Chelmsford City F.C.

Chelmsford City F.C.
Chelmsford City
Chelmsford City.png
Full name Chelmsford City Football Club
Nickname(s) The Clarets
Founded 1878 (Chelmsford)
1938 (Chelmsford City)
Ground Melbourne Stadium, Chelmsford
(Capacity: 3,000)
Chairman Mansell Wallace
Manager Glenn Pennyfather
League Conference South
2010–11 Conference South, 4th
Home colours
Away colours

Chelmsford City F.C. is an English semi-professional football club based in the town of Chelmsford, Essex. The club are currently members of the Conference South and play at the Melbourne Stadium.




Chelmsford F.C. were established in 1878 by members of the Chelmsford Lawn Tennis and Croquet club in order to give them something to do in the winter.[1] They won the Essex Senior Cup in 1892–93 and again in 1901–02. In 1895 they were founder members of the North Essex League, which they left in 1900 to join the South Essex League. In 1903–04 they also entered a team into the South East Anglian League and in 1908–09 they spent a season playing in the Eastern Division of the Spartan League.[2]

In 1912 they were amongst the founder members of the Athenian League, although they also continued to play in the South Essex League for another season. In 1922 they failed to be re-elected and dropped into the Middlesex County League. In 1923–24 they also entered a team into the Essex & Suffolk Border League. That season they won the Middlesex County League and finished second in the ESBL, prompting them to step up to the London League. The following season they won the East Anglian Cup, a feat repeated in 1926–27 and 1928–29. They won the title in 1930–31 and in 1935 were founder members of the Eastern Counties League. Two years later they left the ECL to become founder members of the Essex County League.

In 1938 it was decided to form a professional club in order to join the Southern League. Having seen how Colchester Town fared so badly after the formation of the professional Colchester United, it was decided to close down the existing club and reform as Chelmsford City.

Chelmsford City

Chelmsford City were established in 1938 and took over Chelmsford's New Writtle Street ground. They joined the Southern League and made an immediate impact in the FA Cup, reaching the fourth round in their first season after defeating two League clubs before losing at Birmingham City.[3] At the end of the season they applied to join the Football League, but received only one vote.[4] In the 1939–40 season the Southern League was split into Eastern and Western Divisions. City were Eastern Division champions and were declared joint overall champions after drawing a play-off with Lovells Athletic 3–3. They were the Southern League's first champions when football resumed after World War II and also won the league cup that season.

They won the league cup again in 1959–60 and the league title in 1967–68 and 1971–72. They also continued to apply to join the Football League, but never received more than eight votes. The club remained in the top division of the Southern League until 1976–77, when they were relegated to Division One South. In 1977 City were one of six clubs to represent England in the Anglo-Italian Cup. After the formation of the Alliance Premier League they regained their top division status. They were relegated again in 1987–88 but made an immediate return to the Premier Division after winning Division One South the following season. Another relegation was experienced in 1996–97 and after an issue with the seating at their ground meant they were refused promotion in 1997–98, they did not return to the Premier Division until 2001 .

In 2004 the club transferred to the Premier Division of the Isthmian League and were champions in 2007–08, earning promotion to the Conference South. They reached the play-offs the following season but lost to Hampton & Richmond in the play-off semi-finals. They qualified for the play-offs again in 2009–10 and 2010–11, but lost in the semi-finals on both occasions. Chelmsford reached the FA Cup second round twice in a row in 2010/11 season losing 3-1 to Wycombe Wanderers and in the 2011/12 where they got drawn against League 2 side Macclesfield Town.

Reserve team

When Chelmsford City were formed in 1938 they entered a reserve team into the Eastern Counties League. After World War II they were champions in 1946–47, 1947–48 and 1948–49 (a season in which they also won the East Anglian Cup), going unbeaten in the first season.[5] They also played in the London League between 1945 and 1948, winning the Premier Division in 1946–47 and 1947–48. Although their later years in the ECL were not as successful, they won the League Cup in 1960–61, before withdrawing in 1963 after losing the title to Lowestoft Town on goal average.[1] They then joined the Metropolitan League, winning the league title and Professional Cup in 1967–68 before being disbanded in 1969 to reduce the club's running costs. However, they were resurrected briefly in 1970–71 and then again in 1976 when they joined the Essex Senior League, in which they played until 1990. They then joined the Essex & Herts Border Combination and were disbanded again in 1997. Another resurrection in 2004 saw them rejoin the Border Combination, before moving to the Capital League in 2007.


After their establishment, Chelmsford City played at the New Writtle Street ground, which they purchased in 1939. During the early parts of World War II it was shared by Southend United, before it became a barrage balloon site in 1942. After World War II it briefly hosted greyhound racing.[1] The record attendance of 16,807 was set for a local derby with Colchester United on 10 September 1949. Floodlights were installed in 1960. Several plans were made to increase facilities at the ground, including installing a swimming pool and building office blocks or a hotel, but none came to fruition.[1]

In 1997 the site was sold to developers and the club had to move out of Chelmsford. They initially shared at Maldon Town's Wallace Binder Ground, before moving to Billericay Town's New Lodge. In January 2006 the club moved back to Chelmsford when they became tenants at the Melbourne Athletics Stadium, also known as Chelmsford Sport and Athletics Centre. The first game back at Melbourne Park was against former landlords Billericay Town and was played in front of a crowd of 2,998. The club has plans to upgrade the stadium to a 5,000 capacity capable of achieving the necessary 'A' ground grading.[6]

Current squad

As of 20 November 2011.[7][8]

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 Stuart Searle
- England GK Lewis Batchford
- England GK Ashley Harrison
- England DF Mark Haines
- South Africa DF Justin Miller
- England DF Ben Nunn
- England DF Aiden Palmer
- England DF Adam Tann (vice-captain)
- England DF Kenny Clark
- England MF Jermaine Brown
- England MF Max Cornhill
- England MF Greg Morgan
No. Position Player
- England MF Warren Whitely
- England MF Anthony Cook
- England MF Sam Corcoran
- England MF Craig Parker
- England MF Dave Rainford (captain)
- England MF Michael Bakare
- England FW Joe Benjamin
- Ghana FW Cliff Akurang
- England FW Kezie Ibe
- England FW Ross Lamb
- England FW Ricky Modeste
- England FW Tyrone Scarlett

Club records

Most appearances

# Name Career Appearances Goals
1 England Tony Butcher 1956–1971 586 260
2 England Derek Tiffin 1950–1964 553 n/a
3 England Lenny Tomkins 1971–1983 509 n/a
4 England Colin Johnson 1981–1993 468 n/a
5 England Bobby Smith 1963–1973 443 n/a
6 Republic of Ireland John Devine 1977–1988 410 n/a
7 England Terry Price 1969–1983 389 n/a
8 England Mick Loughton 1970–1978 382 n/a
9 England Peter Gillott 1959–1970 376 n/a
10 England Terry Eades 1962–1978 363 n/a

Managerial history

  • 1938-1938: Billy Walker
  • 1938–1939: Alan Sliman
  • 1939–1940: Harry Warren
  • 1940–1949: Arthur Rowe
  • 1949–1950: Jack Tresadern
  • 1951–1952: Billy Walsh
  • 1952–1954: Ben Burley
  • 1955–1959: Frank Grice
  • 1959–1963: Harry Ferrier
  • 1963–1965: Billy Frith
  • 1966-1966: Peter Harburn
  • 1966–1969: Harry Ferrier
  • 1969–1970: Geoff Walker
  • 1970–1974: Dave Bumpstead
  • 1974–1975: Sid Prosser
  • 1975-1975: Bill Leivers
  • 1976–1977: Bobby Kellard
  • 1977–1978: Mick Loughton
  • 1978–1979: Ollie Hopkins
  • 1979–1980: Don Walker
  • 1980–1981: Colin Harper
  • 1981–1984: Mick Loughton
  • 1985–1987: Joe O'Sullivan
  • 1987–1989: Chris Symes
  • 1989–1990: George Borg
  • 1990–1992: Danny O'Leary
  • 1992–1996: Joe O'Sullivan
  • 1996-1996: Robbie Garvey and Paul Watts
  • 1996-1996: Roy McDonough
  • 1996–1998: Colin Norman and Gary Bellamy
  • 1996–2001: Gary Bellamy
  • 2001–2003: Paul Parker
  • 2003–2004: Steve Mosely
  • 2004–2005: Aidan Boxall
  • 2005–2006: Craig Edwards
  • 2006–2009: Jeff King
  • 2009–present: Glenn Pennyfather


  • Isthmian League
    • Premier Division champions 2007–08
  • Southern League
    • Champions 1939–40 (joint), 1945–46, 1967–68, 1971–72
    • Division One South champions 1988–89
    • League Cup winners 1945–46, 1959–60, 1990–91
  • London League
    • Champions 1930–31
  • Middlesex County League
    • Champions 1923–24
  • East Anglian Cup
    • Winners 1924–25, 1926–27, 1928–29
  • Eastern Floodlight Cup
    • Winners 1966–67, 1974–75, 1977–78, 1981–82, 1982–83, 1986–87
  • Essex Professional Cup
    • Winners 1957–58, 1969–70, 1970–71, 1973–74, 1974–75
  • Essex Senior Cup
    • Winners 1892–93, 1901–02, 1985–86, 1988–89, 1992–93, 2002–03, 2008–09
  • Non-League Champions Cup
    • Winners 1971–72


  1. ^ a b c d Blakeman, M (2010) The Official History of the Eastern Counties Football League 1935-2010, Volume II ISBN 9781908037022
  2. ^ Chelmsford at the Football Club History Database
  3. ^ Chelmsford City at the Football Club History Database
  4. ^ history of admission to the Football League
  5. ^ Chelmford City Reserves at the Football Club History Database
  6. ^ Million pound ground development revealed This is Essex
  7. ^ First team squad Chelmsford City FC
  8. ^ Clarets Player Profiles for 2011/12 Chelmsford City FC

External links

Coordinates: 51°45′11.60″N 0°27′05.21″E / 51.753222°N 0.4514472°E / 51.753222; 0.4514472

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