Braintree Town F.C.
|Full name||Braintree Town Football Club|
|Ground||Cressing Road, Braintree|
|Capacity||4,202 (553 seated)|
|2013–14||Conference Premier, 6th|
Braintree Town Football Club is an English football club based in Braintree, Essex. The club participates in the Conference Premier, the fifth tier of English football. The team play their home matches at Cressing Road.
The club was formed in 1898 as Manor Works, the works team of the Crittall Window Company, from which they gained their nickname IRON The new club took over the fixtures of the recently defunct Braintree F.C. in the North Essex League, and also took on most of the former club's players. They left the league in 1900, but returned in 1901. They won the title in 1905–06, 1910–11 and 1911–12. In 1911 they also joined Division 2A of the Essex & Suffolk Border League, remaining in the league until 1928.
In 1921 they were renamed Crittall Athletic to be more closely identified with their parent company. After winning Division 2A West twice, they were promoted to the Senior Division of the Border League in 1925. In 1928 they joined the Spartan League, and in 1935 were founder members of the Eastern Counties League. They won the league in its second season, but then left to join the newly established Essex County League. The new league folded after a single season (in which Crittall were runners-up) and the club returned to the ECL.
After World War II the ECL did not resume in 1945, so Crittall joined the Eastern Division London League instead. After finishing second in their first season, they were promoted to the Premier Division. They were invited to rejoin the ECL in 1947, but turned the offer down and remained in the London League, where they won the League Cup twice before returning to the ECL in 1952. In 1954 they turned professional, but financial problems forced them to revert to amateur status and drop back down into the Border League at the end of the 1954–55 season.
In 1959–60 they won the league and League Cup double. They switched to the Greater London League in 1964, and then to the Metropolitan League in 1966. They were renamed Braintree & Crittall Athletic in 1968, and in 1970 returned to the ECL again. In 1981 all links with Crittall were severed and the club was renamed Braintree F.C., before adopting their current name in 1983. They won their second ECL title in 1983–84 and retained it the following season. In 1986–87 they won the Essex Senior Trophy and the following season they won the League Cup.
In 1991 the club stepped up to the Southern Division of the Southern League. In 1996 the club asked the FA to switch leagues to reduce their travelling. After initially being refused, they were allowed to move to Division Three of the Isthmian League, although it was an effective drop of two divisions. They were promoted as runners-up in their first season, and repeated the feat the following season. After three seasons in Division One they were promoted to the Premier Division with a third-place finish in 2000–01. They won the Premier Division in 2005–06 to earn promotion to the Conference South.
They reached the play-offs in their first season in the Conference South, but lost 1–0 to Salisbury City in the final. They also reached the play-offs the following season, but lost to Eastbourne Borough in the semi-finals. In 2010–11 they finished as Conference South champions, earning promotion to the Conference Premier.
After being founded, Manor Works initially played at the Fair Field, now the site of the town hall, library and bus station. They moved to Spaldings Meadow in Panfield Lane in 1903. In 1923 the club moved to a new ground on Cressing Road which had been built by their parent company. Due to problems with the pitch in 1975, the club were forced to play matches at several other venues, including Heybridge Swifts' Scraley Road (a single match on 26 April arranged at such short notice that many fans arrived at Cressing Road for the match and only 50 attended the game), Braintree Rugby Club's Tabor Avenue (at the start of the 1975–76 season) and the Courtaulds Sports Ground in Church Street in Bocking (a single match against Gorleston on 6 September 1975 with a crowd of 73).
- As of 11 November 2014.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Notable former players
- For all Braintree Town players with a Wikipedia article see Category:Braintree Town F.C. players.
- Manager: Alan Devonshire
- Assistant Manager: Keith Rowland
- Goalkeeping Coach: Paul Catley
- Physiotherapist: Steve Gracie
- Chief Scout: Lee Devonshire
- Assistant Scout: Fred Spencer
- Reserve Team manager: Mark Sansom
- PA Announcer: Ashley Clinch
- Conference South
- Champions 2010–11
- Isthmian League
- Premier Division champions 2005–06
- Eastern Counties League
- Champions 1936–37, 1983–84, 1984–85
- League Cup winners 1987–88
- London League
- League Cup winners 1948–49, 1951–52
- Essex & Suffolk Border League
- Champions 1959–60
- League Cup winners 1959–60
- North Essex League
- Champions 1905–06, 1910–11, 1911–12
- Essex Senior Cup
- Winners 1995–96
- Essex Senior Trophy
- Winners 1986–87
Braintree Town reserves play in Division One of the Eastern Counties League.
- Blakeman, M (2010) The Official History of the Eastern Counties Football League 1935–2010, Volume II ISBN 978-1-908037-02-2
- Crittall Athletic at the Football Club History Database
- Braintree & Crittall Athletic at the Football Club History Database
- Braintree at the Football Club History Database
- Braintree Town at the Football Club History Database
- "Football Squads – Braintree Town – 2013/14". FootballSquads. Retrieved 2011-08-14.