Devizes Town
Devizes Town
Established 1884

Club History

Football in Devizes was recorded to have been first played in 1876 when Devizes Rangers played out a goalless draw against local rivals Holt. In those days the games were played under both Association Football and Rugby Union rules. Devizes Rangers existed in tandem with Devizes Football Club (Rugby) and the two clubs swapped players as well as codes, until Rangers disbanded in the late 1880s.

 The origins of Devizes Town Football Club itselfstretch back to 1884 when Southbroom Football Club was formed by the members of Southbroom Cricket Club as a winter activity. Games were played in a field behind the vicarage in Brickley Lane until 1886 when the 'blues' as they were known joined forces with the cricket and tennis clubs and formed Devizes Recreation Club based in London Road. In 1896 the cub tasted success for the first time in winning the Wiltshire League Championship.

In 1898 Southbroom and other smaller clubs amalgamated to form a much larger club, and so Devizes Town Football Club was born. The new club leased a playing field in Quakers Walk and in their first season won the Wiltshire League as well as reaching the First Round Proper of the FA Amateur Cup and the Wiltshire Cup Final. The elusive Wiltshire Cup finally came to Devizes in 1908 when they defeated Trowbridge 3-1 to lift the trophy for the first time.

 In the aftermath of the Second World War the club had to find a new ground to play, thankfully due to the generosity of the Jennings Family they were offered a free 21 year lease on a ground at Nursteed Road. The first competitive game there was against Purton in 1945. In 1949 the Wilts League Championship came to Nursteed Road for the third time, and then the following year this was followed by the capture of the Wiltshire Senior Cup for the first time since 1908 in front of a crowd of over 4000. The late 1950s and 60s were a golden period for the club with numerous league and cup triumphs, including several good runs in the FA Amateur Cup - the most notable being reaching the Third Round Proper in 1958. In the Wiltshire Senior Cup the team appeared in every final between 1956/7 and 1962/3 winning six out of the seven finals. Roger Hunt joined the club in 1958 and formed a lethal partnership with prolific striker Tony Edge. Roger Hunt went on to become one of the most celebrated players of his generation - playing for Liverpool and part of the 1966 World Cup Winning England side. 'Edgey' the goal machine was in line to represent Great Britain in the 1960 Olympics as a result of his prolific goal scoring talents for Town, before he was persuaded to join Bristol Rovers in 1959. He returned to Town though and in 1961-62 scored 92 goals in the treble winning season. He managed the side in 1967 and the following year was honnoured by the club for achieving the amazing record of 500 goals in 500 games.

The 1961/2 treble winning season was remarkable as Town collected the County Senior Cup, Premier League Championship and the League Subsidiary Cup. Walthamstow Avenue visited in 1965 to officially re-open the Nursteed Road Ground which had been purchased by the club after six years hard work. 1967 brought a new era for the club as theyjoined the Western League, with the new ground facilities being completed the following year with Roger Hunt returning to officially open them. The season 1972/3 saw the club managed by former Bath City player Ken Owens clinch the Western League Championship and the Subsidiary Cup, as well as having good runs in the FA Cup and Amateur Cup. Ted Chivers, Chairman and benefactor of the club for 24 years, retired in 1974 and was honoured with a club presentation to thank him for his support of the club.

Three years after achieving the Western League Championship the club suffered their first ever relegation. However the stay in Division One was short lived and in 1980 under Paul Lloyd the club returned to the Western League Premier as Division One Runners-Up. The following year Lloyd led the side on their greatest run in the FA Vase reaching the quarter finals - where they were beaten by Whickham in freezing conditions in the North-east. Success continued with Town winning the Wiltshire Premier Shield in 1983 in a hard fought victory over Trowbridge Town.

However all changed with Paul Lloyd's resignation in 1984 - playing fortunes declined and once again Town found themselves relegated to Division One the following year. The late 1980s and 1990s were inauspicious time for the club with increasing financial pressures which were only partially eased by the sale of the Nursteed Road ground to neighbours Linpac in 1991 in return for a lease deal securing the ground for 99 years.

Having survived some years of crisis the season 1999-2000 was the most outstanding in the clubs history. manager Brian Newlands had over the last four years been building a talented squad and they repaid his faith by winning the Division One title with a remarkable run of 32 unbeaten league games to gain promotion back to the Premier after 15 years. The season ended with an emphatic 8-0 demolition of Chard Town where Andy Coombes stepped up to receive the Division One trophy. The following season the success continued with Town enjoying an excellent FA Cup run that took them to a Fourth Qualifying Round tie against Conference side Kingstonian and a chance of reaching the First Round. Unfortunately in wet and windy conditions the cup run ended with a 5-2 defeat to the Conference side.

After seven successful years Newlands resigned at the start of the 2002-3 season After a brief 15 weeks stay in charge by ex Chippenham player Ray Baverstock, former Town Stalwart Peter Tripp was appointed. He was to lead Town on another epic FA Vase run and took them once again to a quarter final appearance, this time against Maldon Town. This was their ninth game in the competition and as in 1981 Town failed on the day, being beaten 3-0 by the Eastern Counties League outfit.

The start of the 2003-4 season saw major changes in the structure of the club with a new committee being appointed and a rigorous financial structure bringing much needed stability to the club. Since then there has been a major investment in the facilities at the club with a new Member's Bar (named after Jack Goodship, a stalwart of the club for over 25 years who passed away in 2003) and ongoing plans for refurbishment throughout the clubhouse and grounds. On the pitch results have been variable and the club has flirted with relegation. On the managerial front Dave Hopkins, Mark Godley and Nathan Sheridan all tried to bring success but results were variable and the club flirted with relegation. in 2005/6 the under 18's side Managed by Gary Hopper won their section of the league with some style and then only narrowly lost to Malmesbury in the play-off final.

In the Summer of 2006 Nathan Sheridan was relieved of his position and former player Paul Thompson was appointed as first team player/manager. Thompson enjoyed a successful two years as manager before departing towards the end of the 2007/8 season. Also departing earlier in the season was popular Chairman Phil Rossiter who had led the club out of one of its darkest periods. Phil was given life membership in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the club. For the 2008/9 season former Reserve team managers Shaun Moffat and Kevin Whitbread took the reins but with injuries, suspensions and loss of playing budget were unable to save the club from finishing bottom of the league and ending their 8 year stay in the top flight. In the close season Shaun took on the role of Chairman and Kevin took over full control of the side being joined as Joint first team manager by former boss Paul Thompson. The club had another difficult campaign but managed to retain their Western League status, finishing in penultimate place in Division One. Kevin Stepped down at the end of the season and Tommy Dryden, the former Malmesbury and Calne Town manager took over as First Team Manager, with Trevor Vowles taking over the Wiltshire League Side.

It was all change again by the end of September with Tommy Dryden deciding to step down for personal reasons. Former Shrivenham and Wroughton Manager Mark Lover took over till the end of the season.

 The club decided to appoint Jamie Bayes from the reserves to cover the first team and will work closely with the reserves managers Scott Clark and his assistant Bud Walters in bringing back the local players to play for Devizes Town at Nursteed Road.

In 2012-13 Mark Love returned to the club but did not reach the expectation we had hoped for and decided to step down at the end of the season due to work commitments.

We appointed Darren 'Bud' Walters and Justin Webster as joint first team managers at the start of the 2013-14 season.

In 2014-15 Darren 'Bud' Walters continued as manager and helped by Tom Perkins and Club Captain Matt Tilley to bring the local players back to Nursteed Road, they will again work closely with the reserve team management of Scott Clark and Adam Bewley.

For the 2016-17 We were still fortunate to have Darren, Tom and a good squad of local players, resulting in the highest league finish in a number of years.