Weymouth F.C.

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Weymouth
Weymouth F.C. logo.png
Full nameWeymouth Football Club Ltd
Nickname(s)The Terras
Founded1890;131 years ago (1890)
Ground Bob Lucas Stadium
Capacity6,600 (900 seated)
ChairmanIan White
Manager Brian Stock
League National League
2020–21 National League, 18th of 22
Website Club website

Weymouth Football Club is an English semi-professional football club based in the town of Weymouth, Dorset. They currently compete in the Vanarama National League and play their home matches at the Bob Lucas Stadium. The club is affiliated to the Dorset County Football Association and is an FA chartered Standard club. Their first team manager is Brian Stock.

Contents

History

Weymouth Football Club were founded in 1890 and played their first game on 24 September of that year. Nicknamed 'The Terras' due to their terracotta strip, the team won the Dorset Junior Cup for the first three seasons, becoming a senior club as the team rose in stature. Founder members of the Dorset League, Weymouth joined the Western League in 1907–08. The club embraced full-time professionalism in 1923 after winning the Western League, joining the Southern League in the process. By 1928–29, with debts mounting, the club withdrew from the Southern League to become amateur once again. They climbed back up the table and reached the Premier League and then folded for five years and reformed.

The Second World War saw an end to football in Weymouth as the Recreation Ground was requisitioned for the War effort in 1939. The club reformed in 1947 on a semi-professional basis, and soon achieved promotion back into the Southern League. In successive seasons 1964–65 and 1965–66, The Terras were Southern League champions, and they share with Telford United and Yeovil the distinction of playing all twenty seasons in the Premier Division prior to the re-organisation of the league structure at that time.

The club suffered a tragedy on 28 February 1967 when player Dick Keith was killed in a building site accident at the age of 33. Keith had previously played in the Football League for Newcastle United and Bournemouth, and was part of the Northern Ireland squad at the 1958 World Cup. [1]

Weymouth have enjoyed considerable FA Cup success since first entering in 1893–94. They first reached the national stages in 1905–06 when they were thrashed 12–1 by Gainsborough Trinity. In 1949 they lost 4–0 at Maine Road (as Old Trafford was being rebuilt) to Manchester United in the Third round, then in 1962 they reached the Fourth round where they lost 2–0 at Deepdale to Preston North End. In 2005, the team held former European Champions Nottingham Forest to a 1–1 draw at the City Ground, before losing 2–0 in the replay. In the 2006–07 FA Cup, Weymouth held Bury to a 2–2 draw at home, in front of BBC cameras in what would be the first ever match to be broadcast live on free to air television at Weymouth.

A move from the club's town centre ground to the new Wessex Stadium in 1987 brought initial success but the club entered somewhat of a slump after relegation from the Conference, see-sawing between the Premier and Southern Divisions of the Southern League.

On 21 October 1987, Manchester United came to play against Weymouth on the night of the stadium unveiling by Ron Greenwood. Weymouth won 1–0 against Manchester United which included players such as Remi Moses and Brian McClair. Peter Conning scored the goal for the Terras.

Journalist and author Ian Ridley took control of the club in 2003–04 and his appointment of former Millwall, Leicester City and Birmingham City striker Steve Claridge as manager brought a new optimism. Within a season they had turned the club around from relegation fodder to just missing out on promotion to the Conference. Gates also increased from around 500 to 1,200. The arrival on the board of Martyn Harrison and his decision to put the club in the hands of his company Hollybush Hotels as well as interference in playing matters prompted Ridley to leave in September 2004. Harrison sacked Claridge within a month.

Harrison was to appoint Steve Johnson – the brother of Gary Johnson – as manager in November 2004 prompting a huge turnover in playing staff including the departure of star striker Lee Phillips on a free transfer to Exeter City. When the team dropped down the league, Johnson was sacked by Harrison in March 2005 with Garry Hill taking over. The club won automatic promotion to the Conference in May 2006 but at a heavy price with large loans from Harrison to meet soaring wage bills of around £20,000 a week and a full-time regime.

At the club's 2005 AGM, Harrison confirmed plans, pending local authority approval, to re-develop the Wessex Stadium, a scheme funded by selling the current ground to the Asda supermarket chain. This now looks very unlikely with local planners opposed to such a deal. Harrison is now looking at moving to another site and developing leisure facilities on the current land. Coincidentally, Asda's current base in Weymouth is on the site of the old Recreation Ground which Weymouth left to move to the Wessex Stadium in 1987, at a time when 32 years had gone by since a Football League club had built a new stadium.

In the 2005–06 season, the club briefly reached national attention after holding former European Cup winners Nottingham Forest to a 1–1 draw in the FA Cup. Forest won the replay 2–0, in front of 6,500 fans at the Wessex Stadium and a live Sky TV audience.

In January 2007, Harrison announced that in order to guarantee the long-term financial future of the club, the entire first team had been transfer listed, and the management team of Hill and Kevin Hales had left the club by mutual consent. Days later, it was announced that Tindall had been appointed player-manager, with Roy O'Brien appointed player-coach, and the squad had been taken off the transfer list.

They finished 11th in the Conference National in 2006–07. On 20 June 2007, Mel Bush, Tindall's father-in-law, was confirmed as the club's new owner, although Harrison had personally cleared all of the club's debts. Tindall was sacked in January 2008 after 12 months in charge, in light of a 2007–08 season record of only three wins, leaving the club in 19th, five points off of the relegation zone. [2] John Hollins was officially confirmed as the club's new manager a day later. He guided the club to an 18th-place finish in the 2007–08 season.

In close season 2008, the club started a rebranding programme, with the club badge changing, and a club motto being introduced, "Forward Together". Then the announcement of local children's hospice Julia's House as the shirt sponsor for the year, following on from successful schemes such as Aston Villa and Barcelona with Acorns and UNICEF respectively. The club also announced plans for a new stadium situated in the town which would not just be used for the club, but community purposes too. They went into the season with a squad good enough for promotion to League Two, with players such as Anton Robinson, Stuart Beavon, Chris McPhee, Michael Malcolm, Scott Doe and Ryan Williams.

On 21 October 2008, club owner Malcolm Curtis announced he was set to step down and look to sell the club. The following month Hollins was suspended and ultimately sacked for what the club described as an "unprofessional attitude" on his part, with assistant Alan Lewer stepping up to the manager's role.

At the start of 2009, it was announced that Weymouth were in financial difficulties. It is suspected that Weymouth were £30,000 in debt and on 19 January 2009, Chief Executive Gary Calder announced that Malcolm Curtis had resigned as a Director and as Chairman of Weymouth Football Club Ltd.

On 21 February 2009, following irregularities with first-team medical insurance, Weymouth were forced to field their under-18 team against Rushden & Diamonds. The subsequent 9–0 scoreline is the heaviest league defeat in Weymouth's history. [3]

The ousted former chairman, Ian Ridley, made a surprise return to the chair on 18 March 2009 following discord between past and present members of the board which was fuelled by more than ten successive defeats in the league. This was followed days later by the sacking of Alan Lewer. He was replaced by Bobby Gould, the former manager of Wales. [4] Despite his experience, Gould was unable to turn the situation around and the club were relegated, having gained only a single point since the first team walk-out in February. They were overtaken on the final day of the season by Northwich Victoria, who had been over twenty points behind Weymouth before the walk-out.

On 20 May 2009, the club hired former Terras player, Matty Hale, as their new manager. On 15 June, Andy Tillson left his post as assistant manager at the club after just 28 days to join Exeter City as assistant to Paul Tisdale. Then just 24 hours later on 16 June, the club announced former Terras player, Ian Hutchinson, as the new assistant to Hale. On 26 June Weymouth announced that they would be entering a reserve side in the Dorset Premier League for the 2009–10 season under the management team of Dave Kiteley and Andy Mason, and that the first team would enter the Dorset Senior Cup competition for the first time since the 2002–03 season.

Weymouth started their new season with a 1–1 draw at Lewes. But it was to be followed by a string of heavy defeats at home 5–0 and 6–2 against Eastleigh & Bishop's Stortford. It was not a great start but from then on a 1–1 draw at Maidenhead United was followed by their first win since 10 February 2009 with a 2–1 at home to Worcester City. It was, though, announced on Saturday 31 August that unless Weymouth could find £50,000 by Tuesday 8 September they would have to go into administration and possibly face extinction. On 1 September 2009 'The Terras Saviour 100' was launched in one last attempt to save the club from going to administration. And as the deadline neared, it was going well, so on deadline day the board decided to extend the deadline of getting 100 local businesses and this paid dividends, as on 11 September the club reached their target of 100 businesses needed to raise the £50,000 that would keep the club running.

On 10 October, after a 5–0 defeat against Maidenhead United and a string of bad results that left the club bottom of the Conference South manager Matty Hale handed in his resignation. A day later it was announced assistant manager Ian Hutchinson would take over on a caretaker basis. After a weekend of chaos at the club things got worse on the Monday as it was announced The chairman and chief executive, Ian Ridley & Dave Higson would be leaving the club because of ill health & work commitments.

On 26 October, after the 2–0 home defeat to Bath City, Paul Cocks current director at the club had announced this.

"Weymouth Football Club regrets to announce that Notice of Intention to Appoint Administrators was filed at The Courts of Justice, London earlier today. The Board is now working with the proposed firm of Administrators and the Terras Supporters Trust to try to find a way to enable the Football Club to remain in existence. The Club is now losing money on a week-to-week basis and without financial support from outside the Club it is unlikely the Administrators will be prepared to enable the Club to continue to trade in order to avoid increasing losses to creditors. Anyone interested in assisting the Club or acquiring the Club out of administration is encouraged to make contact with the agents acting: Benedict Mackenzie 62 Wilson Street London EC2A 2BU without delay. Every day is critical."

In November 2009, former Cambridge United chairman, George Rolls made a successful bid for the club and became the new owner. Part of this deal saw manager Ian Hutchinson stay on until the end of the season. But after Hutchinson claimed just eight points from a possible 30, Rolls decided to sack Hutchinson and his assistant Andy Mason on 17 January 2010 after the 4–1 home defeat to Chelmsford City.

On 27 January 2010, Jerry Gill was named as the new manager, signing a contract until April 2011. In March 2010 chairman George Rolls applied Weymouth Football Club for a CVA (Company Voluntary Agreement) because of the £822,000 debt at the club. On 11 March, Jerry Gill resigned as manager after just 44 days in the job.

In March 2010, Weymouth chairman George Rolls announced that if their proposed Company Voluntary Arrangement is not accepted then the club could go into liquidation. The CVA was accepted on 26 March, saving the club from extinction. However, a 0–0 draw against Thurrock the following day effectively confirmed that Weymouth would be relegated for the second year in succession, as it left them needing to win every remaining game, with a goal difference that was vastly worse than any of their relegation rivals. Relegation was mathematically confirmed on 5 April after a 2–1 home defeat by relegation rivals Weston-super-Mare.

On 14 April 2010 it was announced that Terras fans favourite Ian Hutchinson had returned as manager with assistant Andy Mason joining him on a two-year contracts at the start of the 2010–11 season.

In July 2010 chairman George Rolls elected to change the stadium name in honour of 85-year-old club president Bob Lucas, who was suffering from cancer. He died on 12 August. [5]

On 12 January 2011, with Weymouth bottom of the Southern League Premier Division, Rolls sacked Hutchinson once again after a meeting with the clubs associate directors. [6] In January 2011 Rolls hired Martyn Rogers to help the club avoid a third straight relegation, which was made harder with their 10-point deduction.

On 23 April they defeated playoff hopefuls Chesham United 3–0 to get back out of the relegation zone, they were only two points ahead of relegation rivals Didcot Town but were down on goal difference. They went into their final game of the season, on 25 April, against the already champions Truro City needing to better or equal Didcot Town's result against Oxford City to avoid relegation. Weymouth lost to Truro City 3–2 in a hard-fought match but Didcot Town also lost, 3–0 to Oxford City, therefore Weymouth had avoided their third relegation in succession.

in February 2012, club director and lifelong fan Nigel Biddelcombe completed a takeover of the club from George Rolls, who's controversial reign at the Bob Lucas Stadium ended with him moving to another club in deep financial turmoil, in Kettering Town.

Biddlecombe and his board set up a trust which would mean no one person would ever be able to have total control of the club again. The shares Nigel, members of the board and most other shares bought over the years were officially transferred into the Trust before the Terras home game with Frome Town on Easter Monday.

Weymouth finished 17th in the Southern League Premier Division in 2011–12. They had looked safe for much of the season but a downturn in form saw the Terras only secure safety on the penultimate day of the season with a 2–1 victory at home to Hitchin Town. That season the Terras also made it to the FA Trophy second round proper. After beating Chippenham Town 2–1 in round one, the Terras slumped to a 6–0 home defeat against Conference National side Alfreton Town.

Following reorganisation of the Southern League for the 2018/19 season, Weymouth finished the season in first place of the Southern League Premier Division South, to secure promotion to the National League South. The subsequent champions' play-off with Kettering Town ended in a 1-1 draw. Weymouth won the penalty shoot out 5-3, to be crowned overall Southern League Premier champions.

Weymouth finished the 2019/20 season in 3rd place and on 1 August 2020, they were promoted to the National League after a play-off final win against Dartford.

Seasons

This is 5 recent Weymouth seasons, for a full history see List of Weymouth F.C. seasons

YearLeagueLvlPldWDLGFGAGDPtsPositionLeading league scorer FA Cup FA Trophy Average home
attendance
NameGoalsResRecResRec
2011–12 Southern Football League
Premier Division
742139205475−2148 17th of 22 Warren Byerley17 QR3 2–2–1 R2 4–2–1549
2012–13 42188165971−1262 9th of 22 Mark Ford17 QR2 1–1–1 QR2 1–0–1628
2013–14 44186206980−1160 12th of 23 Stewart Yetton 27 QR4 3–1–1 QR2 1–0–1528
2014–15 44227157171073 7th of 23 Stewart Yetton 28 QR 3–1–1 R1 2–3–1659
2015–16 462114116339+2477 7th of 24 Ben Thomson14 QR1 0–0–1 QR3 2–0–1625

Current squad

As of 1 June 2021 [7]

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 Gerard Benfield
8 MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Jake McCarthy
9 FW Flag of England.svg  ENG Ben Thomson
10 FW Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Josh McQuoid
12 DF Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  WAL Ben Morgan
15 DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Josh Leslie-Smith
16 MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Andy Robinson
No.Pos.NationPlayer
17 DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Calvin Brooks
21 DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Jacob Mensah
23 MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Cameron Murray
25 GK Flag of England.svg  ENG Harrison Bruton
26 DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Ollie Harfield
32 MF Ulster Banner.svg  NIR Sean Shields
FW Flag of England.svg  ENG Brandon Goodship

Coaching staff

PositionName
Director of Football Flag of England.svg Paul Maitland
Manager Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Brian Stock
Assistant Manager Flag of England.svg Louis Langdown
Coach Flag of England.svg Sammy Lander
Goalkeeping coach Flag of England.svg Robbie Yates
Physio Flag of England.svg Ben Hayes

Managers

Records and honours

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