Royal Wootton Bassett Town F.C.

Royal Wootton Bassett Town Football Club are an English football club based in the town of Royal Wootton Bassett in Wiltshire.

Royal Wootton Bassett Town
Full nameRoyal Wootton Bassett Town Football Club
Nickname(s)Bassett
FoundedNovember 1882 (Re-founded in June 1930 after folding in 1908)
GroundNew Gerard Buxton Sports Ground,
Brinkworth Road,
Royal Wootton Bassett,
Swindon,
Wiltshire,
SN4 8DS
ChairmanAndy Walduck
ManagerSam Collier
LeagueHellenic League Premier Division
2018–19Hellenic League Premier Division, 10th of 19

The club has three senior, one ladies, 19 youth and mini soccer and one girls teams and is affiliated to the Wiltshire County Football Association. The record match attendance was 2,103 versus Swindon Town in July 1991. The club's first team are currently members of the Hellenic League Premier Division at level nine of the English football league system.

History

Situated in the small market town six miles west of Swindon, Royal Wootton Bassett Town have been playing football since their establishment in November 1882, making the club one of the oldest in the county of Wiltshire. From 1930, when the club was reformed after a two decade hiatus, until 2013 Bassett played at the Gerard Buxton Sports Ground at Rylands Way. The ground was donated by local dignitary Major Gerard Buxton for sporting activities within the town and opened in May 1930. Since 2015 they have played at the New Gerard Buxton Sports Ground on the outskirts of the town.

After one season in the Vale of the White League, Bassett entered the Swindon & District League in 1899. Progress made there culminated in the side entering the Wiltshire County League in 1903-04, a year after the club made the finals of both the Advertiser Cup and the Wiltshire Senior Cup.[1][2]

Bassett made the final of the Wiltshire Senior Cup again during its first year playing at county level, but lost to Swindon Town Reserves.[3]

At the time, the County League featured clubs such as Melksham Town, Devizes Town and Chippenham Town as well as – from further afield – Bath City and Yeovil Casuals (now Yeovil Town). Bassett had mixed fortunes during its spell in this division, coming last in 1904/05 before finishing runners-up a year later.[4] During this period, the club’s home games took place at ‘The Close’, upon which Tanners Close now stands, whilst they were based at ‘The Royal Oak’ public house.

Bassett resigned from the Wiltshire County League in the summer of 1908 after failing to comply with league regulations which insisted players must reside within a specific radius of the town – the majority of the Bassett side at the time lived in Swindon, while financial pressures meant the club would fold.

Years in the wilderness followed, thanks partly to the First World War – during which The Royal Oak was used as a barracks for German prisoners of war – and the presence of the 1920/21 FA Amateur Cup finalists Swindon Victoria, who for many years played in the town.

However, owing to the opening of the Gerard Buxton Sports Ground in May 1930 and the desire for it to have tenants alongside the town cricket club, the football club was revived. Starting in the Calne & District League, Bassett had much early success, finishing runners-up in 1930-31 before going on to win the league on three occasions. The division featured teams from numerous surrounding villages such as Clyffe Pypard, Bushton and Lyneham – a stark contrast to the sides Bassett competed against three decades earlier.

Re-election to the now expanded Wiltshire League followed, but Bassett struggled to compete with the likes of Westbury United, Devizes and Purton.

Fortunes began to change following the Second World War, and Bassett twice came close to reaching the First Round Proper of the FA Amateur Cup – in the 1946/47 season it was the last Wiltshire club standing, but was beaten 9–0 by Cornish side St Austell in the final qualifying round.[5]

Bassett steadily rose up the Wiltshire League Division One table during the 1950s. After narrowly missing out on the title two seasons earlier, they were crowned as champions in 1958-59.[6] A year later, now playing in the Wiltshire Premier Division, Bassett enjoyed another successful season, embarking on a nine-game FA Amateur Cup run that saw them again fall one game short of reaching the First Round Proper.[5]

The club generally found the going tough in its new league surroundings. However, they were up against strong opposition, which included numerous clubs from outside the county, namely Somerset sides Paulton Rovers, Radstock Town, Frome Town, Clandown and Peasedown Athletic, as well as Stonehouse Town from Gloucestershire.

Restructuring of the County League came at the end of the 1960s. This saw Bassett enter the Wiltshire Combination and pitted them against more local sides. During the eight years of this competition, Bassett’s best finish was fifth in 1969-70.[7]

In 1976 the Wiltshire County Football League was established after another reorganisation of the game in the county. Bassett were placed in Division One but lasted two seasons before being relegated. They secured promotion a year later, but immediately went back down in 1979-80.

Steady progress eventually led to Bassett winning the Division Two title in 1984-85. In Division One, under the stewardship of Micky Woolford, Bassett won the league and promotion to the Hellenic League in 1987-88. That same year they again finished runners-up in the final of the Wiltshire Senior Cup, losing 1–0 to Purton.[8]

Woolford remained manager until 1995, overseeing a spell in which Bassett established themselves in Hellenic League Division One. During this period Bassett reached the final of the Hellenic League Division One Cup three times, winning it twice in 1989/90[9] and 1993/94.

Bassett won its first County Cup title in 1998-99, beating Pewsey Vale 3–2 after extra time in the final held at the County Ground.[10] A year later they gained promotion to the Hellenic League Premier Division having finished third in Division One.[11]

In its first season in the Premier Division, Bassett secured a mid-table position, and also won the Wiltshire Senior Cup for a second time by defeating Shrewton United 2–0.[12] A year later the club reached the First Round of the FA Vase for the first time, losing at home to Cornish side St Blazey. However, in the league Bassett became involved in numerous relegation battles, eventually falling back to Division One West after finishing 21st in the 2004/05 season.[13]

Bassett came close to securing an immediate return to the Hellenic Premier Division in 2005-06, following a three-month unbeaten spell from the end of January. However, a 1–0 defeat at Trowbridge Town in the penultimate game of the year saw Bassett finish fifth in Division One West, one point shy of third place and a promotion spot.[14]

Underachievement followed during the next two years, although season 2007-08 saw Bassett advance to the First Qualifying Round of the FA Cup after wins over local rivals Highworth Town and Southern League side Bracknell Town.[15]

A 15th-place finish in that season was Bassett’s lowest ever in the Hellenic League, but a year later they were again battling for promotion and having cup success. Bassett went further than ever before in the FA Vase, reaching the Second Round Proper, where they were defeated 4–0 at 1992 winners Wimborne Town.[16] Throughout the year, Bassett were promotion candidates, but defeat at Trowbridge late in the season meant they finished fourth.[17]

A return to the Hellenic Premier Division was finally achieved in 2009-10 as Bassett finished runners-up to Slimbridge on goal difference after losing three league games all season.[18]

They enjoyed another FA Cup run in the 2010-11 season. Bradford Town were beaten 4–3 on penalties in a replay. In the Preliminary Round Bassett defeated Western League side Almondsbury UWE 1–0 to reach the First Qualifying Round for the second time in the club's history. They were knocked out at that stage, however, by Hamble ASSC in another replay.[15]

In the league Bassett enjoyed a good start, defeating eventual champions Wantage Town in September. They soon became engaged in a battle against relegation though and wound up finishing 15th.[19] The club were eventually demoted after Rylands Way was deemed not to have met ground grading criteria.[20]

Back in Division One West for the 2011-12 season, Bassett hoped to challenge for promotion. Despite an up and down campaign this was still a possibility late in the season before they wound up fifth.[21]

2012-13, Bassett's final season at Rylands Way, would see them secure a return to the Hellenic League Premier Division, as they came runners-up behind Brimscombe & Thrupp in Division One West. Manager Dave Turner, who stood down at the end of the campaign, also led the team to the Second Qualifying round of the FA Cup, where Bassett were defeated by Conference South side Dorchester Town.[15]

The 2013-14 season, under the guidance of new manager Jeff Roberts, was the first of two seasons Bassett played at Cirencester Town's Corinium Stadium ground as part of a groundshare while work on its new ground took place. The following season, with Paul Braithwaite now first team manager, Bassett finished 11th in the Hellenic League Premier Division - the club's highest ever league placing.

On 1 July 2015 the club officially changed its name from Wootton Bassett Town, incorporating 'Royal' into its name to reflect the royal patronage granted to the town in 2011.

This name change coincided with the team returning to play their game in the town at the New Gerard Buxton Sports Ground, Royal Wootton Bassett Sports Association's new facility on the edge of town. In their first two seasons at their new ground, they finished 15th and 11th in the Hellenic League Premier Division

Over the last decade and a half the club has expanded, with the establishment of a large Youth Section and a Ladies Section. The club now operates 24 teams from under 8s upwards. This growth led to the club being awarded Charter Development Club status by the FA before this was upgraded to Community Club status. Bassett were the first club in Wiltshire to achieve this. International ties have also been established, with three youth section teams touring Holland annually. This has led to a relationship with amateur side FC 's-Gravenzande, who are based near The Hague.

Ground

Since 2015 Royal Wootton Bassett Town play at the New Gerard Buxton Sports Ground, Brinkworth Road.

Honours

League honours

Cup honours

  • Wiltshire Senior Cup:[26]
    • Winners (2): 1998–99,[10] 2000–01[12]
    • Runners-up (3): 1902–03,[1] 1903–04,[3] 1987-88[8]
  • Hellenic Football League Division One Cup :
    • Winners (2): 1989–90,[9] 1993–94
    • Runners-up (1): 1994–95
  • Wiltshire Football League Subsidiary Cup:[27]
    • Winners (1): 1978–79
  • Calne & District League Cup:
    • Winners (1): 1934–35
    • Runners-up (1): 1935–36
  • Ghia Senior Cup:
    • Winners (1): 1983–84
  • Ghia Junior Cup:
    • Runners-up (2): 1984-85, 1988–89
  • Fountains Trophies Junior Cup:
    • Runners-up (1): 2012-13
  • Brotherhood Cup:
    • Winners (1): 1938-39
  • Vale of the White Horse Cup:
    • Winners (2): 1933–34, 1953–54
    • Runners-up (1): 1951–52
  • Advertiser Cup:
    • Runners-Up (2): 1902–03, 1904–05
  • Gordon Perrett Memorial Cup:
    • Winners (1): 2016-17

Records

  • FA Cup Best performance – Second Qualifying Round 2012–13
  • FA Vase Best performance – Second Round 2008–09
  • FA Amateur Cup Best performance – Third Qualifying Round 1946–47, 1959–60
  • FA Youth Cup Best performance – Second Qualifying Round 2003–04, 2005–06
  • FA Women's Cup Best performance - Second Qualifying Round 2016-17

Hellenic League Seasons

YearDivisionPositionPWDLFAPtsNotes
1988–89Division One5/152811710504140
1989–90Division One7/16301389523547Hellenic League Division One Cup Winners
1990–91Division One8/163011811323641
1991–92Division One12/173210814455938
1992–93Division One12/16308616405330
1993–94Division One9/183415811655753Hellenic League Division One Cup Winners
1994–95Division One9/203818515676859Hellenic League Division One Cup Runners-up
1995–96Division One10/183412913506445
1996–97Division One11/17329815375035
1997–98Division One10/173212614675842
1998–99Division One5/17321778644358Wilts Senior Cup Winners
1999-00Division One3/15281576543252Promoted
2000–01Premier Division13/2038141014546052Wilts Senior Cup Winners
2001–02Premier Division19/224211922397542
2002–03Premier Division15/2140101020367040
2003–04Premier Division16/224211526387338
2004–05Premier Division21/22426927308527Relegated
2005–06Division One West5/183417107583061
2006–07Division One West11/183414515646247
2007–08Division One West15/183411320436636
2008–09Division One West4/17321796613060
2009–10Division One West2/16302073743467Promoted as Division One West Runners-up
2010–11Premier Division15/224213722558746Relegated (Demoted)
2011–12Division One West5/173215710694752
2012–13Division One West2/16302235754069Promoted as Division One West Runners-up
2013–14Premier Division14/2038111215606045
2014-15Premier Division11/203814915667851
2015-16Premier Division15/203812521508641
2016-17Premier Division11/1834153166164453 points deducted
2017-18Premier Division15/203811621448539
2018-19Premier Division10/193614715667149

References

  1. "WBTFC Wiltshire Senior Cup Runners-up 1902/03". Wootton Bassett Town. 3 July 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  2. "WBTFC Advertiser Cup Runners-up 1902/03". Wootton Bassett Town. 3 July 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  3. "WBTFC Wiltshire Senior Cup Runners-up 1903/04". Wootton Bassett Town. 3 July 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  4. "WBTFC First Team 1905/06". Wootton Bassett Town. 2 March 2013. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  5. "WBTFC FA Amateur Cup History". Wootton Bassett Town. 16 May 2013. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  6. "WBTFC Wiltshire League Division One Champions 1958/59". Wootton Bassett Town. 10 October 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  7. "WBTFC First Team 1969/70". Wootton Bassett Town. 29 July 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  8. "WBTFC Wiltshire Senior Cup Runners-up 1987/88". Wootton Bassett Town. 3 July 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  9. "WBTFC Hellenic League Division One Cup winners 1989/90". Wootton Bassett Town. 3 July 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  10. "WBTFC Wiltshire Senior Cup Winners 1998/99". Wootton Bassett Town. 3 July 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  11. "WBTFC First Team 1999/2000". Wootton Bassett Town. 18 October 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  12. "WBTFC Wiltshire Senior Cup Winners 2000/01". Wootton Bassett Town. 3 July 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  13. "WBTFC First Team 2004/05". Wootton Bassett Town. 29 July 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  14. "WBTFC First Team 2005/06". Wootton Bassett Town. 29 July 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  15. "WBTFC FA Cup History". Wootton Bassett Town. 18 December 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  16. "WBTFC FA Vase History". Wootton Bassett Town. 2 September 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  17. "WBTFC First Team 2008/09". Wootton Bassett Town. 29 July 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  18. "WBTFC First Team 2009/10". Wootton Bassett Town. 29 July 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  19. "WBTFC First Team 2010/11". Wootton Bassett Town. 29 July 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  20. "FA decision disappoints Wootton Bassett". Swindon Advertiser. 15 June 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  21. "WBTFC First Team 2011/12". Wootton Bassett Town. 1 May 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  22. WOOTTON BASSETT TOWN at the Football Club History Database
  23. "football.mitoo". football.mitoo. 7 August 2012. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  24. "Premier Division Honours". Wiltshirefootballleague.co.uk. Archived from the original on 20 June 2013. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  25. "Senior Division 2 Honours". Wiltshirefootballleague.co.uk. Archived from the original on 20 June 2013. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  26. "Football Club History Database – Wiltshire County Cups Summary". Fchd.info. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
  27. "Subsidiary Cup". Wiltshirefootballleague.co.uk. Archived from the original on 14 October 2006. Retrieved 8 June 2013.

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