Bath City F.C.

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Not to be confused with Bath Rugby.
Bath City
Bath City logo
Full name Bath City Football Club
Founded 1889 as Bath AFC.
Ground Mayday Trust ParkTwerton Park, Bath
Ground Capacity 8,840 (1,006 seated)
Chairman Paul Williams
Manager Lee Howells
League Conference South
2013–14 Conference South, 7th

Bath City Football Club is an English football club based in Bath, Somerset. The club participates in the Conference South, the sixth tier of English football.

Formed in 1889 as Bath AFC, Bath City's history is entirely in non-league football missing out on election to the Football League by a few votes in 1978.[1] They changed their name to Bath Railway in 1902 before settling on the name Bath City F.C.[2]

After many years playing in the upper echelons of non-league football they spent a decade in the Southern Football 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. They have reached the FA cup third round six times. In 2004 they lost in the FA Cup second round to Peterborough United and in the third round of the FA Trophy to Canvey Island. 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. At the close of the 2010–11 season, the club secured a top 10 placing in the Conference National, their highest league finish since 1993.

History[edit]

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. Here they remained until the Second World War when they were by chance accepted to join the temporary Division Two Northern Division competing with the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United and Everton, finishing the eventual champions, thereby becoming the only semi-professional side ever to win a Football League trophy. 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 [1] so they became founder members of the Alliance Premier League, now the Conference National. They finished runners-up at this level in 1985 but champions Wealdstone did not meet Football League stadium capacity requirements, so Bath City were allowed to apply for election to the Football League Fourth Division (the election system was in its penultimate season before the introduction of automatic promotion and relegation). 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.

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 they 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 a football 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.

On 9 May 2010 Bath City won the Conference South Play-off Final against Woking 1–0 and returned to the Conference Premier for the first time since 1997.

On 25 November 2010 Bath City's away game in the Conference against Histon was televised on Premier Sports where Bath City won 2–1 making it Bath City's second live televised football match after the FA Cup Tie v Hereford United shown on BSkyB on 5 December 1993.Their 3rd live televised match was in 2011 when Bath city lost 3–1 a.e.t against Dagenham and Redbridge on ESPN. 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 terrible run of bad results, therefore being relegated from the Conference National, needing 17 points from the remaining five fixtures to stay up. They were the first football club in the top five divisions of England to be relegated. They are currently playing in the Conference South following this relegation.

The club's performances have been mixed since, with the club just three points from the Play Offs in the 2013/14 season. The club announced Tilley's Bistro as their new sponsor in July 2014 during a sponsor's draw. Jako was also announced as the new kit supplier in July 2014.

Ground[edit]

Bath City play their home games at Twerton Park, Twerton, Bath, Somerset, BA2 1DB.

Twerton Park became Bath City's ground in 1932; it is located in Twerton, a suburb of Bath. It currently has a ground capacity of 8,840 with a seating capacity of 1,006. A record attendance of 18,020 was recorded in 1960 versus Brighton & Hove Albion.

Between 1986 and 1996, Bath City shared Twerton Park with Bristol Rovers, a Football League club. It has also hosted Team Bath, who were a full-time professional team playing in the Conference South until their resignation at the end of the 2008–09 season.

On 21 August 2008 Bath City's chairman Geoff Todd stated that "the club held talks with Bath Rugby over a possible ground share at the Rec" meaning in the future, Bath City could move to the Recreation Ground. At the end of the 2011/12 season the club offered the naming rights to Twerton Park for just £50. The offer drew 167 entries from as far afield as the US, Australia, Norway and Singapore which raised £3,850 for the club. Businesses made up 58 of the entries with only a handful of the remaining personalised entries being deemed unsuitable. The winning entry drawn at random was The Mayday Trust, a charitable organisation that helps to rehome vulnerable people.


Honours[edit]

Bath City's honours include the following:

Club records[edit]

  • Highest league finishing position: 4th in Football Conference 1984–85
  • Best individual league position: 1st in Southern League 1959–60 and 1977–78 (Level 5 in old league system)
  • Best FA Cup performance: 3rd round replay, 1963–64 and 1993–94
  • Best FA Trophy performance: 3rd round replay, 1991–92 and 1995–96

Current squad[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
England GK Jason Mellor
England DF Dan Ball
England DF Dan Bowman
England DF Andy Gallinagh
England DF Jim Rollo
England DF Sekani Simpson
England DF Martin Slocombe
England DF Phil Walsh
No. Position Player
England MF Ben Adelsbury
England MF Chris Allen
England MF Frankie Artus
England MF Joe Burnell
England FW Chas Hemmings
England FW Dave Pratt
England FW Ross Stearn
England FW Andy Watkins

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bath City Football club". City of Bath. Archived from the original on 21 November 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-21. 
  2. ^ "Bath City History". Archived from the original on 29 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-09. 

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]