HISTORY OF BEDWORTH UNITED AFC from 1895-2016
The first Bedworth Town football club was formed in 1895 when several matches were played against other local teams. They became founder members of the Nuneaton and District League in 1898, but by 1900 the club had disbanded.
Another team, Bedworth Evening Combination School, became forerunners of the second Bedworth Town club five years later in 1905.
Finishing runners up in the Second Division of the Coventry and North Warwickshire League in the 1904-05 season, the ECS changed their name to Bedworth Town on winning promotion and stayed in existence until the early 1920s. During that time, the town fielded a fine player in Jack 'Sandy' Sheldon who later played for Manchester United, Liverpool and Luton Town.
A third club came on the scene in 1925, when Collycroft United, formed in 1916, became the third team to name themselves Bedworth Town.
This was the most successful of the pre-war clubs, they were members of the Coventry and North Warwickshire League and spent one season in 1936-37 in the Central Amateur League.
The last club to become Bedworth Town was formed in 1947, and as a semi-professional club, secured membership of the Birmingham Combination and soon hit the headlines. They won the championship in successive seasons - 1948-49 and 1949-50 seasons - and in the 1949-50 season were also defeated in the final of the Birmingham Senior Cup.
For season 1954-55, Bedworth joined the Birmingham League and they qualified for the Northern Section for the league’s inaugural First Division. The Birmingham League was re-named the West Midlands League in 1962, but lack of success and problems off the field saw Bedworth Town change their name to Bedworth United in 1968.
In 1972 they obtained membership for the Southern League Division One North. In their first season they finished bottom, but this was only to be a setback as they made rapid strides into the Premier Division when the league was re-formed in 1982.
In the Premier Division, they finished 5th in 1982-83 season, and were stable in this league until a poor run saw them relegated at the end of the 1988-89 season.
On February 23rd 1982, the non-league world was staggered when a crowd of 5,172 - then a record for the Southern League in its new form - turned up at their Oval ground to watch them beat Nuneaton Borough 1-0 to go top of the league.
After becoming Bedworth United, they won the Birmingham Senior Cup on three occasions in the 1980s and were beaten finalists to West Bromwich Albion in the 1987-88 season.
Bedworth United were relegated to the Southern League Midland Division in 1988-89 season until the appointment of St Lucia-born Brendan Phillips as manager in 1990 launched a revival in the clubʼs fortunes.
From 1990 to 1997, the Greenbacks pushed for promotion back to the Southern League’s top flight and enjoyed a top six finish in four of the next five seasons. Phillips was tempted to move to Stafford Rangers during the 1992-93 season but progress was continued under the helm of former Notts County midfielder Dean Thomas. Unfortunately, achieving the heady heights of a third place finish in the 1995-96 season, the club overstretched itself financially - and they faced possible closure until a group of die-hards acted to keep the club alive. After that, the Greenbacks occupied a bottom half finish for 14 seasons until the appointment In May, 2011, of a bright, forward-thinking management team led by Steve Farmer, assistant Adam Cooper, and the experienced Ian Roper on the field. In his first season, Farmer - at 31 the youngest manager in the club’s history - led them to their first promotion in their 65-year semi-professional history.
After finishing in a highly-creditable third place, they won promotion after beating Uxbridge 2-1 in a semi-final play-off, and defeating Beaconsfield SYCOB 3-1 in the final. Sadly, the fledgling manager showed his inexperience by changing his promotion-winning team from the start and it culminated in the club lasting just one season back in the Southern League Premier Division as they finished in 21st place and went down on goal difference 2013-14 The Greenbacks played in the Evo Stick Northern League Division One South.
Ady Fuller took over as Manager, however he resigned after a few weeks and was replaced by Nick Hawkins who unfortunately was unable to improve the results. He was then replaced by our current Manager, Stuart Storer along with Andy Penny as his assistant and coach Jamie Lenton. Both Storer and Penny came from Hinckley United. After a difficult start they produced a settled squad and staved off relegation at the end of the season.
After two years away (including one in the Southern Premier League and one in the Northern League), Bedworth returned to the Southern League Division One Central ahead of the 2014/15 season.
In their first season back at Division One Central level, Bedworth were promoted via the play-offs with a 2-0 win against Barton Rovers in the final on 4 May 2015.
Season 15-16 in the Southern Premier was disrupted by continued squad issues (injuries & suspension) which saw THE GREENBACKS struggling to avoid relegation, despite a late-rally they were relegated as 4th-bottom club, just failing to avoid the 'dreaded drop'.
United returned to play in 16-17 season NORTHERN PREMIER (EVO-STIK) FIRST DIVISION SOUTH.