Taunton Town Club History
A brief history of
TAUNTON TOWN FOOTBALL CLUB
The present Taunton Town Football Club was formed in December 1947 by a few local businessmen and played their first friendly fixture during Easter 1948. They then played on a number of grounds such as Mountfields, French Weir, Victoria Park, Huish Old Boys and finished up at Denman’s Park, Haines Hill.
Having joined and played in the Somerset Senior League, 1953 became a notable year. The club gained admission into the Western League and moved into Wordsworth Drive, their present home.
The club struggled financially and depended heavily on a very active Supporters Club during the late 50s and early 60s. 1968/69 saw an upsurge in the club’s fortunes with manager Doug Hillard securing the Western League championship for the first time.
During the middle 1970s Ron Gingell became manager and the club were runners up for four consecutive seasons. The 70s was also highlighted by the club purchasing the ground from Taunton Borough Council and the installation of floodlights. During 1977 the club gained election to the Southern League.
The club became a limited company in 1981 and the new board soon decided that Southern League football was too expensive and the club reverted to the Western League in 1983. Seven years later the championship pennant returned to Wordsworth Drive under the management of Keith Bowker.
In 1994 the team then managed by Terry Rowles battled through to the F A Vase final at Wembley Stadium and took the lead but Diss Town won the trophy in extra time.
Russell Musker was appointed manager in November 1994 and another championship followed in 1996. After two seasons as runners up three consecutive titles followed together with the club’s first ever Cup success – a 2 – 1 victory over Berkhamsted Town in the F A Carlsberg Vase final at Aston Villa’s newly modernised Villa Park stadium. This ended a sequence of 18 defeats in cup finals since the 1950s. Another Cup victory was achieved in 2003, lifting the Somerset Premier Cup for the first time with a 2-1 win over Yeovil Town.
Peter Beadle took over as Manager in 2005 but left after only 14 games to join Newport County and former Hallen manager Gary Domone stepped into the hot seat – after a disappointing start results began to improve and the club won its second Somerset Premier Cup by beating Mangotsfield United. Domone resigned as Manager in December 2007 and was replaced by Ian Jones, who himself resigned in April 2009.
Former player Paul West, who lifted the F A Vase in 2001, took over and rebuilt the team with a local emphasis. West left the club in May 2012 and was replaced by Leigh Robinson.
The club has gone from strength to strength since then, reaching the Southern League play-offs in three successive years (2015 to 2017) as well as winning the Somerset Premier Cup in 2014, 2015 and 2017. Season 2016-17 also saw the club reach the First Round Proper of the FA Cup for only the second time in their history but after a 2-2 draw against National League side Barrow in front of a 2,300 crowd, the Peacocks had to make a long and arduous journey for the replay losing 2-1. The 2017-18 campaign will probably rank as the club’s finest ever as they won the West Division title by a massive 19 points to gain promotion to the Southern Premier for the first time in their history. The team remained unbeaten away from home in all competitions throughout the season and only lost one league fixture after which they embarked on a 34 game unbeaten run in the Evo-Stik League right up until the end of the season.