|Full name||Bath City Football Club|
|Nickname(s)||The Romans, The Stripes|
|Founded||1889(as Bath AFC)|
|Capacity||3,528 (1,006 seated)|
|League||National League South|
|2020–21||National League South (season curtailed)|
Bath City Football Club is a semi-professional association football club based in Bath, Somerset, England. Formed in 1889 as Bath AFC, the club is affiliated to the Somerset FA and currently compete in the National League South, English football's sixth tier.
They play their home matches at Twerton Park, wear black and white striped shirts, black shorts, and white socks and are traditionally called "The Romans" or ‘The Stripes". Their current manager is former player Jerry Gill.
Bath City's history is entirely in non-league football, missing out on election to the Football League by a few votes in 1978 and again in 1985.The club have a good history with the FA Cup, reaching the Third Round no less than six times, and have beaten league sides including Crystal Palace (in 1931), Cardiff City and Millwall.
In 1889 Bath City were formed as Bath AFC and began to play at the Belvoir ground. In 1908 they commenced playing competitive league format football, joining the Western League Division Two. For the 1921–22 season they moved up to Southern League, English section. Here they remained until the Second World War when they were by chance accepted to join the temporary Division Two Northern Division competing with the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United and Everton, finishing the eventual champions, thereby becoming the only semi-professional side ever to win a Football League trophy. After the War they were forced to resume playing in the Southern League which they won in the 1959–60 season. A year later they were runners up in the same league.
Over the next thirteen years they were three times relegated into and again promoted from the Southern League Division one. In the 1977–78 season they won the Southern League title for a second time. For the next season they fell short of election to the Football League by a narrow margin so they became founder members of the Alliance Premier League, now the Conference National. They finished runners-up at this level in 1985 but champions Wealdstone did not meet Football League stadium capacity requirements, so Bath City were allowed to apply for election to the Football League Fourth Division (the election system was in its penultimate season before the introduction of automatic promotion and relegation). They narrowly missed out on election to the Football League.
In 1989 however they were relegated back to the Southern League but were promoted back next season. Here they remained until they were relegated once more to the Southern League in 1997.
They narrowly missed out on promotion to the Conference South in the season 2005–06 season finishing second in the Southern League and lost to Bedford Town. However the following season they won promotion as winners of the Southern League in their second season under manager John Relish.
They finished in 8th position in the Conference South in the 2007–08 season. In the same season they developed a local arrangement to establish a junior footballing set-up called Bath City Youth. This set-up is now being developed into a football academy and in October 2008 manager John Relish moved aside from managerial duties to concentrate on creating this. He was replaced by his former assistant Adie Britton.
On 9 May 2010 Bath City won the Conference South Play-off final against Woking 1–0 and returned to the Conference Premier for the first time since 1997.
On 25 November 2010 Bath City's away game in the Conference against Histon was televised on Premier Sports where Bath City won 2–1 making it Bath City's second live televised football match after the FA Cup Tie v Hereford United shown on BSkyB on 5 December 1993. Their 3rd live televised match was in 2011 when Bath city lost 3–1 a.e.t against Dagenham and Redbridge on ESPN. However, ESPN did not play the extra time, instead cut back after the end of the match.
In the 2011–12 season, Bath City had a terrible run of bad results, therefore being relegated from the Conference National, needing 17 points from the remaining five fixtures to stay up. They were the first football club in the top five divisions of England to be relegated. They are currently playing in the Conference South following this relegation.
The club's performances have been mixed since, with the club just three points from the play-offs in the 2013/14 season. They did have success in the 2014/15 season, reaching the semi-final of the FA Trophy, beating Dover Athletic, Altrincham FC and local rivals Bristol Rovers, en route to losing on penalties to eventual winners, North Ferriby United.
In June 2015 "Big Bath City Bid" was launched by filmmaker and Bath fan Ken Loach to turn the club into a community-owned, ‘one member one vote’ club, in an effort to develop the club and clear its debts.In September 2016 the appeal achieved its £300,000 target to turn the club into a community-owned asset. The community ownership received backing from around the world, including ex-Manchester Utd footballer, Eric Cantona. On 5 May 2017, the club completed its transition to community ownership, and the major shareholder is Bath City Supporters Society Ltd with 54.6%.
On 16 March 2020, the National League Board announced the suspension of all National League football until at least 3 April, due to the rapidly developing COVID-19 pandemic.On 31 March, the suspension was extended indefinitely and, on 22 April, all remaining league matches were cancelled. Following a vote by National League member clubs, it was agreed that final league tables would be compiled on an “unweighted points per game” basis and that end of season play-offs would proceed. City finished in 4th place, the club's highest league finish since 2012. Supporters donated £53,025 to the club to help cover the extra costs of participating in the playoffs, such as COVID-19 testing for all players and backroom staff. City were beaten 2-1 by Dorking Wanderers in the play-off eliminator at Twerton Park.
The 2020–21 National League South season did not commence until 6 October 2020, following confirmation of financial support from the UK Government to compensate clubs for having to play 'behind closed doors'.The club established a livestreaming service, allowing supporters to remotely watch games played at Twerton Park. The season was disrupted by a number of fixture postponements caused by positive COVID-19 tests within the City squad and National League South opponents. On 22 January 2021, with increasing uncertainty about continued financial support for National League member clubs, the National League Board announced that the National League South would be halted immediately for a two-week period. On 18 February 2021, following a vote by National League member clubs, National League South was declared null and void with immediate effect. City were in 18th position at the time, having played thirteen games.
In 1977 and 1978, Bath City were one of six clubs to represent England in the Anglo-Italian Cup, a now defunct European football competition. They qualified as the English finalist in both tournaments but lost to Lecco (1977)and Udinese (1978) respectively. During the group stage of the 1977 tournament, the club recorded impressive victories over Parma and Bari.
|1976–77||Anglo-Italian Cup||First stage||27 April 1977||Bari||2–1||N/A|
|30 April 1977||Turris||2–0||N/A|
|Second stage||22 June 1977||Parma||N/A||1–0|
|25 June 1977||Teramo||N/A||0–4|
|Final||29 June 1977||Lecco||N/A||0–3|
|1977–78||First stage||22 March 1978||Arezzo||5–0||N/A|
|25 March 1978||Paganese||2–0||N/A|
|Second stage||20 June 1978||Udinese||N/A||1–3|
|25 June 1978||Treviso||N/A||2–0|
|Final||28 June 1978||Udinese||N/A||0–5|
Bath City play their home games at Twerton Park, Twerton, Bath, Somerset, BA2 1DB.
Twerton Park became Bath City's ground in 1932; it is located in Twerton, a suburb of Bath. It currently has a reduced ground capacity of 3,528,with a seating capacity of 1,006. A record attendance of 18,020 was recorded in 1960 versus Brighton & Hove Albion in the FA Cup.
Between 1986 and 1996, Bath City shared Twerton Park with Bristol Rovers, who were a Football League club. It has also hosted Team Bath, who were a full-time professional team playing in the Conference South until their resignation at the end of the 2008–09 season.
On 21 August 2008, Bath City's chairman Geoff Todd stated that "the club held talks with Bath Rugby over a possible ground share at the Rec" meaning in the future, Bath City could move to the Recreation Ground. At the end of the 2011–12 season the club offered the naming rights to Twerton Park for just £50. The offer drew 167 entries from as far afield as the US, Australia, Norway and Singapore which raised £3,850 for the club. Businesses made up 58 of the entries with only a handful of the remaining personalised entries being deemed unsuitable. The winning entry drawn at random was The Mayday Trust, a charitable organisation that helps to rehome vulnerable people.
The club released plans to redevelop the ground and local area, containing a new grandstand, 3G pitch and housing in a bid to secure the immediate financial future of the club.In March 2020, the plans were rejected.
In August 2020, it was announced that Bristol City Women would play the majority of home games at Twerton Park during the 2020-21 FA Women’s Super League season.
Since the 2010–11 season, the club mascot has been Bladud the Pig, named after the legendary king of the Britons who is said to have founded the city of Bath and kept a herd of pigs. At the club's home games, he can frequently be seen waving to the crowd, performing press-ups and entertaining younger supporters. In 2019, Bladud the Pig won the Mascot South West Grand National.
Due to the lack of other large football clubs in Somerset, Bath have had few main local rivals. Though, historically, Bath's main rivals were Yeovil Town F.C., Weymouth, Newport County A.F.C. and Trowbridge Town FC. The four clubs have been moving in opposite directions in league standings over recent years, being as many as five divisions apart from one another during the 2013–14 season. Newport, were promoted to the Conference Premier for the 2010–11 season, and now participate in the Football League Two, three leagues above Bath. However, Yeovil's subsequent decline means that as of the 2019–20 season Bath currently sit just one tier below.
As of recent years, Bath have forged rivalries with Chippenham Town F.C. and Weston-super-Mare A.F.C., due to the proximity between the clubs, both based on location and league positions.
Both Bristol Rovers and Bristol City aren't considered rivals, having never competed against each other in the league, and have formed friendly relations with the Romans, often sending youth players on loan.
In addition to the two Bristol clubs, Bath have formed a friendly relationship with Italian side Calcio Lecco. The clubs played against each other in the 1977 Anglo-Italian Cup Final, with the Italian side triumphing. This did not sour relations, with fans of both sides celebrating the 40th anniversary of the game in 2017 with a supporters match held in Lecco's Stadio Rigamonti-Ceppi ground.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
The following table shows players who have previously been selected to be club captain, have been named the Supporters' Player of the Season and have received the Golden Boot award for scoring the most goals (all competitions) in a season.The table is in chronological order and begins from the 1984–85 season:
|Season||Club Captain||Player of the Season||Golden Boot||Goals|
|1984–85||Dave Palmer||Dave Mogg||Garry Smith||16|
|1985–86||Jeff Sherwood||Jeff Sherwood||Dave Singleton||16|
|1986–87||Dave Palmer||Paul Bodin||Paul Bodin||27|
|1987–88||Dave Palmer||David Craig||Paul Bodin||14|
|1988–89||Dave Palmer||Micky Smith||John Freegard||27|
|1989–90||Dave Palmer||Chris Banks||Paul Randall||51|
|1990–91||Dave Palmer, Chris Banks||Paul Randall||Paul Randall||22|
|1991–92||Chris Banks||Ian Hedges||Paul Randall||26|
|1992–93||Chris Banks||Richard Crowley||Richard Crowley||13|
|1993–94||Chris Banks, Nicky Brooks||Dave Mogg||Paul Adcock||23|
|1994–95||Nicky Brooks, Ian Hedges||Dave Mogg||Dean Birkby||19|
|1995–96||Nicky Brooks, Ian Hedges||Rob Cousins||Graham Withey||13|
|1996–97||Nicky Brooks, Ian Hedges||Mark Harrington||Mike Davis||21|
|1997–98||Nicky Brooks, Colin Towler||Ian Hedges||Mike Davis||23|
|1998–99||Colin Towler||Mike Davis||Martin Paul||30|
|1999–00||Colin Towler||Colin Towler||Martin Paul||30|
|2000–01||Colin Towler||Jon Holloway||Martin Paul||19|
|2001–02||Colin Towler, Gary Thorne||Gary Thorne||Adrian Foster||21|
|2002–03||Gary Thorne, Gary Kemp||Andy Williams||Jason Eaton||16|
|2003–04||Steve Jones||Matt Coupe||Scott Partridge||18|
|2004–05||Bobby Ford||Jim Rollo||John Williams||19|
|2005–06||Bobby Ford, Jim Rollo||Gethin Jones||Scott Partridge||23|
|2006–07||Jim Rollo||Chris Holland||Scott Partridge||18|
|2007–08||Jim Rollo||Matt Coupe||Dave Gilroy||26|
|2008–09||Jim Rollo||Chris Holland||Dave Gilroy||22|
|2009–10||Jim Rollo||Adam Connolly, Lewis Hogg||Darren Edwards||25|
|2010–11||Lewis Hogg||Sido Jombati||Lee Phillips||16|
|2011–12||Jim Rollo, Gethin Jones||Sekani Simpson||Sean Canham||11|
|2012–13||Gethin Jones||Jason Mellor||Charlie Griffin||20|
|2013–14||Andy Gallinagh||Dave Pratt||Dave Pratt||18|
|2014–15||Andy Gallinagh||Dave Pratt||Dave Pratt||22|
|2015–16||Andy Gallinagh, Steve Phillips||Dan Ball||Dave Pratt||10|
|2016–17||Frankie Artus||Andy Watkins||Andy Watkins||14|
|2017–18||Anthony Straker||Luke Southwood||Jack Compton||12|
|2018–19||Anthony Straker||Robbie Cundy||Ross Stearn||14|
|2019–20||Ryan Clarke||Tom Smith||17|
Bath City have a long list of notable former players, including one of the best English players. During World War II, Stan Mortensen relocated to the south and played for the Romans 45 times, scoring 27 in the process. Other notable players to turn out for the Stripes include Bobby Zamora, Tony Book, Paul Bodin, Alan Skirton and Charlie Fleming.
The current manager is Jerry Gill, who was appointed in October 2017.Gill previously played for the club between 1990 and 1996, making over 200 appearances.
|Assistant Manager||Jim Rollo|
|Sports Scientist||Kit Barnes|
|Goalkeeping Coach||Neil Moore|
|Sports Therapist||Toby Wellington|
|Sports Masseur||Omar El Bezra|
|Academy Coach||Billy Clark|
|Kit Manager||Simon Jenkins|
|Football Chairman||Paul Williams|
|Community Director||Joy Saunders|
|Sales & Marketing Director||Jon Bickley|
|Commercial Director||Matthew Falk|
|Director of Operations||Shane Morgan|
From 1967 onwards:
|Period||Kit Supplier||Shirt Sponsor|
|2007–2008||Sports Italia||Tilley's Bistro|
|2015–2016||Errea||Midland Car Company|
|2017–2018||Vass of Bath Ltd|
|1||Dave Mogg||1982–1988; 1992–1997||515|
|2||Tony Ricketts||1979–1986; 1988–1996||506|
|3||Tony Gough||1956–1957; 1963–1970; 1972–1974||502|
|4||Jim Rollo||1997; 1999; 2002–2012; 2013–2016||484|
|8||Keith Brown||1981–1986; 1989–1993||394|
|10||Sekani Simpson||2006–2016; 2016-2017||383|
|2||William Hyman||1900–1902; 1903–1907; 1908; 1910–1911||134|
|3||Martin Paul||1996–2001; 2005; 2007–2008||115|
|5||Graham Withey||1980–1982; 1986; 1986–1988; 1991–1993; 1995–1997||109|
|8||Dave McCulloch||1944; 1946–1949||88|
|9||Ernie Coombs||1933; 1934–??||84|
Bath City's honours include the following:
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