A.F.C. Aldermaston

A.F.C. Aldermaston is a football club based in Aldermaston, Berkshire, England. The club is affiliated to the Berks & Bucks Football Association,[1] and currently play in the Hellenic League Division One East. The club has played at AWE Aldermaston (on the Hampshire–Berkshire border) since its establishment in 1952.

AFC Aldermaston
Full nameAssociation Football Club Aldermaston
Nickname(s)The Atom Men
Founded1952
GroundAWE Recreational Society, Aldermaston
ChairmanMartin Desay
ManagerKieran Jennings
LeagueHellenic League Division One East
2018–19Hellenic League Division One East, 3rd of 13

The club motto, Facta Non Verba, comes from a Latin phrase meaning "deeds, not words".[2]

History

The club was founded as AWRE Football Club in 1952 by Charles Green, Ted Hall, Gordon Carter, and Don Sharp, and were nicknamed "the Atom Men" after the newly founded Atomic Weapons Research Establishment.[3] As the AWRE complex was still under construction when the club was established, the players used empty contractors' huts as changing rooms – carrying the tin bath into whichever building was designated for that day's football.[3] The players were also responsible for the pitch, and would mow and mark out the pitch before the match started.[3] The club received support from William Penney during his work at AWRE on the Operation Hurricane project.[3]

In the late 1960s/early 1970s, the club was asked to change its name, and became AFC Aldermaston.[3] In 1979 they were promoted from the Reading & District League into Division One of the Hellenic League, where they spent the next seven seasons.[4] From 1986 until 1991 the club played in local football leagues, including the North Hampshire League, before joining Division Three of the Hampshire League in 1991. They finished fifth in their first season, earning promotion to Division Two.[3] However, they were relegated back to Division Three the following season, where they remained until 1999.[4] Upon reorganisation of the Hampshire League prior to the 1999–2000 season, Aldermaston were placed in the Premier Division.[4]

When the Hampshire and Wessex Leagues merged in 2004, Aldermaston became members of Division Two of the Wessex League. They were relegated to Division Three at the end of the 2004–05 season. The division was renamed Division Two in 2006, and was disbanded at the end of the 2006–07 season, with Aldermaston moved up to Division One.

During the 2009–10 season, the club lost 40 consecutive games, breaking the previous record of 39 straight losses held jointly by Stockport United and Poole Town.[5][6] The 40th defeat came on 8 April 2010, a 2–0 loss to Downton.[5] This led to news reports proclaiming them the "worst English football team in history" as well as gaining international attention.[7][8] Chairman Damion Bone stated that he believed that the poor performance over the season was due to players' commitments;[6] the club had also lost ten players to Tadley Calleva before the start of the season.[9] The losing streak ended on 10 April 2010, when the club drew 1–1 against Warminster Town,[9] with the following match against Petersfield Town resulting in a 2–1 win for Aldermaston.

The run of defeats saw the club finish bottom of Division One with just one win in 40 matches,[10] resulting in relegation to the Hampshire Premier League,[5] At the end of the 2013–14 season, they switched to the Premier Division of the Thames Valley Premier Football League.[4] After finishing seventh in the Premier Division in 2015–16, the club were promoted to Division One East of the Hellenic League.[11]

Season-by-season record

Season Division Position Significant events
1979–80Hellenic League Division One7/16
1980–81Hellenic League Division One12/16
1981–82Hellenic League Division One15/16
1982–83Hellenic League Division One15/16
1983–84Hellenic League Division One13/18
1984–85Hellenic League Division One13/17
1985–86Hellenic League Division One16/16Left league
1986–1991 A.F.C. Aldermaston played in local football, mainly the North Hampshire League
1991–92Hampshire League Division Three4/14Promoted
1992–93Hampshire League Division Two17/18Relegated
1993–94Hampshire League Division Three9/16
1994–95Hampshire League Division Three18/18
1995–96Hampshire League Division Three10/18
1996–97Hampshire League Division Three15/20
1997–98Hampshire League Division Three11/16
1998–99Hampshire League Division Three15/18League re-organisation
1999–2000Hampshire League Premier Division21/22
2000–01Hampshire League Premier Division21/21
2001–02Hampshire League Premier Division21/21
2002–03Hampshire League Premier Division20/20
2003–04Hampshire League Premier Division17/18League merged into Wessex League
2004–05Wessex League Division Two22/22Relegated
2005–06Wessex League Division Three9/16Division Three renamed Division Two at end of season
2006–07Wessex League Division Two13/16League re-organisation
2007–08Wessex League Division One21/21
2008–09Wessex League Division One14/21
2009–10Wessex League Division One21/21Relegated
2010–11Hampshire Premier League15/17
2011–12Hampshire Premier League9/18
2012–13Hampshire Premier League8/17
2013–14Hampshire Premier League Senior Division10/17Switched leagues
2014–14Thames Valley Premier League Premier Division5/14
2015–16Thames Valley Premier League Premier Division7/14Promoted
Source: FCHD

Ground

The club play at the Recreational Society (commonly abbreviated to "Rec Soc") at the Atomic Weapons Establishment in Aldermaston, having been founded shortly after the complex's establishment. The ground has three full-sized football pitches. Until 1990, the society's Head Groundsman was Eddie Seaward.[12] After leaving Aldermaston, Seaward became Head Groundsman at Wimbledon's All England Lawn Tennis Club,[3] and received an MBE in 2007 for services to sport.[13]

Facilities at the Rec Soc include railings, training facilities, floodlights, a club shop and a clubhouse. There are also non-football facilities, including cricket pitches, squash courts, and a gymnasium.[14]

Records

  • Highest league position: 7th in Hellenic League Division One, 1979–80[4]
  • Record attendance: 150

References

  1. Berks & Bucks Charter Standard Clubs Berks & Bucks Football Association
  2. Heimbach, Elizabeth (2004). Latin Everywhere, Everyday: A Latin Phrase Workbook. Wauconda, Illinois: Bolchazy-Carducci. p. 116. ISBN 0-86516-572-6.
  3. "AFC Aldermaston – Club History". Wessex League. Sydenhams Football League. Archived from the original on 24 July 2008. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
  4. AFC Aldermaston at the Football Club History Database
  5. "Berkshire football team sets record for defeats". BBC Online. BBC. 9 April 2010. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
  6. Peach, Andrew; Bone, Damion (9 April 2010). "Andrew Peach's radio show". BBC Berkshire. BBC. Retrieved 11 April 2010.
  7. It's a weird world Zimbabwe Independent, 15 April 2010
  8. Saffer, Paul (16 April 2010). "Breaking records: AFC Aldermaston". News (in Portuguese). UEFA. Retrieved 18 April 2010.
  9. "Worst football team in Britain ends 40-game losing streak (with a 1–1 draw)". Daily Telegraph. 12 April 2010. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  10. "Division One, 2009/10". The Sydenhams Football League (Wessex). The Football Association. Archived from the original on 25 February 2010.
  11. AFC Aldermaston are promoted Basingstoke Gazette, 21 May 2016
  12. "Interview: Eddie Seaward". Growing Awareness. Lantra. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
  13. "Queen's New Year Honours List 2008". Scoop. Independent News & Media. 31 December 2007. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
  14. Recreation @ AWE Atomic Weapons Establishment

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