The Star Hotel on the High Street on the corner with Sun Lane was the venue on Thursday 22nd November 1877 of a meeting of football interests in the town. Newmarket Town Football Club was formed thus making them one of the oldest clubs in the country.
Under the presidency of Mr.B.T. Chennell, Mr F.G. Postans informed the meeting that subscriptions of nearly £25 had already been collected. Flags, posts and all articles necessary for the game were on order. Players were to be supplied with a suitable uniform at half price.
The first committee was elected as follows:
|President||Mr B.T Chennell|
|Secretary||Mr F.G Postans|
|Assistant Secretary||Mr A. Hayhoe|
|Treasurer||Mr F.R Crick|
|Committee Members||Mr C.E Hammond|
|Mr A.S Manning|
|Mr E. Fyson|
|Mr H. Feist|
|Mr H. Palmer|
|Mr A. Pace|
|Mr C. Kemp|
|Mr T. Browne|
|Mr W. Moody|
|Mr C.B Bosworth|
|Mr R. Jacobs|
It was further resolved that the headquarters would be the Star Hotel and annual subscription would be five shillings (25p). The first practice was to be on the Severals on the afternoon of the following Thursday. Following on, a practice field was lent by Mr. Norman Wiseman, and funds became available to purchase a tent in December.
The first match took place on the Severals (with the permission of the Jockey Club) on 1st February 1878 but Newmarket were beaten 3-0 by Pembroke College .
Newmarket Town with the Creake Charity Shield (pictured right),
Gough Cup, Goldsmith Charity Cup,
Cambs Senior & Cambs Thursday League Cup.
They began life in local football on a pitch on the Heath near Sefton Lodge, until moving to the present Town Ground in 1885. Few clubs have managed to stay at the same ground for 127 years. Initially the ground was shared with the Cricket Club, the Quoit Club, the Athletic Club, the Gun Club and the Hare and Hounds Club, a real sports centre! The inaugural game on the new ground was on Wednesday October 21 1885 Newmarket Town and Bury School. For obvious reasons they soon became known as ‘The Jockeys’. Little success came until 1920 when they won the Cambs Senior League and also the Cambs Senior Cup. The Cambs Challenge was won in 1926. Moving into the Bury and District League Division One they won the title in 1926/27.
Easter Sunday 30th March 1929 versus Leiston Works Athletic.
The stand cost around £200 to build, gate just over 1000.
Another move, this time to the Ipswich and District League resulted in them winning the title in three consecutive seasons, 1931-32, 1932-33 and 1933-34 and the Suffolk Senior Cup in the season 1934-35. Around this time crowds of 2,000 were seen at major games. Wartime matches saw even International Players such as Stan Mortensen ‘guesting’ for the jockeys.
Suffolk Senior Cup 1934-35 (played at Portman Road) Newmarket Town 3 Kirkley 1
(squad pictured right)
G. Tweed D. Game
R. Bright K. Pateman A.C. Warren
W. Mingay S. Draper G. Parr T. Salmon R. Fuller
The club had good times in these earlier days, even to the extent of forming an ‘A’ side that had its own share of success before fortunes changed for the worse. Following the war, the club finished bottom for five consecutive seasons, and by the end of the 51/52 campaign, they again found themselves rooted at the bottom of the ECL, having lost all 34 league games, scoring 19 goals whilst 171 goals against, a claim to fame that will take some beating. Forced to return to Junior football the club joined the Peterborough and District League, which they won in 1957/58, before returning to the Eastern Counties league in 1959/60 where they have remained ever since.
Suffolk Senior Cup finalists, beaten 2-0 by Stowmarket Town at Portman Road. Att. 5357Back: Les Male, Bob Sutherland, Pete Byrne, Bert Williams, Den Smith, Ron Mair, Len Crowe
Front: Danny Temple, Tony Willetts, Rex Wilderspin, Wally Wing. Mascot unknown.
Their best season was as runners up to Lowestoft 1966/67. League honours having been elusive they have in recent years won the Suffolk Premier Cup four times in the five seasons to 1999.
The present clubhouse was completed and floodlights were installed in 1985. The first league game under lights being against Ely City on 19 November. The old wooden stand was replaced by the present 144-seater stand in 1996.
After the close season there was a change of administration in 1997, a new management team of John Wright and Coach Bobby Shinton were appointed. Bringing in more Youth squad members considerably reduced the average age of the squad, but the loss of some influential players that season led to some heart stopping moments as they floundered at the bottom of the table. A resolute finish to the season however saw them just escape relegation.
A new first team manager Robert ‘Scouse’ Munro was appointed for the 2001/02 season, coming with impressive coaching credentials both with the army and in the USA and more recently with the Haverhill Academy. At the end of the season, Robert Munro decided to resign which came as a surprise to many. He had introduced a blend of youth and experience and although the season was a little disappointing, towards the end, things were beginning to come right but once again we battled to stay in the Premier Division. The club appointed a new Manager in Chris Nunn at the beginning of season 2002/03. Chris spent the previous season as assistant to ‘Scouse’ and made a good start but we had to fight again to stay in the premier division again and in the same year The Newmarket Town Youth formerly Paddock Flyers joined the club.
The club celebrated their 125th anniversary on the 22 February 2003 with many ex-players and officials coming along to the game. The first team finished in 10th place in the Ridgeons league and also had a good run in the FA Cup and Vase with a crowd of 1000 coming to the FA Cup match against Histon at the Ground. The team were also in the final of the Cambs Invitation Cup losing on penalties to Histon. The following season, 2003/04, Chris Nunn continued as Manager and the first team finished in 13th place in the league. For the season Chris continued as Manager in 2005/6, along with Tim Gleave as assistant. It was a mixed season, with a good run in the FA Vase, the club reaching the quarter-finals for the first time, but finished in 17th place in the league. The Reserves managed by Kevin Grainger and Tony Marshall finished halfway up the table in the Kershaw Premier. The first season for the ‘A’ team, managed by Martin Boatwright was very successful winning their division in the BIS League, and also winning the Reg Haigh Cup. Season 2006/7 saw a few changes, Dave Abbs, from Fulbourn, was appointed First team Manager. Tony Marshall managed the reserves; the ‘A’ team with Martin Boatwright in charge did the treble by winning the League, the John Ablett Cup and the Inter-league cup. John Taylor then became Manager after taking over from Dave Abbs in February 2007 but did not last long, during the season, 2007/8, there were a few management changes which affected all the teams in the club. Karl Johnson was appointed Manager in November 2007. Unfortunately the club was relegated to the First Division. The season 2008/09 was a very successful season as the First Team won the Ridgeons First Division Championship it was the first time for 50 years we had won league honours and going back up to the Premier Division at the first attempt with Karl Johnson in charge for a second season. During the 2009/10 season Karl Johnson resigned in September and Kevin Grainger was appointed Manager, with the team achieving their goal of staying in the Premier Division.
There were no management changes during the season 2010/11 and both First and Reserve stayed in their respective leagues. The Midweek U18 Youth Team reached the semi-final of the Ridgeons Youth Cup and won the North Division Title, scoring 109 goals and remaining unbeaten and In a thrilling final played at Hadleigh against Leiston winning the Youth League Championship. The season of 2011/12 was not a successful season with the first team once again relegated to the Thurlow Nunn First Division, The season of 2012/13 Karl Johnson returned as assistant manager of the first team and Kevin Parsons came in as first team coach alongside manager Kevin Grainger. The reserves would play in the Thurlow Nunn Reserve League. And in a successful season the first team won promotion back to the Premier Division after finishing as runners up to Cambridge University Press and reached the semi-final of the First Division Knockout Cup. In the 2013/14 season Karl Johnson stepped down as assistant leaving Kevin Grainger in his fifth season as manager and Kevin Parsons his second season as first team coach. The team back in the Premier Division finished 9th in the table and won the League Challenge Cup for the first time in the clubs history beating Felixstowe 2-1. In the 2014/15 season with the same first team management the club would go on to finish 6th in The Premier Division, the highest finishing position for the club in twenty years. The 2015/16 season the club would finish a lowly 13th position. A major part of the clubs history however was decided during this season, the old famous turf at Cricket Field Road was to be dug up, levelled and a state of the art 3G surface was to be installed. This was a decision made to be able to help house all senior and youth teams for the future. 2016/17 saw Wayne Goddard join the management team as a coach, the new pitch opened with a game vs Cambridge United (who won 4-0) with a crowd of 1827 watching and the first season on it was to be a successful one with a club high finish of 3rd in the league and a second Cup Final appearance in the League Challenge Cup, although disappointingly a losing one 2-1 to Mildenhall. The 2017/18 has seen the club granted the required ground grading for promotion to the next level, Kevin Parsons after five seasons as Assistant steps down leaving Kevin Grainger and Wayne Goddard in charge of First Team affairs.