Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Cinderford Town AFC (England)

The Foresters are another English team who play in black and white stripes with an intrinsic link to the coalmining industry - only this time they're not from the North-East or Nottinghamshire, but instead the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire. It's a strange old party of the island, nestling as it does on the border with Wales, and thought by many urbanites from the not-too-distant cities of Bristol and Newport as being the nearest thing in Britain to the Wild West. But it is in fact a close-knit community with a love for their local football - and Cinderford is at the very heart of it.

They were formed in 1922, and played in the Gloucester Northern Senior League until 1939 when tnhey joined the newly formed Bristol Charity League - which promptly folded a fortnight later with the rather inconsiderate outbreak of World War II, making it perhaps the shortest-lived league in history. They joined the Second Division of the Western league after hostilities ended, and even won the thing in 1957. But after three years at the higher, post-promotion level proved too much financially they elected to drop down the leagues for a spell. These days they play in the Southern League Division One South & West, where they've played since they won the Hellenic League in 1995.

Their 3500 capacity Causeway Ground used to be famous for its 18-foot slope from corner to corner, but sadly they had this wonderful spot of originality levelled off in 1994 - although the locals weren't complaining after the club saw its most successful campaign the following season, when they won the aforementioned Hellenic Premier Division, Hellenic Premier Division Cup plus the Hellenic League Floodlit Cup. Over the years they've had a few players graduate onto the heady heights of Cheltenham Town or Newport County, but they have had one player go on to shine on the international stage. Yes, for a brief time, Olympic gold medal athlete Darren Campbell kicked a ball around the Causeway Ground in anger - and there's not many league clubs, let alone non-league ones, that can claim that.

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1 comment:

  1. Hey Roy,

    Thanks for your kind words!