Moments in time




Mr Sturdy presided over the annual meeting of the members of the Exeter United AFC held last night at the Acland Arms, Sidwell Street. Sir Edgar Vincent M.P. president wrote regretting his inability to be present but hoping that the past season had been satisfactory. The Secretary (Mr Paul Harvey) presented his report, which showed the season of 1900-1 to have been the most successful in the history of the club. The first eleven who won 17 of their 24 matches played, drew four and lost three, scoring 68 goals against 27, won the East Devon League competitions, thus securing the cup and medals.
The Reserve team had also proved very successful, providing capital recruits for the first eleven, besides keeping up the interest in the club during the absence from Exeter of the Premier side.
The wednesday team however had proved a comparative failure. The membership of the club was between 50 and 60 – practically double that of last year. Thanks to the untiring energy of the Treasurer (Mr F J Harvey) and the staunch support of members an adverse balance of £22 had been converted into a favourable one of over £2. The Treasurer stated that the balance in hand was £2. 8s 11d. The gate receipts had increased from £6.0s.10d to £10..3s.9d.
Sir Edgar Vincent was re-elected President and the Sheriff of Exeter and Messrs C.B. Heberdeen, F J Harvey, H Willey, Bowden and Coat, were added to the list of Vice Presidents. The other officers elected were Captain 1st XI, Mr G Bailey, sub-capt :Mr Hogan, Captain 2nd XI: Mr Ashford, Secretary : Mr G Peel Harvey, Treasurer: Mr Kirby, Committee Messrs Wilson, Sturdy, Harvey, Luke and Sullivan.
The advisabilty of continuing the Wednesday team was discussed, with the results that the meeting decided to carry it on again next season, with Mr Kemble as captain, Mr Heath as sub captain, and Mr Roberts as secretary.


The Football Association have now given their sanction to an Association being formed bearing the title of the EAST DEVON FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION. The area to be covered comprises all that part of the County of Devon north of a line drawn drawn from Kingswear, Newton Abbot, Okehampton and Bideford and to include RMS Britannia. In accordance with the instructions received from the Football Association it is now necessary to call a meeting of representatives of clubs playing in theis area with the object of adopting rules and selecting the necessary officers to carry on the Association.
Meeting to be held at the Great Western Hotel Exeter on wed April 11th 1903

Argyle 5 Tavistock 1 (at South Devon Place crowd 6000) this was last season before Argyle changed their name to Plymouth Argyle
Goalscorers: Charlie Hare 3, Ernest Moore 2
Reverend Hawkey


A meeting of the East Devon Football Association was held on friday in Exeter, when many matters were arranged in anticipation of the coming season. St Lukes College were the winners of the cup and medals in the Senior League. Ellacombe (Torquay) won the cup and medals in that division, and on saturday the 23rd inst: Friernhay club is to be presented with the cup and medals of the Exeter Junior League.
It is anticipated that several new clubs will be affiliated to the Association this year from Exeter and other parts of the County under this jurisdiction. An effort is being made to form a strong Association Football club at Newton Abbot, and keen footballers are interesting themselves in the formation of a League for the Barnstaple district.
Friernhay and Belmont Club are moved up to the Senior League.
If a sufficient number of Junior clubs affiliate it is probable that a third League would at once be formed . This should induce some of the schools of the city to form teams at once.
The matches in the cup competitions are to be held upon the fourth saturdays in the first four months of next year.
An examination of referees will be held shortly in Exeter and at other centres such as Torquay and Barnstaple, as occasion demands.
Persons wishing to qualify should send their names to the Hon Secretary of the East Devon Football Association Mr W P Wilkinson, Exeter


The Annual General meeting of the St Sidwells Football club was held at the Red Lion in Sidwell Street.
Mr C Fay took the chair and the Hon Secretary Mr W. H. Thomas reported that the club had a balance in hand of £5.5s
Last season the first eleven played 29 matches, winning 20, losing 5 and drawing 4 scoring 108 goals against 43.
The position of the team was third which was a very creditable performance.
In the East Devon cup the club reached the final when they were defeated by the 110th Battery 2-1.
This in no way disgraced the club considering the Battery were in the final for the Second Army Corps cup.
The Reserves played 27 matches winning 20, losing 3 and drawing 4. They occupied third place in the Exeter & District Junior League.
The Chairman voted the adoption of the report, seconded by Mr Morgan and carried.
Mr H. Willey was elected President for the coming year. Other officers were elected and the decision was taken to change the name of the St Sidwells club to the Exeter City Association Football club.



The Annual Meeting of the East Devon Football League was held last evening at the Friernhay rooms, Exeter. Mr Reg Blackmore (Chairman) was absent through illness, and Mr D R Sturdy presided.
The Annual report mentioned that the last playing season was not as successful as the Committee could have desired. Some clubs for a variety of reasons found it at times difficult to raise teams, and in consequence there was a good deal of cancelling of matches. At the end of the season as a result of this, the Committee were obliged to award numerous points to clubs, and the Committee regarded this as an unsatisfactory way of determing final positions. The cup and medals in the 1st Division were won by St Thomas, whose keenest rivals were the resuscitated Friernhay Club. The L & SWRailway won the second division closely attended by Exmouth Argyle. East Devon League clubs did well to get in the finals of the Football Express Cup and East Devon Cup competitions, and it was hoped that next season they would win these trophies.
The EDFA voted the sum of £3.8s.3p to the League as part profits of the Football Express & East Devon cup competition. The report concluded by expressing the hope that next season more clubs would enter the McGahey cup competition so as to make it the success it deserved.

Babbacombe 3 St Thomas 1 replay at Plainmoor on 25 April (after 1-1 draw in Exeter 18 April when cows cleared from the pitch before match could start.)
Edgecombe, Stuckey, Udraufski

Mr Colbourne presided at a meeting of the East Devon Football League held at the Friernhay Rooms, Exeter last evening to consider whether the Competition should be continued during the coming season. It was mentioned that Tiverton, East Budleigh, Ottery, Exmouth, Budleigh Salterton, St Thomas and Friernhay would probably be running among other clubs, but Dawlish was one of those clubs which had been seriously affected by players joining the Territorials or being called to the Colours, and it was not thought they would be able to keep going. The Chairman said he thought it would be advisable to run only one division, not to rank either Senior or Junior. If it were Senior he had no doubt any Juniors playing would be re-instated, having regard to the prevailing circumstances. The Chairman added that he saw no reason why ten clubs could not be got together to play in the Competition:- Mr J Dennis was greatly in favour of the League not being allowed to lapse. He thought some games should be played as as to preserve as much as possible the normal state of affairs. It was eventually agreed that the League should be continued on a junior basis, and that the clubs should be circularised with a view to seeing how many intended to join. Another meeting will be held three weeks hence, and Mr Colbourne will in the meantime act as hon. secretary.

1915 – 1919 War years





At a meeting of the East Devon League held thursday in the Friernhay Institute Exeter, Mr G Rice presiding, the Secretary Mr A J Tidball submitted the report of the sub-committee appointed to draw up a scheme for the running of the League next season. It was proposed that there should be First, Second and Third Divisions, together with the suggested Yeoford Junior Division, the three general divisions to consist of the following clubs. (duly listed). The scheme was approved by the meeting.
The Secretary reported that the East Devon Referees Association had circularised its members to the effect that next season the fees for the Victory League matches would be 4s, and for East Devon matches senior 4s, and Junior 2s. B S M Eaton said he had refereed in Kent for six years nad had never asked a club to pay him anything except his railway fare. He thought 2s a match was quite enough for the Junior clubs of the EDL to pay. The meeting resolved to adhere to the decision of th annual meeting namely 4s for Senior matches and 2s for Junior matches.


Presentation of Trophies & Medals at Exeter
The Football meeting arranged by the East Devon F A Council this (friday) evening at the Guildhall Exeter is of unique interest, and coming as it does at a period when the EDFA and the county organisations are being merged into one harmonious whole, it constitues a very fitting finale to the years of splendid work done by the Council in this area. The Mayor of Exeter Mr A C Roper has promised to preside, and the attendance will include several representative citizens, members of the EDFA council, League and competition officials, the winning teams and their club secretaries, and members, and official referees and players, whilst limited accomodation will also be available for the general public. Sir Robert Newman, Bart, M.P will be present to hand the EDFA Senior cup and medals to the St James Club. Sir James Owen will present the Football Express Cup to the Pinhoe club, and the runners up medals to Lympstone. The East Devon League trophies will be presented, the ceremony being performed by Major M I G Jenkins DSO, officer commanding the Depot Devon Regt.




The price required by Exeter City Council for football facilities was criticised at last nights Annual General meeting of Exeter Victory Football League. Mr F P Cottey chairman of the ED area committee and also a member of the City Council pointed out that the Council had provided facilities for cricket and bowls, and he confessed it was the duty of the Corporation to provide facilities or show the organisers of sport where boys could play football rather than dodge the policeman on the street corner.
The Chairman (Mr H Ford) described as really scandalous the price of £30 which the Council required for two pitches at Hamlyns Lane.
Mr Cazer considered the League should receive a grant for the work it was doing for the boys rather than be asked to pay as much for playing fields.
On the suggestion of Mr Cottey a deputation was appointed to interview the Estates Committee of the Council.

DEVON SENIOR CUP FINAL (now Devon Premier Cup) reported as first East Devon team to win trophy
Friernhay 2 (Camble , Fenwick) Royal Naval Barracks 1 (Searle)


FINAL TABLES as reported Exeter & Plymouth Gazette 13 May

(last table wmn 29 april) (table in NDJ 23 April and 7 May excludes Tiverton)
Friernhay                     20 15 2 3 85 39 32
Barnstaple Town        21 12 3 6 64 46 27
Bideford AAC              21 11 3 7 60 46 25
Heavitree                     21 10 5 6 74 61 25
Tiverton Town            13 11 2 0 45 17 24
Bideford United         18 10 4 4 56 34 24
Ilfracombe Town       20 9 2 9 44 46 20
St James                      21 7 4 10 46 44 18
Exeter YMCA             20 7 2 11 46 44 16
18th Battery RFA      20 5 2 13 26 54 12
University Coll SW   18 5 1 12 39 96 11
St Lukes College        19 0 3 16 32 97 3

23 Apr The record for St Lukes College amended after losing 6-2 at Ilfracombe
2 May Barnstaple v R Artillery not played
9 matches re Tiverton Town not played. Tiverton suspended until end of season for not playing cup match against Friernhay. So they went and joined the North Devon League.



A crowd of several hundred saw Crediton Town battling on the defensive with ten men almost throughout the second half to win the East Devon Senior cup defeating Topsham Town 2-1 at St James Park, Exeter on tuesday evening. The trophy was afterwards presented to the captain of the winning team (W. Grant) by Mr Thompson Willey, son of the late Mr Thornton Willey who gave the cup to the competition 30 years ago. Mr G M Channing Chairman of the competition introduced Mr Thornton Willey and referred to the many stirring tussles which the E D S Cup series had produced since 1904. “It has always been regarded as the Blue Riband of local amateur football” added Mr Channing, “although the Riband has somewhat faded perhaps in recent seasons. It is hoped that in the near future the Senior clubs will compete for it again”. Mr Willey spoke of the sporting spirit displayed by the teams. Mr Bray (Vice chairman of the competition) proposed a vote of thanks to Mr Willey and Mr A J Stoneman expressed the indebtedness of the competition to the Exeter City club for the loan of the ground.



Taken from Seaton Town handbook (author Gerald Gosling)

Seaton Town 2 Crewkerne Units 0
(A.J. White 2)
This final was best remembered for punch up between Seatons Nibby Ball and Units chapel preacher John Holland who having both been sent off then resumed hostilities behind the grandstand after getting their cup medals


EXPRESS & ECHO 12 April 
Despite unfair weather conditions three chara-a bancs full of supporters of Woodbury AFC journeyed to Okehampton on saturday to see their favourites win by 4-1. Scorers for Woodbury were H. Gooding 2, G. Davey and an opponent. This is the commoners first season in the E.D & Victory League (Senior Div) and they stand a good chance of becoming champions. Two more matches have to be played. Dawlish (a) & Pinhoe (h).


1940 – 1945 Wartime years

These were 1940 finals but exact dates not found

Plymouth & Stonehouse Gas Co 2 (Bassett 2 Ilfracombe Town 1 (G. Mock)
cup presented by Sir Clifford Tozer Plymouth Argyle chairman

DEVON JUNIOR CUP FINAL (at Home Park following Senior final)
RAF XI 3 (Pascoe, Cassells, Steed)  Sidmouth Town 2 (Perry, Jasper)
cup presented by Devon County Football chairman Rev J.T. Browne

In 1941 the Senior cup was destroyed by fire when in possession of the Gas Co because of the blitz.
The charred remains were handed over to Rev Browne who said it would probably be replaced after the war had ended.


Seaton Town handbook 
Just after the war ended players had to get their kit with coupons due to the rationing.
The Perry Street League was warned by their treasurer that “no concessions can be made for the supply of rationed goods (kit) without the surrender of coupons”.
Clubs needing kit could collect their coupons from members and send them to the FA who would submit them to the Board of trade to be exchanged for negotiable vouchers.
As a matter of interest it took 14 coupons to kit out a player. Shirts 4, shorts 3, Boots 5 and stockings 2.
A goalkeepers jersey was eight coupons if all woollen but five otherwise.
Seaton football club provided the bare eleven shirts , but the players had to find the rest of their kit themselves and that led to a rainbow hued selection of stockings and shorts.
Seatons Bunny White had a pair of shorts that were so faded no one knew whether the original colour was Grey, Navy or Black but he played in them for next ten years before retiring.


Express & Echo 1 May 1958

In the closing minutes of extra time Sidmouth Town snatched the winning goal to defeat Friernhay 2-1 in the final of the East Devon Senior cup at St James Park last night. A free kick just outside the penalty area was taken by Vincent, which was blocked, but Jack Matthews rammed home the rebound. When Friernhays Terry Atkins closed in from the right, Bess headed away a dangerous looking attack. The shooting of the Friernhay attack was poor and when Atkins put Mills through he shot well wide. A long ball up the Friernhay defence was collected by the burly Dave Rew and beating Joe Mills he cooly lobbed the ball over the advancing keeper Gerald May to put Sidmouth ahead. May held a long shot from Hart, and Bess was again on hand to head away a shot by Ron Atkins. Rew and Trivett combined well and set up a Sidmouth attack which saw Vincent shoot wide. The Friars had bad luck when Terry Atkins their most capable forward burst through and cracked the ball against the crossbar. Friernhay mounted more attacks but Wood denied Richards and Dommett. Friernhay defender Joe Mills was a big stumbling block for Sidmouth. Richards shot wide for Sidmouth, and then when Terry Atkins dribbled through his cross pass was fiddled away by other Friernhay forwards in front of goal. A long clearance by Ron Isaacs found Good who headed forward for Terry Atkins who equalised with a fine cross shot. Friernhay moved their forwards around in extra time but to no avail their best chance coming from a free kick which Isaacs hit wide. Then came the winning goal with minutes remaining, and the trophy was presented to Sidmouth skipper Bess by Mr A.S. Line chairman of Exeter City F.C


EXPRESS & ECHO end of May 

Junior 1 East champions Newton Poppleford played 5 games in six days in May 1964. The popples won 7-2 against Chudleigh in the Football Express Cup final at St James Park on monday after going a goal down in 15 minutes.
On wednesday they won 6-1 against Exmouth Amateurs, then just 24 hours later won the Golesworthy Cup beating Feniton 2-1 at Ottery St Mary. On the friday evening Newton Popp were no match for Exeter University in their Junior 1 East league game, but they managed to find some recovery to draw 2-2 against St Lukes College on saturday to complete a staggering schedule.


Express & Echo 18th February 1967
Honiton Town marched on towards promotion from the Exeter & District Senior 1B league match when they beat Bow 9-7. The sides fought all the way in conditions which abandoned or postponed many matches in the area, and as one Honiton official said several players were on the verge of exhaustion at the final whistle.
Very little good football came out of the match but Honiton did well to overcome their visitors. Time and again they went into the lead but in a matter of minutes Bow were back on terms. Michael “Minner” Young moved out to the wing – a position which seems to suit him. He added another four goals which takes his tally to 71 for the season. Young has made the headlines recently with his fantactic goal getting ability but it must be remembered he gets a great service from his team-mates. Dave Rew Honitons big centre forward notched a hat-trick and Malcolm Moore and Teddy Tunks completed the scoring.
Note: Honiton finished fourth that season and were not promoted.


EXPRESS & ECHO  wednesday 8th May
For the first time in their history Dawlish Town will have the chance of winning two cup finals in one season. Large numbers of fans will be cheering them on when the games are played at St James Park tonight and on saturday. But for those left behind in this soccer crazy town special arrangements have been made to keep them bang up to date with the state of the game. Every time a goal is scored a racing pigeon will be released from the ground to fly back to Dawlish with the good or bad tidings attached to its leg. The news will be posted on a town centre shop window and relayed to two local public houses where it will be chalked on the dart boards. The pigeons belong to Mr Bert Hartnell vice chairman of the club, and proprieter of a fruit and flower shop in Piermont place. Like many other supporters he is too busy to travel and watch Dawlish at Elmore tonight or again on saturday against Holsworthy in the Devon Senior final. The pigeons only take a few minutes to get back to Dawlish and he expects a big crowd to be gathered outside the shop for the news. Mr Hartnell thinks the pigeons are quicker than telephoning as the one at the ground is always too busy, and it would take too much time to find one outside. On previous occcasions the second pigeon released has arrived back before the first one so we have not always been sure whether we were one up or one down. The pigeons are taken to the ground and released by 70 year old committee member Frank Bolt.
Footnote: Dawlish won both finals 2-1 v Elmore and 3-1 v Holsworthy

EXPRESS & ECHO June 1968
Heavitree United were praised when the committee of the East Devon cups committee of the Devon FA met in Exeter. Members were told that the competition was saved financially by the money taken in the two matches at Wingfield Park which decided the final.
The original venues for the final between Dawlish and Elmore had been St James Park, but Exeter City then cancelled at a later date and a huge amount of money was wasted on advertising.
Heavitree agreed to stage the final and at the first match a staggering amount of £85.1s.1d was taken reported treasurer Jack Spiller.
The replay was even better with a gate of £88.10s.6d. Out of the aggregate total £56.6s was taken by the competition, £41 was paid out on expenses including advertising, and the remainder shared between the clubs.
Mr Walt Sanders said that a letter should be sent to the Heavitree club thanking them for their work in making the final such a success. He was backed by Mr Fred Davey (chairman) who said that the Heavitree committee had been left with all the organsiation and had carried out their duties perfectly.
Mr Jack Radford was worried about the number of committee members who neither attended meetings or sent apologies.
Mr Davey said that the matter would be looked into at the Annual General meeting.



A new cup competititon sponsored by Seaton Town football club may be contested next year in memory of Mr Syd Carlisle a former chairman of the Seaton club who died last year. The reserve teams of Axminster, Beer. Colyton and Seaton, along with teams from Axmouth, Broadhembury and two other clubs will be invited for the initial competition.




Topsham Town entertain Friernhay on friday night to launch a new cup competititon the Jack Radford Memorial trophy. This season the cup is being played for on an an invitation only, but next season it will be open to all senior soccer clubs within the Exeter city boundary. Following the match there will be a dance at the Rougement hotel Exeter during which the presentation of the trophy will take place.
TOPSHAM : Lea, Wilson, Mash, Miller, Franklyn, Densham, Clark, Taverner, Elliot, Nicholson, Southerland: sub Edworthy
FRIERNHAY: Holmes, Napper, Hillier, Phillips, Gaitch, Fairchild, Heppell, Read, Lee, Wills, Hodge Sub: Knott

Sidmouth Town rounded off an indifferent season with a double cup success. The Reserve team won the Grandisson cup by defeating Tipton St John 2-1 at Ottery. Mick Baden and George West scored for Sidmouth and Des armstrong replied for Tipton.
Sidmouths first team went to Ottery St Mary and carried off the Morrison Bell cup with a 2-0 win against Exmouth Town. The goalscorers on this occasion were Tony Stoyle and Rob Flower


Item taken from October League minutes

On 21 Sept 1977 referee K Lane reported that for the match between Lapford and Okehampton they were late kicking off because they had to spend 20 minutes putting the nets up. Half the pitch was cut but the other half uncut and under several inches of grass.
There was a colour clash and no other kit available and no first kits either.


Note from May 1978 minutes
Other business: The secretary drew the attention of the meeting to the position relating to Exeter University and their amalgamation with St Lukes College. The secretary sought the views of the meeting on the applications made by the University to enter an additional two teams next season making six in all.
Further administritive failings involving the University were brought to light and the meeting reminded that Rolle College had last year been expelled from the League for persistent breach of rules.
Following much discussion the following recomendations be placed before the AGM
1. The University be permitted to remain in the League
2. Membership restricted to FOUR teams.



The third round of the Devon Premier and Senior cups proved to be a complete washout for local clubs in the Devon & Exeter League. Sidmouth Town were swept out of the Premier cup 6-1 by Clyst Rovers of the South Western League, although Honiton Town went down fighting at Budleigh Salterton 2-1.
In the Devon Senior cup Beer Albion lost 3-1 at home to Topsham Town after leading and the dealing with their own brand of hooligans, an invasion by a pack of eight or nine horses. The animals did not actually get on the field of play but it was several minutes before the horses were “shooed” away and the game could restart.
Honiton Town staged a dramatic recovery at Budleigh Salterton but it was not enough to stop the Premier leaders becoming the only Exeter League side to reach the last 16.



In the next few weeks two teams will line up against each other for a gladitorial contest which will decide their season. There will be 22 intense faces and minds concentrating on the battle ahead and for the participants there is no hiding place. Victory will be paramount, defeat unthinkable, and it will be no place for the feint of heart.
The prize – 139th place in the Devon & Exeter League – and for the defeated – 140th place and the distinction of being wooden spoonists in the entire League.
So who are these brave men and true – none other than Seaton Town Reserves and Tipton St John Reserves.
Not for them the glory of a League championship or a Cup final. Not for them the prize of picking up a winners medal at the Presentation night. This is the big one! This is where the season began and will end for the two teams involved.
Whilst all the title battles from Premier to Intermediate have been raging all season, Seaton and Tipton have spent their time trying to stay ahead – of each other that is.
A look at the current basement table tells the whole story
Halwill Res            22 5 2 15 45 80 17
SEATON RES        25 3 3 19 40 144 12
*TIPTON RES        25 3 5 17 54 79 11

It is rather ironic that it will all come down to the last match and that it will be “winner takes all”, although for Seaton a draw will be good enough. Tipton have to win and how they must regret the loss of three points for playing an unregistered player earlier in the season.
All these factors will mean little once the battle begins. Seaton manager Charlie Ziemann has no plans to settle for a point, while Tiptons Alan Diprose can hardly bear to think about the consequences of defeat.
It all boils down to a fascinating last match and what a game it promises to be !

For the record 16 April 1992 result : Seaton Res 2 Tipton Res 1