Leamington F.C.

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Leamington
Leamingtonfcbadge.png
Full name Leamington Football Club
Nickname(s) The Brakes
Founded 1891 (as Leamington FC) 1933 (as Leamington Borg & Beck[1])
Ground New Windmill Ground (The Phillips 66 Community Stadium),[2] Whitnash
Ground Capacity 3,000
Chairman Jim Scott
Manager Paul Holleran
League Southern League Premier Division
2015-16 Southern League Premier Division, 5th
Website www.leamingtonfc.co.uk
[[Southern League Premier Division|Current season]]

Leamington Football Club is a football club in Whitnash, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, England, who are currently playing in the Southern Football League.

History[edit]

The club was founded in 1933 as Leamington Borg & Beck, known as 'Lockheed Borg & Beck', as they became associated with a local works. The team soon became 'Lockheed Leamington', and then ' in 1973, as the works team for Automotive Products. In 1985 the club returned to their original name, but within three years the ground had been sold and the club went into hiatus until re-emerging in 2000.[3]

With the club at its playing pinnacle, Automotive Products decided to sell the Windmill Ground in Tachbrook Road for housing. The last match was played in April 1988.

The club was relaunched in 2000 playing at the New Windmill Ground in Harbury Lane, Whitnash, (a small town adjoining Leamington to the south), and winning two successive promotions: the Midland Football Combination Division Two title in the first year and as runners-up in Division One a year later. Three years later Leamington gained promotion to the Midland Alliance. In 2005 the team beat 5 teams (with 2 replays and penalty shoot-outs) to make excellent progress in the FA Cup, gaining significant national media coverage, culminating in a 9–1 defeat to Colchester United, a professional team six leagues above Leamington, in the First Round Proper. At the start of the 2008–09 season the senior team became affiliated with Leamington Lions, the ladies team and the Leamington Junior Brakes teams. The 2012/13 season saw the club win the Southern Football League title and get promoted to the Conference North. The 2014/15 season saw the club get relegated from the Conference North to the Southern Football League.

Famous ex-players include former Coventry City captain Charlie Timmins (1958–1961), George Green, who won the 1925 FA Cup Final with Sheffield United and Harry Redknapp (1976).

Colours and badge[edit]

Leamington FC's colours are gold shirts, black shorts and yellow stockings.

The Leamington FC badge shows a windmill and a football. The windmill image has been associated with the club for a long time, since both the old Windmill Ground and the current New Windmill Ground were near iconic windmills.

The away kit for 2015–16 is royal blue with a yellow stripe down the arms and around the collar.

Ground[edit]

The Windmill Ground[edit]

Home to Leamington Town, Lockheed Leamington, AP Leamington and Leamington FC the Windmill Ground was situated on the Tachbrook Road, Leamington Spa.

The ground began its life known simply as the "Tachbrook Road Ground" with the first "Leamington FC" match taking place in late September, 1891, between "Leamington Association Football Club" and Queen's College, Birmingham.

By 1913, when Leamington Town moved back to the ground (after using various sites around the town), it had been renamed as "The Windmill Ground", the name reflecting the fact that there was a derelict windmill (which was demolished in 1968) adjacent to the site on the Tachbrook Road.[4]

In 1937 Leamington Town fell foul to money matters, the club was voluntarily wound up, and the Windmill Ground was sold to Coventry City. Coventry paid £1,739 6s and 8d for the ground which was to be used for their 'A' team. During the 2nd World War the ground also hosted Forces matches and Birmingham City matches.

Lockheed, the company situated opposite the Windmill Ground, saw their social club form a club in 1946 called Lockheed Leamington and bought the ground back from Coventry City to house their team.

It was after this time that the ground saw most of its development work – stands, terracing, etc. The floodlights were installed in 1965. By its demise it boasted a 440-seater stand running half the length of the Tachbrook Road side. At the left hand side (looking from the pitch) were the changing rooms.

To the right, and extending behind the northern goal, was terracing. The terracing gradually faded into a gently sloping gravel bank that continued round the other 2 sides of the pitch. The north end was covered, as was a very small section of the embankment opposite the stand.

The stated capacity of the ground was 5,000 – with cover for 1,600 spectators. The clubhouse (built in the late 1970s) sat behind the stand, up towards the northern end of the ground.

A First Round FA Cup tie, vs Stafford Rangers in the 1975–76 season, saw the largest attendance at the ground. 3,200 turned up to see Stafford triumph 3–2.

With the ground's owners, Automotive Products, struggling financially, property developers AC Lloyd purchased the ground in 1985. The downfall of the club could be said to have started two years previously. Despite winning the Southern League championship in 1983, the club was denied promotion to the Football Conference due to the condition of the ground. Kidderminster Harriers were promoted instead, and a sad downward spiral was put in motion.

The final league match at the ground was on 16 April 1988 against Walsall Wood. The very last match played at the ground was between teams managed by two old (AP) Leamington managers a "Farewell to the Windmill Ground".

Where the ground once stood there is now a housing development. The turnstiles were sold to VS Rugby and some of the stand went to Stratford Town. The floodlights, originally from Manchester City's Maine Road ground, were sold to a security firm.

The New Windmill Ground[edit]

Leamington FC fans on the North Bank Terrace
Leamington FC fans display their flags at the New Windmill Ground
Junior teams gather at the New Windmill Ground's old Sheepside Stand, for a photo session
Leamington vs Banbury at the New Windmill Ground, North Bank End

The New Windmill Ground (currently known as "The Phillips 66 Community Stadium" for sponsorship purposes)[5] has been Leamington's home since the 2000–01 renaissance. The ground is built in the shadow of nearby Chesterton Windmill on Harbury Lane, Whitnash just outside Leamington Spa. It is fully owned by the club.

As of February 2008, the ground contains a match pitch and a practice pitch, car park, licensed clubhouse and changing rooms, a snack bar, club shop and a tuck shop, and an electronic scoreboard. There is covered terracing on the South side ("The Harbury Lane End"), covered seating on the East side ("The Sheepside"), terracing on the North side ("The North Bank"), and a new small covered stand on the West side. The ground has full floodlighting and PA facilities. Entrance is via turnstiles at the southwest and, since February 2008, northwest corners.

In June 2007, planning permission was granted for further development, intended to bring the ground to the standards required by the Southern League. This planned development includes a new covered stand on the west side of the ground (subsequently completed in 2010), and an extension to the clubhouse. In December 2007 terracing to the North Bank was completed and first used on 26 December for a league game against Romulus, which ended as a 1–1 draw.

In April 2008 the ground was awarded a 'D' grading making it suitable for use in the Southern League Premier Division. New terracing to the Harbury Lane end, consisting of six steps, was unveiled in a pre-season friendly against Conference South team Newport County on July 19, 2008.

In 2014 the two covered seated stands were merged to form one large one, replacement toilet blocks, catering facilities and medical room were built and the dugouts were moved to the other side of the pitch.

Supporters[edit]

Leamington enjoy a high level of support for the club's position in the league system. The average attendance for home matches for the 2014–15 season was 551. The highest attendance at a New Windmill Ground match was 1,634 when Stourbridge visited on 5 May 2008. Below are the top five highest attendances at the New Windmill Ground:

Attendance Opponents Match Date
1,634 Stourbridge Southern Football League
Division One Midlands Play-Off Final
May 2008
1,380 Retford United FA Vase February 2007
1,263 Rugby Town Midland Football Combination
Division Two
May 2001
1,251 Nuneaton Town Southern Football League
Premier Division
April 2010
1,204 Rugby Town Midland Football Combination
Division One
April 2002

Leamington does not have an official club song but in the early seasons "Pomp 'n' Gold", a fusion of Elgar and Spandau Ballet was used prior to the teams walking out onto the pitch. For the 2015–16 season Sandstorm by Darude is played whilst the teams run onto the pitch. In addition a popular song on the terraces is 2Bods adapted from an FC United of Manchester song with the words changed to suit the club. To celebrate the FA Cup run of 2005 the Warwickshire Beer Company, a local microbrewery based in Cubbington produced a special ale called Brakes Fluid especially for the club which is still sold today. The club's fanzine is entitled Windmill Wonderland. Since 2000 the club have had three supporters organisations. The first was The Friends of Leamington F.C. which was followed by the Leamington F.C. Supporters' Club. Currently there is a supporters' trust run by the fans named The Brakes Trust.[6]

For many years matches were filmed by supporter Nick Rogers and his team, who made them available on DVD for fans to buy. After Rogers stepped aside the mantle was taken up by Nick Leek who set up Leamington FC TV.[7] To celebrate the club's promotion into the Southern League the Warwickshire Beer Company created a bespoke beer called Brakes Fluid, only available from the club shop.

Rivals[edit]

Leamington's primary rivals are Rugby Town, Stratford Town and Redditch United. Other rivals are Bedworth United, Racing Club Warwick from the nearby town of Warwick and Nuneaton Town.

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

As of 8 November 2016 [8]

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 Tony Breeden
England DF Ben George
England DF Connor Gudger
England DF James Mace
England DF Jamie Hood
England DF Tom James
England MF Joe Magunda
England MF Callum Gittings
No. Position Player
England MF Richard Taundry
England MF Ahmed Obeng
England MF Darren Pond
England MF Jack Edwards
England MF Rob Thomson-Brown
England FW Courtney Baker-Richardson
England FW Ryan Rowe
England FW Richard Gregory

Current staff[edit]

As of 10 November 2015

. .

Position Name
Manager England Paul Holleran
Coach England David Trowell
Coach England Martyn Naylor
Physio England Pete Denham
Physio England Dan Ward
Kitman England.Barry Reeve
Kitman England Andy Jenkins

Managerial history[edit]

See Leamington F.C. Managers

Manager Period
England Jason Cadden & Barry Proctor 2000–03
England Jason Cadden 2003–09
England Wayne Powell (Caretaker) 2009
England Paul Holleran 2009–Present

Honours[edit]

League Championships[edit]

Cups[edit]

  • Birmingham Junior Cup: 1912–13, 1920–21 (both Leamington Town)
  • Birmingham Senior Cup: 1951–52, 1955–56, 1960–61, 1969–70, 1971–72 (all Lockheed Leamington)
  • Southern League Cup: 1973–74 (AP Leamington), 1983–84 (Leamington)
  • Southern League Champions Cup: 1973–74 (AP Leamington), 1983–84 (Leamington)
  • Jack Mould Trophy: 2001–02 (Leamington)
  • Tony Allden Memorial Trophy: 2005–06 (Leamington)
  • Midland Football Alliance League Cup: 2006–07 (Leamington)
  • Joe McGorian Cup: 2007–08 (Leamington)

In 2006–07 Leamington were the first team to win the Midland Football Alliance League, and League Cup in the same year. Leamington later went on to win the J. McGorian Cup, the division's equivalent of the Community Shield.

League and Cup history[edit]

Year League[note 1] Level P W D L F A GD Pts Position Average
home league
attendance
FA Cup FA Trophy Leading scorer[note 2]
2000–01 Midland Comb. Div. Two 12 34 28 4 2 96 31 +65 88 1st of 18
Promoted as champions
535 not eligible not eligible Josh Blake 31 (2)
2001–02 Midland Comb. Div. One 11 36 28 6 2 107 30 +77 90 2nd of 19
Promoted as runners-up
483 not eligible not eligible Josh Blake 23 (4)
2002–03 Midland Comb. Premier Div. 10 42 27 9 6 92 48 +44 90 3rd of 22 399 DNP not eligible Paul Nicholls 28 (2)
2003–04 Midland Comb. Premier Div. 10 40 30 4 6 101 36 +65 94 2nd of 21 410 DNP not eligible Paul Nicholls 26 (6)
2004–05 Midland Comb. Premier Div. 10 42 35 4 3 132 40 +92 109 1st of 22
Promoted as champions
396 DNP not eligible Richard Adams 37 (1)
2005–06 Midland Football Alliance 9 42 21 11 10 79 44 +35 74 5th of 22 473 R1 not eligible Jon Adams 13 (8)
2006–07 Midland Football Alliance 9 42 33 4 5 105 36 +69 103 1st of 22
Promoted as champions
601 QR1 not eligible Ben Mackey 19 (10)
2007–08 Southern FL Div. One Midlands 8 40 27 8 5 74 27 +47 89 2nd of 21
Lost in play-off final
604 QR1 R1 Ben Mackey 22 (6)
2008–09 Southern FL Div. One Midlands 8 42 32 5 5 114 44 +70 101 1st of 22
Promoted as champions
661 QR1 QR1 Mark Bellingham 46 (2)
2009–10 Southern FL Premier Div. 7 42 19 8 15 84 75 +9 65 10th of 22 636 QR1 QR1 Mark Bellingham 27 (5)
2010–11 Southern FL Premier Div. 7 40 24 6 10 68 39 +29 78 5th of 22
Lost in play-off semi-final
525 QR1 QR3 Luke Corbett 17 (1)
2011–12 Southern FL Premier Div. 7 42 18 15 9 60 47 +13 69 7th of 22 507 QR2 QR1 Jacob Blyth 17 (2)
2012–13 Southern FL Premier Div. 7 42 30 5 7 85 46 +39 95 1st of 22
Promoted as champions
550 QR2 QR1 Stefan Moore 14 (8)
2013–14 Football Conference North 6 42 13 13 16 54 53 +1 52 13th of 22 625 QR2 R2 Stefan Moore 11 (1)
2014–15 Football Conference North 6 42 10 10 22 59 74 -15 40 21st of 22
Relegated
551 QR3 R1 Danny Newton 16 (0)
2015–16 Southern FL Premier Div. 7 45 23 11 11 59 38 +21 80 5th of 24
Lost in play-off final
423 QR1 R1 Ben Mackey 15 (6)
2016–17 Southern FL Premier Div. 7 38 24 9 5 66 24 +42 81 2nd of 24 474 QR1 QR1 Courtney Baker Richardson 14 (3)
  1. ^ Prior to 2006, the Midland Football Combination Premier Division was defined as tier 11, Division 1 as tier 12 and Division 2 as tier 13
  2. ^ League goals with cup goals in brackets

Last Updated: March 5, 2017

Q = Qualifying Round
P = Position; Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points;

References[edit]

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°14′39.39″N 1°30′10.31″W / 52.2442750°N 1.5028639°W / 52.2442750; -1.5028639