Malvern Town F.C.
|Full name||Malvern Town Football Club|
Langland Avenue, Malvern
|League||West Midlands (Regional) League Premier Division|
|2013-14||West Midlands (Regional) League Premier Division, 14th|
Malvern Town Football Club is an English football club based in Malvern, Worcestershire. The club's first team play in the West Midlands (Regional) League Premier Division and have twice reached the third qualifying round of the FA Cup.
Malvern Town were formed shortly after World War II and joined the Worcestershire Combination in 1955, becoming champions at the first attempt. They remained in the league, later renamed the Midland Combination, until 1979 and only twice finished outside the top ten, although they never managed to claim another title. For the 1979-80 season they switched to the West Midlands (Regional) League Premier Division but found success harder to come by. In 1992 they were relegated to Division One but two years later returned to the higher level despite only having finished 9th due to league reorganisation and they were the only side in the top 10 that season to have floodlights.
After this former Collets Green manager Bert Green took over and although results on the field improved marginally, Green set a blue print for the club that would reap dividends in future years. Establishing Youth and Reserve sides, Malvern began to develop young talent as well as adding experience to the first team squad. Green resigned in 2000 after guiding Malvern to a top 10 West Midlands League finish and the team was then managed by Green's assistant Joey Rawle and Reserve team manager Richard Anson. The pair guided Malvern to another two West Midlands League top 10 finishes and also picked up the Worcestershire Senior Urn in 2000, beating Midland Alliance club Stourport Swifts on penalties and then reached the final again in 2001, losing to Studley 2-0. Midway through the 2002-03 season Anson took over as general ganager with a view to developing the club at all levels and looking to ultimately leave the Langland Stadium and move into a purpose built stadium that would support both the club's longer term ambitions and the local community.
Anson quickly appointed former Cheltenham Town player Neil Hunt as first team coach to work alongside Rawle and himself, whilst Anson also concentrated on discussions with MHDC and a property developer in the hope of securing these aims. In the meantime current first team manager Les Jones was given the responsibility of growing and developing the Youth structure. In 2003-04 and with this new structure firmly established, Malvern won the West Midlands League Premier Division with a 2-0 win at local rivals Bromyard Town on the last day of the season as well as reaching three cup finals including another Senior Urn appearance and the West Midlands League Cup Final where they narrowly lost on penalties to Brierley Hill. This success was matched by both the youth and reserve sides who not only picked up trophies but also developed players who played a key role in the first team's success. However, during the summer Anson resigned, citing a lack of support by the club's committee, but Hunt remained and ultimately led the club in 2006 to a third-place finish in the Midland Alliance which was enough to secure a place in the newly formed Southern League Division One Midlands.
Malvern Town finished 17th in the 2006-07 season, but thereafter the club's fortunes have suffered dramatically. In the 2007-08 season Malvern finished bottom but one of the league, and were only reprieved due to the resignation of Berkhamsted Town from the league. In the 2008-09 season, Malvern Town finished 22nd of 22 teams - this time there would be no reprieve, and they were thus relegated to the Midland Alliance for the 2009-10 season. During the course of that season, Malvern suffered a number of extremely heavy defeats - the worst coming against Chesham United away when they were beaten 11-0. Former chairman, Paul Pallett, left the club during the close season after 10 years at the helm, but appointed former Hook Norton manager and ex-Malvern Town player Chris Palmer as manager before leaving.
Chris Palmer's reign at Malvern Town came to an end just before the beginning of the 2010–11 season, with Palmer and chairman Richard Bond leaving the club. The club appointed management team Martin Stephens and Richard Webb, bringing them in from Archdale 73 and appointed former Swindon Town coach Mick Hartley who will be coaching both the first team and reserves. Richard Webb left the club after a short spell at Langland Stadium, forcing Martin Stephens to search for a replacement number two. That void was filled by former Malvern Town, Huddersfield Town, Swindon Town and Worcester City player Darren Bullock, who had ironically left Archdale 73, where he replaced Stephens and Webb.
Stan Cullen was announced as the club's chairman on March 11, 2011, and five new committee members joined the club as a result. However Nigel Soley, the Director of Football, left to become manager at rivals Malvern Rangers. Ray Pearce and former Swansea City player Mark Tipton managed the side until the end of the season.
Les Jones, formerly manager of Malvern Town's neighbours Malvern Rangers, became the club's latest manager in June 2011 and is still presently the first team manager.
In September 2014, after the club found itself in late-stage financial difficulties and close to bankruptcy, two young local businessmen Chris Pinder and Ted Grizzell stepped in to save the club from closing. Since taking over at the club a number of improvements have been made to the facilities and playing squad. Pinder and Grizzell have publicly stated that their ambition is to rebuild the club and the team in readiness for challenging the league title in the 2014–15 season.
- Best league performance: 17th in Southern League Division One Midlands, 2006–07
- Best FA Cup performance: 3rd qualifying round, 1981–82 and 1986–87
- Best FA Trophy performance: Preliminary round, 2006–07 (only entry to date)
- Best FA Vase performance: 4th round, 1974–75 and 1976–77
- Malvern Town at the Football Club History Database
- Mike and Tony Williams (2006). Non League Club Directory 2006. Tony Williams Publications Ltd. ISBN 1-869833-54-6.
- Malvern Gazette - Malvern Town FC page
- - Official Malvern Town Football Club website
- - Malvern Town F.C. Twitter page