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Rugby Town FC
Rugbyunited.png
Full name Rugby Town Football Club
Nickname(s) The Valley
Founded 1956 (as Valley Sports)
Ground Butlin Road
Rugby, Warwickshire
(Capacity: 6,000 (740 seated & 1,000 covered))
Chairman England Brian Melvin
Manager England Lee Colkin
League Southern League Premier Division
2008-09 Southern League Premier Division, 17th
Home colours
Away colours

Rugby Town FC is a football club based in Rugby, Warwickshire, which plays in the Southern League Premier Division. It is nicknamed The Valley, and plays its home matches at Butlin Road. It was originally named Valley Sports; in 2000 the club was renamed Rugby United, and in 2005 became Rugby Town FC.

In the 2008/9 season, Rugby finished in 17th place to ensure a sixth consecutive season in the Southern League Premier.

Contents

History

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Origins

In 2005, the name Rugby Town FC appeared on the Southern League fixture list. As with other non-league football teams, the club's formation is not straightforward. A club was formed in the early 1950s when Keith Coughlan formed a team in the New Bilton area of Rugby. Sky blue was introduced as the main kit colour in 1959.

The first competitive match was in the Rugby and District League on September 8, 1956 under the name of Valley Sports; the name was taken from the "Happy Valley", the local name for New Bilton. At this stage, the club played at Hillmorton Recreation Ground, and in due course moved to share the Oakfield ground of Southern League Rugby Town.

The original Rugby Town played in the Southern League from 1919 to 1934, and from 1958 to 1973. In 1993, they re-emerged and joined the Midland Combination Division Two but resigned midway through season 1995/96 and had their record expunged. 2000/01 saw them once again rise from the ashes and join the same league, but again their tenure was short-lived as they resigned and folded in 2004.

Valley Sports Rugby

In 1971, the club officially changed its name to Valley Sports Rugby. Coughlan always had his sights set above purely local football, and in 1963 moved the club into the Coventry and North Warwickshire League, and in 1969 into the United Counties League.

The club has played at Butlin Road since 1973.

In 1973 the club moved to its own ground at Butlin Road and in the same year Rugby Town folded after 15 seasons in the Southern League. Valley Sports became the senior club for the town, and abbreviated their name to VS Rugby. VS moved from the United Counties to the West Midlands (Regional) League in 1974, and in 1976 entered the FA Cup for the first time.

In January 1981 Jimmy Knox was appointed manager. Knox had been a successful player and manager at Rugby Town, before a spell as top non-league manager at AP Leamington. His reputation enabled him to survive ten defeats in his first eleven games in charge. In 1983 he led VS to success at Wembley in the FA Vase, after they beat Halesowen Town 1-0 in the final with a goal from Ian Crawley. In the same season, they were promoted into the Southern League.

After a gap of 10 years, Rugby again had a representative team at this level. During Knox's 10-year spell, the club moved into the Premier Division, won the Southern League Cup and Birmingham Senior Cup, and had memorable FA Cup encounters with Northampton Town, Leyton Orient, Bristol Rovers and Bristol City.

Jimmy Knox left Butlin Road in the summer of 1992 with the team 3rd in the Premier Division and with the Birmingham Senior Cup again in the club's possession, and his departure led to a rapid decline in club fortunes. VS were relegated for the first time in their history, and then put into liquidation.

A group of supporters, including founder Keith Coughlan, rescued the club, and manager Ron Bradbury stayed on to gain promotion back to the Southern League Premier Division behind newly formed Rushden & Diamonds in 1993/4.

Rugby's stay in the Premier Division was short lived on this occasion and the club was relegated back to the Midland Division in 1996.

After three years of struggle, the club was again in serious financial trouble before local businessman and current chairman, Brian Melvin, took control of the club in May 1999.

Rugby United

In 2000, the club was renamed Rugby United and they set about developing their Butlin Road ground with the aim of being ready for the Conference (currently known as the Blue Square Premier). A new 500-seater cantilever stand with dressing rooms underneath, a refurbished clubhouse bar and a much improved pitch were among the first improvements as on the pitch, fortunes were steadily improving under manager Tony Dobson.

In 2003/4, Rugby finished fifth in the Southern League Western Division to gain entry back into the Premier Division following a non-league re-structuring. After a season back in the Premier Division, Dobson departed with the majority of the playing staff and Billy Jeffrey was appointed in June 2005.

Rugby Town FC

In 2005, a grant from the Football Foundation to develop all-weather floodlit junior and senior pitches at Butlin Road, together with the complex of junior pitches in Hillmorton, led to the partnership of Rugby United and the acclaimed Rugby Town Juniors under the Rugby Town FC banner.

With a new manager and a new name, Rugby Town FC had a decent season in 2005/06 with Jeffrey having to piece together an entirely new squad and eventually repeated their 16th place finish of the season before.

In season 2006/07, despite making an excellent start to the season which nearly saw them top the table in November 2006, Rugby had a difficult season, but avoided relegation, eventually finishing 17th in the Southern League Premier Division.

In March 2007, another new development was completed at Butlin Road with the introduction of a new 1,300-capacity covered terrace which spans the width of the pitch at the Allotment End.

In December 2007 Billy Jeffrey resigned as Rugby Town FC boss[1] and he was replaced in January 2008 by former Bromsgrove Rovers and Redditch United manager Rod Brown.

Brown led Valley to safety but after a dreadful start to the 2008/09 season, which saw just two points from the first six games, he left the club by mutual consent in September 2008 and rejoined Bromsgrove Rovers[2] and was replaced by former manager Tony Dobson was in September 2008[3]. Dobson led the club to safety from relegation despite still being bottom of the league in December. Dobson resigned as manager in October 2009[4] after only two points from eleven games at the start of the 2009/10 season and was replaced by Lee Colkin[5].

Current squad

As of July 2009:

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
England GK Andrew Stevens
England DF Delroy Gordon
England DF Craig Herbert
England DF Stephan Morley
England DF Marcel Simpson
England MF Tom Breward
England MF Matt Gearing
No.   Position Player
England MF Neil Melvin
England MF Steve Purton
England MF David Staff
England FW David Kolodynski
England FW Dave Castro-Pearson
England FW Jason Turner

Past players

Since entry to Southern Football League in 1983-84

Record Appearances

in order of most appearances

Record Goalscorers

in order of most goals

Managers

Since entry to Southern Football League in 1983-84

Honours

Since entry to Southern Football League in 1983-84

  • Midland Floodlit Cup:
    • Winners (3): 1984-85, 1989-90 & 1998-99
    • Runners-up(1): 1987-88

Records

Since entry to Southern Football League in 1983-84

  • League victory: 11-0 v Malvern Town in 1983-84 (In a non-Southern Football League game)
  • League defeat: 1-11 v Ilkeston Town in 1997-98
  • Games without defeat: 16 in 1988-89 & 1993-94
  • Games without victory: 19 in 1995-96
  • Wins in a row: 8 in 1983-84 & 1986-87
  • Defeats in a row: 8 in 1995-96

Best Performances

References

External links

Coordinates: 52°22′23.41″N 1°14′06.08″W / 52.3731694°N 1.2350222°W / 52.3731694; -1.2350222


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