Wiltshire Publications

Exciting plans as football club celebrates centenary

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2020 is going to be a year to remember for Westbury United Football Club as it celebrates its centenary.

An exciting line-up of events is being planned including visits from top league teams with Swindon Town, Bristol City and Southampton all being approached.

All three teams have historic ties with Westbury United; Swindon as the only professional team in Wiltshire; Bristol City through former player John Atyeo who was born in Dilton Marsh, played for both sides and went on to play for England and is still Bristol City’s  record goalscorer; and Southampton, who switched on United’s new floodlights in 1987.

Other celebration ideas include bringing back the historic battle of Westbury vs Warminster involving former players; a one-off centenary playing kit and a children’s six-a-side tournament. The club also welcomes ideas to help it celebrate its centenary from supporters, former players and, indeed, anyone else in the town.

Westbury United was formed in 1920 when Westbury Old Comrades FC and Westbury Great Western Railway XI amalgamated, hence the club name Westbury United.

Westbury United didn’t always play at Meadow Lane. It is rumoured that the town came together, each paying 1/2 crown, to buy the ground that they still play on today. 

A number of events are being planned during the 2020-2021 season which will appeal to people of all ages. Keep an eye on the White Horse News for regular updates.

The first team is already marking the centenary by wearing a traditional green & white kit to hark back to the kit that was first worn in 1920.

The club say, “We are hoping to make it a really big event over the whole year. We are looking to get at least one or even two professional teams to come to Meadow Lane at the end of the season. 

“We are in talks with Swindon Town. We have been playing in Wiltshire for 100 years and Swindon Town is the only professional team in the county, so it would be fitting to play against them.

“Also, the club has links to Bristol City through former player John Atyeo who went on to play for England, scoring 5 goals in 6 games for the country. 

“The club also has links with Southampton FC who switched on the ground’s new floodlights in 1987. So we are hoping to get these clubs to come and play as part of the celebrations. 

“We are looking to bring back the historic battle of Westbury vs Warminster that was always played on Boxing Day, and often on Christmas Day too! Ex-players are to be involved, as well as the youth team and the reserves, in events across the year. 

“We are also hoping to have a raffle too. Simon Morris, former Westbury United player, is now the physio at Chelsea FC and he is hoping to give us a signed shirt of the first team. We are hoping to get more signed merchandise from other professional teams too. 

“There are many other ideas floating around the committee including one-off centenary playing kits, centenary signs working with FineSigns and children’s six-a-side games.

“A huge thank you must go to Terry Morgan who has been leading the refurbishment of Meadow Lane to give us the foundations for the celebrations. He has revolutionised the place alongside volunteers and local businesses.”

If you are interested in helping out in any way with the celebrations please make yourselves known to club chairman Greg Coulson, Phil Alford on 07802 419845 or philipalford@yahoo.com or Terry Morgan.

Busy October at Meadow Lane

The month of October gives plenty of opportunities to see the players in action in the traditional kit. By the time you read this, they will have already played a home league fixture, however there are also matches in the FA Vase, Les Phillips League Cup and Wiltshire Cup.