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Sleaford Town Football Club

www.sleafordtownfc.co.uk

HEADLINES

Website last updated: 18 Jul, 2014 @ 10:27

History

Sleaford Town Football Club - Founded 1923

On the long journey from foundation to the present-day football club, there have been three name changes, seven colour changes, no less than eight different venues, a myriad of league and cup competitions and an unprecedented level of silverware success...


The actual origin has been traced back precisely to the morning of Christmas Day 1920, when a group of enthusiasts from the Sleaford branch of the YMCA and its associated Red Triangle Social Club (named after the shape and colour of the YMCA badge) played a friendly match against an established club from Ruskington. A win by six goals to nil encouraged the team to continue, although only with friendly fixtures. Then in the summer of 1923 came the decision to formalise, with entry into the Ruskington League as Sleaford Red Triangle for the 1923/24 season. Continuity is indisputably in evidence through to the current organisation, authenticating 1923 as the founding year.


During the 1927/28 season there was a change of name to Sleaford Amateurs. In 1931/32 the club won its first trophy, the prestigious Culverthorpe Cup. The next few seasons brought wins in the Culverthorpe League and Cup, the Ruskington League, the Bourne Hospital Cup and the Blankney Hunt League.


In keeping with many other organisations, Sleaford Amateurs went into hibernation for the duration of the Second World War, to be reformed in 1946/47. The next two decades brought various ups and downs, with wins in the Culverthorpe Cup, Ruskington Medals and the Blankney Hunt League and Cup. The biggest win came in 1952 with the capture of the renowned Lincoln Amateur Cup, the final played at Sincil Bank. On the other side of the coin, a crisis in the early 1960s almost brought the club to its knees; only to be saved by a committee of players determined to keep it afloat.


For the 1966/67 season there was a move to a new council-owned recreation site a short distance from the old ground, along with a second Lincoln League title, several local cup competitions and another win in the Lincoln Amateur Cup. This new ground, known (appropriately) as The Rec., brought disenchantment and many years of controversy, as the facilities fell way below required standards, holding back further progress.


Another change of name in June 1968 brought the adoption of the current designation of Sleaford Town. (There had been several other organisations known as Sleaford Town at various times in the past, but none with any line of succession to the present-day club). Also, there was a switch from local football into the Lincolnshire League, with a Division Two title at the first attempt and promotion to the top bracket of county-league football. Further successes came in the Lincolnshire Junior Cup, the Billingborough Cup, the Culverthorpe Cup and two local Challenge Cups. In 1973/74 the club won the prized Lincolnshire League Charity Cup.


In the summer of 1979, former Sleaford Amateurs player Brian Rowland returned to the club as Player-Manager, after spells with Lincoln City and Grantham Town, among others. In the three decades of his stewardship he became not only one of the longest-serving managers in the country, but the most successful manager at county-league level. Those successes includde...


Lincolnshire League titles - 1980/81, 2003/04


Lincolnshire Senior B Cup - 1985/86, 1999/2000, 2001/02, 2002/03, 2003/04, 2005/06


Lincolnshire League Challenge Cup - 1980/81, 1989/90, 1990/91


Lincolnshire League Supplementary Cup - 1988/89, 2001/02, 2002/03


United Counties Division One title - 2005/06


Sleaford Town's move into the United Counties League came in 2004/05. However, to meet the required standards of the competition it meant leaving The Rec after almost forty years, for the temporary venue of RAF Cranwell. There was a Division One title the next season but promotion to the top bracket had to wait, as work on the new purpose-built facility of Eslaforde Park was not quite complete. That move came the following year when the side won promotion to the Premier Division from second place. Recent years have brought the realisation of long-standing ambitions, with the club entering the FA Vase and the FA Cup.


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This season 2009/10 saw the advent of a new committee and many changes to manager Brian Rowland's playing staff. New Chairman Tony Farrow paid tribute to predecessor Kevin Scrupps and his team for the commitment over many years, which brought about the development of the facilities the football club enjoys today.


Sleaford Town a potted history courtesy of Lloyd Harmston.