Secretary: Peter Mitchell
Fixture secretary: Paul Gimson
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 fromthe 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 waveand 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 St Johns won the first ever Devon & Exeter Football League Express Cup in 1909 at St Lukes College when they defeated Bideford 4 – 0, with goals from Harris, Black, L Marden and T Marden.
On 31 March 1961, in front of 3,000 spectators Bovey won the local Herald Cup 3 – 1 with goals from Slocombe, Hydon and Fone. Bovey have also appeared in this final, on 4 other occasions in 1931/32 (Bovey St Johns), 1938/39 (Bovey Town), 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 Bovey’s greatest success to date, in retaining the Belli Cup, winning the South Devon Premier League title, and ultimately promotion to the South West Peninsula League. Both of theses seasons saw the team under the guidance of a management team of Cyril Gosling, Lee Dorsett and Andrew Paddon.
The 2008/09 season once again saw the club acheieve new heights, with the use of new facilities here at the renamed Western Counties Roofing Ground. The East Division title was lost on the final day of the season but promotion to the Premier Division as runners up was achieved. We were also beaten finalists in the Devon Premier Cup Final.
The next five seasons saw a succession of managers as Bovey Tracey retained their Premier Division status each season, with their highest position being achieved in 2012/13 when they were 15th. The team with only one win in 2014/15, were relegated back to Division One East for the start of the 2015/16.
With assisted grant funding, floodlights and both covered seated and standing accomadation were installed on
the ground during 2010/11. This enabled the club to enter the FA Vase for the first time in 2011-12 when they lost in the 2nd qualifying round to Plymouth Parkway. The club did reach the first round proper in both 2012-13 and 2013-14.
To date the best attendance at the ground was on 22 April 2011 when 494 watched the 4 – 1 loss to Buckland Athletic.
|3||Buckland Athletic Thirds||20||18||0||2||57||16||41||54|
|4||Newton Abbot ’66||20||13||3||4||78||36||42||42|
|8||Totnes & Dartington Reserves||21||8||5||8||47||59||-12||29|
|9||Stoke Gabriel Reserves||24||7||3||14||41||68||-27||21|
|11||Watcombe Wanderers Reserves||24||5||2||17||34||73||-39||14|
|12||Bovey Tracey Reserves||23||4||0||19||32||97||-65||9|
|13||Kingskerswell & Chelston Reserves||23||2||2||19||20||112||-92||8|