- Kettering Town F.C.
Football club infobox
clubname = Kettering Town
fullname = Kettering Town Football Club
nickname = The Poppies
founded = 1872
Rockingham Road, Kettering
capacity = 6,170 (1,800 seated)
chairman = flagicon|Kenya
mgrtitle = Manager
manager = flagicon|England Mark Cooper
season = 2007–08
position = Conference North, 1st (promoted)
pattern_la1= _whiteshoulders |pattern_b1= _whitesleevelinesandsidesthick |pattern_ra1= __blacklower | leftarm1=000000|body1=FF0000|rightarm1=000000|shorts1=FF0000|socks1=000000| pattern_la2=|pattern_b2=_redcross|pattern_ra2=| leftarm2=FFFFFF|body2=FFFFFF|rightarm2=FFFFFF|shorts2=FFFFFF|socks2=FFFFFF
Kettering Town Football Club is a football club based in
Kettering. The club play in the Conference Nationalafter winning the Conference Northin 2007–08.The nickname of the club is "The Poppies"
The team play their home fixtures at
Rockingham Road. They usually play in red, white and black, and their main local rivals are Rushden & Diamonds, a rivalry which has existed since the latter first achieved Conference football in 1996. [ [http://www.footballfanscensus.com/issueresults/Club_Rivalries_Uncovered_Results.pdf Club rivalries uncovered] (PDF) Football Fans Census. Retrieved 15 May 2008]
Kettering Town were originally formed in 1872, turning professional in 1891. The club graduated through twelve different leagues from 1892 until they became founder members of the Football Alliance in 1979. The club maintained its status in the top flight of semi-professional football throughout the Gola and
Vauxhallsponsorships, until the 2000-01 season.
Many honours have found their way to Rockingham Road, winning the
Midland Football Leaguetitle in 1896 and 1900. The Southern League Championship was won on three occasions, in 1928 and 1957 under Tommy Lawtonand in 1973 under the guidance of Ron Atkinson. In the 1930's the club won the East Midlands League and in 1948 the Poppies became Birmingham League Champions.
During the 1970s, Ketting Town sought election to the Football League, coming five votes short of election in 1974. [http://www.footballsite.co.uk/Statistics/LeagueTables/Season1973-74/Div41973-74.htm]
In a Southern League game against Bath City on
24 January 1976, Kettering became the first British club to play with a sponsor's name emblazoned on their shirts; that of Kettering Tyres. The deal was brokered by chief executive and manager Derek Dougan. Four days later, The Football Associationordered the club to remove the new slogan, despite Dougan's claim that the ruling body's 1972 ban on sponsorship had not been put down in writing. Dougan changed the wording on the shirts to "Kettering T", which he claimed stood for "Town". For a couple of heady months, the team played on in the new shirts.
Eventually the FA ordered them to remove the words "Kettering T" from their strip. The threat of a £1,000 fine was too much and the words were reluctantly removed. Kettering didn't let the matter lie and, with Derby County and Bolton Wanderers, they put forward a proposal to the FA regarding shirt sponsorship. Even though the proposal was accepted on
3 June 1977, Kettering could not find a sponsor for the upcoming season. Meanwhile, Derby players began that season playing in Saabshirts and driving Saab cars. Kettering are also the first ever British team to have their initials on their ground's floodlights.
The club finished runners-up in the
Football Conferencein 1981, 1989, 1994 and 1998. The GMAC Cup, (the non-league, league Cup) was won in 1987 and the Poppies were runners-up in 1995, then known as the Bob Lord Trophy. County competitions have been won regularly by Kettering Town, with the Northants Senior Cup won on 28 occasions and the Maunsell Cup 13 times.
FA Cuphas brought success and publicity to Rockingham Road with the first round proper being reached on 41 occasions. In 1901 the club reached the last sixteen and in more modern times the Poppies reached the fourth round proper in the 1988/89 season and also the third round in 1991-92 only to lose to Kenny Dalglish's Blackburn Rovers. During the 1994-95 season the club made their debut live on Sky TVin a first round tie against Plymouth Argyle, soon followed by another appearance against Wrexham at Rockingham Road.
Wembley has been reached on two occasions before. The Poppies lost 2-0 to Stafford Rangers in the 1979
FA TrophyFinal. More recently of course, the FA TrophyFinal in 2000 saw the Poppies lose a closely fought final with Kingstonian 3-2. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/k/kettering/791131.stm Poppies Miss out in Trophy Final] BBC Sport] Most recently, the club were narrowly relegated on the last day of the 2000-01 season which ended 30 years in the top flight of non-league football. The Poppies made a quick return to the Conference in the 2001/02 season winning the Southern Football Leaguewith a last-day victory at Tiverton Town under Carl Shutt– his first full season in charge.
The following season was a major disappointment and the club, rarely out of the bottom three, were again demoted - this time to the
Isthmian League. Carl Shuttleft the club in April 2003 and Dominic Genovese, after a short period as acting manager, took over the reins.
After a poor run of home results and a disappointing defeat to
Boreham Woodin the FA Cup Dominic Genovese was replaced by former Northampton Townmanager, Kevin Wilson. Changes to the team were made and the club finished the season on a 12 game unbeaten run. Ninth place was enough for the club to return to the Conference albeit in one of the two new feeder leagues – the Conference North.
Wilson nearly led his charges to promotion in the first season of the new North division. A late spurt saw the Poppies into the play-offs, but an own goal from club legend Martin Matthews meant that Altrincham prevailed 3-2 in the regional final.
Season 2005-06 was to be one of massive change at Rockingham Road. In October 2005 it was announced that long-serving chairman Peter Mallinger was to hand over the reins to a consortium consisting of Imraan Ladak, Mick Leech and England legend
Paul Gascoigne. Gascoigne was installed as manager, replacing Kevin Wilson, and ex-Arsenal stalwart Paul Davis was recruited as assistant manager.
The eyes of the world were on Gascoigne and the Poppies, and media interest was massive. However, for a variety of reasons, Gascoigne was only to remain in the job for thirty-nine days. Kevin Wilson was given his old job back, but only held onto it for two months as a run of one win in twelve games saw the Poppies slump into the bottom half of Conference North.
In February 2006,
Morell Maisonwas appointed Kettering Town manager, and led the team to 6th place in Conference North, after a run of seven wins in the last eight games. An announcement was made in May 2006 that the playing staff for 2006-07 would be full-time, and that six new signings had been made. These included Darren Caskeyfrom neighbours Rushden & Diamonds. The ambition was there for all to see, but after a roller coaster of a season, saw the Poppies fall behind eventual champions Droylsden, with Maison sacked with just two games to go.
Graham Westleywas brought in to oversee the final conclusion of the season, that saw defeat via penalties to Farsley Celtic in the play-off semi-final. Westley left the club.
Imraan Ladakinstalled former Tamworthmanager Mark Cooperas the new Kettering Town manager for the 2007-08 campaign [ [http://www.ketteringtownfc.co.uk/news/news_article.asp?id=303 Mark Cooper made Kettering boss] Kettering Town FC] . The club finished the season as Conference North champions, breaking several records along the way (including seven consecuctive wins at the start of the season, 30 wins overall, and a divisional record of 97 points). As a result, the club was promoted to the Conference National.
19 August 2008."cite web
title = Kettering Town
url = http://www.footballsquads.co.uk/eng/2008-2009/confprem/kettering.htm
publisher = footballsquads.co.uk
accessdate = 2008-08-13]
Notable former players
*flagicon|England Phil Brown
*flagicon|England Carl Alford
*flagicon|England Mark Cooper
*flagicon|England Mick Jones
*Most League Appearances:
*Most League goals in TotalL
*Record Attendance - 11,526 vs.
Peterborough United1947-48 FA Cup3rd Qualifying Round
**Record league attendance: 8,717 vs Bedford Town, Southern League, 1956-57
**Conference North champions 2007-08
**Premier Division champions 1972-73, 2001-02
**Division One North champions 1971-72
**Division One champions 1960-61
**Eastern Division champions 1927-28, 1928-29
**League Cup winners 1974-75
**Champions 1895-96, 1899-1900
**Winners 1912-13, 1919-20, 1923-24,† 1924-25, 1928-29, 1947-48, 1951-52, 1954-55, 1959-60, 1984-85, 1987-88, 1988-89, 1992-93, 1993-94, 1998-99.
*Northants Senior Cup
**Winners 1883-84, 1895-86, 1897-98, 1900-01, 1906-07, 1920-21 (reserves), 1931-32, 1932-33, 1935-36, 1938-39, 1946-47, 1952-53 (reserves), 1955-56, 1956-57 (reserves), 1968-69, 1972-73, 1978-79, 1979-80, 1983-84, 1984-85, 1985-86, 1986-87, 1987-88, 1991-92, 1992-93, 1994-95, 1996-97, 2000-01.
† Joint winners with Desborough Town
* [http://www.ketteringtownfc.co.uk/ Official website]
* [http://www.poppynet.co.uk/ Fan's Forum]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/k/kettering_town/default.stm BBC Sport Kettering site]
* [http://www.poppiestrust.com Poppies Trust]
* [http://www.clubwebsite.co.uk/ketteringtownladiesgirlsfc/ Kettering Town Ladies & Girls]
* [http://afcpoppies.jimdo.com/ Kettering Fans Team; Afc Poppies]
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