Nuneaton Borough


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History:

1889-1937

  • Nuneaton St. Nicholas, nicknamed The Saints, started playing senior football within Nuneaton when they were formed in 1889. Five years later they changed their name to Nuneaton Town.
  • Nuneaton Town were also known as The Nuns and entered league football for the first time, helping form the North Warwickshire League. (The club endured a busy spell, also playing in the Coventry and District League, Coventry and North Warwick, Leicestershire, Nuneaton and District, and Trent Valley Combination.)
  • In 1902-03 Nuneaton Town were crowned Nuneaton League champions, and further success followed in 1904-05 when they were worthy winners of the Coventry and North Warwick.
  • By the 1906/07 season the club obtained membership to the Birmingham Junior League (renamed the Birmingham Combination in 1908), and won it at the first attempt to make their mark on Midland Intermediate football. They also triumphantly won the title in 1914-15, 1928-29 and 1930-31.
  • Nuneaton Town also competed in the Birmingham League from 1919-24 and 1933-37, and the Southern League from 1924-26.
  • On May 13, 1937 to everyone’s surprise Nuneaton Town were disbanded after the club’s directors had sold the club’s Manor Park ground to the Nuneaton Corporation the previous December.

1937-1991

  • Two days after Nuneaton Town were disbanded, the newly named Nuneaton Borough F.C. took their place. Nuneaton spent the 1937-38 campaign in the Central Amateur League playing at (the former Nuneaton Town ground) Manor Park and were assisted by several of the ‘Nuns’ younger players.
  • The following season the club turned semi-professional while also moving to the Birmingham Combination. During the clubs tenure in the league they notched up three runners-up medals and never finished below sixth place between 1945 and 1956.
  • In 1952 Nuneaton Borough moved to the Birmingham League where they won the championship back-to-back in 1954-55 and 1955-56.
  • Then in 1958 the club switched to the Southern League, and the following year they were founder members of the Premier Division. They spent the next 16 years in the Premier Division, finishing second in 1966-67 and runners-up to Wimbledon in 1974-75.
  • In 1979 they were founder members of the Alliance Premier League (which later became the Conference National). Their stay was short lived, and after 2 seasons the club was relegated.
  • However, they won the Midland section of the Southern League at the first attempt and were duly promoted back to the Alliance Premier League.
  • In 1983-84 and 1984-85 they finished runners-up but failed to capitalise.
  • Then in 1987 they were relegated back into the Southern League Premier Division due to irregularities off the field and went into freefall.
  • The club lasted just one season in the Southern League Premier Division, suffering a second successive relegation. A new board of directors took over, and in 1991 Nuneaton Borough A.F.C was formed.

Nuneaton Borough A.F.C.

  • In 1993 Nuneaton Borough A.F.C, nicknamed The Boro, won the Southern League Midland Division title and were promoted back into the Premier Division, but were relegated after only one season.
  • In the 1995-96 season the club won the Midland Division and the Southern League Cup.
  • Three years later in 1999 Nuneaton Borough finally won the Southern League Championship, earning themselves a place in the top flight of English non-league football. Whilst playing in the Conference the club improved and achieved a top ten finish (and briefly attained top position, one place from full football league status).
  • Then on the final day of the 2002-03 season the club suffered another agonising relegation, which saw the club yet again in the Southern League.
  • A year later the league structure was changed dramatically; and a fourth place finish saw the club achieve a position in Conference North.
  • In the first ever season in 2004-05 Nuneaton Borough finished second and earned themselves a place in the play-offs They eventually lost to Altrincham F.C. in the play-off semi-finals. The club were also awarded the Fair Play Award for having just one player sent off all season.
  • In July 2006, Nuneaton famously beat local rivals and Football League Championship side Coventry City in a pre-season friendly game at Manor Park.

Cup Competitions:

F.A. Cup

Nuneaton Town first entered the FA Cup in 1899 but never progressed to the competition proper. This is something which Nuneaton Borough have achieved twenty-one times, and along the way they have chalked up some wonderful memories: including famous victories over Football League sides Watford F.C., Swansea City A.F.C., Oxford United F.C. and most recently Stoke City F.C..

Nuneaton Borough have progressed to the FA Cup Third Round Proper three times, in 1949-50, 1966-67 and 2005-06. Their 1966-67 run carried them further than any other non-league club that season. A crowd of 22,114 were in attendance at their Manor Park ground on January 28, 1967 when Rotherham United F.C. beat Boro 0-1 in a closely fought Third Round Replay.

Alarm bells were also ringing for Middlesbrough F.C. manager Steve McClaren when he visited Manor Park On 7 January 2006 as Boro pulled off one of the biggest shocks in FA Cup history. Gez Murphy scored an equalising penalty in the 90th minute to level the final score 1-1, and earn the Boro a money-spinning replay against a Premier League side (approximately 100 places above them). Middlesbrough won the replay at the Riverside 5-2.

F.A. Trophy

Nuneaton Borough’s best run has seen them reach the quarter-final three times: In 1977 (a replay), in 1980 and 1987.

Birmingham Senior Cup

The Boro won the Birmingham Senior Cup for the first time in 1931 and have won it a total of eight times since.

Stadia:

Manor Park

From the club’s early years until 2007 Boro played at Manor Park; a 6,000 capacity stadium at the time of its closure. The record attendance was 22,114 spectators who had packed into the ground for an FA Cup tie against Rotherham United in 1967.

The club played their final game at Manor Park, on 28 April 2007, in a 1-1 draw with Vauxhall Motors. Gez Murphy scored Boro’s last goal at the ground from the penalty spot.

Liberty Way

For the 2007-08 season Nuneaton Borough moved into their new purpose built ground, Liberty Way, which they will share with Nuneaton Rugby Club. The ground was built in three phases, and was completed as of the end of 2007.

Brewno the Bear

Brewno the Bear is the official mascot of Nuneaton Borough A.F.C. consisting of a man in a big bear suit who often entertains the Boro crowd and looks after the young mascots on match-day. Brewno’s highlight came in November 2000 when he was involved in a comedy wrestling match with the Stoke City mascot Pottamus (a giant hippopotamus) during an FA Cup tie at the Britannia Stadium. Brewno lost and his head was tossed into the crowd by the hippo.

Honours:

  • Conference National (Alliance Premier) Runners Up: 1983-84, 1984-85
  • Conference North Runners Up: 2004-05
  • Southern League Premier Division Champions: 1998-99, Runners-Up: 1966-67, 1974-75
  • Southern League Midland Division Champions: 1981-82, 1992-93, 1995-96
  • Southern League Cup  Winners: 1995-96,  Finalists: 1962-63
  • Birmingham Senior CupWinners: 1931, 1949, 1956, 1960, 1978, 1980, 1993, 2002

Sources: Wikipedia

Entry author: Deus