Dunstable Town F.C.


Dunstable Town F.C.
Dunstable Town
Official crest
Full name Dunstable Town Football Club
Nickname(s) The Blues
Founded 1883, (reformed in 1998)
(see history)
Ground Creasey Park
Dunstable
(Capacity: 3,200)
Chairman Roger Dance
League Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division
2010–11 Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division, 7th
Home colours
Away colours

Dunstable Town F.C. is a football club based in Dunstable, Bedfordshire, currently playing in the Molten Spartan South Midlands Premier Division. They play their home matches at Creasey Park Stadium.

The original 'Dunstable Town' were in existence from the nineteenth century until 1975, being replaced by Dunstable F.C.. They themselves then folded in 1993-1994, and the new Dunstable Town were created in 1998.

The club is affiliated to the Bedfordshire County Football Association.

Contents

The First Dunstable Town

Early history

Dunstable Town FC were formed in the late nineteenth century, first playing in local league and cup competitions. In 1894, they won the Bedfordshire Senior Cup, a feat they were not to repeat until 1956.[1]

1950s-1970s

The history of the club is sketchy until 1950, when Dunstable Town joined the Metropolitan League. The club moved to a stadium at Kingsway, and played in this league for many years, before moving to the Southern League in 1965. In 1956, they also achieved their best result in the FA Cup, reaching the first round proper.

In 1973, the club received the financial backing of Keith Cheesman. He hired a young Barry Fry as manager, and gave him money to build up a strong team; indeed in his autobiography, Fry claims that he was often given blank, signed cheques. Of note, both Jeff Astle and George Best were bought in to play for the team (Best only actually playing three competitive games). However, this spending quickly led to the accumulation of debt, and the club folded.[2]

Dunstable F.C.

Dunstable F.C. was formed to take over the team's fixtures, completing the 1975-1976 season. They were then demoted to the bottom level of the Southern League. There they stayed for following twenty years; however, more financial difficulties led to the clubs disbanding in 1994, for the second time.[3]

Dunstable Town today

Creasey Park, the current stadium, was leased in 1997, allowing the team to be reformed for the 1998/99 season. Promotion from their initial league, the South Midlands League Division 1, was obtained at the second attempt, followed by two promotions in three years to the Isthmian League first division. League restructuring put them in the Southern League Premier, from which they were relegated for the 2005-2006 season. Kerry Dixon and Paul Reeves failed to stop the rot and The Blues were relegated again until the FA's restructuring granted Dunstable a reprieve. Young manager Darren Feighery was drafted in for the 2006/07 season in the Southern League Division One Midlands, and he and his young side finished 11th as well as winning the Bedfordshire Senior Cup Final, for a record 11th time. The youth team also had a remarkable season, finishing their league season unbeaten as they won the SCYFL Delphian Division, Colwyn Cup and Eastern Junior Cup, which has such names as Norwich City, Ipswich Town and Luton Town as past winners.

The Blues kicked off the 2007/08 season in style as they defeated Luton Town 3-2 (AET) to win the Bedfordshire Premier Cup, as well as the Peter Metcalfe Memorial Tournament. After another midtable finish, the reign of Feighery came to an end as new chairman Pete Burgoyne sought a new direction in the form of Lee Cowley. Major ground improvements were carried out over the summer but disaster struck as the function hall at Creasey Park collapsed, taking with it a significant chunk of the budget and the boardroom. Cowley struggled after a good start to the season, highlighted by a 5-1 win at Canvey Island in the FA Cup, and ultimately resigned in March with reserve team managers, Mike Locke and Wayne Roff, taking over temporarily. Mike and Wayne led the team to a record twelfth Bedfordshire Senior Cup but were unfortunately relegated from the Southern League.

2009/10 was another stand-out year for the Young Blues as Lee Connelly's U18s reached the FA Youth Cup 1st round, narrowly losing away to the MK Dons. The youngsters also won the Colwyn Cup and finished runners up in the Brian Hitchings Challenge Cup, and saw a staggering eight youth players selected by the returning Darren Feighery for first team duties. The season also became one of consolidation as Pete Burgoyne attempted to secure the redevelopment of Creasey Park and a long term successor. His successor was to be the man who sparked it all off in 1997 - Darren Croft. Attempting to bring the good times back to Creasey Park, Darren brought back the legendary Grant Carney as player/coach to compliment Darren Feighery. The summer also saw the start of the redevelopment with two new stands, a new pitch perimeter fence and new floodlights. By May 2011, there should be new changing rooms, a new bar and a full-size 3G astroturf pitch to finally make Creasey Park something to be proud of. The official unveiling of the redeveloped ground and facilities will take place on the 30th of July 2011.

2010/11 was a record-breaking season for Dunstable with the FA Vase run. Town reached the 5th round, only exiting away to holders Whitley Bay, who would go on to win the competition for the third year in a row, in front of a crowd of 1,110. John McLoughlin also led the side to the SSMFL Challenge Trophy final, missing out to a last-gasp extra-time winner by league champions Challfont St Peter.

September 2011 will see Dunstable Town finally take to the pitch at the completed Creasey Park, hopefully bring a level of success similar to 1974 back to Bedfordshire. The Blues' management trio of John McLoughlin, Paul Reeves and Darren Croft made some impressive signings in the summer including the former Luton Town first team quartet of Peter Holmes, Dean Brennan, Matthew Judge and Stephen O'Leary. To add to these, Danny Hutchins who has League One experience with Yeovil Town, Chris Casey who spent several years at Tottenham Hotspur as well as Joe Bruce and Daniel Chambers, who have both spent the majority of their careers playing in the Conference.

Honours

  • Bedfordshire Senior Cup:
    • Winners (12): 1895–96, 1956–57, 1959–60, 1979–80, 1982–83, 1985–86, 1986–87, 1987–88, 1988–89, 2002–03, 2006–07, 2008–09[4]
  • Bedfordshire Premier Cup:
    • Winners (4): 1980–81, 1982–83, 1990–91, 2006–07[5]
  • Bedfordshire Intermediate Cup:
    • Winners (2): 1999–00, 2008–09[6]
  • Bedfordshire Floodlit Cup:
    • Winners (1): 2007–08[7]
  • Eastern Junior Cup:
    • Winners (1): 2006–07
  • Colwyn Cup:
    • Winners (2): 2006–07, 2009–10
  • Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division:
    • Winners (1): 2002–03
  • Spartan South Midlands League Division One:
    • Winners (1): 1999–00

Club records

  • Best league position: 8th in Southern League, Premier division (then step 1), 1975–76
  • Best attendance: Approx. 10,000 against Manchester United in a friendly, in July 1974
  • Best FA Cup performance: 1st Round Proper, 1956-57 Margate (a) Lost 3-1
  • Best FA Trophy performance: 1st round, 2004-05 Histon (h) Lost 6-2
  • Best FA Vase performance: 5th round, 2010–11 Whitley Bay F.C. (a) Lost 5-1
  • Highest transfer fee received: £20,000, Kerry Dixon to Reading. 1980[8]

Club colours and crest

The 'Dennis The Menace' away kit

Dunstable Town have always been associated with Royal Blue and White, in a number of combinations. Unlike some of the larger clubs who hold an identity with one particular pattern, Dunstable have had stripes, hoops, halves, quarters, pin stripe and plain shirts. One kit that many Dunstablians would like to see the return of is the away kit from the early 21st century, a red and black hooped shirt by Prostar as shown on the left. The club enjoyed its 'invincible' season winning the Spartan South Midlands Premier Division while sporting this kit.

No-one is entirely sure why this combination was chosen as many of the club's records up to 1950 have been lost in time, although red and black have recently become the club's regular change colours as a direct contrast.

The present Dunstable Town crest is simply a recoloured version of the coat of arms for the Town of Dunstable. The previous badge, which is still displayed on supporters' flags, is based around the Chiltern White Lion. The lion originates from the figure cut into the chalk in the south of the town as part of Whipsnade Zoo in 1933.[9]

Current squad

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 Paul Taylor
- England GK Garry Duncan
- England GK Gary Looker
- England DF Mark Boyce captain
- England DF Joe Bruce
- England DF Steven Dogbe
- England DF Danny Hutchins
- England DF Nick Leach
- England DF Rob Newman
- England DF Damen Pickering
- Republic of Ireland DF Corrie Smith
- England DF Paul Spicer
- England DF Shane Wood
- England MF Jack Best
- Republic of Ireland MF Dean Brennan
No. Position Player
- England MF Lee Burgoyne
- England MF Daniel Chambers
- England MF Stephen Coles
- England MF Jonathan Cooper
- England MF Peter Holmes
- England MF Nick Jackson
- Republic of Ireland MF Stephen O'Leary
- England MF Joe Reynolds
- England MF Benjamin Tavener
- England FW Nathan Frater
- England FW Craig Henney
- Republic of Ireland FW Matthew Judge
- England FW Luke O'Malley
- England FW Russell Preston
- England FW Lee Roache

Notable former players

Officials

  • Chairman: Roger Dance
  • Honorary President: Barry Fry
  • Secretary: Paul Harris
  • Club Welfare Officer: Paul Harris
  • Programme Editor: Dan Crooke
  • Club Reporter: Paul Harris
  • Club Photographer: Liam Smith
  • Kit Manager: Dean Falla
  • Executive Committee: Roger Dance, Gary Levy,
  • Will McLaughlan, Paul Harris,
  • Pete Burgoyne

Management team

Position Name
First Team Manager England Darren Croft
First Team Manager England Paul Reeves
First Team Manager England John McLoughlan
First Team Coach England Dean Brennan
First Team Coach England Peter Holmes
Goalkeeping Coach England Gary Levy

External links

Sources

References


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