Brigg Town FC, known as the Zebras, are the oldest surviving club in Lincolnshire, and one of the oldest clubs in England, having been formed in 1864. In the non-league world only Sheffield (1857), Harefield Utd (1858), Hallam (1860) and Cray Wanderers (1860) are older.
Brigg football was said in early 1870 to have become a recognised institution in the town, and members were practicing hard to take part in some important matches at Lincoln, Hull etc. From 1875 to 1888 Brigg Town was a strong and resourceful side, and at the end of 1883 it was reported that for two seasons Brigg had been runners up for the Lincolnshire Challenge Cup, in actual fact, losing to Spilsby in the final of the first County Cup competition. Brigg thereby gained the reputation of being the premier club in North Lincolnshire, scoring victories over Grimsby Town, Hull Town and Lincoln City - a few years later Grimsby Town and Lincoln City were in the Football League second division.
Thus the town of Brigg was one of the main centres of football in the latter part of the 19th century, with the club secretary, Harry Storm, being a leading light in the formation of the Lincolnshire FA. Of the original 16 clubs in the association no less than four of them were from Brigg itself.
The club played for many years in the Lindsey League, using the Old Manor House Convent playing field in Station Road. The club had many glory days at the Brocklesby Ox, where a record ground attendance of 2000 was noted, before moving to their present ground in Hawthorn Avenue.
In 1948 Brigg Town became founder members of the Lincolnshire League. In season 1949/50 the Zebras won their first League title and this was to be repeated a further seven times, before the team was elected to the Midland Counties League in 1976.
At the end of the first season in the Midland League the club finished in third place and took the title in the following season, losing only one game in the process.
At the formation of the Northern Counties East Football League in 1982, Brigg were placed in Division One, as their ground did not meet the grading requirements of the Premier Division, but did gain promotion in 1985. New floodlights were installed during 1989/90 to ensure Premier Division status was maintained. Improvements have continued, and the ground and facilities now meet the requirements of the UniBond League.
From 1996, Brigg finished fourth twice, third and second in the NCEFL Premier Division. In season 2000-2001 however, the Zebras went one better to win the title by a massive ten points. Unfortunately promotion to the UniBond League was denied, because the necessary ground improvements were not complete by the due date. In seasons 2001/02 and 2002/03 Brigg again finished in runners-up spot, and they were also memorable for FA Cup and Vase runs.
The 1995/96 season was the best in the clubs long history, when the Zebras lifted the coveted FA Vase, beating Clitheroe 3-0 in the final at Wembley Stadium. Brigg Town are now well known for their exploits in national FA Competitions reaching the 6th and 5th Round of the Vase in 2000/01, and 2001/02.
In season 2001/02 however, Brigg put themselves firmly on the map when they reached the 1st. Round Proper of the FA Cup, for the first time. After starting in the Extra Preliminary Round, and beating Northern Premier League opposition in subsequent rounds, Brigg visited Conference Champions Boston United, in the 4th Qualifying Round and came away with a famous 1-0 victory. This set up the trip to 2nd Division Tranmere Rovers, where despite losing 4-1, Brigg won many plaudits for the quality of their football. For this tremendous run Brigg were awarded the title of FA Cup Non-League performers of the season from the sponsors AXA.
Season 2002/03 was yet again a wonderful success story, when Brigg repeated their 1995/96 feat, by winning the FA Vase for a second time. The Final was staged at Upton Park, the home of West Ham United, and the Zebras put on an excellent display to win 2-1, and beat favorites AFC Sudbury. To win the Vase once is a dream come true for many clubs, but to win it twice is an achievement that Brigg Football Club and the Town itself can be justifiably proud.
A third place finish in the NCEFL Premier Division, following the re-structuring of Non League football, was enough to give them promotion to the Northern Premier League Division 1, for season 2004/05. Creditable 8th places were achieved in their first two seasons, but continued success at the higher level has been difficult to achieve.
Brigg finished rock bottom of Div. 1 South in season 2008/09, only missing out on relegation due to the demise of others. The following season it was a time of consolidation for Brigg. In season 2010/11, with The Zebras gaining in maturity, they had their best season ever in the Northern Premier League, finishing in a very creditable play off postion in 4th place.
That season’s successful manager Steve Housham, took up a ful ltime position with Gainsborough Trinity at the end of the season, to be replaced by the experienced former Wolverhampton Wanderers player Pete Daniel. After a difficult start Brigg retained their Evostik League status, but towards the end of the season, assistant manager Mick Gray, took over the managers role.
Gray's first season in full charge saw the Zebras finish in 13th place in the Evo-stik League table, a marked improvement on the previous year.
However, the side struggled at the start of season 2013-14 and Gray resigned at the end of November. He was replaced by a management "trio" of first team players, Paul Grimes, Scott Hellewell and Michael Jacklin. This unusual arrangement proved to be short lived however as first Grimes and then Jacklin left to join Grantham Town. Hellewell remained and was joined as joint manager by former Rotherham United coach Scott Barlow (assisted by assistant manager Gary Paton).
The Zebras struggled in the league, winning just 9 Evo-stik League matches all season but still managed to finish outside the relegation zone. Good runs were enjoyed in the cup competitions though with the team reaching the final of the Lincolnshire FA Senior Trophy where Brigg were unlucky to lose on penalties to Stamford after a thrilling 3-3 draw in a match played at Lincoln City's Sincil Bank stadium
After relegation from the Evostik League in 2014/2015, the club were re-admitted to the NCEL Premier Division for the 2015/2016 season and were led by Andy Foster.
After a disastrous start to the league campaign where Brigg were bottom at the end of September, the club appointed former players Scott Hellewell and Paul Grimes in joint charge. The performances began to improve and after 13 games without a win, Brigg defeated Staveley MW in December 2015 before stringing three consecutive wins together.
After the appointment of Rob Watson as Assistant Manager, to complete a trio in charge of the club, the early signs are that the club are set to undergo a revival as they bid to stay in the NCEL Premier Division.
Paul Grimes, Scott Helliwell and Rob Watson departed for pastures new in early 2016 and the reins were handed to club stalwart Anthony Bowsley and ex Hull City Player Nathan Peat, They took the team to a 15 place finish in 2016/17 and stabilised the club, again they both departed for new challenges at the close of that season, the Chairman bringing in reserve team manager Lee Thompson and Assistant Simon Roach who in himself holds more club records than HMV, Also the close season bought new blood to the club, with Chairman Tim Harris and President Kenny Bowers welcoming Jimmy Huxford and his company EC Servicing as new landlords, great ideas are afoot and excitement if buzzing around the club.