Leamington F.C.

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Leamington
Leamingtonfcbadge.png
Full name Leamington Football Club
Nickname(s) The Brakes
Founded 1891
Ground New Windmill Ground, Bishop's Tachbrook
Capacity 2,300 (294 seated)[1]
Chairman Jim Scott
Manager Paul Holleran
League National League North
2017–18 National League North, 19th of 22
Website Club website
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

Leamington Football Club is a football club based in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, England. They are currently members of the National League North, the sixth tier of English football, and play at the New Windmill Ground near Bishop's Tachbrook.

History[edit]

The club was established as Leamington Association Football Club in 1891, playing their first match against Queen's College, Birmingham in September that year and winning 1–0.[2] The following year a rename resulted in them becoming Leamington Town.[3] In 1896–87 they joined the Coventry & District League, which they played in for two seasons before transferring to the Birmingham Junior League in 1898.[3] They were Junior League runners-up in 1899–1900 and won the Birmingham Charity Cup in 1903–04 and 1904–05.[3] In 1905 the club moved to the Coventry & North Warwickshire League,[3] which they won in 1912–13.[4] In 1921 Leamington moved up to the Birmingham Combination. They were league champions in 1925–26 and runners-up in 198–29.[3] However, after finishing second-from-bottom of the league in 1936–37 the club folded due to financial problems.[3][2]

In the same year that Leamington Town folded, the Lockheed brake manufacturing company formed a works team under the name Lockheed Borg & Beck, with the club gaining the nickname "the Brakes" as a result.[2][3] They initially played in local leagues, joining the Coventry & District League in 1944. In 1947 the club was renamed Lockheed Leamington when they bought the former club's Windmill Ground and joined the Central Amateur League.[2][3] After two third-place finishes the club joined the Birmingham Combination in 1949.[3] In 1954 the league was disbanded and like most other clubs, Leamington joined the Birmingham & District League. Placed in the Southern Division for a transitional season, they were the division's runners-up, earning a place in Division One the following season.[5] In 1960 the league was reduced to a single division and the club were champions in 1961–62.[6]

The Birmingham & District League was renamed the West Midlands (Regional) League in 1962 and Leamington retained their league title in 1962–63 and then joined the Midland League. After finishing third in their first season, they won the Midland League title in 1964–65.[6] The club remained in the league until 1971 when they moved up to Division One North of the Southern League. When Lockheed was renamed Automotive Products in 1973, the football club was renamed AP Leamington.[2] In their first season under the new name the club won the Southern League's League Cup.[4] In 1974–75 they reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, losing 2–1 at home to Southend United.[7] Another first round appearance the following season ended with a 3–2 defeat at home to Stafford Rangers in front of a record crowd of 3,200.[8] They went on to finish the season as Division One North runners-up, earning promotion to the Premier Division.[7]

In the 1977–78 FA Cup, AP Leamington reached the second round; after beating Enderby Town 6–1 in the first round, they were drawn against Southend in the second.[7] The first game at the Windmill Ground was drawn 0–0 and the club lost 4–0 in the replay at Roots Hall. They reached the second round again the next season, eventually losing 1–0 at home to Torquay United. However, a seventh-place finish in the league was enough to secure membership of the new Alliance Premier League, the national non-League division.[7] The club struggled in the new league, finishing in the bottom five in both of their first two seasons, before finishing bottom of the league in 1981–82, which resulted in relegation back to the Southern League Premier Division. Although they won the Premier Division the following season, the club were denied promotion due to the Windmill Ground failing to meet the ground grading criteria.[2]

The 1983–84 season saw Leamington reach the first round of the FA Cup, losing 1–0 to Gillingham, and they also won the League Cup and the Champions Cup.[4] However, the club finished bottom of the Premier Division in 1984–85 and were relegated to the Midland Division, at which point the "AP" part of the name was dropped.[9] In both of the next two seasons they finished in the bottom two of the Midland Division, and at the end of the second the club dropped into the Midland Combination Premier Division.[9] After losing their Windmill Ground, they went into abeyance at the end of the 1987–88 season.[2]

In 2000 the club was reactivated, joining Division Two of the Midland Combination. They won Division Two at the first attempt, and were Division One runners-up the following season, earning promotion to the Premier Division. Following a third-place finish in 2002–03, the club were Premier Division runners-up in 2003–04 and won the league title the following season, securing promotion to the Midland Alliance.[9] In 2005–06 they entered the FA Cup for the first time since reforming and went on to reach the first round, eventually losing 9–1 at Colchester United.[9] The club were Midland Alliance champions the following season, also winning the League Cup,[4] and were promoted to Division One Midlands of the Southern League. Their first season in the Southern League saw them finish as runners-up, qualifying for the promotion play-offs; after beating Rushall Olympic 1–0 in the semi-final, the club lost 2–1 to Stourbridge in the final. However, they went on to win Division One Midlands in 2008–09 and were promoted to the Premier Division.[9]

Leamington finished fifth in the Premier Division in 2010–11, but lost 3–1 to Hednesford Town in the play-off semi-finals. Two seasons later they were Southern League champions, earning promotion to the Conference North. After finishing thirteenth in their first season in the division, the club ended the 2014–15 season in the relegation zone and were relegated back to the Southern League. They finished fifth in 2015–16 and reached the play-off final after beating Redditch United 3–1 on penalties; however, they lost the final 2–1 to Hungerford Town.[9] The following season saw them finish as Premier Division runners-up, and after beating Slough Town 1–0 in the play-off semi-finals, they defeated Hitchin Town 2–1 in the final to secure promotion back to the renamed National League North.

Ground[edit]

The club initially played at Tachbrook Road.[2] They briefly moved to Shrubland Hall and then Old Warwick Road, before returning to Tachbrook Road, which was renamed the Windmill Ground after the adjacent Windmill pub.[2][10] When the club folded in 1937 the ground was sold to Coventry City for £1,739 6s 8d,[8] with Coventry using it as the home ground of their 'A' team.[2] However, the ground was bought back by Lockheed after World War II and covered terracing was built to complement the existing seated stand.[2][10] Floodlights were installed in 1965, having previously been used at Maine Road.[8] Capacity was gradually expanded to 5,000, of which 1,600 was under cover and 440 seated.[8]

During the 1983–84 season the ground was sold to the AC Lloyd property development company despite the club trying to buy the site. Plans to build a new ground were unsuccessful, as were efforts to move to the Edmonscote Athletics Stadium.[2] As a result, the club went into abeyance, with the last-ever match at the Windmill Ground being played on 16 April 1988, a 2–2 draw with Walsall Wood in front of 500 spectators.[8] Despite the club's status, a group of supporters purchased land on Harbury Lane in nearby Whitnash,[10] which was turned into football pitches from 1993. After being officially opened in 1999 as the New Windmill Ground, the club started playing again in 2000.[2] Floodlights, seats and the PA system were taken from Oxford United's Manor Ground,[10] which closed in 2001. The ground currently has a capacity of 2,300, of which 294 is seated and 720 under cover.[1]

Supporters[edit]

The supporters' trust run by the fans is named The Brakes Trust, and was founded in 2010 following a public meeting in December 2009.[11]

Current squad[edit]

As of 9 May 2018[12]

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 Connor Gudger
England DF Jamie Hood
England DF James Mace
England DF Richard Taundry
England MF Liam Canavan
England MF Joe Clarke
England MF Junior English
England MF Callum Gittings
No. Position Player
England MF Joe Magunda
England MF Kurtis Revan
England MF Kieran Dunbar
England MF Jack Edwards
England MF Liam Canavan
England FW Colby Bishop
Ghana FW Ahmed Obeng
England FW Stefan Moore (player-coach)

Current staff[edit]

As of 26 July 2017[12]
Position Name
Manager England Paul Holleran
Coach England Martyn Naylor
Coach England Tim Holland
Player/coach England Stefan Moore
Physio England Pete Denham
Physio England Dan Ward

Honours[edit]

  • Southern League
    • Premier Division champions 1982–83, 2012–13
    • Division One Midlands champions 2008–09
    • Champions Cup winners 1973–74, 1983–84
    • League Cup winners 1973–74, 1983–84
  • Midland League
    • Champions 1964–65
  • West Midlands (Regional) League
    • Champions 1961–62, 1962–63
  • Birmingham Combination
    • Champions 1925–26
  • Midland Alliance
    • Champions 2006–07
    • League Cup winners 2006–07
    • Joe McGorian Cup 2007–08
  • Midland Combination
    • Premier Division champions 2004–05
    • Division Two champions 2001–02
  • Coventry & North Warwickshire League
    • Division One champions 1912–13
  • Birmingham Senior Cup
    • Winners 1951–52, 1955–56, 1960–61, 1969–70, 1971–72, 2016–17
  • Birmingham Junior Cup
    • Winners 1912–13, 1920–21[3]
  • Birmingham Charity Shield
    • Winners 1903–04, 1904–05

Records[edit]

  • Best FA Cup performance: Second round, 1977–78, 1978–79[7]
  • Best FA Trophy performance: Quarter-finals, 1983–84[7]
  • Best FA Vase performance: Quarter-finals, 2006–07[9]
  • Most appearances: Josh Blake, 314[13]
  • Most goals: Josh Blake, 166[13]
  • Record attendance: 3,200 vs Stafford Rangers, FA Cup first round, 1975–76[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Leamington FC Football Ground Guide
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m History Brakes Web
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j History Leamington F.C.
  4. ^ a b c d Honours Brakes Web
  5. ^ Birmingham & District League 1930–1962 Non-League Matters
  6. ^ a b Lockheed Leamington at the Football Club History Database
  7. ^ a b c d e f AP Leamington at the Football Club History Database
  8. ^ a b c d e f The Windmill Brakes Web
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Leamington at the Football Club History Database
  10. ^ a b c d A Midlands Odyssey, Part Two: A Tale of Two Windmills Nomad Online
  11. ^ About The Brakes Trust
  12. ^ a b First team squad Leamington F.C.
  13. ^ a b Mike Williams & Tony Williams (2016) Non-League Club Directory 2017, Tony Williams Publications, p266 ISBN 978-1869833695

External links[edit]

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