Salisbury FC

Ground: Raymond McEnhill Stadium

Nickname: The Whites


  • Formed:2015 & joined Wessex League:2015
  • Clubhouse: Yes
  • Midweek: Tuesday
  • Colours: White shirts with Black trim, Black shorts, White socks
  • Alt. colours: Navy Blue shirts with Sky Blue trim, Navy Blue shorts, Navy Blue socks
  • Sat Nav: SP4 6PU

Wetherspoons: The Kings Head Inn 1 Bridge Street Salisbury SP1 2ND

  • Salisbury FC,Raymond McEnhill Stadium,SP4 6PU

History:

A Salisbury Football Club has existed since the late 19Th century, the original Salisbury City Club playing in the Southern League Second Division Between 1906 and 1911.

However, the present club was formed on 12th February 1947, a natural successor to the old Salisbury City and Salisbury Corinthians Clubs that both disbanded in the difficult economic times following World War 2. Salisbury Football Club entered the Western League and enjoyed immediate success, winning its first 19 League matches, and thereafter the Second Division title. During that season, the club’s record attendance of 8,902 flocked to Victoria Park, paying £290 in gate receipts, to witness the championship decider, a 1-1 draw against Weymouth in April 1948.

Salisbury Football Club remained members of the Western League until 1968, and had great success, rarely finishing outside of the top six, winning the Championship in seasons 1957/58 and 1960/61. During this period the club also won the Wiltshire Premier Shield six times, the Hampshire Senior Cup twice and the Western League Cup.

The first success of note in national competition came in the FA Amateur Cup in 1948/49. The team won through five qualifying rounds to reach the First Round Proper, and earned a trip to meet Wimbledon at Plough Lane where they were narrowly beaten 2-1.

Salisbury reached the FA Cup First Round for the first time in 1955/56, suffering a 3-2 defeat at Weymouth. Four seasons later, the club went one better, beating Barnet before losing 1-0 in the Second Round at home to Newport County in front of 6,800 spectators. Further appearances in the First Round followed in 1964/65, losing 5-1 at Peterborough United in front of a crowd of 10,095, and in 1967/68, losing 4-0 at Swindon where 12,193 attended.

In 1968 the club was elected to the Southern League. Success was hard to come by, and apart from 3rd, 4th and 5th places in the mid 1970’s; the team never managed a top half finish in the first 15 years of membership. The only rewards were three more Wiltshire Premier Shield successes and another FA Cup First Round appearance, in 1979/80. The home tie with Millwall was switched to The Dell, Southampton, 8,805 seeing Salisbury unluckily beaten by 2 goals to one.

Success in the Southern League finally came in the1985/86 season. Salisbury finished runners up to Cambridge City on goal difference only, after a tremendous run of 15 games unbeaten, including seven straight wins in fifteen days at the season’s end. Promotion to the Premier Division was assured although the stay was short lived as, despite a late run, Salisbury finished fourth from bottom and were relegated back to the Southern Division.

In 1992 the club’s name was officially changed to Salisbury City, and   later that year there was a sixth FA Cup First Round appearance, when the team suffered a penalty shoot-out defeat in a replay against Marlow Town. Further disappointments followed at the end of that season when the club finished Southern Division runners up for the second time, but were denied promotion because of ground grading rules. Two years later justice was done when Salisbury City won the Southern Division Championship, losing only 5 league games out of 42. A club record of 97 points and a best-ever-Southern League victory, 7-0 at runners up Baldock Town, capped a fine season. Remedial work at the Council-owned Victoria Park was carried out to satisfy the ground grading criteria and the Club was able to accept the challenge of Premier Division football.

In 1997, under the chairmanship of Salisbury-born businessman Ray Mc Enhill, Salisbury City Football Club finally realised its ambition and moved to a purpose built stadium at Old Sarum. The Raymond Mc Enhill Stadium has a capacity at present of 3,740 with covered accommodation for 2,247 spectators. A Stadium record crowd of 2,570 saw the FA Cup First Round 2-0 defeat by Hull City in 1998.

The club has won the Wiltshire Premier Shield a total of fifthteen times and was in the Southern Premier Division for seven successive seasons between 1995 and 2002.

Off-field troubles led to the departure of Manager Geoff Butler, after 17 years in charge, and the Club would have ceased to exist in 2002 but for a business consortium that was encouraged to form by the supporters, and was thereafter led by the then current Chairman and ex-Salisbury player Neville Beal. Beal attracted ex Southampton FA Cup winner Nick Holmes to the Club as General Manager, and since that time fortunes have improved substantially on and off the pitch.

In November 2003, the club reached the FA Cup First Round for the eighth time, losing to Sheffield Wednesday 4-0 at Hillsborough in front of 11,419 spectators.

In the 2003/2004 season, Salisbury City gain promotion from the Dr. Martens Eastern Division by finishing sixth. The promotion meant that Salisbury City would transfer to the Ryman (Isthmian) Premier League, thus ending a 36 year membership of the Southern Football League.

In the 2004/2005 season, Salisbury City finished twelfth in the Ryman (Isthmian) Premier League, having made a good start, but then slipping back until they pulled off a major transfer coup, the signature of ex Saint Thomas Widdrington from Port Vale as player coach. A tremendous end to the season saw City transferred back to the Southern Football League, their natural home, due to Step Four Pyramid re-structuring.

The 2005/2006 campaign was the best in living memory for some supporters, Salisbury City won the Southern Premier League at a canter, with games to spare, amassing 95 points, and also enjoyed a run to the last eight of the FA Trophy. Also in this season the club won the Malta Cup and Hospital Cup.

A pleasing start to the Nationwide Conference South Adventure was complemented by a good run in the FA Cup, where, before Sky TV cameras, the Whites were beaten 2-0, but far from disgraced, after a Second Round Proper replay at Nottingham Forest. That game followed a 1-1 draw at home in front of a capacity crowd and stadium record of 3100, and full BBC Match of the Day coverage.

Salisbury City reached the last eight of the FA Trophy again in season 2006/2007, going out 3-0 at Stevenage Borough.

The 2006/2007 season was again exceptional for everyone involved at the Club, and was capped with a second successive promotion into the top level of the Non League game, the Blue Square Premier League, after a two leg playoff victory over Bishop’s Stortford, and a final tie win over Braintree Town. Also in this season, Salisbury City won the Southern League Challenge Cup.

Salisbury City first season in the Blue Square Premier League saw the club end up in a very respectable twelve position, thus achieving their aim of the first season consolidation, with manager Nick Holmes saying “We are pleased, and our final position is exactly right”. Also in this season the club won the Hospital Cup and Wiltshire Premier Shield.

Season 2008/2009 saw mixed fortunes and was divided into three distinct periods. Contrary to the expectations of many (mainly in the press), Salisbury City occupied a place in the top six in the early stages before sinking into the lower reaches of the league. However, a late recovery staved off relegation fears and the initial aim, to survive in what is always a difficult second season in a new league, was achieved.

Season 2009/2010 was a successful one on the pitch as despite having been deducted 10 points when the club went into Administration, a young squad finished in a very creditable mid table position. Without the deduction a sixth place finish would have been achieved.

Unable to fulfil Football Conference financial criteria, the Club lost its membership and duly took its place in the Zamaretto (Southern) Premier League under Chairman William Harrison-Allan, and a new Board, with the natural aim of a quick return to the Conference. Darrell Clarke, an experienced Midfielder, was appointed as Player/Manager.

Also in this season (2009/10), Salisbury City reached the FA Trophy Semi Final for the first time losing to Barrow in both legs.

Season  2010/2011 was in the main very successful, with the team having reached the Fourth Qualifying Round of the FA Cup, and having made even better progress in the FA Trophy, only going out after a narrow defeat by 2-1 away at Blue Square Bet Premier League side Darlington in the Quarter Final.

Promotion to the Blue Square Bet Conference South was a fitting achievement, but it was done the hard way through the play-offs with a thrilling victory at second placed Hednesford Town after extra time and penalties.

Back in Conference South, the 2011/12 season proved to be one of consolidation, with a final position of tenth achieved. There was more excitement however in the form of a record breaking FA Cup run for the club. An exciting Second Round Replay victory at Grimsby Town saw the club reach the Third Round for the first time in its history. A trip to League One Sheffield United ended in a 3-1 defeat at Bramall Lane although the team gave a good account of themselves and gained the respect of their opponents on the day.

The 2012/13 season began impressively and the Whites led the table from September through to February in their bid to return to the top level of the non league pyramid after a three year absence. However an excellent run from Welling United saw the Londoners take over the top spot and City eventually had to settle for the runners up spot and faced the prospect of play offs for the second time in three seasons. After overcoming a first leg deficit to Chelmsford City in the Semi Final a record crowd of 3,408 packed into the ‘Ray Mac’ to see Salisbury defeat Dover Athletic 3-2 after extra time to take their place in the Conference National once again.
The plans for the new season (2013/14) suffered a blow with the departure of Darrell Clarke, who accepted the offer of the assistant manager’s role at Bristol Rovers. The club received over 50 applicants for the vacant manager’s job before promoting from within and making Mikey Harris the youngest manager in the club’s history. Harris quickly appointed the experienced former Northern Ireland international Warren Feeney as his assistant. The season was a successful one as the club finished twelve in the league and reached the second round of the FA Cup for only the fourth time in their history, losing away 4-1 to Port Vale.
During the close season of 2014, Chairman William Harrison-Allan and the Board of Directors sold all their shares to a new consortium comprising of two businessmen. Unfortunately one of these (the main 98% shareholder) had no money and the club was removed from the Conference League for not paying its debts. The club now had no league to play in and this in turn breached the terms of the lease to the Raymond McEnhill Stadium. During the next few months there was a battle between the main shareholder of the club and a new consortium trying to buy back the club. After countless High Court dates, Salisbury City Football Club Limited was placed into administration on 18 September 2014, by an order of the High Court of Justice and Portland Business Recovery were appointed joint administrators. In December 2014 the administrators received bids from two consortia for the assets of Salisbury City F.C and on Thursday 04th December 2014, the administrators announced that a consortium of five (Steve Claridge, Jeremy Harwood, David Phillips, Ian Ridley and Graeme Mundy) had bought the assets of Salisbury City FC and that Claridge would also be the manager of the new club. The next stage of the process was to vote on the new name of the phoenix club, and just before Christmas 2014, the fans voted for the new name of the club Salisbury FC. In April 2015, the new consortium signed a new lease to play at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium and this meant that the new club could apply to join to the FA. and compete in a league for the 2015 / 2016 Season. On Tuesday 28th April 2015, Salisbury FC played their first game as a new phoenix club against AFC Totton in a friendly, with 729 people turning up to watch the match which finished in 2-2 draw. In May 2015, the FA placed Salisbury FC in the Wessex League Premier Division.

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