premier Division, where they finished as high as 4th. However, the end of the 1999–00 season saw Atherstone relegated for the first time in either incarnation, the situation at the club worsened and in September 2003 Atherstone United were put into liquidation. Again a group of supporters formed a new Atherstone Town club, in their debut season the new Atherstone Town were accepted into the Midland Combination Division One, winning the league and promotion at the first attempt along with the Presidents Cup. In the 2005–06 season, they were the champions of the Midland Combination Premier Division, further success in 2005–06 came in the Birmingham County FA Midweek Floodlit Cup and the Midland Combination Endsleigh Challenge Cup. In the 2007–08 season, the club won again as champions of the Midland Football Alliance. The first season in the Southern League Midland Division saw the Adders in the top three for most of the season, at the end they finished third behind champions Leamington and near neighbours Nuneaton Town. They made the play-offs, only to lose to Chasetown and they did however win the GX Southern League Cup for the first time after beating Bridgwater Town in the two legged final. Due to financial problems, the club had to resign from the Southern League mid-way during the 2010–11 season, in 2011–12 they played in the Midland Football Alliance but were relegated at the end of the season to the Midland Combination Premier Division. The team were managed by Dale Belford, his assistant manager is Steve Hinks, Reserve team manager is Richard Smith and Youth Team manager Mark Grainger and first team coach is Wayne Chapman. However Belford moved back to Tamworth, and the club are now managed by Mark Grainger, disorder broke out at an FA Cup game against Barrow at Sheepy Road on 12 October 2013, when Atherstone fans invaded the pitch and were involved in clashes with visiting supporters. The following February when 29 Atherstone fans were charged in court for their conduct months earlier, in November 2015, those charged were sentenced to prison sentences for their violent behaviour
Weymouth Football Club is an English football club based in the town of Weymouth, who currently play in the Southern League Premier Division. The club is affiliated to the Dorset County Football Association and is a FA chartered Standard club, Weymouth Football Club were founded in 1890 and played their first game on 24 September of that year. Nicknamed The Terras due to their terracotta strip, the won the Dorset Junior Cup for the first three seasons, becoming a senior club as the team rose in stature. Founder members of the Dorset League, Weymouth joined the Western League in 1907–08, the club embraced full-time professionalism in 1923 after winning the Western League, joining the Southern League in the process. By 1928–29, with debts mounting, the club withdrew from the Southern League to become once again. They climbed back up the table and reached the Premier League and then folded for five years, the Second World War saw an end to football in Weymouth as the Recreation Ground was requisitioned for the War effort in 1939. The club reformed in 1947 on a basis, and soon achieved promotion back into the Southern League. The club suffered a tragedy on 28 February 1967 when player Dick Keith was killed in a building site accident at the age of 33. Keith had previously played in the Football League for Newcastle United and Bournemouth, Weymouth have enjoyed considerable FA Cup success since first entering in 1893–94. They first reached the stages in 1905–06 when they were thrashed 12–1 by Gainsborough Trinity. In 1949 they lost 4–0 at Maine Road to Manchester United in the Third round, in 2005, the team held former European Champions Nottingham Forest to a 1–1 draw at the City Ground, before losing 2–0 in the replay. In the 2006–07 FA Cup, Weymouth held Bury to a 2–2 draw at home, on 21 October 1987, Manchester United came to play against Weymouth on the night of the stadium unveiling by Ron Greenwood. Weymouth won 1–0 against Manchester United which included such as Remi Moses. Peter Conning scored the goal for the Terras, within a season they had turned the club around from relegation fodder to just missing out on promotion to the Conference. Gates also increased from around 500 to 1,200, Harrison sacked Claridge within a month. When the team dropped down the league, Johnson was sacked by Harrison in March 2005 with Garry Hill taking over. The club won promotion to the Conference in May 2006 but at a heavy price with large loans from Harrison to meet soaring wage bills of around £20,000 a week. At the clubs 2005 AGM, Harrison confirmed plans, pending local authority approval, to re-develop the Wessex Stadium and this now looks very unlikely with local planners opposed to such a deal
Dartford Football Club is an English association football club based in Dartford, Kent. The club participates in the National League South, the tier of English football. After finishing as champions of the Isthmian League Division One North in the 2007–08 season and they finished in 8th position in their first season. They were crowned champions of the Isthmian League Premier Division in their second season and that season they finished in 10th place, but once again gained promotion at the second attempt in 2011–12, by winning the play off final, after finishing second in the table. Since the 2012–13 season they have playing in the Conference Premier. Home matches are played at the environmentally friendly stadium, Princes Park. The club was formed in 1888 by members of the Dartford Working mens club and they have also reached the final of the FA Trophy once. Dartford Football Club was formed in 1888 by members of the Dartford Working Mens Club, the club soon was entering cup competitions, reaching the final of the Kent Senior Cup in 1894. Following this, Dartford were founder members of the Kent League for the 1894–95 season, Two seasons later, Dartford became founder members of the Southern League Division Two, winning the Championship at the first attempt. The club moved between the Southern and Kent Leagues several times over the seasons, dropping to the West Kent League in the 1900s. Around the same time the club found its first permanent home ground, Summers Meadow in Lowfield Street, in 1908–09 Dartford won the West Kent League and Cup double and rejoined the Kent League where they remained until the outbreak of the First World War. In 1913 Dartford undertook a tour of Norway culminating in a 6–1 win over a Norway XI. Darts continued their association with the Kent League, winning the cup in 1923–24. At the start of the 1930s the Dartford Board appointed the successful Kettering Town manager, Bill Collier, the Scot continued his pattern of success with Dartford and won trophies by the shoal during the decade leading up to the 1939–45 war. In county football Dartford won the Kent Senior Cup four times in five seasons, in addition Dartford gained a reputation nationally by becoming the first club outside the Football League to reach the FA Cup Third Round Proper in successive seasons. In 1935–36 Dartford lost to a star-studded Derby County by 3–2 at the Baseball Ground having at one time led by 2–0, leading player Fred Dell was transferred to West Ham United for a reported £2,000 immediately after the game. The following season saw Dartford lose 0–1 at home to Darlington at the same stage, for a decade and a half following the 1939–1945 war, Dartford had little to show for its efforts except for a sparkling win over Bromley in Kent Senior Cup in 1947. Included in the Dartford line-up that day was Ted Croker, later to become the Secretary of the Football Association, soon after this win Dartford transferred Riley Cullum and Fred Alexander to Charlton Athletic for £6,000, which wiped out the clubs debts entirely
Northern Premier League
The Northern Premier League is one of the regional football leagues in England which sits directly below the National League featuring semi-professional and amateur clubs. Geographically, the covers all of Northern England, and the northern areas of the Midlands. Originally just one division, a division was added in 1987. This new division was split twenty years later into Division One North, together with the Southern League and the Isthmian League it forms level 7–8 of the English football league system. It is, however, also possible for teams to be promoted to the National League South. Due to title sponsorship deals, the league has been billed under various names, including a spell as the Unibond League. When this deal ended in 2010, a new deal was announced which will see the competition billed as the Evo-Stik League until at least the 2015–16 season. At that time they were the highest level non-League division below The Football League, the level as the other league in Northern England. From 1992–93 to 1994–95 the Leagues Division One included two clubs, Caernarfon Town from Wales and Gretna from Scotland, who have since joined their countries league systems. Colwyn Bay, Bangor City, Newtown, and Rhyl have also played in the league, the first sponsors of the NPL were Multipart who sponsored the 1985–86 season. The sponsors after this were, HFS Loans, Unibond and Evo-Stik, since 2007, the NPL has had three divisions, the Premier Division, Division One North and Division One South. Prior to 2007 there was just a single Division One, the Premier Division has 24 clubs, with the champions promoted to the National League along with the winners of a playoff between the second to fifth place clubs. From the 2009–10 season, Division One North and South have 22 clubs each, in each division, the champions are promoted to the Premier Division, along with the winners of a playoff between the second to fifth place clubs. The bottom two clubs in each division are relegated to one of the leagues below provided there are enough suitable promotion candidates from those leagues. The champions of the three feeder leagues covering the NPL area are promoted each season and these are the Northern League, the Northern Counties East League, and the North West Counties League. Clubs in the extremities of the Midland League and the United Counties League may also be promoted to the Northern Premier League. Division One North and South teams receive a bye to the Preliminary Round of FA Cup Qualification, Premier Division teams receive a bye to the First Round of Qualification. The league has two knockout competitions, all clubs in the three leagues play in the Challenge Cup
Altrincham Football Club is a semi-professional football club in Altrincham, Greater Manchester, England. They are currently members of the National League North and play at Moss Lane, the club were established by a Sunday school around 1891 as Rigby Memorial Club. They soon merged with local team, Grapplers, to form Broadheath Football Club. Their first match in the league on 16 September 1893 saw them lose 7–0 to Hulme, after playing at various grounds in Broadheath, Timperley and Altrincham, the club moved to Pollitts Field in 1903, at which point they changed their name to Altrincham. They won the Cheshire Amateur Cup in their first season under the new name and they won the Manchester League again in 1906–07, and moved to their Moss Lane ground in 1910. In 1911 the club joined Division Two of the Lancashire Combination and they finished as runners-up in their first season in the division, only missing out on the title on goal average and earning promotion to Division One. They remained in Division One until World War I, in 1934–35 they reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, losing 1–0 at Gainsborough Trinity. After missing out the 1945–46 season, they rejoined the Cheshire County League in 1946, achieving little success until the 1960s, when Altrincham director Noel White hired Freddie Pye as manager. A key turning point in the history of the club is often cited as the signing of Jackie Swindells in 1965, helping Altrincham to the first of back-to-back Cheshire County League titles, scoring over 120 goals in the league in both seasons. After finishing as runners-up in 1967–68, they were members of the Northern Premier League in 1968. The following season went one better in the FA Trophy, reaching the Wembley final. In 1978–79 they finished as runners-up in the Northern Premier League, although they finished as the top non-League club in the ballot, they received only 13 votes to the 37 received by Halifax Town, the lowest-placed Football League club. The leagues inaugural season saw Altrincham crowned champions, the next two seasons saw the club finish in mid-table, together with another FA Trophy final appearance in 1981–82, this time losing 1–0 to Enfield. This was followed by four consecutive top-five finishes between 1984 and 1987 and a second FA Trophy win in 1985, beating Runcorn 1–0 in the final. The 1985–86 season saw them one of the biggest FA Cup giant-killings of all time when they defeated top division Birmingham City 2–1 at Birminghams St Andrews. The club then returned to mid-table with occasional successful seasons, finishing third in 1990–91, after finishing bottom of the Conference in 1996–97 the club were relegated to the Premier Division of the Northern Premier League. An eighth-place finish in 1997–98 saw them return to the Conference two seasons later as Premier Division champions, however, they lasted only a single season in the Conference as they finished second-from-bottom and were relegated back to the Northern Premier League. A twelfth-place finish in 2003–04 saw them qualify for the newly formed Conference North and they finished fifth in the new division in its first season, qualifying for the promotion play-offs
F.C. Halifax Town
F. C. Halifax Town is a semi-professional association football club based in Halifax, West Yorkshire, England. The club participates in the National League North, the tier of English football. They replaced Halifax Town A. F. C. which went into administration in the 2007–08 season, huge tax debts buried Halifax Town A. F. C. after almost 100 years as a football club. New figures put to a creditors meeting in May 2008 showed the cash-strapped Shaymen owed over £800,000 to Her Majestys Revenue. The Revenue refused any deal and that finished the club – already over £2 million in the red. It was originally thought the club owed the taxman around £500,000, but the news that it owed £814,000 meant that even if all the other creditors had accepted the 2. 5p-in-the-pound offer originally on the table it would not have been enough. Halifax appealed against the decision to them from the Football Conference. Though the appeal was rejected on 11 June, the hope was that Halifax could play in the NPL Premier Division. This did not materialise, and eventually Halifax Town were accepted to play in the Northern Premier League Division One North in the new season under the new name FC Halifax Town. The clubs first game under the new name FC Halifax Town was a friendly away against Tamworth on 19 July 2008, there was to be no fairytale ending however, and the game ended in a 2–0 defeat. The clubs first ever victory was against Alsager Town on 26 July 2008 by a 2–0 scoreline, colin Hunter scored the new clubs first ever goal after six minutes. Their first competitive Northern League Division One North match was at The Shay against Bamber Bridge on 16 August 2008, the club got off to a poor start, despite recording their first competitive victory in the next match. However, a 7–1 home win against Salford City in late September seemed to turn the tide for Town and they went on an 8-game unbeaten run,7 of those being victories, and shot to the top of the league table. The run eventually came to an end against Rossendale United, who ended up doing the double over Halifax. Despite the loss, Halifax remained top and more results, including 5–1 and 4–1 victories against Garforth Town and Wakefield respectively. After the Wakefield match however, Halifax won just 2 of their final 14 league games and this poor run led to the sacking of manager Jim Vince, and senior player Nigel Jemson stepped up to the managers position for the remainder of the season. They could only manage 2 draws and so a poor ending to the season cost them dearly, with new manager Neil Aspin taking the helm near the start of close season, Halifax Town got off to a much better start. Promising results in friendlies were consolidated after beating Colwyn Bay 3–0 on their own turf in the first league match of the season
Hartlepool United F.C.
Hartlepool United Football Club is a professional association football club based in Hartlepool, County Durham, England. The team plays in League Two, the tier of the English football league system. Hartlepool play their games at Victoria Park on Clarence Road. The club was founded in 1908 as Hartlepools United Football Athletic Company and their main rivals were Darlington, until that club entered into administration in 2012. Brian Clough began his career at the club in 1965. Under Cyril Knowles management the club won promotion to the Third Division in 1990, in 2005, Hartlepool narrowly missed promotion to the Football League Championship. The team mascot HAngus the Monkey was elected mayor at the 2002 Hartlepool Council election, the club receives vocal support from Jeff Stelling, the presenter of Sky Sports Soccer Saturday. In 1920, the Football League formed a third division and this was based almost entirely in the south, as the new division was created by absorbing virtually the entire top division of the Southern League, with Grimsby Town the only northern representative. This was rectified the following season when a Third Division North was created, brian Clough was invited to manage Hartlepool in 1965. His reaction was, I dont fancy the place, but he took the job, in 1968 the s and the United were dropped from the team name of Hartlepools United. This was in connection with West Hartlepool being absorbed along with the old town of Hartlepool. The appendage of United was restored in 1977, under Len Ashurst, the team slowly began to revive after years of largely indifferent form. Ashurst did precisely that, finishing in 11th in 1973–74, he left the club to manage Gillingham. Ken Hale took over and guided the team to 13th and 14th over the two seasons and also reached the League Cup Fourth round in 1974–75. However, 1976–77 saw a return to the doldrums, Hale was sacked after failing to win any of the first nine games at the start of October and his successor Billy Horner could not stop the rot either, and the team finished in 22nd place. Over the close season the name was changed to its current form of Hartlepool United. A tragedy struck the club a few weeks before the end of the season when 20-year-old player Dave Wiggett was killed in a car crash and it seemed to be only a matter of time before Hartlepool United followed the same way. Once again then, it was a relief for the supporters that Horner managed to make considerable improvements the following season
Southport Football Club are a professional association football club based in Blowick, Southport, Merseyside. The club participates in the National League, the tier of English football. From 1921 to 1978 they were a Football League club and they play their home matches at Haig Avenue, which has a capacity of 6,008. They are known by their nickname the Sandgrounders and it was on Thursday 12 November 1881 that Southport played its first association football match. Although association football was played in the private schools in the late 1870s the original Southport Football Club began as a rugby team. Southport Football Club arranged rugby fixtures for 1881–82, after some heavy defeats, the last recorded being on 15 October 1881, the club switched to association football. On 12 November, six of that lined up when Southport played Bootle second in their first match under Association Rules. Ralph Rylance did more than anyone to establish association football in the town and he came to Southport from Blackburn having played for the Blackburn Law team, a noted eleven in those days. Performances soon improved with him playing, and Tranmere Rovers were beaten twice whilst the Tradesman of Southport, on 7 October 1882, Southport entertained Liverpool Ramblers in their first ever F. A. or English Challenge Cup tie as the competition was called for years. The game was watched by 300 spectators and resulted in a 1–1 draw, in the 1884–85 season the club merged with the Southport Athletic Society and the team moved to the Sports Ground, Sussex Road. As football grew in popularity other clubs sprang up in the town, Southport Wanderers, High Park, Churchtown and Southport Old Boys were amongst the most prominent however Southport Football Club was considered to be the towns premier side. After 5 years existence Southports first football club folded, at least six former Southport players and many of their supporters transferred their affiliations to Southport Wanderers. Southport Wanderers moved to a new ground in Scarisbrick New Road for the 1886–87 season, on 28 September 1886, at a General Meeting held in the Mathers Saleroom, it was unanimously resolved that in future the club be called Southport Football Club. In the summer of 1888, the year the Football League was founded, with the increasing in popularity. The idea met with favour and the meeting called to form such a club took place on 12 June at Scarletts Rooms. At a second meeting, held at the Railway Hotel a week later, at the start of the 1905–06 season Central moved to its present home, Haig Avenue, which was then known as Ash Lane. In 1911, the club became members of the Central League. In 1918, the club was renamed as Southport Vulcan – having been bought by the Vulcan Motor Company – becoming the first club to take a sponsors name
Witney Town F.C.
Witney Town A. F. C. was a football club based in Witney, Oxfordshire. The club dissolved while playing in the Hellenic League Premier Division, the club was formed by a group of Witney Town supporters. Intent on bring senior football back to the town the group registered Witney United FC with the Oxfordshire Football Association in 2001, for almost a year they had little else other than the name. There was no ground, team or manager and that year was all about raising funds and the profile of the club. The club set itself a business plan that targeted a return to Southern League football within five seasons. Finally after much work it all came together. In 2002 WUFC gained a lease on the original Witney Town stadium and were accepted into Division One of the Hellenic League, in its first year the Club struggled to attract local players and finally finished 15th in the Division. The second season saw the move forward finally finishing the season in 4th place and gaining a surprise, last minute. The challenge of promotion was compounded by the fact that the Club would start its third season with its third ever manager. But under the management team of Alan Clark, Steve Paish, the Club also competed, for the first time, in the FA Vase winning through the first three rounds – eventually losing to Deal Town away. Further success was achieved in the Oxfordshire Senior Cup where Witney finally fell to Oxford City in the semi-finals, the 2005–06 season saw United enter the FA Cup for the first time and were very unlucky to bow out after a replay against Southern League high-fliers Clevedon Town. The FA Vase brought similar disappointment as they went out to Truro City at the second hurdle, in October 2005 Alan Clark resigned as 1st Team Manager and Spencer Keyes stepped up from Assistant Manager to replace him. Spencer’s first management move was to recruit Pete Lamont as his No.2, the side went from strength to strength and a top 6 finish was claimed on the very last day of the season to round off an excellent season. United entered 2006–07 with an amount of optimism as the bid to bring Southern League football back to West Oxfordshire. A lack of consistency and too many draws saw them slip away from the leading pack, the club did however reach the Challenge Cup Final before losing 2–1 to Hungerford Town. In the close season Keyes stood down as manager and United moved quickly to appoint Andy Lyne. Lyne had two spells as manager at Witney Town in the nineties and his homecoming was well received by the fans who hoped he could work his magic for a time at Marriotts Stadium. Conservative leader David Cameron was the clubs patron, notable former players include former Liverpool FC manager Brendan Rodgers and MLS coach Ricky King, who is currently working with the New York Red Bulls Academy
Bromsgrove Rovers F.C.
Bromsgrove Rovers F. C. were a non-League football club from the town of Bromsgrove in Worcestershire. The peak of the success was in 1993 when Rovers finished runner-up in the Football Conference. Their ground is used by successor club Bromsgrove Sporting. Bromsgrove Rovers were formed in 1885 and initially played in the local Studley & District League, Rovers were promoted to the Birmingham & District League in 1898, where they were runners up in the 1904–05 season. The club switched to the Birmingham Combination in 1908, where they were to remain until 1954 when it was absorbed into the Birmingham & District League (later renamed the West Midlands League, Rovers were champions of the Combination on two occasions and runners-up on four other occasions. In 1972 Rovers joined the Southern Football League, initially in Division One North, in 1979 the league was re-organised and they were placed in the Midland Division, which they won in 1985–86 to gain a place in the Premier Division. The most successful period in the history is without doubt between 1991 and 1998, particularly under the management of Bobby Hope. In the 1991–92 season a remarkable run saw them win 15 home games in a row and this saw Bromsgrove promoted to the Football Conference, the highest level of non-league football in England. The remarkable form from the season continued during the 1992–93 season. Bromsgrove were one of smallest clubs in the Conference, yet managed to finish runners-up to the eventual champions Wycombe Wanderers, the following season saw Bromsgrove get past the first round of the FA Cup, claiming their only ever league scalp with an away victory over Northampton Town. After another away victory in the round, Bromsgrove were drawn at home to Barnsley. A capacity crowd of 4,893 was in attendance for the game, Bromsgrove were 1–0 up with just two minutes of time remaining, when Barnsley scored two late goals to end up winners. In post-match comments, the Barnsley manager Viv Anderson described his team as the luckiest in the world. During this time Bromsgrove also won the Conference League Cup two years in a row during the 1994–95 and 1995–96 seasons, they were the first team in the history to win it back to back. The 1995–96 final saw Bromsgrove involved in a high scoring 10–2 aggregate victory over Kettering Town, Bromsgrove were eventually relegated from the Conference in 1996–97. By this time Bobby Hope had left as manager, and many of the clubs finest players had either left, retired. These included the inspirational captain Kevin Psycho Richardson, Paul Webb, Chris Hanks and Martyn OConnor, after this the club went into an almost constant decline. Their relegation to the Southern League Premier Division in 1996–97 was followed by relegation to Division One West in 1998–99, promotion back to the Southern League was gained at the first attempt, but the club still found itself a long way removed from its successes of the early 1990s
Barry Town United F.C.
Barry Town United Football Club is an association football team based in Barry. They are known for representing Wales in Europe as winners of the Welsh Premier League and Welsh Cup during the 1990s and early 2000s, the team, which has contained more than 50 full internationals, is now run by supporters. They play at their home of Jenner Park, Barry. Barry Town Uniteds history dates back to 1892 when a football team named Barry. During the early years, this side endured many upheavals, playing on five different grounds under various identities, including Barry Unionist Athletic, Barry United Athletic and Barry District. Players who featured during these years included Ted Vizard and Billy Jennings, in November 1912, a meeting at The Windsor public house in Holton Road saw townsfolk choose to pursue membership of the thriving Southern League as Barry AFC. The club would secure land owned by the Jenner family and the people of the came together to build Jenner Park. On 6 September 1913, Barry played their first ever fixture, the game attracted 4,000 spectators, including 1,000 travelling supporters. Fittingly, the new team would register a surprise, albeit merited, victory, with Barrys Ralph Isherwood scoring the very first goal at Jenner Park just three minutes in. His second, midway through the half, sealed a 2–1 victory, a fine start for the Barry side on, coincidentally. The ensuing two seasons would see Stoke City, Brentford, Coventry City and others visit the new ground, however, the Great War would soon interrupt any competitive proceedings, with Barry captain Major James Wightman one of the many casualties of The Battle of the Somme. The 1920–21 season ranks as one of the finest in Barrys history, the achievement was all the more impressive when considering the small Barry squad played over 100 matches in all competitions during the course of the season. Competing simultaneously in both the Welsh and Western League, the Barry board gave priority to Southern League fixtures, Barry retained membership of the Southern League for more than 60 years – their highest finish being fourth in the 1930s. Among the notable players of the era were Johnny Gardner, Dai Ward, meanwhile, Barry-born sportsman Ernie Carless combined his footballing exploits with a successful cricketing career with Glamorgan. At the end of the 1920s, a crowd of 6,000 at Upton Park saw Barry beat Dagenham 1–0 to progress to the FA Cup 2nd Round and it proved to be their most successful run in the competition. Barry would reach the 1st Round again in 1934–35, losing 1–0 to Northampton Town at Jenner Park, Football again took a backseat in 1939, with the eruption of World War II. In the 1949–50 season, Jenner Park became one of the first grounds in the country to introduce floodlights, with Newport County, Swansea City, two seasons later, an all-Welsh showdown in the FA Cup 1st Round saw Barry beaten by Newport, 4–0. Nevertheless, the town’s most celebrated footballing achievement was right around the corner, in May 1955, following a 1–1 draw at the Racecourse in Wrexham, Barry beat Chester City 4–3 at Ninian Park to lift the Welsh Cup for the first time
Cambridge City F.C.
Cambridge City Football Club is an English football club based in Cambridgeshire, currently playing in the Southern League Premier Division. Formed in 1908, as Cambridge Town, the club have spent their whole history as a club, and have operated as amateur, professional. The club does not own its own ground and currently plays its games at Westwood Road in St Ives. For most of their history, between 1922 and 2013, they played in Cambridge at the City Ground and their home colours are white and black, leading to the clubs nickname of The Lilywhites. The club was founded in 1908 as Cambridge Town F. C. as Cambridge had not been granted city status at that point, the club competed in the Southern Amateur League, developing a fierce rivalry with Ipswich Town that was evident both on and off the pitch. In 1936 the club were invited to apply to the Football League, however, City declined in order that the club should uphold its amateur nature, though Ipswich took up the offer and were elected in 1938. Cambridge was formally granted city status in 1951, both Cambridge Town and their neighbours Abbey United applied to change their name to Cambridge City. The club went on to make five applications to join the Football League between 1959 and 1974, all of which were unsuccessful and they were Southern League Champions in 1962–63 and stayed in the Leagues top division until 1968, when they were relegated and turned semi-professional. They were promoted back to the Premier Division after finishing in the Division One runners-up spot in 1969–70, 1975–76 saw the second relegation in the clubs history, into the Southern Leagues Division One North. They remained here until 1979–80, when a re-organisation of the structure, in order to become a feeder to the newly formed Football Conference. The then board announced that it was to scrap the first team and this prompted the formation of a supporters trust, who within weeks had taken over the running of the club. Though the original deal was not overturned, in May 2008 City were demoted from the Conference South, after their ground failed an FA inspection, to the Southern League Premier Division for the 2008–09 season. Cambridge City have traditionally played in shirts, leading to the club being nicknamed The Lilywhites, they currently play in white shirts, black shorts. Their current away strip is sky blue shirts, sky blue shorts, the clubs badge is a simplified version of the crest of the city of Cambridge, featuring a fortified bridge over a river. The City Ground, was Cambridge Citys home ground from 29 April 1922 until 27 April 2013 and it is located in the Chesterton area of the city, approximately 0.62 miles north of the city centre. In the mid 80s, part of the land the original ground stood on was sold for redevelopment, the capacity of the second ground was approximately 3,000 with 700 seats. The club was in a dispute with their landlords over the ground. The High Court ruled that the club had been misrepresented
Stourbridge Football Club is an English association football club based in the town of Stourbridge, West Midlands. The club currently plays in the Northern Premier League Premier Division, the club was founded in 1876 and was originally known as Stourbridge Standard. The 1923–24 season was one of the best in the history, as they clinched the Birmingham League championship. The club returned to the Birmingham League in 1954 on the disbanding of the Birmingham Combination and were runners-up in 1955–56. The Birmingham Senior Cup was won for a time in 1958–59. Twin strikers Ray Haywood and Chic Bates each notched 50 goals that season and were transferred to Shrewsbury Town, where Bates served 13 years as both player and manager. Another highlight in 1973–74 was a run in the Welsh Cup. A record crowd of 5,726 saw the Glassboys lose the home leg 1–0, Stourbridge were one of the first English semi-professional clubs to tour the South East of the USA in the early Eighties. In 2000 a new owner came to the club, and swiftly appointed Mark Serrell as chairman, along with FA Qualified coach and ex-Birmingham City player Mark Harrison as manager. Despite an influx of new players, continued poor results meant Stourbridges 29-year spell at Southern League level ended with defeat in the last game of the season at Hinckley United in May 2000. With many players moving on, the new management team had to rebuild the side from scratch, the following season saw a memorable run in the FA Vase, culminating in a quarter-final defeat at A. F. C. Sudbury in the quarter-final before finally succumbing to a 4–1 defeat after extra time, in May 2005 Hackett took sole charge of the team after Ford decided to step down due to work and family commitments. After a poor start, a run of 14 league games unbeaten was enough to clinch a runners-up spot and with it promotion back to the Southern League. Victories over Burton Albion and Moor Green also saw the team reach the Birmingham Senior Cup Final for the first time in 30 years, Stourbridges first season back in the Southern League Midlands Division in 2006–07 saw them finish in seventh place. The 2007–08 season saw Stourbridge seal a third-place finish in the Midlands Division to reach the play-offs, however Stourbridge once again suffered heartbreak in the final as Hednesford Town defeated the Glassboys 2–0 at Burton Albions Pirelli Stadium. In the 2009–10 season, Stourbridge reached the FA Cup first round for the first time in their 133-year history and were drawn at home to Walsall, the game ended in a 1–0 defeat for Stourbridge in front of 2,014 fans. In the 2011–12 season, the club won their way through four qualifying rounds to reach the first round of the FA Cup. They were drawn away to League Two side Plymouth Argyle where they drew 3–3 at Home Park to earn themselves a replay, the replay at the War Memorial Ground was chosen for live coverage by ESPN, netting the club over £33,000
Kidderminster Harriers F.C.
Kidderminster Harriers Football Club is a professional association football club based in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, England. The club participates in the National League North, the tier of English football. Formed in 1886, Kidderminster have played at Aggborough Stadium since they were formed and they are the only club from Worcestershire ever to have played in the Football League, competing from 2000 to 2005. Kidderminster Harriers were formed in 1886 from a successful athletics. In July 1880 the Athletics club amalgamated with the local Clarence rugby club to become Kidderminster Harriers, matches were played at White Wickets on the Franche Road in Kidderminster. 1885-6 was the last season played as a club and the Harriers switched to Association rules for the next season. Playing games at Chester Road Harriers first game was 18 September 1886, away to Wilden, the town saw a rival team start up as Kidderminster Olympic in 1887, rapidly becoming one of the best sides in the area. In 1887–88 the club started playing its matches at Aggborough, both Olympic and Harriers were founder members of the Birmingham and District League in 1889, Olympic won the league in 1890, with Harriers runners-up. Both sides regularly attracted crowds of 2–4,000, with the local derbies seeing over 7,000 attending, in 1890 the two clubs amalgamated as Kidderminster FC on a full professional basis, the new club being admitted to the Midland League which had been formed in 1889. The club became the first from the town to enter the FA Cup and after winning 4 qualifying round games and they lost 3–1 away to Darwen but protested the result because of the poor state of the pitch. Their protest was upheld and the tie was replayed a week later, again at Darwen, however the club found things difficult financially as a fully professional club, resigned from the league and were wound up in March 1891. The club reverted to amateur status in the Birmingham and District League the following season as Kidderminster Harriers, the club again reached the 1st Round of the F. A Cup in 1906–07, losing to Oldham Athletic away 5–0. In 1910 the then current England international full-back Jesse Pennington signed for Harriers after a dispute with his then club West Bromwich Albion and he played one game before the dispute was resolved and he returned to Albion. The twenties were hard going for the club as poor form on the pitch, Harriers did manage a League runners-up place in 1924–25. The then Wolves captain George Getgood, also in dispute at the time. The 1927–28 season saw another accusation of bribery, this time against secretary Pat Davis by Cradley Heath, during an investigation Davis admitted he had offered Burton Town players a ten shillings bonus if they managed to beat Worcester City in the last match of the season. The match was drawn so the bonus was never paid, the case made the national newspapers and Pat Davis was temporarily suspended from all duties. In 1935–36 a new scoring record for the club was set, Harriers did not win the West Midlands League until 1938, finishing the season undefeated
Banbury United F.C.
Banbury United Football Club is a football club based in Banbury, Oxfordshire, England. They are currently members of the Premier Division of the Southern League, the club was established in 1931 as Spencer Sports Club, a works team of the Spencer Corsets factory. They initially played matches, with their first match against St Johns of the Oxfordshire Junior League played on 29 August 1931. In 1933 they joined the Banbury division of the Oxfordshire Junior League, later in the season they were renamed Banbury Spencer, and went on to win the league title in their first season. They then joined the Oxfordshire Senior League for the 1934–35 season, after winning the league at the first attempt, they were elected to the Birmingham Combination. After World War II the club turned professional, the 1947–48 season saw them finish as runners-up in the Combination and reach the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, where they lost 2–1 at Colchester United. The league was reduced to a division in 1960. The 1961–62 season had seen the club reach the FA Cup first round again, in 1965 the club was renamed Banbury United after a change in ownership, and at the end of the 1965–66 season they transferred to Division One of the Southern League. When Division One was split into two divisions in 1971, the club was placed in Division One North, in 1972–73 they reached the first round of the FA Cup for a third time, this time losing 2–0 at home to Barnet. The following season saw them repeat the feat, this time losing 3–2 at Northampton Town in a replay after a 0–0 draw at home, after winning the Premier Division in 1999–2000, Banbury were promoted to Division One East of the Southern League. An eighth-place finish in 2003–04 was enough to be promoted to the Premier Division after the creation of the Conference North and South led to clubs being moved up a division. The season also saw the win the Oxfordshire Senior Cup. They remained in the Premier Division until the end of the 2014–15 season, in August 2015, a supporter-led Community Benefit Society took formal control of the club. Their first season in Division One South and West saw them finish as runners-up, after beating Winchester City 1–0 in the semi-finals, they defeated Taunton Town 2–0 in the final to earn promotion back to the Premier Division. The club has played at the Spencer Stadium on Station Approach since the start of the 1934–35 season, when the club joined the Southern League in 1966, floodlights were installed and a new clubhouse was built to replace the railway carriages that the club had used for changing rooms. Financial problems led to the deteriorating, and the main stand was closed in 1985 before being demolished in 1990. A new stand was built on the touchline in the summer of 2000. Both ends of the ground had uncovered terracing installed, with the other touchline having terracing along half its length, the ground currently has a capacity of 6,500, of which 250 is seated and covered. C
Gloucester City A.F.C.
The club was established in 1883 as Gloucester, they became Gloucester City in 1902, but were briefly known as Gloucester YMCA from 1910 to 1925, before returning to their previous name. The club has competed in the Conference North since 2009, having been promoted from the Southern Premier League at the end of the 2008–09 season and it spent a record 70 years within the Southern Football League from 1939 until 2009. The club secured promotion after a Playoff final win against Farnborough, in July 2007, the club was considerably affected by the Gloucestershire floods with their Meadow Park stadium under eight feet of water. The floods have meant the club has been in exile away from Gloucester since 2007, the current team manager is Tim Harris. The club is affiliated to the Gloucestershire County FA, the club was formed on 5 March 1883 as Gloucester, but the first recorded match came during 1883–84 when a scratch team representing Cheltenham played a match against the new Gloucester side. Gloucesters first competitive game in October 1889 was a Gloucestershire FA Junior Challenge Cup 1st Round tie beating Clifton Association Reserves 10–0 at Buddings Field, the club became members of the Bristol and District League which subsequently became the Western League. During this era the club was noted as The Gloucestrians and The Citizens in local media, after the end of the First World War in 1918 most of the players who had been with City joined Gloucester YMCA. By 1925 they had assumed the name of Gloucester City once more and had become members of the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League. In 1939 the club played in the Southern Football League for the very first time, albeit in a wartime competition. After the war City rejoined the Southern League and went on to become the Leagues longest serving members. For three consecutive seasons, 1948–51, the reached the First Round of the FA Cup, each time losing to Football League opponents, Mansfield Town, Norwich City. It took until the 1955–56 season for Gloucester to taste their first success in the Southern League. A famous Southern League Cup final win against Yeovil Town in which City had lost the first leg 4–1, only to beat Yeovil 5–1 in the second leg, won the club their first major honour. In 1964 the club moved again, from Longlevens to the massive Horton Road stadium, closer to the centre of Gloucester. Although Gloucester City were promoted to the Southern Football League Premier Division in the 1968–69 season, in the 1981–82 season a sixth-place finish was enough to clinch a place in the reformed Premier Division. They were also runners-up in the League Cup, going down 1–2 to Wealdstone, despite Kim Casey scoring 40 goals, the club were relegated to the Midland Division in 1984–85, after 3 seasons in the Premier Division. In 1986 the club moved once more, this time to Meadow Park, the Horton Road ground became a housing estate which now boasts the names of City legends, Myers Road, Etheridge Place and Coltman Close amongst others. Former Aston Villa and Wales player Brian Godfrey was appointed manager in 1988, the next big achievement of the Godfrey years was the famous FA Cup run in 1989–90 which has still not been matched
Leicester United F.C.
Leicester United Football Club was an English football team based in the East Midlands city of Leicester, Leicestershire. They were wound up in 1996, four away from their centenary. The club was previously called Enderby Town Football Club which was founded in 1900 and they remained in the local Leicestershire Senior League for many years until 1969 when they left the league. In 1972 they joined the Southern League where they remained for the rest of their existence, in 1983, the club changed its name to Leicester United, to reflect a move from their original home in Enderby to a new ground at Winchester Road, Blaby. They were wound up in 1996, the clubs best FA Cup run came in the 1977–78 season where they reached the 1st Round proper of the competition. They lost 6–1 away to AP Leamington in that round, in 1986–87, they played their only ever home match at the home stadium of local rivals Leicester City. It was an FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round Replay in which United beat North Ferriby United 4–2, the clubs last ever FA Cup tie was a 5–2 away defeat to Bilston Town in the 2nd Qualifying Round in the 1995–96 season. For many years, Leicester United were the top side in Leicestershire. The highest the club finished was 8th in the Southern Premier League in 1987–88, the Southern Premier League at that time was the 6th tier of English football. The club were relegated the following season, in their final season, 1995–96, they finished 16th in the Southern League Midlands Division. They went out of business just a few games into the start of the 1996–97 season due to financial problems, players that have played/managed in the Football League or any foreign equivalent to this level. Players that hold a record or have captained the club
King's Lynn F.C.
Kings Lynn Football Club was an English association football club based in Kings Lynn, Norfolk. The club is said to have been reformed 1879, and they were wound up at the High Court on 25 November 2009 with debts of £77,000, the club was re-formed in January 2010 as Lynn FC and later renamed Kings Lynn Town. It is not known when Kings Lynn first had a football club there is mention of it existing in 1868. Known locally as Lynn Town, it is said they did not adopt the name Kings Lynn until 1953, in 1882–83 they won the Norfolk Senior Cup and went on to win it three more times in the next seven years. In 1897 they were members of the Norfolk & Suffolk League and were champions four times before World War I. After the war they won four titles between 1921–22 and 1924–25. During this period the club played in the East Anglian League. They left in 1946 to join the United Counties League, in 1953–54 they won the league and league cup, and at the end of the season stepped up to the Midland League. Four years later joined the Southern League when it added a second division. After a transitional season in the South East Division, they qualified for a place in the Premier Division and they were relegated to Division One at the end of the 1961–62 season, but returned to the Premier Division after finishing second in 1963–64. They won four successive East Anglian Cups between 1964–65 and 1967–68, but were relegated again at the end of the 1970–71 season, in 1980 the club transferred to the Northern Premier League, winning the Presidents Cup in their third season in the league. In 1983 they returned to the Southern League and won the East Anglian Cup again in 1984–85 and they were relegated to the Midland Division at the end of the 1986–87 season, where they remained until finishing second in 1995–96 and earning promotion back to the Premier Division. They were relegated again in 2001–02, but returned to the Premier Division after winning Division One East in 2003–04 and they won the League Cup in 2004–05 and qualified for the promotion play-offs in 2005–06 and 2006–07, but lost on both occasions. Although they were promoted to the Conference North as champions in 2007–08, midway through their first season back in the Northern Premier League the club folded due to financial difficulties. Kings Lynn reserves played in the Peterborough & District League between 1928 and 1954, winning the title in 1950–51 and 1953–54 and they then spent a season in the United Counties League, before returning to the Peterborough & District League. After a third title in 1956–57 they left to join the Central Alliance, however, after applying for the reserve team to join the Eastern Counties League every year since 1956, they were finally successful in 1959. They remained in the ECL until 1971 when they returned to the Peterborough & District League and they won the Norfolk Senior Cup in 1982–83 and the league title in 1984–85. They returned to the ECL when it added a division in 1988
Corby Town F.C.
Corby Town Football Club is a football club based in Corby, Northamptonshire, England. They are currently members of the Northern Premier League Premier Division, the club was established in 1948, taking over from Stewarts & Lloyds as the main team in the town. The new team contained a mix of Stewarts & Lloyds and new players and their first league match saw them win 5–1 against Wellingborough Town. In front of a crowd of 6,294, Corby lost the match, in 1954–55 the club reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, losing 2–0 at home to Watford. In 1958 Corby transferred to the Southern League, spending their first season in the North-Western Division, despite only finishing sixth in 1961–62, Corby applied for election to the Football League. However, they failed to receive a single vote, after finishing seventh the following season the club applied again, and again received no votes. In 1963–64 they reached the first round of the FA Cup for a second time and they appeared in the first round again the following season, losing 3–1 at home to Hartlepools United. The season also saw them finish fourth in Division One, earning promotion to the Premier Division, in the third round they were beaten 6–0 at Plymouth Argyle. The club applied for Football League membership for a fourth time, the club made their final application in 1966–67, again receiving no votes. The following season saw another FA Cup first round appearance but ended in relegation to Division One, in 1971 the club were placed in Division One North after league reorganisation. Further reorganisation in 1979 and 1982 saw them placed in the Midland Division, after finishing bottom of the Premier Division in 1994–95, the club were relegated again. In 1998 they were moved to the Division One South, after being transferred to Division One West in 2004, they were moved back to Division One East the following season. In 2005–06 they finished second, and were promoted to the Premier Division, the 2008–09 season saw Corby win the Premier Division, earning promotion to the Conference North. In 2010–11 the club reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time since the 1960s and they appeared in the first round again the following season, losing 3–1 at Bristol Rovers. After four seasons in the Conference North, Corby were relegated at the end of the 2012–13 season and they were Southern League Premier Division champions again in 2014–15 and were promoted back to the renamed National League North. However, another relegation in 2015–16 saw the club relegated to the Premier Division of the Northern Premier League, the club originally played at Occupation Road. The new ground was opened on 6 September 1985 by Neil Kinnock, in 2011 the club moved to Steel Park, built adjacent to the athletics stadium. The first match was played on 25 July 2011, a 2–0 win over Notts County and it has a capacity of 3,893, of which 577 is seated. C
Tamworth Football Club is an English football club based in Tamworth, Staffordshire. The club participates in the National League North, the tier of English football. The club were formed in 1933 after the previous Tamworth club, Tamworth Castle and they originally played at The Jolly Sailor Ground but after a year moved into The Lamb Ground. Local rivals include Burton Albion and Nuneaton Town, and to a lesser degree Atherstone Town, Bedworth United, the team are currently managed by Andy Morrell, and the current club captain is Paul Green. The town of Tamworth had been represented at football by Tamworth Castle F. C. until the club folded in 1933. This void was filled thanks to a campaign started by a letter from a businessman in the local newspaper setting in motion the formation of Tamworth F. C. Originally playing next to the Jolly Sailor pub, the moved to their present ground, The Lamb Ground. Tamworth began life competing in the Birmingham Combination, before joining the West Midlands League,1972 saw Tamworth promoted to the Southern League, but a period of falling attendances and financial difficulties followed. The club returned to the West Midlands League, and it was taken over by a consortium of businessmen in 1984. In 1987–88 Tamworth won the League and were promoted back to the Southern League, Tamworth, managed by Graham Smith, won the FA Vase in 1989, beating Sudbury Town. The final was played at Wembley Stadium, but the game finished 1–1, the replay was played at London Road, the home of Peterborough United, and Tamworth won 3–0 to lift the FA Vase for the first time. Tamworth won promotion to the Football Conference in 2002–03 after winning the Southern League in 2001–02 and that year, Tamworth earned a 3–3 draw on the final day at Folkestone Invicta while Kettering Town won, passing Tamworth for first place and winning promotion to the Football Conference. Tamworth also reached the final of the FA Trophy in 2002–03 season where they played Burscough but were denied a double, losing 2–1. The club completed perhaps their highest profile signing of all time on 23 February 2006, with the capture of former Arsenal, Aston Villa, Walsall and English national midfielder Paul Merson. However, the arrangement meant that until the end of the season, the arrangement however only lasted two games, although Merson only played once in the 2–1 home loss to Halifax Town. Merson was dropped to the bench for the game, which was a 5–0 defeat away to Grays Athletic. Merson later announced his retirement from football as a player on 9 March 2006. Although the club finished the 2005–06 season in 21st position, in the Conference National, the Lambs did, however, reach the 3rd round of the FA Cup for the first time that season
Merthyr Tydfil F.C.
Merthyr Tydfil Football Club was a Welsh football club based at the Penydarren Park ground in Merthyr Tydfil. In 2010 the club was liquidated and reformed under the name Merthyr Town, the club was formed in 1945, and joined the Welsh League. In their first season, they finished as runners-up, and joined the Southern League, the club were immensely successful in their first few seasons, winning the championship in 1947–48, 1949–50, 1950–51, 1951–52 and 1953–54. In the 1947–48 championship-winning season, Merthyr only dropped one point at home, however, despite their success, the club failed to be elected to the Football League. The 1950–51 season ended with Merthyr winning the Southern League, the Welsh Cup, the Southern League Cup and this time, winning the championship meant promotion to the Football Conference, the fifth level of English football. The club finished ninth in their first two seasons, and then fourth, however, they then went into decline, and were relegated back to the Southern League in 1995, where they remained until reforming in 2010. They should have been relegated a season earlier, but were reprieved when Northern Premier League champions Marine failed to meet the criteria for the league. The clubs best FA Cup performance was reaching the second round, the only time the club managed to defeat a Football League club in the FA Cup was in the first round of the 1946–47 cup, when they beat Bristol Rovers 3–1. The club were more successful in the Welsh Cup, which they won on three occasions,1949,1951 and 1987. In addition, the finished as runners-up in 1947 and 1952. After winning the final in 1987, the club were allowed to enter the European Cup Winners Cup, in the first round, they were drawn against the Italian club Atalanta. The club managed a win in the first leg at home, however, the return leg was lost 2–0, and the club were out. Historically, the clubs biggest rivals are Gloucester City, the two clubs played over 120 times in their history, making it one of the most played Anglo-Welsh derbies in football. In the late 1990s and early 2000s Newport County were local rivals but the teams have not met in the same league for many years