Yeovil Town Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Yeovil in Somerset, England. The team compete in the National League South, the sixth level of the English football league system. They will play in the National League in the 2024–25 season after gaining promotion in the 2023–24 season. The club's home ground is Huish Park, built in 1990 on the site of an old army camp. That stadium is named after their former home, Huish, known for its pitch, which had an 8 feet (2.4 m) sideline to sideline slope. The club's nickname "the Glovers" is a reference to the history of glove-making in the town of Yeovil, which became a centre of the industry during the 18th and 19th centuries.[1]

Yeovil Town
Full nameYeovil Town Football Club
Nickname(s)The Glovers
Founded27 August 1895; 128 years ago (1895-08-27) (as Yeovil Casuals)
GroundHuish Park
Capacity9,565 (5,212 seated)
OwnerHellier Group
ChairmanMartin Hellier
ManagerMark Cooper
LeagueNational League South
2022–23National League, 22nd of 24 (relegated)
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Founded in 1895, the club initially joined the Somerset Senior League and competed in a multitude of leagues up until the outbreak of World War II. During this time they won titles in the Southern League, Western League, Bristol Charity League, Dorset District League and Somerset Senior League. They played in the Southern League after the war ended, winning the championship in 1954–55, 1963–64 and 1970–71, before becoming members of the Alliance Premier League from 1979 to 1985. They spent the next three years in the Isthmian League, and were promoted into the Conference after finishing as champions in 1987–88. Relegated in 1995, they were promoted again two years later after winning another Isthmian League title. Yeovil won the 2002 FA Trophy final and secured a place in the Football League after winning the Conference in 2002–03 under the stewardship of Gary Johnson. They then won the League Two title in 2004–05, before reaching the Championship with victory in the 2013 Football League One play-off final in Johnson's second spell as manager. However they suffered consecutive relegations, and were relegated once more following the 2018–19 season, ending their 16-season spell in the Football League.

Yeovil are one of the most successful non-league teams in the FA Cup, having defeated major Football League teams, most famously Sunderland in the fourth round in 1949, before going on to play in front of more than 81,000 spectators away at Manchester United in the next round. For some years, as the only Football League side in Somerset, they have had few local rivalries as the club climbed the divisions in the 2000s, though their most notable is the derby shared with Dorset side, Weymouth.

History edit

Non-League football edit

 
Chart showing the progress of Yeovil Town FC in League and Non-League football from 1988 to present

Yeovil Football Club was founded in 1890, and shared its ground with the local rugby club for many years. Five years later, the current club was founded and named Yeovil Casuals and started playing home games at the Pen Mill Athletic Ground. In 1907 the name Yeovil Town was adopted, which on amalgamation with Petters United became Yeovil and Petters United.[2] The name reverted to Yeovil Town before the 1946–47 season.

The club came to national attention as 'giant-killers' during the 1948–49 FA Cup,[3] in which they defeated Sunderland 2–1 in the fourth round, in front of a record home attendance of 17,000. They were defeated 8–0 in the following round by Manchester United.[4]

Between 1955 and 1973 they were champions of the Southern Football League three times, and runners-up twice.[5] During this period, Yeovil Town applied for election to the Football League on a number of occasions, coming within a few votes of being elected in 1976.[6] In 1979 the Glovers were founder members of the new national non-league division, the Alliance Premier League. In 1985, they were relegated to the Isthmian League. Yeovil won that championship in 1988 and returned to the Conference.

 
Yeovil's Huish ground in 1983.

There was success in the Bob Lord Challenge Trophy in 1990 and three years later Yeovil finished fourth in the Conference, their best finish ever.[5] In January 1995, former Weymouth and Spurs player Graham Roberts was appointed manager, but demotion back to the Isthmian League soon followed. Yeovil secured promotion back into the Conference in 1997 after winning the Isthmian League with a record number of points – 101.[5]

Colin Lippiatt became manager for the 1998–99 season and brought Terry Skiverton to the club as a player. Gary Johnson took over as manager in June 2001 and Yeovil won the FA Trophy in his first season in charge with a 2–0 victory over Stevenage Borough in the final at Villa Park – the club's first major trophy.[5] Yeovil Town earned promotion to the Football League in the following season, by winning the Football Conference by a record 17 points margin, accumulating 95 points and scoring 100 goals, remaining unbeaten at Huish Park. Their team included many top players, some of whom went on to play Premier League football. Notable players include Gavin Williams who moved to West Ham United, Lee Johnson, Chris Weale, Darren Way and Adam Lockwood.

Reaching the Football League edit

Yeovil's first game in the Football League was a 3–1 away win over Rochdale. The Glovers finished their first season in eighth position, and reached the third round of the FA Cup before losing 2–0 at home to Liverpool. Before the game the club released a record sold only in shops in the town: "Yeovil True" reached No. 36 in the UK Singles Chart.[7] The following season Yeovil finished as champions of League Two with 83 points, earning promotion to League One. During the season the club was sold by Jon Goddard-Watts to David Webb, who took over the role of chief executive from chairman John Fry.

At the beginning of the 2005–06 season manager Gary Johnson left Yeovil for Bristol City. He was replaced by his assistant Steve Thompson and Kevin Hodges was appointed as his number two. At the season's end Thompson was demoted to first-team coach and he was replaced by Russell Slade. Around this time John Fry had bought all Dave Webb's share of the club, becoming Yeovil Town's new owner.[8] They again reached the fourth round of the FA Cup and were drawn away against Charlton Athletic, then in the Premier League, to whom they lost 3–2.[9]

 
Yeovil flag at Wembley Stadium in 2007.

Yeovil finished the 2006–07 season in fifth position, qualifying for the League One play-offs. In the semi-final Yeovil beat Nottingham Forest in the two-legged match 5–4 on aggregate, after losing the first home leg 2–0.[10][11] Yeovil met Blackpool at Wembley Stadium in the final, but were beaten 2–0.

The 2007–08 was less successful, as Yeovil finished 18th in League One with 52 points. Russell Slade continued as Yeovil manager into the 2008–09 season, but he left the position in February 2009.[12] After one game with assistant manager Steve Thompson acting as caretaker manager, club captain Terry Skiverton was announced as manager until the end of the 2009–10 season, with Nathan Jones as his assistant.[13] The duo kept Yeovil in League One, with safety secured following a 1–1 draw at Tranmere Rovers.[14]

Skiverton and Jones helped Yeovil avoid relegation in the following two seasons, but a poor start the 2011–12 campaign prompted a change of manager. On 9 January 2012, the club announced the re-appointment of Gary Johnson, with Terry Skiverton becoming assistant.[15] The Glovers went on to again achieve safety, finishing 11 points clear of the relegation zone.[16]

Yeovil made their best ever start in the 2012–13 season, picking up 10 points from their first four games. Yeovil finished the 2012–13 season in fourth place, reaching the League One play-offs. They reached the final on 6 May 2013 after a 2–0 home victory against Sheffield United, overturning a 1–0 loss at Bramall Lane in the first leg. On 19 May 2013, Yeovil defeated Brentford 2–1 in the League One play-off final at Wembley, reaching the second tier for the first time in their history.[17] Striker Paddy Madden, who netted the opening goal against Brentford at Wembley, finished as the league's top scorer.[18]

Yeovil spent one season in the Championship and, despite enjoying memorable victories over Nottingham Forest, Sheffield Wednesday and Watford, suffered immediate relegation back to League One.[19] The club's struggles continued the following season, although the club did earn a lucrative FA Cup tie against Manchester United, which they lost 2–0 despite a "gallant challenge".[20] Manager Gary Johnson was eventually replaced by Paul Sturrock as Yeovil suffered another relegation, returning to League Two for the first time in 10 years.[21]

Following a poor start to the 2015/16 season, Sturrock was sacked and replaced by Darren Way, initially in a caretaker role before being named permanent manager.[22] Way was able to lead Yeovil to safety as they finished they campaign 19th in the table.[23] During Way's tenure as manager, Yeovil equalled their record for heaviest Football League defeat with an 8–2 loss to Luton Town on the opening day of the 2017–18 season,[24] although they also recorded their highest Football League victory under his leadership with a 6–0 win over Newport County in September 2018.[25] The club also enjoyed another FA Cup tie with Manchester United in January 2018, however they lost 4–0 to Jose Mourinho's side.[26]

Return to Non-League football edit

Yeovil's 16-year stay in the EFL came to an end when they were relegated during the 2018–19 season, following a 2–2 draw with Northampton Town.[27] Darren Sarll was unveiled as the club's new manager in June 2019[28] and a takeover of the club by a consortium led by Scott Priestnell and Errol Pope was announced in September 2019.[29] On 22 April, the 2019–20 National League season was ended with immediate effect due to the coronavirus outbreak, with the Glovers fourth in the table.[30] In May 2022, South Somerset District Council completed the purchase of Huish Park and its surrounding land for £2.8 million from Yeovil Town's owner Scott Priestnall, with the football club becoming tenants of the council through a leaseback arrangement.[31]

In February 2023, it was announced that SU Glovers Limited, a company publicly fronted by Matt Uggla and former England rugby union international Paul Sackey, was in the process of completing a takeover of the majority shareholding of Yeovil Town Football and Athletic Club Limited.[32] It was confirmed (ultimately prematurely) that former majority shareholder and chairman, Scott Priestnall, would no longer be involved with the football club.[33] In April 2023, the club was relegated to the National League South.[34] On 2 May 2023, it was reported that the SU Glovers takeover would not be proceeding;[35] on 13 May 2023, Yeovil was taken over by a local company, the Hellier Group.[36]

On 11 April 2024, they won the National League South after beating Truro City 2-0 away regaining promotion to the National League.[37]

Recent seasons edit

List of recent seasons, including league division and statistics, cup results, top scorer and average league attendance
Season League FA Cup League Cup Other Top scorer Average[a] attendance
Division[b] P W D L F A Pts Pos Competition Result Name Goals
2018–19 League 2 46 9 13 24 41 66 40 24th R1 R1 EFL Trophy GS (S) Alex Fisher 8 2,953
2019–20 National League 37 17 9 11 61 44 60 4th[c] R1


QF[c]
Rhys Murphy 20 2,980
2020–21 National League 42 15 7 20 58 68 52 16th R2 FA Trophy R3 Rhys Murphy 14 1,593[d]
2021–22 National League 44 15 14 15 43 46 59 12th R3


W
Tom Knowles 11 2,378
2022–23 National League 46 7 19 20 35 60 40 22nd QR4


QF
Alex Fisher
Malachi Linton
Matt Worthington
5 2,730

Rivalries edit

Yeovil have their fiercest rivalry with Dorset club, Weymouth, which has been described as intense.[43] Often when the two clubs meet, a large police presence is required to separate the two sets of fans.[44][45] In October 2021, fans reportedly clashed before and after the game in Huish, with mounted police and dog units being called into action.[46] The 2020–21 National League season marked the first league encounters between the club and Weymouth since the 1988–89 Football Conference season.

The club also shares a minor historic derby with fellow Somerset club, Bath City, with Yeovil playing them 274 times.[47][48][49] Albeit since the turn of the century, the majority of any animosity dissipated heavily. Hereford United were also seen as rivals, before their dissolution in 2014, due to both clubs being fairly well matched during their time in non-league ranks.[50] During the clubs time in the EFL, Yeovil fans considered both Bristol Rovers and Bristol City to be rivals. In August 2009, Yeovil played Exeter City for the first time in the league, and both clubs have shared a rivalry since, with the match often being billed as a Westcountry Derby.[51] Swindon Town and AFC Bournemouth were also considered somewhat rivals due to geographical proximity.[52]

Players edit

First-team squad edit

As of 12 April 2024[53]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
2 DF   ENG Morgan Williams
3 DF   ENG Alex Whittle
6 DF   ENG Jake Wannell
7 MF   ENG Jordan Stevens
8 MF   ENG Matt Worthington (captain)
9 FW   ENG Jake Hyde
11 FW   SCO Jordan Young
12 MF   ENG Dylan Morgan
15 MF   ENG Josh Owers
16 MF   SCO Sonny Blu Lo-Everton
17 MF   ENG Will Dawes
No. Pos. Nation Player
18 FW   ENG Alex Fisher
19 FW   JAM Jahmari Clarke (on loan from Reading)
20 DF   ENG Brooklyn Genesini (on loan from Swindon Town)
21 GK   ENG Joe Day (on loan from Newport County)
23 DF   NIR Michael Smith
24 MF   ENG Charlie Cooper
27 FW   WAL Sam Pearson
30 FW   ENG Frank Nouble
33 DF   WAL Jay Foulston (on loan from Taunton Town)
39 FW   IRL Rhys Murphy
40 FW   ENG Olly Thomas (on loan from Bristol City)

Out on loan edit

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK   ENG Will Buse (at Bath City)
10 MF   ENG Jordan Maguire-Drew (at Barnet until end of 2023–24 season)
14 FW   ENG Malachi Linton (at Weymouth until end of 2023–24 season)
No. Pos. Nation Player
29 DF   ENG Ollie Haste (at Dorchester Town until end of 2023–24 season)
35 FW   ZIM Benjani Jr (at Melksham Town)
36 FW   ENG Charlie Bateson (at Shepton Mallet)

International representatives edit

Club management edit

As of 8 January 2024[54]

Corporate hierarchy edit

Position Name
Owner / chairman Martin Hellier
Director Jack Hellier
Director Stuart Robins
Director Rhys Rosser

Coaching staff edit

Position Name
Manager   Mark Cooper
Assistant manager   Chris Todd
Goalkeeping coach   Phil Osborn
Head of player development   Marcus Stewart
EPDP and U18s manager   Matt Percival

Managerial history edit

Years Manager
1923–28   Jack Gregory
1928–29   Tommy Lowes
1929–33   David Pratt
1933–35   Louis Page
1935–38   Dave Halliday
1938–46   Billy Kingdon
1946–49   Alec Stock
1949–51   George Paterson
1951–53   Harry Lowe
1953–57   Ike Clarke
1957   Norman Dodgin
1957–60   Jimmy Baldwin
1960–64   Basil Hayward
1964–65   Glyn Davies
1965–67   Joe McDonald
 
Years Manager
1967–69   Ron Saunders
1969–72   Mike Hughes
1972–75   Cecil Irwin
1975–78   Stan Harland
1978–81   Barry Lloyd
1981   Malcolm Allison
1981–83   Jimmy Giles
1983   Mike Hughes
1983–84   Trevor Finnigan
1984   Steve Coles
1984   Ian MacFarlane
1984–87   Gerry Gow
1987–90   Brian Hall
1990–91   Clive Whitehead
1991–93   Steve Rutter
 
Years Manager
1994–95   Brian Hall
1995–98   Graham Roberts
1998–99   Colin Lippiatt
1999–2000   Steve Thompson
2000   David Webb
2000   Steve Thompson
2000–01   Colin Addison
2001–05   Gary Johnson
2005–06   Steve Thompson
2006–09   Russell Slade
2009   Steve Thompson
2009–12   Terry Skiverton
2012–15   Gary Johnson
2015   Terry Skiverton
2015   Paul Sturrock
 
Years Manager
2015–19   Darren Way
2019   Neale Marmon
2019–22   Darren Sarll
2022   Charlie Lee
2022   Josh Staunton
2022   Chris Hargreaves
2022–   Mark Cooper

List of chairmen edit

The following men have been chairman of the club's Board of Directors:[55]

Years Chairman
1923–25 E.J. Farr
1925–27 E.P. Wrinch
1927–29 W. Stanley Johnson
1929–31 W.J. Farthing
1931–33 Stanley H. Vincent
1933–36 George E. Fox
1936–38 Stanley Gates
1938–48 H.A. Smith
1948–62 W.H. Farthing
1962–66 S. Pinder
 
Years Chairman
1966–69 G.E. Templeman
1969–71 S. Norman Burfield
1971–74 I.B. Rendall
1974–82 David J. Hawker
1982–91 Gerry A. Lock
1991–96 Bryan W. Moore
1996–2019 John R. Fry
2019–23 Scott M. Priestnall
2023– Martin Hellier

Honours edit

 
Yeovil celebrating their promotion to The Football League at Huish Park on 19 April 2003.

Source:[56][57][58][59]

League

Cup

Club records edit

Yeovil Town W.F.C. edit

After the merging of Bridgwater Town and Yeovil United (previously Yeovil Town Ladies) into Bridgwater United W.F.C. in 2021,[69] the return of Yeovil Town's Women's Football Club (YTWFC) was announced in January 2023.[70][71] In June, players from Sherborne Town Ladies and Ilminster Town Ladies were signed to the team ahead of the 2023-2024 season,[72] as well as coaching staff from both clubs joining the team.[73]

In September 2023, Yeovil Town W.F.C. joined the Somerset County Women's League,[73][74] playing in Division One,[75] with homes games at the Somerton Recreation Ground.[76] In January 2024, the women's team reached the top of the division after winning 10 consecutive games.[77]

Coaching staff edit

As of September 1st 2023[73]

Position Name
Manager Paul Knight
Assistant manager Matt Bennett
Goalkeeping coach Tony Rich

Notes edit

  1. ^ League matches only (excluding play-offs).
  2. ^ Divisions are sorted according to their level within the English football league system at the time.
  3. ^ a b The season was suspended on 16 March 2020 and later concluded prematurely in April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with league positions and promotions decided on a points-per-game basis,[38][39][40] Yeovil finished the season in 4th position in the National League with a 1.62 PPG and qualified for the play-offs, but lost 2–0 to Barnet in the play-off quarter-finals.[41] While the Somerset Premier Cup along with all Somerset FA competitions was cancelled.[42]
  4. ^ Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Yeovil played all but two matches behind closed doors and were only permitted a limited home attendance for those final two fixtures of the season.
  5. ^ Excludes the Somerset Premier Cup in which the club's youth team played.[60][61]

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