Weymouth Football Club were founded on 26 August 1890 following
a meeting at Cook's Assembly Rooms in the town, as an amateur club.
The club played it's first game on 24 September 1890 when a side
selected by "Mr Pope" were beaten by 2-0 (Jimmy Newport,
who had been one of the driving forces in forming the club scoring
the first ever goal) They are nicknamed 'The Terras' - something
that seems to have started in the mid 1890's - which is due to the
strip they wore, terracotta and blue quarters. Their impact on the
Dorset football scene was immediate. They won the Dorset Junior
Cup for the first three seasons, keeping the trophy in perpetuity,
and this prompted the Dorset FA to re-classify them as a senior
Through the early years of this century, The Terras slowly, but
surely, rose in stature taking a number of trophies and league titles
along the way. The club were founder members of the Dorset League
(in 1896-1897) before Tommy Morris guided them into the Western
League (in 1907-1908). At this time the club were playing under
amateur status, entering the FA Amateur Cup. However, in 1909-1910,
an investigation into the club's finances - by the Dorset FA - brought
payments for expenses to light and a number of players received
suspensions and the club were sanctioned. During that season Weymouth
survived by using local players as "guests" to fulfil
their fixtures. They actually used over 70 men!
In 1910-1911 a new turnstile was opened at the ground and supporters
who chose to use that entrance were told that their entrance monies
were being used to pay the player's, now off of suspension, small
sums as "compensation" for playing with the Terras. They
continued playing in both the Western League and Dorset League until
the outbreak of the Great War. At this time the club closed down
and there was no football at the Rec. until 1919.
On reforming, in 1919-1920, Weymouth entered the Dorset League
until - in 1921-1922 - they again joined the Western League. As
in the pre War years they continued to field the senior team in
both competitions. Then, after winning the Western League Championship
in the 1922-23, they decided to adopt full time professionalism.
Once again, through the efforts of Morris, they attained membership
of the Southern League (now playing in the Western League as well
with the reserves joining the Western League Division 2 and Dorset
League. After initial success the interest started to wane and attendances
fell, along with income, to such an extent that the club were forced
to take drastic measure just to survive. By 1928 the committee of
the club gave up the ghost and withdrew from the Southern League.
In 1928-1929 the club rejoined the Western League (Division 2) as
an amateur side, also returning to the Dorset League.
In 1930-31 the club made two changes that were to have a major
effect on their recovery, firstly employing three players on professional
contracts (something that was to continue through to the Second
World War) and, also, changing their colours to white shirts with
black shorts. They also received permission to sew the town badge
onto their shirts. During the 30's Weymouth became a power in Western
League circles winning a number of championships and - with the
services of Wyndham Pretoria "Farmer" Haines (the ex-Portsmouth
and Southampton player) scored goals at will.
The Second World War saw an end to football in Weymouth as the
Recreation Ground was requisitioned for the War effort in 1939.
Although the ground was used for a small number of exhibition games
towards the last years of the conflict it had become so dilapidated
that much work was required to bring it up to scratch. A hard working
committee achieved this by 1947 and the club reformed - on a semi
professional basis, but still with a number of amateurs - to start
from scratch in Division Two of the Western League and were runners-up
in the 1947-48 season. It was at this time that the club reverted
to it's colours of claret and blue, but with claret bodies and blue
sleeves. In fact the first few matches of that reformation season
saw the players turn out in a red and white "Arsenal"
style strip as the new shirts had not arrived. The following season,
Weymouth finished third in the First Division and gained admittance
to the Southern League. This time Weymouth retained Southern League
membership until the club became founder members of the Alliance
Premier League (now the Conference) in 1979-80, when they achieved
early success by finishing as runners-up to Altrincham.
In successive seasons 1964-65 and 1965-66, The Terras were Southern
League champions, and they share with Telford United and Yeovil
Town the distinction of playing all twenty seasons in the Premier
Division prior to the re-organization of the league structure at
that time. They have won the Southern League Cup once, although
the club have been runners up on 5 occasions, and Alliance League
Cup (Bob Lord Trophy) and enjoyed considerable success in other
competitions of a more local nature, such as the Dorset Senior Cup.
Weymouth have enjoyed considerable FA Cup success since first entering
in 1893-1894. They first reached the national stages in 1905-1906
when they were "rewarded" with a trip to Gainsborough
Trinity! Sadly this proved too much for the amateur Terras who were
thrashed by 1-12! It was 1924-25 before this effort was repeated
when they visited Bristol Rovers and did much better in drawing
0-0 (the replay being lost 0-2). In 1949 they lost 0-4 at Old Trafford
to Manchester United in the Third Round proper, then in 1962 they
reached the Fourth Round proper where they lost 0-2 at Deepdale
to Preston North End, after an initial attempt to play the game
had ended as fog forced abandonment with the game goalless. The
problems over the first game meant that the club appeared in the
5th round draw, a trip to Liverpool would have been waiting had
Preston been defeated. In the FA Trophy they have reached the Quarter
Finals twice and have .
Over the year's that the club has been in existence a number of
players have moved on to higher levels: - Graham Roberts and Peter
Guthrie went to Tottenham, Andy Townsend was transferred to Southampton,
captained Aston Villa and Eire before moving to Middlesbrough. Shaun
Teale went from Weymouth to Motherwell in Scotland via AFC Bournemouth,
Aston Villa, Tranmere Rovers and Hong Kong, Tony Agana to Watford,
Notts County and Sheffield United and Tom Jones to Aberdeen, to
name just a few of the more recent 'movers'.
A move to a new ground in 1987 brought initial success, but the
club entered a bit of a slump as we were relegated from the Conference
and see-sawed between the Premier and Southern Divisions of the
Southern League. The problems were compounded as finances suffered
through lack of support both in real terms and commercially. However
the sterling efforts of a few members of the - then - club board
kept the club afloat until the appearance of Ian Ridley and Steve
Claridge in 2003-2004 saw a revolution start within the club. This
start was taken to the next level as current chairman, Martyn Harrison,
took the reins on Ridley's departure. Initially progress was hampered
as firstly Claridge and then Steve Johnson were dismissed from the
managerial chair. However the appointment of Gary Hill, along with
his lieutenants Kevin Hales and Gary Calder, proved a milestone
for the Terras in the Spring of 2005.
On July 3rd 2005 the club turned professional, on a full time basis,
thus becoming football's only full time side outside of the National
Conference. The hope is that this move will enable us to emulate
Grays Athletic and win promotion back to the National level of the
game and move forward from there.