Cheltenham Town F.C.
|Full name||Cheltenham Town Football Club|
|2013–14||League Two, 17th|
|Website||Club home page|
Cheltenham Town Football Club / / is an English football club playing in League Two, the fourth tier in the English football league system. Founded in 1887, the team has played at four different grounds, namely Agg-Gardner's Recreation Ground, Carter's Field and now the Abbey Business Stadium, although it is more commonly known as Whaddon Road. Their nickname is The Robins.
Cheltenham have played as high as League One, the third tier of English football, and have played a total of four seasons there. Their best FA Cup run saw them reach the last 16 (fifth round) in 2002. The last piece of silverware won by the club was the Football Conference title in 1999, when the club attained full League status for the first time. The club is affiliated to the Gloucestershire County FA.
- 1 History
- 2 Players
- 3 Timeline
- 4 Honours
- 5 Kit sponsors and manufacturers
- 6 Rivals
- 7 Records
- 8 Notes
- 9 Sources
- 10 External links
Cheltenham has a long history of football prior to The Robins. In 1849, the first use of three official referees in a match, two in field and one in tribune, was recorded in the town. However, the modern club was founded in 1887 by Albert Close White, a local teacher.
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. They won promotion to the Alliance Premier League (now the Conference National) 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 (now League Two) they won via the playoffs and were promoted to Division Two (now League One).
The appointment of Steve Cotterill as manager during the 1996–97 was the start of a period of success at the club which resulted in Cotterill being their most successful manager. Four months after taking charge he guided the club to runners-up spot in the Southern Football League Premier Division, but they won promotion to the Football Conference as champions Gresley Rovers were unable to meet the required ground capacity for Conference membership.
In 1997–98, Cheltenham finished runners-up in the Conference and were close to champions Halifax Town until the end of April 1998. 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 went one better and 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 (via the Division Three playoffs) at the end of the 2001–02 season. Shortly after winning promotion, Cotterill left Cheltenham to join Stoke City as their manager.
Backwards and forwards
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 originally assistant to Cotterill, were sacked in January 2003, after six months in the job, with Cheltenham near the foot of Division Two. 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 final game of the season condemned the club to relegation back to Division Three after just one season.
Gould resigned as Cheltenham Town manager in November 2003 and was replaced by the experienced John Ward, who has been an assistant manager with Wolverhampton Wanderers, Aston Villa and Watford, and a manager with Bristol City, Bristol Rovers and York City.
During the 2005–06 season, a new stand for visiting fans was added (The Carlsberg Stand) and a small electronic scoreboard was installed. The finished the season in 5th, earning a place in the play-offs. In the semi-final Cheltenham beat Wycombe Wanderers 2–1 away and drew 0–0 in the second leg at Whaddon Road. In the play-off final, Cheltenham beat Grimsby Town 1–0, securing a place in League One for 2006–07. The match at the Millennium Stadium on 28 May 2006 was attended by 29,196 people, making it the club's largest ever stadium audience. However despite promotion, the average attendance did not increase as the club had hoped, though it increased to 4359. The club were knocked out of the various cup competitions in early stages and were finding it difficult to muster funds to invest in additional players.
Cheltenham opened up the 2007–08 season with a 1–0 win against Gillingham, but suffered an early exit to Southend United 4–1 from the League Cup. By the beginning of October, Cheltenham had failed to win at home since the opening day of the season. Results took a turn for the worse with the club going four games without a win. Following Cheltenham's 3–0 defeat to Port Vale, John Ward announced he had agreed a four year contract with League One side Carlisle United and would begin his tenure the following day on 3 October 2007. Ward said he could not turn down the possibility of managing a team who could soon be playing in the English Championship. He left the club lying 23rd in the league, above only one team and were expected to struggle to avoid relegation.
On 25 November 2007, a sell-out Whaddon Road enjoyed a performance against Leeds United, which, after riding their luck, the Robins won 1–0 thanks to an 86th minute winner by in-form striker Steven Gillespie. The result is now one of the most famous in the club's recent history. The reverse fixture was even more impressive as the Robins became the first team to complete a double over Leeds during their first visit to the third tier of English football.
In January 2008, Cheltenham won four games in a row, the first time the club had achieved this feat since joining the Football League in 1999. During these games they did not concede any goals. They however narrowly lost out on two awards for that month; Manager and Player of the Month—after losing to Millwall in the final game of January.
The Allen years
Early in the 2008–09 season Keith Downing parted company with Cheltenham Town and was replaced—within two days—by Martin Allen, who had been a candidate after Ward's departure a year earlier. Allen's team started poorly with a club-record seven defeats in a row, part of a 15-game run without a victory. The club narrowly avoided administration, and the 10-point penalty that would go with it, before Allen revealed that all the players at the club were up for sale.
The season finished on a low note: even though Cheltenham had used 51 players, they had conceded over 100 goals in all competitions, and they were relegated back to League Two on the penultimate day of the season after three seasons in League One.
As the 2009–10 season started in July, Allen sold a few players and brought in new ones, including Robins legend Julian Alsop and former Tottenham Hotspur winger David Hutton. Although they would be thought of as one of the favourites to make an immediate return to League One after being relegated, most bloggers and league analysts said that a mid-table finish would be the most realistic scenario. Cheltenham won their first match of the season against Grimsby Town 2–1, but fell dramatically down the table soon after. On 20 October, Martin Allen was put on gardening leave amid allegations he racially abused a nightclub bouncer, and assistant manager John Schofield took temporary charge. Allen was formally cleared of misconduct but still left the club by mutual consent in early December. Cheltenham put out an advert for a new manager, which attracted "healthy interest".
A new era
Kidderminster boss Mark Yates was appointed manager on 22 December 2009. Neil Howarth, Yates' assistant at Kidderminster, also joined the League Two side as first-team coach. Cheltenham continued to struggle through the rest of the season, only managing to avoid relegation on the final day of the season, although they finished four points ahead of the relegated sides. John Schofield, who was in caretaker charge of the club while Allen was on gardening leave, returned to the post of assistant manager until the end of the season.
Yates, ahead of his first full season with Cheltenham, revamped the squad, releasing eight players, including defender Shane Duff, who had just completed his tenth year with the club. The season proved to be successful to begin with, with the Robins remaining close to the play-off positions, but they collapsed in the second half of the season and finished 17th, with only five wins in 26 games in 2011.
Despite some fans[who?] calling for Yates to resign, Cheltenham started the 2011/12 season impressively, with a side including new signings Darryl Duffy, Luke Summerfield, and highly rated England U-21 goalkeeper Jack Butland. Despite losing in the first round of the League Cup, they reached the Football League Trophy south quarter-finals and were handed a lucrative tie at Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup third round. Yates won the Manager of the Month award for November after three wins from three and then defeated the so-called "Manager of the Month curse" with a 3–0 win over then-leaders Southend United to secure a club record fifth consecutive league win. The Robins ended the season in 6th and defeated Torquay United 2–0 at home and then 1–2 away to secure a 4–1 aggregate victory in the League 2 Play-Off Semi-Finals. The Play-Off Final was contested at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, 27 May 2012. Crewe Alexandra defeated Cheltenham Town 2–0 with goals from Nick Powell and Byron Moore in front of a crowd of 24,029.
During the off-season, Cheltenham only lost Luke Summerfield from their first choice team, whilst signing ex-Premier League midfielder Darren Carter until January following over a year out of the game with a knee injury. Striker Shaun Harrad was also signed on a season-long loan from Bury, and left back Billy Jones joined the club from Exeter City. Cheltenham made a stuttering start to the 2012/13 season, including back-to-back home defeats to Accrington Stanley and Southend United. Results improved and they climbed to third place by the start of November, as well as progressing to the third round of the FA Cup, where they were drawn at home to Premier League side Everton, losing 1–5, with goals from Fellaini, Baines, Coleman, Osman and Jelavic. On 6 November 2012, manager Mark Yates oversaw his 150th game in charge of the team in a 1–0 win against league leaders Gillingham (under the management of former Robin's boss Martin Allen) Beyond December Cheltenham were still in an automatic promotion spot.
Cheltenham finished fifth, once again qualifying for the end of season play-offs after being pipped to the third promotion spot on the last day of the season by Rotherham United. Cheltenham's final game of the season saw them draw 0–0 at home to Bradford City; a run of 20 home league games without defeat, since back-to-back home defeats by Accrington and Southend turned out to be their only two league home losses all season. The play-offs saw Cheltenham face Northampton Town with Cheltenham losing both home and away games by 1–0.
- As of 3 January 2015.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Out on loan
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
- Manager: Paul Buckle
- First Team Coach: Rob Edwards
- Player/Coach: Steve Elliott
- Goalkeeping Coach: Steve Book
- Director of Academy: John Murphy
- Academy Manager: Russell Milton
- Assistant Academy Manager: Jamie Victory
- Academy Football Development Manager: Alex Penny
- Development Phase Coach: Antoine Thompson
- Head Physiotherapist: Ian Weston
- Academy Physiotherapist: Tommy Cosh
- Academy Secretary: James Murphy
- Fitness Coach: Ian Hutton
- Video Analyst: Craig Cope
Southern League history
|Season||∆||Southern League Division||Pos||P||W||D||L||F||A||GD||Pts||FA Cup||FA Trophy||Notes|
|1935–36||4||Southern League Western Section||6th||16||6||2||8||32||28||+4||14||Played in two Southern League sections|
|1935–36||4||Southern League Central Section||9th||20||5||5||10||32||45||−13||15||R1||Played in two Southern League sections|
|1939–40||4||Southern League||7th||13||3||2||8||21||38||−17||8||Season interrupted by outbreak of World War II|
|World War II|
|1945–46||4||Southern League||4th||18||9||8||1||35||54||−19||22||R1||Statistics for this season are incomplete|
|1958–59||5||North West Section||4th||34||20||4||10||65||47||+18||44||PR|
|1959–60||5||Premier Division||4th||42||21||6||15||82||68||+14||48||R1||Southern League two division structure created|
|1961–62||5||Premier Division||22nd||42||9||7||26||48||86||−38||25||QR4||Finished last in table and relegated to First Division|
|1967–68||5||Premier Division||4th||42||23||7||12||97||67||+30||53||QR4||Received 3 votes for election to The Football League|
|1968–69||5||Premier Division||19th||42||15||5||22||55||64||−9||35||R1||Relegated to the First Division by 0.019 of a goal|
|1969–70||6||First Division||10th||42||20||5||17||78||81||−3||45||R1||R1||FA Trophy created|
|1971–72||6||First Division North||3rd||34||20||4||10||72||51||+21||44||QR4||QR3|
|1972–73||6||First Division North||3rd||42||24||8||10||87||47||+40||56||QR3||R1|
|1973–74||6||First Division North||3rd||42||24||8||10||75||51||+24||56||Did not participate in FA Cup or FA Trophy rounds|
|1974–75||6||First Division North||6th||42||21||9||12||72||53||+19||51||R1||R2||Dave Lewis scores a single-season club record 53 goals across all competitions|
|1975–76||6||First Division North||5th||42||20||10||12||87||55||+32||50||QR4||R1|
|1976–77||6||First Division North||2nd||38||23||8||7||85||35||+50||54||QR4||R1|
|1978–79||5||Premier Division||18th||42||11||10||21||38||72||−34||32||QR4||R3||Not invited to join the Alliance Premier League|
Football League system history
|Season||∆||Division||Pos||P||W||D||L||F||A||GD||Pts||FA Cup||FA Trophy||Notes||Manager|
|1979–80||6||Southern League Midland Division||19th||42||13||5||24||49||70||−21||31||QR2||R2||Terry Paine/Alan Grundy|
|1980–81||6||Southern League Division 1 Midland||8th||42||18||12||12||70||59||+11||48||QR2||R1||Alan Grundy|
|1981–82||6||Southern League Division 1 Midland||16th||42||11||14||17||65||68||−3||36||QR4||R1||Relegated after reorganisation of Southern League||Alan Grundy/Alan Wood|
|1982–83||7||Southern League Midland Division||1st||32||22||5||5||65||29||+36||71||QR4||R1||Promoted to Southern Football League Premier Division||Alan Wood|
|1983–84||6||Southern League Premier Division||8th||38||16||7||15||63||56||+7||55||QR4||QR3||Alan Wood/John Murphy|
|1984–85||6||Southern League Premier Division||1st||38||24||5||9||83||41||+42||77||QR3||R2||Promoted to Alliance Premier League||John Murphy|
|1985–86||5||Alliance Premier League||11th||42||16||11||15||69||69||0||46||QR1||QF||John Murphy|
|1986–87||5||Conference National||11th||42||16||13||13||64||50||+14||61||QR1||R3||John Murphy|
|1987–88||5||Conference National||13th||42||11||20||11||64||67||−3||53||R1||QF||John Murphy|
|1988–89||5||Conference National||15th||40||12||12||16||55||58||−3||48||QR2||R2||John Murphy/Jim Barron|
|1989–90||5||Conference National||11th||42||16||11||15||58||60||−2||59||QR3||R3||Jim Barron|
|1990–91||5||Conference National||16th||42||12||12||18||54||72||−18||48||R1||R3||Jim Barron/John Murphy/Dave Lewis (Caretaker)|
|1991–92||5||Conference National||21st||42||10||13||19||56||82||−26||43||QR3||R2||Ally Robertson/Lindsay Parsons|
|1992–93||6||Southern League Premier Division||2nd||40||21||10||9||76||40||+36||73||R2||R1||Lindsay Parsons|
|1993–94||6||Southern League Premier Division||2nd||42||21||12||9||67||38||+29||75||QR4||R3||Lindsay Parsons|
|1994–95||6||Southern League Premier Division||2nd||42||25||11||6||87||39||+48||86||QR4||R2||Lindsay Parsons|
|1995–96||6||Southern League Premier Division||3rd||42||21||11||10||76||57||+19||74||QR2||R1||Chris Robinson|
|1996–97||6||Southern League Premier Division||2nd||42||21||11||10||76||44||+32||74||R1||R1||Promoted to Conference after Gresley F.C. ground failed Conference requirements||Chris Robinson/Steve Cotterill|
|1997–98||5||Conference National||2nd||42||23||9||10||63||43||+20||78||R3||Winners||1997–98 FA Trophy winners (def. Southport 1–0)||Steve Cotterill|
|1998–99||5||Conference National||1st||42||22||14||6||71||36||+35||80||R1||SF||Promoted to The Football League for the first time||Steve Cotterill|
Football League history
|Season||∆||Division||Pos||∆||P||W||D||L||F||A||GD||Pts||PtsPG||League Cup||FA Cup||Notes||Manager(s)|
|1999–00||4||Third Division||8th||76th||46||20||10||16||50||42||+8||70||1.52||R1||R1||Steve Cotterill|
|2000–01||4||Third Division||9th||77th||46||18||14||14||59||52||+7||68||1.48||R1||R2||Steve Cotterill|
|2001–02||4||Third Division||4th||72nd||46||21||15||10||66||49||+17||78||1.70||R1||R5||Promoted to Division Two via the play-offs. Highest position achieved in FA Cup||Steve Cotterill|
|2002–03||3||Second Division||21st||65th||46||10||18||18||53||68||−15||48||1.04||R2||R3||Graham Allner/Bobby Gould|
|2003–04||4||Third Division||14th||82nd||46||14||14||18||57||71||−14||56||1.22||R1||R3||Bobby Gould/John Ward|
|2004–05||4||League Two||14th||82nd||46||16||12||18||51||54||−3||60||1.30||R1||R1||John Ward|
|2005–06||4||League Two||5th||73rd||46||19||15||12||65||53||+12||72||1.57||R2||R4||Promoted to League One via the play-offs||John Ward|
|2006–07||3||League One||17th||61st||46||15||9||22||49||61||−12||54||1.17||R2||R1||Highest position achieved in English football system||John Ward|
|2007–08||3||League One||19th||63rd||46||13||12||21||42||64||−22||51||1.11||R1||R1||John Ward/Keith Downing|
|2008–09||3||League One||23rd||67th||46||9||12||25||51||91||−40||39||0.85||R2||R3||Worst goal difference and win percentage (19.6%) in club history||Keith Downing/Martin Allen|
|2009–10||4||League Two||22nd||90th||46||10||18||18||54||71||−17||48||1.04||R1||R1||Martin Allen/John Schofield (Caretaker)/Mark Yates|
|2010–11||4||League Two||17th||85th||46||13||13||20||56||77||−21||52||1.13||R1||R2||Mark Yates|
|2011–12||4||League Two||6th||74th||46||23||8||15||66||50||+16||77||1.67||R1||R3||Losing play-off finalists||Mark Yates|
|2012–13||4||League Two||5th||73rd||46||20||15||11||58||51||+7||75||1.63||R1||R3||Losing play-off semi-finalists||Mark Yates|
|2013–14||4||League Two||17th||85th||46||13||16||17||53||63||−10||55||1.20||R2||R1||Mark Yates|
|2014–15||4||League Two||R1||R2||Mark Yates/Paul Buckle|
- Division Three/Football League Two Play-off Winners (2001–02, 2005–06)
- Football Conference Champions (1998–99); Runners Up (1997–98)
- Southern League Champions (1984–85); Runners Up (1955–56, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1996–97)
- Southern League Midland Division Champions (1982–83)
- Southern League Division 1 North Runners-Up (1976–77)
- FA Trophy Winners (1997–98)
- Gloucestershire County Cup – Winners 32 times
- Leamington Hospital Cup – Winners (1934–35)
- Midland Floodlit Cup – Winners (1985–86, 1986–87, 1987–88)
Notable former players
- Steve Cotterill – played non-professionally for the club before embarking on a professional career, later became manager taking Cheltenham from the Southern League up to the Football League. The most successful manager in the club's history.
- Martin Devaney – made 200 appearances for his hometown team and is currently the club's joint top scorer in the Football League with 38 goals.
- Michael Duff – made nearly 250 appearances for Cheltenham. His younger brother, Shane, also made nearly 200 appearances in a 10 year stay.
- Jerry Gill – made 180 appearances for the Robins, during which he was captain.
- Steven Gillespie – holds the record as the most expensive player sold, for £400,000 in 2008.
- Andy Gray – Scottish international footballer, ended playing career with Cheltenham.
- Jamie Victory – spent 11 years at Cheltenham, from 1996 to 2007.
- Clive Walker – former Chelsea player, who currently holds the record as Cheltenham's oldest player, at 42 (in 1999).
Kit sponsors and manufacturers
|Year||Kit Manufacturer||Shirt Sponsor||Back of Shirt Sponsor||Short Sponsor|
|2004–2008||Bence Building Merchants|
|2009–2011||PSU Technology Group|
|2011–2013||Barr Stadia||Gloucestershire Echo|
Gloucester City are traditional rivals, although now several leagues apart. This rivalry has died down somewhat given Cheltenham's rise up the leagues. Both teams currently share the same ground at Whaddon Road and the rivalry has been somewhat revived by their inability to pay rent. Hereford United are also local rivals, with Cheltenham having a poor footballing record against their Herefordian opponents.
- Record transfer paid
- £60,000 Jermaine Mcglashan from Aldershot Town (January 2012)
- Record transfer received
- Record attendance
- Record attendance at Whaddon Road
- 8,326 vs Reading, FA Cup 1st round, 17 November 1956
- Record win
- 12–0 vs Chippenham Rovers, FA Cup 3rd qualifying round, 2 November 1935
- Record defeat
- Record appearances
- Roger Thorndale – 702 (1958–1976)
- Record goalscorer
- Dave Lewis – 290 (in 3 spells between 1967–1983) although Reg Smith scored well over 300 in the club's amateur era
- Record goals in a season
- Dave Lewis, 53 in all competitions (1974–1975)
- Youngest player
- Paul Collicutt
- Youngest player in Football League
- Oldest player
- "Cheltenham 2–1 Doncaster". BBC News. 5 May 2008. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
- "Manager Downing leaves Cheltenham". BBC News. 13 September 2008. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
- "Allen named new Cheltenham boss". BBC News. 15 September 2008. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
- "Cheltenham put squad up for sale". BBC News. 3 March 2009. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
- "League Two club-by-club guide". BBC News. 4 August 2009. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
- "Cheltenham Town release eight players". BBC News. 11 May 2010. Retrieved 31 October 2010.
- "Cheltenham Town set to sign striker Darryl Duffy". BBC Sport. 21 July 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
- "Cheltenham Town complete deal for Luke Summerfield". BBC Sport. 4 August 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
- "Birmingham City's Jack Butland joins Cheltenham on loan". BBC Sport. 8 September 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
- "Manchester rivals to clash in third round". BBC Sport. 4 December 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
- "Yates named Manager of the Month". The Football League. 9 December 2011. Retrieved 9 December 2011.
- "Cheltenham 3–0 Southend". BBC Sport. 10 December 2011. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
- "Cheltenham Town 0–2 Crewe Alexandra". BBC Sport. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
- "Cheltenham 1–5 Everton". BBC Sport. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
- "Cheltenham 0–0 Bradford". BBC Sport. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
- "Cheltenham 0–1 Northampton". BBC Sport. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
- "First Team". Cheltenham Town F.C. Retrieved 2009-03-24.
- "Gloucester City will pay all debts to Cheltenham Town landlords says Hughes". This is Gloucestershire. 29 May 2013. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
- Cheltenham Town at the Football Club History Database
- Cheltenham Town's history page on the official website
- Non-league history of Cheltenham Town FC
- Non-league tables
- FA Cup archive
- Complete tables from 1935 onwards, including FA Cup and FA Trophy campaigns
- http://ctlfc.com Cheltenham Town Ladies FC