Plymouth Parkway FC at home this Saturday 6th October against Westbury United
Kick Off – 15:00
Adults – £6
Concessions – £4
Hot and cold snacks available
Westbury United FC Club History
The club started in 1920 when two local sides amalgamated. Westbury Old Comrades FC had just won promotion to the First Division of the Wiltshire County League and to strengthen the side they joined forces with a local junior side, Westbury Great Western Railway XI, and together they became Westbury United Football Club.
In its first season, the Club finished third from bottom of the County league and in the 1920’s they struggled, but in the 1930’s they won everything possible in Wiltshire football. In 1936 the Club reached the First Round Proper of the FA Cup. They were led by a magnificent player called Billy Pearce, who captained the County throughout the decade. Also included in the side at the time was a prolific goal scorer called Bill Butler, who scored more than eighty senior goals in one season (including thirty in a month!).
The Club purchased and moved to its present ground in Meadow Lane in 1934, the cost of the four-acre site being £475. The very first game played on what was then the Jubilee Playing Field was against Bristol City and a crowd of around 4000 attended.
The Club has produced many players who have gone on to make the grade at professional football, two of them being centre forwards for Bristol City. The first was Reg Smith who played for City in the 1930s and was then transferred to Wolverhampton Wanderers for what was described in the Press as a ‘considerable fee’. The other was John Atyeo, who for his signature City played a presentation game against Westbury and made a donation of £100. It must have been the bargain of the century as John played over 600 games for City and scored 359 goals. He also played six times for England in which he netted five goals. He died suddenly in June 1993, aged 61, and now has a grandstand named after him at City’s Ashton Gate ground as well as a street in his home village of Dilton Marsh (just a few miles from Meadow Lane).
The Club has strong family traditions. Wilf Alford left Westbury before the last War to play for then First Division Portsmouth. His son, Phil, managed the Reserve Team for many years as well as stints helping at First Team level, while his grandsons have also played for the Club.
Westbury joined the Western League in 1984 and initially struggled. In 1988 floodlights were erected and Southampton were the visitors for the official switch on. Season 1988-89 saw the Club win its first honour in the League, winning the Sportsmanship Trophy. In 1991, under the management of Ian Harris, they won the First Division Title to gain promotion to the Premier Division. The highest League placing to date came in the 1994-95 season when they finished fifth.
The Club has had its share of dedicated officials who have given a lifetime of service. Former Club President, Ernie Barber, who passed away in December 2012, used to carry the team kit as a seven-year-old (1933) and after the war he started playing. When he finished playing he became Secretary and held the post until the end of the 1996-97 season when he decided to retire.
In recent years the Club has, with the help of the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, been able to replace the drainage system on the pitch as well as erect fencing around the ground and a wall around the pitch.
Following several seasons in the 2000s where the aim of promotion to the Toolstation Premier League wasn’t achieved, long standing manager Paul Brickley stood down and there was 6 seasons of struggle from 2010/11 till 2015/16 under various managers with the team finishing in the bottom 3 every time!
There have been major changes behind the scenes with the aim of driving the Club forward. Although the team finished bottom of the league in 2014-2015 we were reprieved from relegation and made a minor improvement in 2015-2016. With the drive from those who joined the Club from the Westbury Youth set up there is a closer relationship between adult and youth football resulting in many teenagers stepping up to Western League football.
The 2015/16 season had a similar theme, Westbury were facing down the barrel of another relegation battle and another manager was relieved of his position. This change brought in the current father/son management team Neil and Joe Kirkpatrick, a strong finish to the season meant Westbury finished with a satisfactory 58 points and a 12th position finish.
A lot of hard work was put in off the pitch in preparation for the 2017/18 season. The wall surrounding the pitch was painted white, a new pay hut was erected, the clubhouse and changing rooms were refurbished. Also the team structure of the club had major changes, a ‘new’ reserve team was entered into the Wiltshire Senior League and the team competing in the Trowbridge and District League was renamed Westbury United Development team, complimented by a new U18’s team at Westbury Youth there is finally a clear pathway for players to develop.
The Kirkpatrick’s had attracted a strong group of players and Westbury started the season amongst the favorites to be promoted. They started the season well, staying unbeaten for the first 13 league games, winning 8 and drawing 5. Chairman Matt Bright stepped down in early October to spend more time with his family, and Secretary Greg Coulson was elected to become Chairman at a Special General Meeting in early November. The club won the First Division and secured promotion to the Premier Division. They managed to score more points (95, previous best 91), score more goals (97, previous best 95) and concede the least goals (29, previous best 39) in the clubs history.
2018/19 will be Westbury’s first season in the Toolstation Western Premier League since relegation in 2002. They have managed to keep the majority of their title winning squad together so are hoping to compete for a mid-table spot in their first season
Westbury United Squad 2018-2019
Manager: Neil and Joe Kirkpatrick
Assistant Manager: Barry Crease
1st Team Coach: Luke Smith
GK Coach: Lewis Porter
Physio: Will Bundy