|Bedworth United Football Club - Club History: 1895 - 2006|
|The first Bedworth Town football club is believed to have been 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 1904/5 season. The ECS changed their name to Bedworth Town on winning promotion and stayed in existence until the early 1920's.
During that time the town fielded a fine player in Jack 'Sandy' Sheldon who moved to Nuneaton Town in 1907 and later played for Manchester United, Liverpool and Luton Town. In their first season as Bedworth Town in 1905/6 they were relegated back to the Second Division, but an interesting incident had taken place earlier in the season when, after beating Hawkesbury, the Bedworth players were presented with silk handkerchiefs by Mr W. D. Harvey
The following season saw Bedworth reach the final of THREE competitions, each of which they lost, but they did win the league so gaining promotion. During that term an incident occurred during which the referee had to seek refuge. The result was that Bedworth's ground The Knob (now known as The Oval) was closed for a month and the club were banned from playing within six miles of it.
On their return to the Holy Land the Greenbacks beat Longford 8-0 and Coventry 'o' Brian 9-0 all within the space of four hours. A good run that certainly was!
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 1936/7 in the Central Amateur League. They played as Bedworth Central for the 1938/39 seasons but unfortunately folded in 1940.
The last club to become Bedworth Town was formed in 1947, and as a semi-pro club, secured membership of the B'ham Combination league and soon hit the headlines. They won the Championship in successive seasons 1948/49 and the 49/50 seasons, and in 1950 were defeated in the final of the B'ham Senior Cup Final. In 1951/52 they had their best FA Cup ever. After defeating Nuneaton the 3rd Qual round they lost to Kettering when a victory would have given them an away tie at Bristol Rovers.
For season 1954/5 Bedworth joined the B'Ham league and they qualified for the Northern Section for the Leagues inaugural First Division. The B'Ham 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.
Floodlights were erected at The Oval in 1970/1 and were opened on Sep 23rd when united played a friendly against Leicester City.
In their first season in their new league they were relegated, but this was only to be a setback as they made rapid strides into the Premier Division when the league was reformed in 1982. In the premier they finished 5th in 1982, and were stable in this league until a poor run saw them relegated at the end of the 1988/9 season.
On February 23rd 1982, the Non-League world was staggered when a crowd of 5,172, still a record for the Premier Division in its new form, turned up to see United beat Nuneaton 1-0 to go top of the league. Since becoming Bedworth United the Club has won the B'Ham Senior Cup on three occasions and were runners-up when they lost to WBA in the 1987/8 season.
However, club decline occurred and Bedworth United were relegated to the Midland Division, and despite progress under former Notts County midfielder Dean Thomas, the club-faced closure in 1996 after mounting debts of around £150,000.
Literally hours from closure a group of Bedworth supporters took on the task of clearing the debt to save Bedworth United, and managed to secure their Dr Martens Status for the next season.
Manager less and money less Bedworth appointed Billy Hollywood who scraped together a side after starting a late pre-season with only a handful of players. The Greenbacks somehow survived the season with a creditable 16th place finish
The debt has now been cleared and the Board of Directors are lining up changes at Bedworth. A new lease is shortly to be signed and the errection of new floodlights, work on The Oval pitch and modification and building of more facilities for player and spectator are in the pipeline.
Bedworth have established a well respected Youth and Junior set up offering a wide variety of age group football for the Bedworth area, with the pinnacle of the Youth pyramid starting to refind it's electric form that makes it one of the hottest youth development schemes in the midlands
Bedworth have won the Daventry Charity cup twice, and have won the Bedworth Nursing Cup recently.
In November 2009, Mr Bernie Cope took over as Manager, and appointed Mrak Green as his Assistant.
The Southern League » Division 1 Central
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Last updated Monday 28th July, 12:38