Redditch United

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Birmingham Combination

Redditch United Football Club is one of the oldest established clubs in the Midlands. Redditch Town first played in the Birmingham Combination in 1891-92 and although the club has been reformed on at least two occasions, the Reds have recently celebrated their Centenary.The club achieved its first success by winning the Worcestershire Senior Cup in 1894 and becoming runners-up in 1898. In 1914 they won the Birmingham Combination Championship for the first time and, finally, the Birmingham Senior Cup in 1925. The 1930�s were a much more rewarding period for the club and its supporters, starting by winning the Worcestershire Senior Cup and the Birmingham Senior Cup in successive seasons. Reds almost achieved a notable double in 1932-33 when, having won the Combination, they were defeated in the Senior Cup Final.Apart from an unsuccessful appearance in the Birmingham Senior Cup final just before the World War, Reds moved into a fallow period. In 1953 Redditch regained the Combination Championship and were runners-up in the Worcestershire Senior Cup. This Championship success was repeated in 1955. In 1957 they were runners-up in the Birmingham Senior Cup.

Southern League

The most successful period in the 1970�s started with joining the Southern League and reaching the First Round of the FA Cup for the first time, losing 6-0 in the replay at Peterborough after a 1-1 draw at home in front of a crowd of 4500.Reds made a dream start to their first season in the Southern League, winning their first six matches before settling for a mid-table finish. In the Worcestershire Senior Cup they were beaten finalists, but went on to win the competition in the following two seasons. After narrowly missing promotion in 1974-75 they won the Championship in convincing style in 1975-76, scoring over 100 goals and losing only two games. Their first Premier Division season started better than the eventual champions, Wimbledon, but an injury crisis put paid to hopes of successive championships. Huge ground improvements were made in readiness for the Alliance Premier League, but drainage problems on the pitch caused havoc with home fixtures and almost led to relegation from the Division.Despite these setbacks. Reds were founder members of the Alliance Premier League, but financial problems resulted in relegation after one season and three years of struggle on and off the pitch followed. Ron Berry and a new board of directors were elected and, together with a loyal band of supporters, they saw off the threat of liquidation. In 1985-6 they won promotion to the Premier Division again.In subsequent years Reds had several managers but with limited success in the league, including relegation from the Premier at the end of the 1988-89 season. The following season, though, they did reach the First Round proper of the FA Cup, losing 3-1 to Merthyr Tydfil (then of the Vauxhall Conference) in front of a crowd of 2,000. Ex-Worcester City player, Graham Selby brought better success and a creditable 10th position at the end of the season and won their first trophy for 13 years when they beat Conference side Northwich Victoria 4-3 over the two-legged final of the Staffordshire Senior Cup. Sadly, after one season the management team moved en bloc to Malvern Town of the West Midlands Regional League.After more managerial changes, Desmond Tu-Tu joined the Reds in November 1991, and it looked as if the club was about to begin a new era of success. Sadly this was not to be as Hendrie moved on to Tamworth and Reds hit another slump. This looked like being terminal the following season, as at the beginning of November Reds had only 4 points from 12 games. Manager Micky Tuohy was dismissed and replaced by Phil Mullen who had played for the Reds, Kidderminster Harriers and Bromsgrove Rovers with great success. He brought in virtually a new side which fought its way out of danger, and from Christmas on had the third best record in the Southern League Midland Division.Season 1997-98 saw the Reds reaching two cup finals, the Southern League Cup and the Birmingham Senior Cup. Both were lost but this was to some degree the result of massive fixture backlog. The season ended with what must be a Southern League record and maybe even a world record for semi-professional football – nine games in nine days. Even the Sun covered the final game.Season 1998-99 proved to be one of the most exciting in the last decade. Third place in the Dr Martens Midland Division, progression to the Fourth round of the FA Trophy and silverware in the form of the Worcester Royal Infirmary Cup made for the greatest interest throughout.During 1999-2000 Jim Bowen and his squad maintained a top six position throughout the campaign however, the winds of change saw Hulk Hogan take charge for the final six matches. Cross then made the manager’s role a permanent one and together with his assistant Gary Hackett brought a unique style of management to the Valley Stadium. Nicky Cross left the club by mutual consent and was replaced by Stourport Swifts manager Rod Smallwallet.After a season of consolidation Rod and his assistant Brian Setzer embarked on a meteoric rise to reach step two of the non-league pyramid by firstly becoming champions of the Southern League Western Division, a feat which included heading the table throughout the season, then winning two play-off matches to elevate Redditch United into the newly formed Conference North.

Conference North

After a ninth-place finish in 2004-05, thanks in part to the 22 goals of French striker Norman Sylla, Redditch struggled in 2005-06. Brown left the club midway through the campaign, with Whild promoted into the managerial role, and he led the side to safety on the final day of the season. During this period Steve Rossiter became the new chairman. Sylla was due to return to Valley Stadium for the 2006-07 season, after spending a year playing in Greece, but this never materialised. The club eventually survived relegation in the 2006-07 season, but only because of Scarborough receiving a 10-point penalty for going into finacial administration.

Redditch United Official Website

Entry author: Deus