Grays Athletic F.C.

Grays Athletic F.C.

Football club infobox
clubname = Grays Athletic

| fullname = Grays Athletic Football Club
nickname = The Gravelmen, The Blues
founded = 1890
ground = New Recreation Ground
capacity = 4,500 (1,000 seated)
chairman = flagicon|England Micky Woodward
manager = flagicon|England Wayne Burnett
league = Conference National |
position = Conference National, 10th
season = 2007–08

Grays Athletic Football Club are a football team from the south east of England, representing the town of Grays, Thurrock, Essex. They currently play in the National division of the Football Conference.


Grays Juniors were founded in 1890 as an amateur club, rising through the ranks to senior status, before merging with former Southern Football League club Grays United to form Grays Athletic. [cite book | last = Watts | first = George H. | title = The Place I Love Best | date = August 2006 | pages = 14] The newly formed outfit joined the Grays & District League Division. Other teams competing in Grays at the time were Grays Amateurs, Grays Avenue Swifts, Grays Hotspurs and Grays Wednesday - with whom they shared the Recreation Ground pitch with. [cite book | last = Watts | first = George H. | title = The Place I Love Best | date = August 2006 | pages = 14]

Grays Athletic became founder members of the Athenian League, in which they briefly played before World War I (1912–1914, and again since 1958). In 1945 they were one of the nine founder members of the Corinthian League, which they won that first season.

After playing in the Isthmian League between 1983 and 2004, they were founder members of the new Conference South. They were divisional champions at the first attempt, and also won the FA Trophy. In the 2005-06 season, they took an early lead in the Conference National division, remaining unbeaten for a record equalling 15 games, but eventually finished in third place and were beaten in the semi-finals of the promotion play-offs by Halifax Town. They did, however, successfully retain the FA Trophy with a 2-0 win over Woking

After the 2005-06 season Mark Stimson left the club (joined Stevenage Borough) and Frank Gray was appointed as the new manager. However after just 14 games, his last being a disappointing 0-1 home defeat to Bromley, he was sacked (over the phone as Woodward was on holiday at the time). Micky Woodward appointed himself as manager for a short while and Player/Coach Jamie Stuart took charge of an Essex Senior Cup match with Woodward assisting but then appointed Andy King as manager. On 5 January 2007, Andy King handed in his resignation to the surprise of chairman Micky Woodward. He was replaced by Justin Edinburgh, his assistant at the time, who became the fourth manager of Grays during the season. Grays eventually finished 19th in the league, just avoiding relegation. In total Grays fielded over 50 players in all competitions.

On 20 February 2008, it was announced that Justin Edinburgh had departed the club, terminating his contract by mutual consent, leaving the club 14th in the Conference National. Chairman, Micky Woodward, took the helm for a second time until the end of the 2007-08 season. [ [ Justin Leaves Grays Athletic] ,] Woodward promoted goalkeeping coach, Gary Phillips to assistant manager, whilst also appointing Neil Smith and Tim O'Shea as coaches to help with training and tactics.


Grays Athletic currently play at the New Recreation Ground with a capacity of 4,500, which has been their home since 1906. The future of this location has been proposed to be developed into residential properties.

On 12 April 2008 chairman Micky Woodward announced that the club plan to move to a new 7,500 all-seater stadium located in Aveley, Thurrock - approximately 5.5 miles away from their current home. However, the club later announced that the relocation plans to move to Aveley would not be pursued, as they have another unannounced location.


* FA Trophy winners: 2004/05, 2005/06
* Football Conference South champions: 2004/05
* Isthmian League Division One runners-up: 1987/88 & 1999/00
* Isthmian League Division Two South champions: 1984/85
* London League champions: 1921/22, 1926/27 & 1929/30
* Corinthian League champions: 1945/46; runners-up 1951/52, 1955/56 & 1956/57
* Isthmian League Cup winners: 1991/92
* Essex Senior Cup winners: 1914/15, 1920/21, 1922/23, 1944/45, 1956/57, 1987/88, 1993/94 & 1994/95
* Essex Senior Trophy winners: 1998/99
* Essex Thameside Trophy winners: 1947/48, 1987/88, 1988/89

The furthest the club has reached in the FA Cup was the 2nd Round Proper in 2005/06. They lost 2-0 away at Mansfield Town on December 2, 2005. [ [ Mansfield Town vs. Grays Athletic, 2nd December 2005 - Match Details] ,]

Club records

* Biggest victory: 12–0 at home to Tooting Town, London League, February 24, 1923
* Biggest defeat: 0–12 away to Enfield, Athenian League, April 20, 1963
* Attendance: 9,500 v Chelmsford City, FA Cup 4th Qualfying Round, 1959
* League appearances: Phil Sammons, 472, 1982-1997
* Transfer record paid: £12,000 to Welling United for Danny Kedwell
* Transfer record received: £150,000 from Peterborough United for Aaron McLean


:"As of 6 October 2008."cite web
title = Player profiles
url =
publisher = Grays Athletic FC
accessdate = 2007-09-01

Current squad

Out on loan


*Manager: Wayne Burnett
*Assistant manager: Gary Phillips
*Head coach: Neil Smith
*Fitness coach: Dave Richardson
*Youth development coach: Steve Thomas
*Physiotherapist: Richard Harper

Former players of note

"For a complete list of former Grays Athletic players with Wikipedia articles, see ."

* Neil Banfield
* Danny Cadamarteri
* David Crown
* Jason Dozzell
* Freddy Eastwood
* Wayne Entwistle
* Leroy Griffiths
* Johnny Jordan

* Michael Kightly
* Matt Lawrence
* Carl Leaburn
* Dwight Marshall
* Aaron McLean
* Gary O'Reilly
* Joe Odegbami
* Dennis Oli

* Derek Parker
* Glenn Poole
* Barry Silkman
* Jude Stirling
* Sam Sodje
* Stuart Thurgood
* Mickey Welch
* Eddie Youds


Grays Athletic have a number of rivals mainly steming back to their days in the lower divisions of non-league such as Isthmian League Premier Division and Conference South.

In recent years Grays have seen their derby days severely reduced due to relegations and promotions of their rivals. Essex rivals, Dagenham & Redbridge were promoted into League Two for the first time in their history whilst Canvey Island dropped down to avoid financial problems.

The derby match between Grays Athletic and Canvey Island held on boxing day, 2005 attracted the highest attendance of 2,910 spectators since the renovation of The New Rec.

There are a number of sides around the borough of Thurrock, including Tilbury, Aveley, East Thurrock United and Thurrock formerly known as Purfleet until 2003. Grays' main rival within the borough is Thurrock due to the Isthmian League days when Grays and Purfleet were battling to become the highest placed side within Thurrock.

During the Blues short stint in the Conference South, the club struck up a rivalry with Upminster based side Hornchurch F.C., who were fighting for the top spot. The Urchins main investor pulled out and Hornchurch were forced to sell key players to Grays. The players were Ashley Bayes, Jamie Stuart, Johnny Martin, Lee Matthews and Steve West. Hornchurch was reformed into A.F.C. Hornchurch and the rivalry still remains.

Southend United are also seen as a rival, this maybe due to it being the closest Football League club to Grays in Essex. It may have also stemmed from many players moving up the leagues from Grays to the Shrimpers, in recent years these transfers include Freddy Eastwood, Gary Hooper and Mitchell Cole. However Southend United do not see Grays as a rival.

Geographically, Ebbsfleet United is the closest Conference side to Grays, however they are separated by the River Thames and therefore the journey from ground to ground is considerably longer. The rivalry between the two clubs is more of a friendly atmosphere rather than a fierce rivalry.

In recent years, Stevenage Borough have been viewed as a rival to Grays, mainly due to former manager Mark Stimson departing Grays and eventually joining the Hertfordshire outfit. In his first season, Stimson took left-back John Nutter with him and the following season midfielder Johnny Martin also followed. Grays Athletic's chairman Micky Woodward has also been criticised by Stevenage fans due to the poor handling of travelling fans at a game at The New Recreation Ground in 2007.


External links

* [ Official website]
* [ Fansite]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Grays Athletic FC — Grays Athletic Football Club Grays Athletic Club fondé en 18 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Grays Athletic Football Club — Grays Athletic Nombre completo Grays Athletic Football Club Apodo(s) The Gravelmen, The Blues Fundación 1890 Estadio New Recreation Ground Grays …   Wikipedia Español

  • Grays Athletic Football Club — Infobox club sportif Grays Athletic FC …   Wikipédia en Français

  • New Grays Athletic Stadium — The New Grays Athletic Stadium is a proposed football stadium which would be built in the borough of Thurrock, and will replace the New Recreation Ground as the home stadium of Grays Athletic Football Club. The project was announced on April 12,… …   Wikipedia

  • Grays — Infobox UK place official name= Grays unitary england= Thurrock lieutenancy england= Essex region= East of England country= England latitude= 51.4724 longitude= 0.3247 population= 36,601(2001 Census) constituency westminster= Thurrock post town=… …   Wikipedia

  • Athletic Football Club Wimbledon — AFC Wimbledon AFC Wimbledon Club fondé en 2002 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • 2008–09 Oldham Athletic A.F.C. season — Oldham Athletic 2008–09 season Chairman Simon Blitz Manager …   Wikipedia

  • 2007–08 Charlton Athletic F.C. season — Charlton Athletic 2007–08 season League Football League Championship Manager Alan Pardew Chairman Richard Murray League position 12th Top goalscorer League: Chris Iwelumo (10) Al …   Wikipedia

  • Croydon Athletic F.C. — Croydon Athletic Full name Croydon Athletic Football Club Nickname(s) The Rams Founded 1986 (as Wandsworth Norwood) Ground …   Wikipedia

  • 2009–10 Oldham Athletic A.F.C. season — Oldham Athletic 2009–10 season Chairman Simon Blitz Manager …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”