History 1 of 2

1. History 1

IN 1938 Loddiswell lifted the Harvey Cup, beating South Brent at Offields Cross, Churchstow. That was the beginning of the village's association with amateur football and as the players jostled at the bar in the New Inn to toast their success little did they realise their victory would be the foundation for what is now Loddiswell Athletic Football Club. Loddiswell began playing its football in the former South Hams League throughout the 1950s and later registered two sides in the Plymouth and District League playing home games on a field off Clarke's Barn Road. Despite the war years taking their toll on local football village legends were being born with names such as Roger Taylor, Johnny Wilcox and Fred Parsliffe making the headlines and folding themselves into Loddiswell football folklore.

A player drought forced the club to fold briefly in 1971 but it revived itself two years later under chairman John Webber, backed by a seven strong committee. Turning out in first choice colours of canary yellow and playing home games at the village playing fields, Loddiswell Athletic was to go from strength to strength. Players such as buccaneering centre forward Barry Sweeney featured throughout the decade, joining other Loddiswell cult heroes such as Terry 'Dynamite' Dann and Bill Butler. By 1982 the club had moved from division six to division four and was promoting a healthy youth policy which saw the emergence of Webber brothers Robert and Kevin and later Torquay United school boy Kevin Brooking.

In 1984 Loddiswell was able to boast its first honours, lifting the Les Bishop Cup when they beat rivals Thurlestone 3-0 at Long Cross, Dartmouth. Three years later the club was promoted to division three helped by the dazzling wing play of Mike 'Smoothy' Whitburn. Loddiswell returned to Dartmouth in 1989 to contest the Devon Intermediate Cup where they faced much fancied prison side Channings Wood. A well drilled Loddiswell defence sprung the off side trap time and time again and helped mastermind a 2-1 victory. The next success came under manager Rodney Brooking who saw his side beat Ashburton to win the Ronald Cup during the 1990/91 season. A year later the club established a reserve team, currently in SDL Division Four.

Nick-named the 'farmers' Loddiswell were now a force to be reckoned with and gained a reputation for a no nonsense playing style. As the team reached new heights, it was the strike partnership of Robert Webber and Neil Tucker which helped Loddiswell into division one. .

Relegated at the end of a tough 1999/00 campaign, the club restored its division one status the following season under manager Billy Nicholls. The threat of relegation loomed over 'Lodds' for the following decade or so, with managers Jason Pheasant and club stalwart Andy Guard pulling off some great escapes. 2005 saw a change on and off the field when former player, manager and long time secretary, Andy Guard, stepped down. Taking over the managerial duties on the field were Danny Stathers, who first cut his teeth among the Loddiswell ranks as a fifteen year old, and Mark Drews as his assistant. In their first season the spectra of relegation was banished as the team finished sixth, recording the second highest 'goals for' total in the division. The 2006-07 season, although seeing the club finish in ninth, saw another change when Danny Stathers left the club leaving Mark Drews in sole charge.

Since then the club have strived to build their reputation on and off the pitch, evidence of which was plain to see with the arrival of some of the cream of local talent for the 2007-08 season, and but for a 9 point deduction would have seen the club finish in fourth. The club have now moved in to purpose built changing rooms and with the addition of upgraded training lights, can boast some of the best facilities in the area. The team have strengthened and under the stability of team management Mark Drews and Mark Hallett have shown glimpses of last years form.