HISTORY of FLEET TOWN FOOTBALL CLUB
Town FC was officially formed in 1890 when the
club was simply known as Fleet FC, making it the oldest
sports club in the town, although some believe a football team existed in Fleet
before then. The centenary was celebrated in 1990 with a Centenary Scroll
being presented by The FA to the club, together with
a commemorative plaque from Hampshire FA.
the early days Fleet FC played at the bottom of the Views
where Campbells Close is today. Later they moved
to Watsons Meadow in Fleet Road, roughly opposite
where Travis Perkins now stands. It was during this time that a young, future
Prime Minister, Clement
Atlee, played for the club, his aunt living in a house
that backed onto this original ground.
1923 Lord Calthorpe of Elvetham Hall made available
the site of the present ground in Crookham Road,
and the club moved to its new home in March of
that year, playing their first match on 3rd March 1923. The ground was
subsequently bequeathed to the
District Council with the proviso that it would continue
to be for the use of Fleet FC, so Calthorpe Park
was born, the same name now used for the large
park/recreation ground behind the club.
1923 up until World War II Fleet FC ran two Saturday
teams and a Wednesday XI in the Aldershot and
Basingstoke Leagues. During the war the club competed
in the War Emergency League before returning
to the Aldershot and Basingstoke Leagues when
hostilities ceased. Fleet FC started to play matches
in light and dark blue strip in the mid 1920s and
this has remained the club colours ever since.
A supporters club was formed in 1953 and this was instrumental in laying a new pitch, building of the pavilion and finally getting floodlights installed.
next few years were a very poor spell in the club's
history as it struggled to meet Athenian ground regulations
and drifted into other minor leagues. At this time Fleet Town FC could have
trace until a new chairman arrived and revitalised
the club culminating in it being accepted in
the Wessex League for
the 1989/90 season. After six years of steady progress the club gained promotion
to the Southern League
(sponsored by Beazer Homes at
the time) as Wessex League Champions, in the 1994/95
season. Then followed four seasons in the Southern
League where the club struggled at the wrong
end of the table although during this time it won the Russell Cotes Cup and the
Aldershot Senior Cup.
Unfortunately in 1999/00, its fifth season in the Dr Martens Southern League,
the club were relegated back
to the Wessex League.
The first season back in the Jewson Wessex League, under the management of Wayne Wanklyn, saw a steady performance with the club finishing in a creditable 4th position. After a poor start to season 2001102 Steve Beeks was appointed manager in October 2001. This heralded a change in fortunes for the first team who only lost two games through to the end of the season. Fleet Town FC finished runners up in the League Cup and League Competitions and gained promotion back into the Southern League
2003/2004 closed season saw another change in
management with Mick Catlin taking over, having
been reserve team manager at Havant & Waterlooville
FC. A disappointing season saw Fleet Town FC finishing bottom of the Eastern
Division of the Southern
League although by a stroke of good fortune
the non-league pyramid restructuring for 2004105
season meant that the club retained their status
at Step 4 and played in the Isthmian League.
2004/05 season, the club's first in the Ryman Isthmian League Division 1, saw yet another change in management, with Catlin being replaced by Paul Holden in November. A rollercoaster season ended with the club's Division 1 status only assured on the very last day of the season as Fleet Town FC finished in 19th position. Off the pitch saw an extensive refurbishment of the clubhouse and the links between the senior teams and the colts' and girls' teams becoming stronger than before.
For season 2007-08 the FA moved the club to the BGB Southern League, South West Division. It didn't take the Blues long to adjust and they again had a record breaking season. Right up until the last few games they were in with a chance of automatic promotion but eventually had to accept 2nd spot behind Farnborough. This, however, was their highest ever non-league placement and again played in front of record crowds (averaging just under 200). It was heartbreak in the play-offs though as the team again lost in the semi-final, this time an injury time penalty that gave Uxbridge a 2-1 victory. Fleet did however reach four cup finals, winning three: Russell Cotes, Aldershot Senior and Basingstoke Senior Cups. They also went the furthest so far in the FA Cup before losing 2-1 at Havant & Waterlooville in the 3rd Qualifying Round - and of course it was H & W who lost to Liverpool at Anfield later in the competition!