Ramsgate


Ramsgate

Nickname: The Rams
Year founded: 1886
Ground: Southwood
Home colours: Red with white trim
Away colours: Green with white trim

Ramsgate Football Club are a football team based in Ramsgate, Kent. Having played for many years in the Kent League, they have been promoted for two consecutive seasons and now play in the Isthmian League Premier Division.

The main local rivals of the club are Margate F.C. who are situated just 3 miles away. When the two teams meet, it is known as the Thanet derby.

History

The earliest incarnation of Ramsgate FC had played since at least 1886 but folded in 1924, with local rivals Ramsgate Glenville taking over their Southwood ground. Glenville did not reform after World War II and a new club dubbed Ramsgate Athletic took over Southwood. The club retained the Athletic name until 1972.

Athletic played in the original incarnation of the Kent League from their formation until the collapse of the league in 1959. This was the club’s best period for nearly 50 years, with two consecutive league titles, several county cups, and a run to the first round of the FA Cup. With the collapse of the Kent League the Rams migrated to the Southern League, where they initially did well but were forced to resign and drop down to the re-formed Kent League in 1976.

For nearly thirty years the club performed well without seriously challenging for promotion, but their fortunes changed in 2004 with the return of former manager Jim Ward. He led the club to two consecutive championships (Kent League Premier Division and Isthmian League First Division), taking the club into the Isthmian League Premier Division for 2006/07, which therefore offered the first derby matches for many years against Isle of Thanet rivals Margate.

Ground

he ground at Southwood was provided by Mr & Lady Weigall, but the club folded in 1924 and the ground was taken over by Ramsgate Grenville FC. This club never reformed after WW2 but Southwood remained in use, this time by another new club: Ramsgate Athletic, who were successful. The pitch had been rotated through ninety degrees, and a ground record of 5,038 was set for the derby game against Margate in 1955. The club joined the Southern League in 1959, before returning to the Kent League in 1977. In the meantime, they became simply Ramsgate FC after dropping the Athletic tag in 1972.

During the 1960s both ends of the ground were terraced and covered, although this was rather rudimentary: consisting of corrugated iron on scaffolding poles. The dressing rooms beneath the stand were never used as, according to Mike Floate, they were prone to flooding. By the mid-1970s however, Southwood had suffered considerable neglect. The two covered ends were condemned and subsequently dismantled, although the now open terracing remained. Writing in 1998, Mike Floate described Southwood as ‘shabby’. To a certain extent that is still true, and the near touchline remains out of bounds to spectators. The painted Rams on the wall at the near end of the ground however, are a nice touch. Unfortunately the goals are too far from the perimeter wall, although the terracing affords a decent view, and extends around to either side of the stand. In 1958 the latter was built by the Supporters’ Club to replace an earler corrugated iron structure. Thankfully, this has survived, and its rounded roof and wooden bench seating makes Southwood a ground worth visiting; whilst the traditional sunken dugouts are a further feature of note for the purist. The clubhouse is small but cosy and is situated outside the main entrance to the playing area.

General info and history from Wikipedia. Ground info from PyramindPassion.co.uk. Kit colours from FM.

Official Site

Entry author: Ben O’Bagels