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Tunbridge Wells F.C.

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Tunbridge Wells
Tunbridge Wells FC badge
Full name Tunbridge Wells Football Club
Nickname(s) The Wells
Founded 1886
Ground Culverden Stadium, Royal Tunbridge Wells
Ground Capacity 3,750 (250 seated)
Manager Jason Bourne
League Southern Counties East League Premier Division
2016–17 Southern Counties East League Premier Division, 15th of 20
Website Club website

Tunbridge Wells Football Club is a football club based in Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England. They are currently members of the Southern Counties East League Premier Division. They play their home games at Culverden Stadium. The club is affiliated to the Kent County Football Association.[1]


Tunbridge Wells FC was originally formed in 1886, and played as an amateur side until the 1st World War when they folded, after many seasons of playing friendlies, they joined the South Eastern League in 1905 followed by the Southern Amateur, Isthmian and Spartan Leagues.[2][3] Kent League, Tunbridge Wells Rangers were a separate club founded as a professional team in 1903 when they joined the Kent League.[2][4] they stayed there for three seasons before joining the Southern Football League in Division two for the start of the 1906-07 season.[4] However, after two seasons they rejoined the Kent League and the South Eastern League. They were to stay in the Kent League until they[4][5][6] rejoined the Southern League as members of the Eastern Section, for the 1931-32 season, after winning the Kent League the season before.[4][7] Two seasons after joining the Eastern section the club started playing in the Central section as well.[4] In the 1936-37 season the club then played in the southern section but also competed in the Southern League Midweek Section, becoming champions of this competition in the 1938-39 season.[4] During their time in the Southern league the club managed to get to the second round of the FA Cup twice.[4]

After the war, the Wells briefly returned to the amateur leagues as Tunbridge Wells before re-joining the Kent League for the 1950-51 campaign as Tunbridge Wells United and then the Southern League for the 1959-60 season.[8] During this period the club once again progressed to the first round proper of the FA Cup but unfortunately endured a 5–0 defeat at the hands of Brighton & Hove Albion.[8] In 1961 they fared slightly better, edged out 3–1 by Aldershot – their last appearance to date in the Cup proper.[6][8]

In the early 1960s Rangers – a name to which they reverted in 1963 – began to struggle in the Southern League and in 1967 the club folded.[9] The supporters formed a new club, once again called simply Tunbridge Wells FC, and re-joined the Kent League where they have remained ever since.[2] The Wells won the Kent League championship in 1985 and have also won the Kent League Cup on four occasions since the reformation of the club as well as reaching the last 32 of the FA Vase on no less than five occasions.

On 31 August 2005, Tunbridge Wells made football history by winning the longest penalty shoot-out ever in a senior cup match.[10] No less than 40 spot kicks were needed before Wells emerged as the victors, 16–15 over Littlehampton Town in the FA Cup preliminary round. After a poor start to the 2007–08 season Mike Robbins, previously of Rye United, was installed as manager. After a promising start, Wells drifted from the top three to tenth after many players left to play at a higher level. Robbins stepped down from his post at the conclusion of the 2008–09 season, to be replaced in his position of manager by his assistant, Martin Larkin.[11] In March 2013, Tunbridge Wells reached the Final of the FA Vase, playing Spennymoor Town on 4 May at Wembley.


Culverden Stadium entrance

Tunbridge Wells play their home games at the Culverden Stadium in Tunbridge Wells. It ground's capacity is 3,750, of which 250 is seated.[12] The ground is floodlit and has a sloped pitch.[13] The ground also hosts the annual Courier Cup in August.[14]

The Culverden Stadium was opened in 1962 as a permanent home for the club.[15] The occasion was commemorated with a charity football match between Tunbridge Wells and a TV All Stars team which included Jess Conrad and Bernard Bresslaw.[16] On 31 August 2005, during an FA Cup Preliminary Round Replay, the Culverden Stadium was the location of a record set for the most penalty kicks taken in a penalty shoot-out. The match was won by Tunbridge Wells against Littlehampton Town 16-15 after 40 penalty kicks.[17] This was recognized as an FA and European record.[18] In September 2006, the Culverden Stadium was subject to a series of vandalism attacks. The clubhouse was broken into and equipment was stolen. A later attempt was thwarted after Tunbridge Wells officials boarded the windows of the clubhouse.[19]


League honours[edit]

Cup honours[edit]

  • Kent Senior Cup[21]
    • Winners (3): 1907–08 1938–39 1954–55
  • Kent Senior Trophy[22][23][24]
    • Winners (1): 2012-13
    • Runners-up (4): 1985-86; 1991–92; 2005–06; 2010-11
  • Kent Senior Shield[2][21]
    • Winners (2): 1931–32, 1954–55
  • Kent League Cup[2][22]
    • Winners (5): 1954-55, 1974–75; 1977–78; 1985–86; 1987–88
  • FA Vase[21]
    • Runners-up (1): 2013


Club records[edit]

Player records[edit]

  • Record appearances:[22] 412 - Jason Bourne
  • Record goal scorer:[22] 151 - John Wingate

Notable former players[edit]

  1. Players who have played/managed more than 20 times in the football league or any foreign equivalent to this level (i.e. fully professional league)
  2. Players with full international caps

For a list of all the other players with a Wikipedia profile and have played for Tunbridge Wells:

Former coaches[edit]

  1. Managers/Coaches who have played/managed in the football league or any foreign equivalent to this level (i.e. fully professional league)
  2. Managers/Coaches with full international caps


  1. ^ "Kent League Official Website". Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Tunbridge Wells Football Club - Club History". Archived from the original on 5 September 2007. Retrieved 18 November 2012. 
  3. ^ "Tunbridge Wells footbal club based at culverden stadium". Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j TUNBRIDGE WELLS RANGERS at the Football Club History Database
  5. ^ "SAL Archive Site". Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f TUNBRIDGE WELLS at the Football Club History Database
  7. ^ a b "Tunbridge Wells Football Club". 31 August 2005. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f TUNBRIDGE WELLS UNITED at the Football Club History Database
  9. ^ "Tunbridge Wells". 18 August 1962. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  10. ^ "Cup - Wells' shoot-out record". The FA. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  11. ^ "Larkin steps in at Wells as Robbins flies the nest". This is Kent. 5 June 2009. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  12. ^ "A Guide to the Culverden Stadium". Tunbridge Wells Football Club. 24 April 2006. Retrieved 23 March 2011. 
  13. ^ "Saints off to Kent - but Goddy are going nowhere". Hunts Post. 2011-12-05. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  14. ^ "Get down to the Culverden Stadium in Tunbridge Wells this weekend for a feast of local football". This is Sussex. 2010-07-21. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  15. ^ "STADIUM ANNIVERSARY: Tunbridge Wells FC has big grounds for optimism". Kent and Sussex Courier (archived at HighBeam). Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  16. ^ "Keep off the pitch". Kent and Sussex Courier. 1962-11-09. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  17. ^ "Wells' shoot-out record". The FA. September 2005. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  18. ^ Champions League. "How to take the perfect penalty". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  19. ^ "Wells blast "mindless morons" after attack causes £10k of damage". Kentish Football. 2006-09-18. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  20. ^ "SAL Archive Site". Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  21. ^ a b c "Tunbridge Wells Football Club". Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  22. ^ a b c d e f "Tunbridge Wells Football Club - Club Honours". 22 August 2005. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  23. ^ "Football Club History Database - Kent County Cups Summary". Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  24. ^ "Tony Russell quits Erith Town after leading Dockers to Kent League summit". 27 October 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°08′39.65″N 0°15′03.21″E / 51.1443472°N 0.2508917°E / 51.1443472; 0.2508917