Cheltenham Town F.C.

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Cheltenham Town
Cheltenham Town FC logo.png
Full name Cheltenham Town Football Club
Nickname(s) The Robins
Founded 1887
Ground Whaddon Road
Ground Capacity 7,266
Chairman Paul Baker
Manager Russell Milton (caretaker)
League League Two
2013–14 League Two, 21st
Website Club home page
Current season

Cheltenham Town Football Club /ˈɛltnəm ˈtn/ 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.



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).

Cotterill era[edit]

Cheltenham Town's traditional colours

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.

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Backwards and forwards[edit]

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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed] He left the club lying 23rd in the league, above only one team and were expected to struggle to avoid relegation.

Keith Downing was appointed caretaker manager until the position could be filled. Martin Allen was linked with the club. Cheltenham's results after Downing took charge were mixed.

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed] During these games they did not concede any goals.[citation needed] 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.

Cheltenham's survival was secured on the final day of the season as they beat Doncaster Rovers 2–1 at Whaddon Road, denying their opposition automatic promotion.[1]

The Allen years[edit]

Early in the 2008–09 season Keith Downing parted company with Cheltenham Town[2] and was replaced—within two days—by Martin Allen, who had been a candidate after Ward's departure a year earlier.[3] 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.[4]

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.[5] 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[edit]

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,[6] 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,[7] Luke Summerfield,[8] and highly rated England U-21 goalkeeper Jack Butland.[9] 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.[10] Yates won the Manager of the Month award for November after three wins from three[11] and then defeated the so-called "Manager of the Month curse" with a 3–0 win over then-leaders Southend United[12] 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.[13]

2012–13 season[edit]

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.[14] 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;[15] a run of 20 home league games without defeat,[citation needed] 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.[16]

2013-14 season[edit]

After finishing in the play-offs for two consecutive seasons, Cheltenham Town's 2013-14 proved to be difficult. Any hopes of a third consecutive play-off place were ended by March. A lack of form and consistency, along with only 5 home wins all season, made it difficult. The season started well, with the club bringing in some new faces, hoping that the club would go a step further towards automatic promotion. The signings of Troy Brown (footballer), Matt Richards, Jamie Cureton and former Robins winger Ashley Vincent gave the club a boost. However the loss of Marlon Pack to Bristol City seemed to a big loss. The first home game against Burton Albion was a great game of football, with veteran striker Cureton scoring the opener, only to be stretchered off with a dislocated shoulder. His replacement Byron Harrison made it 2-0, only for the Brewers to make it 2-2.

Harrison continued to bang the goals in, the highlight being an incredible 4-3 victory over League One Crawley Town in the Capital One Cup after being 3-1 down, with Harrison netting the winning goal. The victory in the first round set the Robins up for a second round trip to Premier League side West Ham United, with the club eventually losing 2-1 at Upton Park. Losses to Chesterfield FC and Plymouth Argyle continued a poor start to the league, before getting a first win of the season at Accrington Stanley. The fantastic performance at West Ham was soon forgotten as Cheltenham suffered a 4-1 defeat at Bury FC and then penalty heartbreak at the hands of Plymouth Argyle in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. Two hard fought 2-2 draws followed against Portsmouth FC and Oxford United before another disappointing 4-2 defeat at Torquay United. The end of September saw the return of Cureton who bagged a 90th minute winner against AFC Wimbledon.

October proved to be marginally better for Mark Yates’ Robins with two wins, two defeats and one draw but perhaps the moment of the month came courtesy of Jamie Cureton once again who bagged his 250th career goal in the 2-1 win at Dagenham & Redbridge. The 3-0 victory at home to Morecambe FC promised so much but it was short-lived as disappointment was only just around the corner. Two seasons of FA Cup magic for the Robins had been outstanding for the club’s coffers but when the Robins rocked up at Tamworth FC on Saturday 9th November, there was certainly anxiety in the air. A poor first half and a Tamworth goal stunned Cheltenham and, despite an improved second half, the Robins could not find a way back into the game. Their FA Cup dream was over at the first hurdle and in dramatic fashion. That result was a blow to the club on and off the pitch.

Despite cup disappointment, the Robins did win 2-1 away at Wycombe Wanderers in the following match but a barren run of three draws finished November in unspectacular fashion. November also saw the departure of first team coach Dave Kevan who only joined the club back in September but the role of assistant manager at Forest Green Rovers turned his head and Kevan promptly left Whaddon Road.

December was largely successful however with wins at Morecambe FC, Fleetwood Town and at home to Exeter City on Boxing Day showing promise once again but Cheltenham were beaten by Mansfield Town to end the year and an 11 league game unbeaten run with fans left unsure of what was to come from their faithful Robins in 2014.

January and February was very disappointing. Not a single win in January and just the one (away at Newport County) in February didn’t inspire the Whaddon Road faithful and dreams of the play-offs were fast becoming a distant vision.

The January transfer window itself proved to be a busy period for the Robins with both Keith Lowe and Russell Penn leaving the club for York City. David Noble, who was becoming an integral part of the club’s midfield, saw his loan deal extended despite injury. Other inclusions came in the form of Michael Ihiekwe, Mitch Brundle and Lee Lucas but the impressive Connor Goldson was recalled and Kemar Roofe opted to return to West Bromwich Albion.

Ashley Vincent, who had been largely sidelined for various reasons throughout the season, had returned in dramatic fashion during the Newport win with the winger scoring the winning goal and his return to the team did coincide with an improvement in the team’s form. A ‘self destruct’ style 4-1 loss at home to Chesterfield FC was followed by two hard working draws at Portsmouth FC and Oxford United sandwiched between solid wins at home to Bury FC and Torquay United in March.

A low point for the Robins was a 4-3 defeat to AFC Wimbledon. The Robins had been leading 2-0 comfortably away at the Kingsmeadow Stadium before a six minute period saw Wimbledon take a 3-2 lead. Jason Taylor’s deflected effort made it 3-3, but a late winner from Jack Midson condemned the Robins to an unsettling defeat.

It wouldn’t be the last time that Cheltenham threw away a lead before the end of the season but they did pick up an important win away at Hartlepool United to end March on a more positive note.

Defeats to Southend United and Fleetwood Town plus a draw away at Exeter City (which saw the Robins lose a 100% record over the Grecians) prompted some nervy looks amongst supporters as Mark Yates’ side drifted ever closer to the relegation dogfight. The manager kept the faith and a confident 2-0 win away at Mansfield Town ended all fears that Cheltenham Town’s 15 year stint in the Football League was about to come to an end.

In the end, Cheltenham had done enough but two defeats to end the league season was alarming and certainly signalled a squad makeover was to be expected in the summer with assistant manager Neil Howarth already departing following backroom staff re-modelling. In the end Cheltenham finished 17th with 55 points.

2014-15 season[edit]

After a disappointing 2013-14 season, Cheltenham hoped things would turn out much better for 2014-15. New signings came in, most notably being a change in goalkeeper as Northern Ireland international Trevor Carson replaced former Robins favourite Scott Brown (footballer, born April 1985) left for Aberdeen FC. Also brought in were former Kidderminster Harriers defender Lee Vaughan, midfielder Asa Hall and experienced defender Matt Taylor (footballer), who was made captain. The season started well for the club with a 6 match unbeaten league start, before a 1-0 defeat to Luton Town. The loan signing of Koby Arthur from Birmingham City was an instant attraction to Robins fans, with the Ghana man hitting 4 goals in 5 games, before being re-called by the Football League Championship side. The first game saw a surprise 1-0 Cheltenham victory at promotion contenders Bury FC, with youngster Joe Hanks (footballer) netting a superb winner. A 2-0 defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion in the Capital One Cup didn't see the Robins face a Premier League team like last season, but a remarkable 2-1 win over Accrington Stanley saw the Robins rise up the table. Byron Harrison put Cheltenham in front, before Kai Naismith levelled. Arthur scored the winner, after Stanley missed a 90th minute penalty. A 0-0 draw against Carlisle United followed by an amazing 3-2 comeback over Tranmere Rovers despite being 2-0 down at half-time, Jordan Wynter scoring the winner on his debut. The last game in August saw a 90th minute win over Hartlepool United scored by Arthur, then a 2-0 victory in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy against Oxford United kicked off September, with new signing John Marquis and Arthur scoring the goals. A 0-0 draw at Morecambe FC saw the Robins go top, but then a 6 game winless run, saw the Robins drop a few places. The highlight of October was a televised Johnstone's Paint Trophy game against League One Bristol City. The game saw former Robins manager Steve Cotterill return to his old club, along with former Robins loanee Wynter. Cheltenham went on to lose 3-1, with Terry Gornell getting a goal for Cheltenham. Back to back victories against Northampton Town and Cambridge United gave supporters happiness, however a 3-0 defeat at Plymouth Argyle and a 1-0 home loss to York City prompted restlessness from home supporters. Nevertheless a fantastic 5-0 win over local rivals Swindon Town in the FA Cup first round seemed to have changed the fortunes of the club, but a 5-1 loss at Stevenage FC and a 4-1 home defeat against Wycombe Wanderers saw the sacking of long-serving manager Yates. His four year reign as manager was at an end, only for new replacement Paul Buckle to come in and replace him. Buckle's first game in charge saw a 1-1 draw at home to Oxford United, followed by an embarrassing 1-0 home defeat to Vanarama Conference side Dover Athletic in the FA Cup. Consecutive 1-1 draws against Mansfield Town and Portsmouth FC, followed by a 1-0 loss at Exeter City (The club's first ever defeat to the Devon club) saw fans become more concerned. A 1-0 defeat to Newport County was soon followed by Buckle's first win, a 2-1 victory at Oxford United. The win would prove to be Buckle's only ever one, as he eventually left on Friday 13th February 2015 by mutual consent. Despite a busy transfer deadline day, with the capture of six new players, Buckle was replaced by former Cheltenham midfielder Russell Milton. Also, former defender Steve Elliott, who left during the week, returned to be Milton's assistant. The new players brought in included four strikers, Eliot Richards, Mathieu Manset, Denny Johnstone and Wes Burns as well as defender Durrell Berry and former loanee Jordan Wynter signed on a permanent basis. Milton's first game in charge was a 2-1 defeat at home to Bury FC, but the support from the Robins crowd couldn't have been more stronger. On the 16th February 2015 it was announced that Milton would be permanent manager until the end of the season. Milton's first away game was at Accrington Stanley, where the Robins ended a 5 match losing streak with a 1-1 draw. Wes Burns put Cheltenham in front, only for Stanley to level through Shay McCartan. On the 26th February, Cheltenham brought in Shaun Harrad, Pablo Mills and Matt Sparrow .


As of 27 February 2015.[17]

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
1 Northern Ireland GK Trevor Carson (vice-captain)
2 England DF Lee Vaughan
3 England DF Craig Braham-Barrett
4 England DF Matt Taylor (captain)
5 Wales DF Troy Brown (vice-captain)
6 England DF Pablo Mills (on loan from Bury)
7 Republic of Ireland MF Kane Ferdinand (on loan from Peterborough United)
8 England MF Matt Richards
9 Scotland FW Denny Johnstone (on loan from Birmingham City)
10 Wales FW Wes Burns (on loan from Bristol City)
12 England GK Matthew Gould
14 England MF Asa Hall
No. Position Player
15 England DF Jack Deaman
16 England MF Joe Hanks
17 England MF Zack Kotwica
18 Wales FW Eliot Richards
19 England MF Omari Sterling-James
20 England MF Jordan Wynter
21 England MF Harry Williams
24 England MF Matt Sparrow (on loan from Scunthorpe United)
25 England DF Durrell Berry
27 England MF Jamal Lawrence
29 England FW Shaun Harrad (on loan from Notts County)
30 England GK Harry Reynolds
39 France FW Mathieu Manset

Out on loan[edit]

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

No. Position Player
11 England MF Andy Haworth (at Barrow)
22 England FW Bobbie Dale (at Cinderford Town)
23 England DF James Bowen (at Cinderford Town)

Management team[edit]

  • Manager: Russell Milton (caretaker)
  • Assistant Manager: Steve Elliott (caretaker)
  • 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[edit]

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
1936–37 4 Southern League 11th 30 10 4 16 61 70 −9 24 QR4
1937–38 4 Southern League 11th 34 13 5 16 72 68 +4 31 R1
1938–39 4 Southern League 13th 44 16 9 19 76 105 −29 41 R1
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
1946–47 4 Southern League 9th 32 14 3 14 68 75 −7 32 R1
1947–48 4 Southern League 10th 34 13 9 12 71 71 0 35 R2
1948–49 4 Southern League 9th 42 19 14 9 71 64 +7 47 QR4
1949–50 4 Southern League 20th 46 13 11 22 75 96 −21 37 QR4
1950–51 4 Southern League 6th 44 21 8 15 91 61 +30 50 R1
1951–52 4 Southern League 18th 42 15 4 23 59 65 −6 34 QR4
1952–53 4 Southern League 13th 42 15 11 16 70 89 −19 41 QR2
1953–54 4 Southern League 21st 42 11 12 19 56 83 −27 34 QR1
1954–55 4 Southern League 4th 42 21 8 13 85 72 +13 50 QR1
1955–56 4 Southern League 2nd 42 25 6 11 82 53 +29 56 QR1
1956–57 4 Southern League 4th 42 19 15 8 73 46 +27 53 R1
1957–58 4 Southern League 6th 42 21 10 11 115 66 +49 52 QR1
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
1960–61 5 Premier Division 17th 42 15 7 20 81 82 −1 37 QR4
1961–62 5 Premier Division 22nd 42 9 7 26 48 86 −38 25 QR4 Finished last in table and relegated to First Division
1962–63 6 First Division 9th 38 18 7 13 83 52 +31 43 R1
1963–64 6 First Division 3rd 42 25 10 7 91 49 +42 60 QR3
1964–65 5 Premier Division 12th 42 15 11 16 72 78 −6 41 QR4
1965–66 5 Premier Division 18th 42 13 9 20 69 99 −30 35 QR4
1966–67 5 Premier Division 13th 42 16 11 15 60 71 −11 43 QR4
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
1970–71 6 First Division 15th 38 8 15 15 44 58 −14 31 R1 QR3
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
1977–78 5 Premier Division 14th 42 12 14 16 43 52 −9 38 QR2 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[edit]

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[edit]

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/Russell Milton (caretaker)
Champions Runners-up Promoted Relegated


Notable former players[edit]

  • England 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.
  • Republic of Ireland 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.
  • Northern Ireland Michael Duff – made nearly 250 appearances for Cheltenham. His younger brother, Shane, also made nearly 200 appearances in a 10 year stay.
  • England Jerry Gill – made 180 appearances for the Robins, during which he was captain.
  • England Steven Gillespie – holds the record as the most expensive player sold, for £400,000 in 2008.
  • Scotland Andy Gray – Scottish international footballer, ended playing career with Cheltenham.
  • England Jamie Victory – spent 11 years at Cheltenham, from 1996 to 2007.
  • England Clive Walker – former Chelsea player, who currently holds the record as Cheltenham's oldest player, at 42 (in 1999).

Kit sponsors and manufacturers[edit]

Year Kit Manufacturer Shirt Sponsor Back of Shirt Sponsor Short Sponsor
1977–1978 National Express
1981–1982 Coffer Sports
1982–1985 Umbro
1984–1986 Whitbread
1986–1988 Henson Duraflex
1988–1989 Gulf Oil
1991–1993 Technik
1993–1994 Club Sport
1994–1995 Klūb Sport Empress
1995–1996 Matchwinner
1996–1997 UK Endsleigh Insurance
1997–1999 Errea
1999–2004 Towergate Insurance
2004–2008 Bence Building Merchants
2008–2009 Mira Showers
2009–2011 PSU Technology Group
2011–2013 Barr Stadia Gloucestershire Echo
2013–2014 Gloucestershire College
2014–2015 Marchants Coaches


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.[18] Hereford United are also local rivals, with Cheltenham having a poor footballing record against their Herefordian opponents.


  • Record transfer paid
  • Record transfer received
  • Record attendance
    • 35,672 vs Tottenham, FA Cup 3rd round, 7 January 2012 (game played at White Hart Lane)
  • 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


  1. ^ "Cheltenham 2–1 Doncaster". BBC News. 5 May 2008. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  2. ^ "Manager Downing leaves Cheltenham". BBC News. 13 September 2008. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  3. ^ "Allen named new Cheltenham boss". BBC News. 15 September 2008. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  4. ^ "Cheltenham put squad up for sale". BBC News. 3 March 2009. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  5. ^ "League Two club-by-club guide". BBC News. 4 August 2009. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  6. ^ "Cheltenham Town release eight players". BBC News. 11 May 2010. Retrieved 31 October 2010. 
  7. ^ "Cheltenham Town set to sign striker Darryl Duffy". BBC Sport. 21 July 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2011. 
  8. ^ "Cheltenham Town complete deal for Luke Summerfield". BBC Sport. 4 August 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2011. 
  9. ^ "Birmingham City's Jack Butland joins Cheltenham on loan". BBC Sport. 8 September 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2011. 
  10. ^ "Manchester rivals to clash in third round". BBC Sport. 4 December 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2011. 
  11. ^ "Yates named Manager of the Month". The Football League. 9 December 2011. Retrieved 9 December 2011. 
  12. ^ "Cheltenham 3–0 Southend". BBC Sport. 10 December 2011. Retrieved 10 December 2011. 
  13. ^ "Cheltenham Town 0–2 Crewe Alexandra". BBC Sport. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  14. ^ "Cheltenham 1–5 Everton". BBC Sport. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  15. ^ "Cheltenham 0–0 Bradford". BBC Sport. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  16. ^ "Cheltenham 0–1 Northampton". BBC Sport. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  17. ^ "First Team". Cheltenham Town F.C. Retrieved 2009-03-24. 
  18. ^ "Gloucester City will pay all debts to Cheltenham Town landlords says Hughes". This is Gloucestershire. 29 May 2013. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 


External links[edit]