K.F.C the story so far
Kidlington FC was founded in 1909 & played local village football up to the 2nd world war. Success was slow in coming & records show that the club’s first trophy was achieved in 1929, when Fritwell were defeated 2-1 in the Lord Jersey Cup Final on the Bicester Town ground. The Lord Jersey Cup was a competition highly prized among the villages in the Cherwell valley & rivalry was so keen that players had to prove they were residents of the village for whom they played.
In 1945, Kidlington moved from village football to play in the Oxford City Junior League, where they had a good deal of success in both league & cup. By 1951 they were looking for stronger teams to play & entered the Oxfordshire Senior League, where competition was provided by the likes of Witney Town, Morris Motors, Pressed Steel & Thame United.
In 1953 The Hellenic League was formed. The Oxon Senior League immediately lost some of its stronger clubs to the new league. Kidlington won the Senior League title that season & joined the new league in 1954. Early days in the Hellenic League showed quite clearly the difference in standard but Kidlington settled to finish just above the bottom two places! Regular faces in the Kidlington team of this period were stalwarts like the goalkeeper North, Fred Treble & probably the best centre-half not to have played League football Jim Brennan. Kidlington maintained a Premier Division place for a time, but spent most of the sixties in Division One.
The early seventies saw them back in the Premier Division & two epic battles with a very talented Peppard side in 1974 & ‘75, in the County Intermediate Cup Final. Kidlington had won the cup in 1970, but our matches with Peppard only produced loser’s medals. A squad of good young players in the late seventies produced Kidlington’s best-ever run in an F.A. competition, when in 1976-77 Kidlington reached the last 16 in the FA Vase, bowing out to Gosport Borough having played every round but one away from home. Clubs defeated in this cup run included Didcot Town, Bicester Town, Malvern, Stratford Town & Hemel Hempstead. The nucleus of this side eventually saw Kidlington gain promotion back to the Premier Division in 1979-80.
The eighties saw Kidlington back in Division One, the County Cup [Oxon Senior Cup] had generally produced few consistent performances, other than in 1983-84 when Kidlington were 5 minutes away from a place in the final. Unfortunately, Oxford City were given a lifeline & won comfortably in extra time.
The early nineties were steady, but we never threatened the championship. Season 1994-95 saw some silverware at last, the Reserves managed by Martin Baker did the league & cup double. The next few seasons saw an upturn in the club’s fortunes when Manager Karl Grossmann assembled a formidable tough tackling side that finished in the top 6 of Division One in four successive seasons. During the late nineties we entered a newly formed third team into the Oxford Senior League. This produced some fine players who worked their way into the Reserves & First teams. After a few seasons though, they broke away to set up their own club (Kidlington Old Boys).
The new millennium brought with it a major overhaul to the committee & with it a new Chairman in Geoff Talboys. The 2004-05 season, under the guidance of Kevin Walton saw the first team finish in third place in the League & were promoted back into the Hellenic Premier Division and with the Reserves playing in the top Reserve Division, the club was again competing at a top level. Many facility improvements were carried out to enable the club’s promotion; this was achieved with the assistance of a “Football Foundation” grant & an awful lot of effort from Committee, Managers, Players & Supporters.
In 2005-06 we struggled to come to terms with the considerable difference in the standard of football from Division One to Premier, losing our first twelve games. In amongst the frustration though we also took some noticeable scalps - we were the first team to beat Bishops Cleeve F.C. who were promoted at the end of the season into the Southern League and we also beat a strong Witney Utd side, which at the time were still in the promotion hunt. The season petered out in frustration & needless to say we finished in a relegation position … however a national non-league re-structure saved us from the dreaded drop & we lived to fight another season in the top flight.
Determined not to struggle through season 2006-07, we secured the services of Paul Lee as First Team Manager (a proven manager at a higher level). Paul was assisted by Kelvin Alexis & their skills enabled us to put a competitive team out. Chris Perkins also joined the club as consultant physiotherapist; Chris had also worked for clubs at a higher level & with Steve Kenny provided the match day physiotherapy.
Season 2006-07 saw us enter an under 18’s Youth Team in the "Allied Counties Youth League" for the 1st time. This team was Managed by Steve McMahon, who was assisted by Mick Hickey & Joe Hughes. They had a magnificent season & won the "North" Division Championship at the first time of asking.
So with the reprieve from relegation we had doubled our number of teams & to say we stabilized the club would be an understatement. The First team finished a very respectable 9th in the Premier Division, the Reserves won their league & got to the final of the Oxfordshire Intermediate Cup. The Youth Team & the Veterans won their leagues; the Veterans also captured the County Cup … A fantastic season!
Unbelievably the 2007-08 season surpassed the success of the previous one. Manager Paul Lee became our first 1st team Manager to bring silverware back to Yarnton Road in over 30 years when we beat Ardley United in a two legged final of the HPL Hellenic Floodlit Trophy. The 1st Team also made it to the semi-final of the Oxfordshire Senior Cup again, bowing out only to the eventual winners North Leigh A.E.T. Our Reserve side Won the Hellenic Division One title for a second consecutive season and again finished runners up in the final of the Oxfordshire Intermediate Cup. Our Youth Side struggled in the higher league, but had better luck in the Oxfordshire U18 Youth Cup final beating a strong Thame United side 2 - 1. To cap the season our Veterans side retained their Premier Division crown in an exciting climax to their season they were involved in a 'winner take all' game against Wantage Town Veterans at Alfredine Park. Needless to say a 1 - 0 victory here secured the trophy.
Season 2008-09 was again a good one for all our teams. Our 1st Team finished in a very respectable 9th position in the league and had some good cup runs, the Reserves finished 3rd in their league but unfortunately yet again were runners up in the Oxfordshire Intermediate Cup final. Our Youth and Veterans Teams did bring home some silverware. The Youth Team won the Allied Counties North Division and also boasted the leagues leading scorer in Kieran Sanders. The Veterans won the Oxfordshire Veterans cup beating Bampton Town 4 - 1 in the final.
For Season 2009-10 Gordon Geary and his team of assistants Keith Appleton & Paul Harwood were appointed to Manage our 1st team. It was a season that saw success for both our Youth and Veterans sides, but nothing for our 1st or Reserve sides. The youth Team won the U18's County Cup whilst our Veterans won a double. The vet's finished top of the Hellenic Veterans league and Retained the Oxfordshire Veterans Cup.
Season 2010-11 saw the club under the same management team win the Hellenic Supplementary Cup. They beat a gallant Purton side 3- 0 in the final at Abingdon Town's ground. The 1st Team also finished 7th in the table (their highest ever) and were runners up in the Oxfordshire Senior Cup where they lost 4 – 0 to a strong Oxford United side. The final was held at The Kassam Stadium and attended by around 1200 spectators.
In December 2011, Gordon and his backroom staff of Keith Appleton, Paul Harwood and Barry Hiles decided they had taken the Club as far as they could and stepped back from managing the Club. Players Danny Leggett and Christian Perkins stepped forward to guide the club through till the end of the season. This season was very frustrating but owing to some decent early league results the club maintained its Premier division status.
In 2012/13 a new first team manager in Ex-Oxford United striker Paul Berry was installed. However he resigned after only three matches to pursue alternative opportunities. Gordon Geary and his previous backroom staff were persuaded to come out of retirement and were re-appointed during the second week of the season. They managed to assemble a squad with the ability to avoid the dreaded drop, finishing in 13th place. Having taken over in the crisis, Gordon and his management team resigned, having “got the job done” of avoiding relegation.
During the summer break the club installed Martin Wilkinson as 1st team manager for season 2013-14 and we finished 6th in the league, making clubs history with its highest position, also reaching the Senior Cup Final again after beating Oxford United in the Semis. Unfortunately once again we lost, this time to fellow Hellenic side Ardley United.
Season 2014-15 saw Martin Wilkinson again at the helm assisted by Paul Harwood. The team finished in their highest league position of 4th place after topping the table for several weeks. Our reserves finished as runners up in Div 2 West. For the first time the club also ran a Ladies team who were entered into the Thames Valley Ladies League, they did exceptionally well winning their league and cup double.
This season 2015-16 again sees Wilkinson in charge and he is being assisted by Julian McCalmon and coaches Paul Harwood and Jermaine McSporron. Our reserves now have Nick East at the helm, our U18’s will be looked after by Barry Hiles and Phil Parker will manage our U17’s. Matt Taylor and Sam Rodway are taking on the management roll for our Ladies side.
Season 2015-16 was undoubtedly the best season in the clubs 108 year history, in fact a dream come true for everyone at KFC. Manager Martin Wilkinson and his management team of Paul Harwood, Julian McCalmon and Jermaine McSporran lead our 1st team to the Hellenic League Premier Division Championship. The club also had our best ever runs in both the FA Vase, where we reached the last 8, before bowing out to Bowers & Pitsea after a replay coupled with a very healthy run in the FA Cup, losing eventually to conference side Gloucester City. Truly our best ever season my some margin.
For this season 2016-17 Wilkinson lead the side as we embarked on our 1st season at level 4 of the football pyramid in the Evo-Stick League Division One Central. However due to work commitments 'Wilky' resigned shortly into the season. Jermaine McSporran took over as caretaker manager for a couple of weeks until the club appointed Julian McCalmon as Wilkinson's successor, McSporran and Paul Harwood were confirmed as his assistants.
The team then had a good season at this higher level and eventually finished in mid-table. Our reserves lead by Nick East as Manager had a great season winning the reserve challenge cup and finishing as runners up in Hellenic Division 2 West.
For season 2017-18 because of geographical restrictions Kidlington 1st team have been transferred across to the Evo-Stik League South West. The club are fortunate to have retained the services of McCalmon as manager and he will have Jermaine McSporran & Rhys Denton as his assistants. Our reserve team are will play with Senior Club status after promotion and will ply their trade in the Uhlsport Hellenic Division One West.