BOVEY TRACEY A.F.C - A BRIEF HISTORY
Although football has been played in Bovey since the late 1890's the present club was formed about 1950 by the merger of Bovey Town and Bovey St Johns who played at the Recreation Ground. This merger was much the work of Frank French, who was at the time the local policeman.
The earliest documented game was on the 11 November 1899, when Bovey entertained Torquay United for a friendly in what was Torquays 1st season. The game was, referred by a local man, who apparently made a series of debatable decisions in Bovey's favour. Bovey took the lead from a dubious penalty and, when Torquay equalised a minute from the end, the referee promptly played 20 minutes of injury time, then awarded another controversial penalty and blew the final whistle as soon as Bovey had scored.
Rivalry with Torquay United extended in to the early 1900's when there Reserves were playing Bovey St Johns at Bovey Tracey. The Bovey team were out to win the Torquay & District League (South Devon League) and deliberately prepared a "hard ground". The surface was like an iron! An hour before the kick off a Torquay player had a brain wave, and visited the local boot and shoe dealer. Eleven pairs of plimsoles were bought and the Torquay team won comfortably. The game gained national press as it was Bovey's first defeat of the season.
Bovey's greatest success to date was winning the local Herald Cup in 1960/61 under the guidance of Don Welsh, the ex England, Torquay United and Charlton Athletic wing half, who at the time was the landlord of the Cromwell Arms. Bovey have also appeared in this final, on 4 other occasions in 1931/32, 1938/39, 1993/94 and 2003/04 all ending in defeat.
In 1979 the football club made there biggest purchase to date with the purchase of land at Mill Marsh Park (our current ground), however part of this land was sold under a compulsory purchase order in 1984 to assist in the construction of the "Bovey Bypass".
The 2006/07 season was a great success winning the Belli Cup, Runners up in the Premier Division and Semi finalists in both the Herald Cup and Devon Premier Cup. The 2007/08 season saw Boveys' greatest success to date, in retainning the Belli Cup, winning the South Devon Premier League title, and ultimately promotion to the South West Peninsula League. Both of these seasons saw the team under the guidance of a management team of Cyril Gosling, Lee Dorsett and Andrew Paddon.
The 2009/10 season sees the club host a total of 18 sides,
3 Senior, 7 youth and 4 mini soccer. This is also now our second season with use of our new facilities here at the renamed Western Counties Roofing Ground.
Should anyone have documentary evidence of the club merger around 1950 or any other documents / history items, particularly old league tables concerning the club then please contact Nigel Call on 01626 834933 or 07769 655311.
This feature is currently in development but will be available soon.