MEMORIES ARE MADE OF THIS
50 years on since two of our most memorable clubs left our ranks.
A nostalgic look back at two of our founder clubs
TIVERTON TOWN & EXMOUTH TOWN 50 years on.
It may come as a little surprise to many but it is now exactly 50 years since Tiverton Town football club left our league to climb into pastures new. Their last home game in the Exeter & District league was at the end of March 1973 when they lost 3-1 to Heavitree United at Wingfield Park (Mike Southcott the Tivvy scorer) and then their last away match was two weeks later on the 14 April at Ottery St Mary when John Cridland scored the goal which earned a 1-1 draw.
The club then joined the Western League in time for the 1973/74 season and have since gone on to greater things, but we can look back on their history with us which I would like to believe contributed greatly to their steps into the lands they now frequent.
Tiverton Town were our Premier Division champions five times, twice in 1927 and 1928 when we were known as the East Devon Senior League, and then three more times in 1934, 1965 and 1966 (world cup year).
They also won the East Devon Senior cup eight times, and the Devon Senior cup twice, 1956 and 1966 which was then the main saturday County cup competition. However one trophy they have never won is the Devon Premier cup (although they were runners up twice) but as that competition only came into being in 1970 is understandable.
Times have changed of course as grass roots football has expanded to many different levels, and a town of Tivertons size was never going to be restricted. However we should still feel proud we were the base for their future.
Again it is also exactly 50 years since Exmouth Town vacated our League and few would argue they have moved up to levels that many of our current clubs can only dream about.
Exmouth had a football club in the 1920s (the Church Institute) but it looks as if they did not ignite as Exmouth Town until 1933. In the 40 years after that and before they moved on again, Exmouth never managed to become Premier champions, this was left to their Reserve team in 1983 and is the only time.
Exmouth did win the Devon Premier Cup in 1971 and again in 1980, and their Reserve team captured the trophy just ten years ago in 2013.
One unique statistic for Exmouth is that in 1951 they drew 1-1 aet in the Devon Senior cup final against Newton Abbot Spurs probably at St James Park and it was agreed that the two clubs shared the trophy. No penalty shoot outs in those days.
Exmouth did win the East Devon Senior cup in 1951 beating Clyst Valley 4-2 aet, and then again in 1983 they won 4-3 against Heavitree United but that was after they were a Western League club.
As already stated we are proud to have been the base for the two clubs who have gone on to higher status, and perhaps one day they will return to the League maybe if only with their Reserve teams.
Monday 13th November 2023