Bath City F.C.

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Bath City
Bath City FC.png
Full nameBath City Football Club
Nickname(s)The Romans, The Stripes
Founded1889;132 years ago (1889) (as Bath AFC)
Ground Twerton Park
Capacity3,528 (1,006 seated) [1]
ChairmanNick Blofeld
Manager Jerry Gill
League National League South
2020–21 National League South (season curtailed)
Website Club website

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.

Contents

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. [2] 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. [3]

History

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.

Community ownership

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. [4] [5] In September 2016 the appeal achieved its £300,000 target to turn the club into a community-owned asset. [6] The community ownership received backing from around the world, including ex-Manchester Utd footballer, Eric Cantona. [7] 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%. [8] [9]

COVID-19 pandemic

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. [10] On 31 March, the suspension was extended indefinitely [11] and, on 22 April, all remaining league matches were cancelled. [12] 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. [13] City finished in 4th place, the club's highest league finish since 2012. [14] Supporters donated £53,025 [15] 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. [16]

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'. [17] The club established a livestreaming service, allowing supporters to remotely watch games played at Twerton Park. [18] 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. [19] [20] 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. [21] On 18 February 2021, following a vote by National League member clubs, National League South was declared null and void with immediate effect. [22] City were in 18th position at the time, having played thirteen games.

European record

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) [23] and Udinese (1978) [24] respectively. During the group stage of the 1977 tournament, the club recorded impressive victories over Parma and Bari.

SeasonCompetitionRoundDateOppositionHomeAway
1976–77 Anglo-Italian Cup First stage27 April 1977 Flag of Italy.svg Bari 2–1N/A
30 April 1977 Flag of Italy.svg Turris 2–0N/A
Second stage22 June 1977 Flag of Italy.svg Parma N/A1–0
25 June 1977 Flag of Italy.svg Teramo N/A0–4
Final29 June 1977 Flag of Italy.svg Lecco N/A0–3
1977–78First stage22 March 1978 Flag of Italy.svg Arezzo 5–0N/A
25 March 1978 Flag of Italy.svg Paganese 2–0N/A
Second stage20 June 1978 Flag of Italy.svg Udinese N/A1–3
25 June 1978 Flag of Italy.svg Treviso N/A2–0
Final28 June 1978 Flag of Italy.svg Udinese N/A0–5

Stadium

Bath City play their home games at Twerton Park, Twerton, Bath, Somerset, BA2 1DB.

Twerton Park hosting the 2009 Conference South Play-off final Twerton Park.jpg
Twerton Park hosting the 2009 Conference South Play-off final

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, [25] 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. [26] In March 2020, the plans were rejected. [27]

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. [28]

Mascot

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. [29]

Rivals

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. [30]

Players

Current squad

As of 14 June 2021 [31]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No.Pos.NationPlayer
1 GK Flag of England.svg  ENG Ryan Clarke
2 MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Joe Raynes
3 DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Freddie Grant
4 MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Tom Smith
5 DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Jack Batten
6 DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Dan Ball
8 DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Callum Evans
10 MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Ryan Harley
No.Pos.NationPlayer
11 MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Lloyd James
12 MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Tom Richards
13 GK Flag of England.svg  ENG Will Henry
15 MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Jason Pope
16 MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Callum Watts
DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Ben Gerring
MF Flag of Jamaica.svg  JAM Omar Holness
FW Flag of England.svg  ENG Cody Cooke

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No.Pos.NationPlayer

Club captains, players of the season and top scorers

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. [32] [33] The table is in chronological order and begins from the 1984–85 season:

SeasonClub CaptainPlayer of the SeasonGolden BootGoals
1984–85Dave PalmerDave MoggGarry Smith16
1985–86Jeff SherwoodJeff SherwoodDave Singleton16
1986–87Dave Palmer Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Paul Bodin Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Paul Bodin 27
1987–88Dave PalmerDavid Craig Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Paul Bodin 14
1988–89Dave Palmer Flag of England.svg Micky Smith John Freegard27
1989–90Dave Palmer Flag of England.svg Chris Banks Flag of England.svg Paul Randall 51
1990–91Dave Palmer, Flag of England.svg Chris Banks Flag of England.svg Paul Randall Flag of England.svg Paul Randall 22
1991–92 Flag of England.svg Chris Banks Ian Hedges Flag of England.svg Paul Randall 26
1992–93 Flag of England.svg Chris Banks Richard CrowleyRichard Crowley13
1993–94 Flag of England.svg Chris Banks, Nicky BrooksDave Mogg Flag of England.svg Paul Adcock 23
1994–95Nicky Brooks, Ian HedgesDave MoggDean Birkby19
1995–96Nicky Brooks, Ian HedgesRob Cousins Flag of England.svg Graham Withey 13
1996–97Nicky Brooks, Ian HedgesMark HarringtonMike Davis21
1997–98Nicky Brooks, Colin TowlerIan HedgesMike Davis23
1998–99Colin TowlerMike Davis Flag of England.svg Martin Paul 30
1999–00Colin TowlerColin Towler Flag of England.svg Martin Paul 30
2000–01Colin TowlerJon Holloway Flag of England.svg Martin Paul 19
2001–02Colin Towler, Gary ThorneGary Thorne Flag of England.svg Adrian Foster 21
2002–03Gary Thorne, Gary Kemp Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Andy Williams Jason Eaton16
2003–04 Flag of England.svg Steve Jones Matt Coupe Flag of England.svg Scott Partridge 18
2004–05 Flag of England.svg Bobby Ford Flag of England.svg Jim Rollo Flag of England.svg John Williams 19
2005–06 Flag of England.svg Bobby Ford, Flag of England.svg Jim Rollo Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Gethin Jones Flag of England.svg Scott Partridge 23
2006–07 Flag of England.svg Jim Rollo Chris Holland Flag of England.svg Scott Partridge 18
2007–08 Flag of England.svg Jim Rollo Matt Coupe Flag of England.svg Dave Gilroy 26
2008–09 Flag of England.svg Jim Rollo Chris Holland Flag of England.svg Dave Gilroy 22
2009–10 Flag of England.svg Jim Rollo Flag of England.svg Adam Connolly, Flag of England.svg Lewis Hogg Darren Edwards25
2010–11 Flag of England.svg Lewis Hogg Flag of Portugal.svg Sido Jombati Flag of England.svg Lee Phillips 16
2011–12 Flag of England.svg Jim Rollo, Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Gethin Jones Sekani Simpson Flag of England.svg Sean Canham 11
2012–13 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Gethin Jones Jason Mellor Flag of England.svg Charlie Griffin 20
2013–14 Flag of England.svg Andy Gallinagh Dave PrattDave Pratt18
2014–15 Flag of England.svg Andy Gallinagh Dave PrattDave Pratt22
2015–16 Flag of England.svg Andy Gallinagh, Flag of England.svg Steve Phillips Dan BallDave Pratt10
2016–17 Flag of England.svg Frankie Artus Andy WatkinsAndy Watkins14
2017–18 Flag of Grenada.svg Anthony Straker Flag of England.svg Luke Southwood Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Jack Compton 12
2018–19 Flag of Grenada.svg Anthony Straker Flag of England.svg Robbie Cundy Ross Stearn14
2019–20 Flag of England.svg Ryan Clarke Flag of England.svg Tom Smith 17
2020–21 Flag of England.svg Ryan Clarke N/AN/AN/A

Notable former players

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.

Club staff

The current manager is Jerry Gill, who was appointed in October 2017. [34] Gill previously played for the club between 1990 and 1996, making over 200 appearances. [35]

Backroom staff

As of 21 December 2020 [36]
PositionName
Manager Jerry Gill
Assistant Manager Jim Rollo
PhysiotherapistSteve Lock
Sports ScientistKit Barnes
Goalkeeping CoachNeil Moore
Sports TherapistToby Wellington
Sports MasseurOmar El Bezra
Academy CoachBilly Clark
ScoutMike Ford
Kit ManagerSimon Jenkins

Board of directors

As of 21 December 2020 [37]
PositionName
Chairman Nick Blofeld
Football ChairmanPaul Williams
Community DirectorJoy Saunders
Sales & Marketing DirectorJon Bickley
Commercial DirectorMatthew Falk
Director of OperationsShane Morgan
DirectorAndrew Pierce
DirectorJohn Reynolds

Managerial history

From 1967 onwards:

YearsManager
1967–1970 Flag of England.svg Arnold Rodgers
1970–1971 Flag of England.svg Johnny Petts
1971–1972Joe O'Neil
1972–1973 Flag of England.svg Dave Burnside
1973Roy Bence
1973–1975 Flag of England.svg Bert Head
1975–1976Jack Smith
1976–1979 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Brian Godfrey
1979Mike Burns
1979–1980Bob Boyd
1980–1982 Flag of England.svg Stuart Taylor
1982–1988Bobby Jones
1988Paul Gover
1988 Flag of England.svg Harold Jarman
1988–1999Les Alderman
1989Jeff Evans
1989–1991George Rooney
1991–1996 Tony Ricketts
1996–1998Steve Millard
1998–2001 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Paul Bodin
2001–2003Alan Pridham
2003–2005 Flag of England.svg Gary Owers
2005–2008 Flag of England.svg John Relish
2008–2012Adie Britten
2012–2016 Flag of England.svg Lee Howells
2016–2017 Flag of England.svg Gary Owers
2017– Flag of England.svg Jerry Gill

Shirt sponsors

PeriodKit SupplierShirt Sponsor
1985–1987 Umbro Avon Graphics
1987–1988Diners
1988–1989Beazer Homes
1989–1990SpallRajani
1990–1992 Umbro Design Windows
1992–1993ActivityBath Advertiser
1993–1996Vandanel
1996–1997 Bath Chronicle
1997–1998ICiS
1998–2000Vandanel
2000–2002BrandedTechnic-Cal
2002–2003Bentley Jennison
2003–2006 Errea Bath Chronicle
2006–2007John Crick
2007–2008Sports ItaliaTilley's Bistro
2008–2010 Joma SN Scaffolds
2010Inter Payroll
2010–2014Moore Stephens
2014–2015 Jako Tilley's Bistro
2015–2016 Errea Midland Car Company
2016–2017Sitec
2017–2018Vass of Bath Ltd
2018–2019 Bristol Airport
2019–2020Bristol Sport
2020–Present Errea BWW Communications

Records

Most appearances

As of 21 December 2020 [38]
#PlayerPeriodAppearances
1Dave Mogg1982–1988; 1992–1997515
2 Tony Ricketts 1979–1986; 1988–1996506
3 Flag of England.svg Tony Gough 1956–1957; 1963–1970; 1972–1974502
4 Flag of England.svg Jim Rollo 1997; 1999; 2002–2012; 2013–2016484
5Dave Palmer1980–1993445
6Dave Singleton1981–1993415
7Paul Gover1971–1982398
8Keith Brown1981–1986; 1989–1993394
9 Flag of England.svg Tony Book 1956–1964387
10Sekani Simpson2006–2016; 2016-2017383

Most goals scored

As of 21 December 2020 [39]
#PlayerPeriodGoals
1 Flag of Scotland.svg Charlie Fleming 1958–1965216
2 Flag of England.svg William Hyman 1900–1902; 1903–1907; 1908; 1910–1911134
3 Flag of England.svg Martin Paul 1996–2001; 2005; 2007–2008115
4 Flag of England.svg Paul Randall 1989–1993112
5 Flag of England.svg Graham Withey 1980–1982; 1986; 1986–1988; 1991–1993; 1995–1997109
6Len Pickard1955–??95
7Dave Singleton1981–199393
8 Flag of Scotland.svg Dave McCulloch 1944; 1946–194988
9Ernie Coombs1933; 1934–??84
10Jimmy Newman1950–??83

Honours

Bath City's honours include the following: [40]

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