Kidlington Football Club
Mr Geof Talboys
8 Nurseries Road, Kidlington,
Telephone: 01865 370008
THE STORY SO FAR
Kidlington FC was founded in 1909 & played local village football up to the 2nd world war. Success was slow coming & records show that the clubs 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 94-95 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 clubs fortunes when Manager Karl Grossmann had 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 clubs 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 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 & he was assisted by Mick Hickey & Joe Hughes. They had a magnificent season & won the “North” Division Championship at the first time of asking.
The Hellenic league also introduced a Veterans (over 35’s) league in 2006-07 and we entered a side. They were initially managed by Kidlington legend Kevin Walton who was assisted by Karl Grossmann. After Christmas another former Kidlington player Lloyd Wray took over the reigns, carrying on the good work by winning the League and County Cup double.
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 - 2008 surpassed the success of 2006 -2007. 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. Kidlington also made it to the semi-final of the Oxfordshire Senior Cup, 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 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. Another exciting season climaxed with a winner take all game against Wantage Town Veterans at Alfredine Park. Needless to say a 1 - 0 win here secured the trophy.
We are extremely pleased to have secured the services of Kelvin Alexis and Matt Hayward as joint First Team Managers for the 2008 - 2009 season. Paul Lee is moving to the position of Club General Manager. Chris Perkins and Steve Kenny are still with us to provide physiotherapy.
Garry Parker, who did an excellent job with our Reserve Team last season, retaining the Reserve Division One Championship & also taking them to the Final of the Oxfordshire Intermediate Cup, has decided to leave the club.
Therefore our Youth Management Team have been promoted within the club to run our Reserve Team. Steve McMahon will Manage the side, assisted by Mick Hickey & Joe Hughes who will also continue his role as coach/physio.
More good news: We have appointed local men, Mick Trafford & Bob Sherlock to Manage our Youth Team. Mick & Bob will bring their Garden City FC boys team who are at the end of their tenure in boys football & are ready to step up to U18's level. This is done with the intention of promoting local Youth through the Club into the men’s teams at Kidlington FC.
Our Championship winning Veterans Side will continue to be managed by Lloyd Wray, who will be assisted by Warren Jones & Paul Harwood.
The closed season will see more frantic action at Yarnton Road as the Club again have to invest heavily to add to the infrastructure of the ground to maintain our status. However this work is well underway now with bases for new seated and standing spectator facilities now laid, this coupled with provisions for new dug outs on the allotment side of the ground is ongoing as I write this artical.Simon Dickens
Kidlington Football Club