Yeovil ... Ready To Take Off
Yeovil ... Ready To Take Off : An Article From 'Goal' Magazine in April 1973

The Yeovil Town 1972-73 Squad in a promotional shot for their Elect Yeovil campaign
The Yeovil Town 1972-73 Squad in a promotional shot for their Elect Yeovil campaign

A non-league side finally making that heralded step-up to Football League status has always been good for the game. Look at Peterborough back in 1950, look at Oxford United two years later, Cambridge United in 1970, and finally Hereford this season.

New blood has always been good for gates, for rekindling interest. One club, Yeovil Town, aim to bridge that gap from non-league to the Football League by next season. Their campaign is already under way. Yeovil are on the march and they won't be satisfied until they reach the Fourth Division.

Already all 92 League clubs have been circularised as to why Yeovil should be in the League. They say their claims are based on hard facts. They have a viable cash balance, their assets and facilities are undeniable, they are situated in a good football area, they often do well in the FA Cup, and they get good crowds. Just a few reasons why Yeovil think their club deserves that move up in status.

The club have issued a colourful informative booklet setting out what Yeovil have to offer. It's entitled "Yeovil ... ready to take off". They could do just that.

Solid Facts

And they produce hard, solid facts to back up their case. Over the first 14 league and FA Cup games, Yeovil had an average gate of 4,072 which was better than 14 Fourth Division clubs. And don't forget that the nearest League club to Yeovil is over 40 miles and they have a catchment area of 170,000 people in a 20 mile radius. Club chairman Ivan Rendall says:

"Obviously our prime motives are to better ourselves and provide high grade football for our supporters. But everyone connected with the club believe we have something to offer the League in return. We own our own ground amenities and more than ample car parking facilities."

"And Yeovil is a thriving town. A lot of people only think of the slope when they hear Yeovil mentioned. I'm sure people think we play on the side of a mountain. In fact, the slope is just eight feet from side to side and it is hardly noticed when people are playing. But we want to be second to none and we want to dispose of all of the wisecracks. That's why we are going to level the ground."

The club have drawn support for their campaign from Fulham boss Alec Stock, who was player-manager of Yeovil way back in 1949. He says:

"I would be happy to take a team to Yeovil in the League or Cup. I think their election is long overdue. No other non-league club has a record which remotely compares with Yeovil's".

And in conjunction with the levelling, plans are also being prepared to increase the capacity of the Huish from 15,000 to 30,000. The club also look after their supporters. They have a large bar and clubroom for the 2,000-member social club incorporating a skittle alley which is in use every night of the week.

And if you want to park your car at Yeovil, there's not many problems. The ground itself parks 70 cars and within 100 yards there are spaces for more than 1,000 vehicles. The ground has an estimated value of 350,000, the club owns seven houses worth 60,000 and over the past three seasons they have made a combined profit of over 12,000. And income is increasing all the time.

Club Record

But it's in the FA Cup that Yeovil have had their greatest moments, none greater than in 1948-49. They beat Sunderland and Bury at home before travelling to play Manchester United for a Fifth Round tie that was watched by an incredible 81,565. And their match against Sunderland produced a gate of 17,100 which is still a club record. They ave found some impressive backers in their latest campaign. Burnley Chairman Bob Lord says:

"I have visited the ground on behalf of the Football League management committee and my report was most favourable. They fully meet requirements for membership of the Football League."

And Arsenal manager Bertie Mee adds:

"We have found memories of our FA Cup visit to Yeovil. They have been on the fringe of the Football League for a number of seasons and I wish them well in this campaign".

Now it's up to the League clubs at their annual meeting to decide what the 1973-74 season holds for Yeovil Town. Will it be another season of Southern League soccer, or will they earn that right to step up into the Fourth Division? Yeovil will just have to wait and see and pray.

[Article by Terry Smith. Originally published in 'Goal' magazine, April 14th, 1973.]

Goal Magazine - Front Cover of the April 14th 1973 issue Goal Magazine - The original article, of which the text is reproduced above
The original scanned articles from Goal Magazine, April 14th 1973.

The front cover of the club's 'Elect Yeovil' book for the 1972-73 season using the same photo used in Goal Magazine
The front cover of the club's 'Elect Yeovil' book for the 1972-73 season using the same photo used in Goal Magazine.

A year later and this is the front cover of the club's 'Elect Yeovil' book for the 1973-74 season using an aerial shot of the old Huish ground
A year later and this is the front cover of the club's 'Elect Yeovil' book for the 1973-74 season using an aerial shot of the old Huish ground.

The back cover of the club's 'Elect Yeovil' book for the 1973-74 season with the players spelling out their message
The back cover of the club's 'Elect Yeovil' book for the 1973-74 season with the players spelling out their message.

See Also: Ciderspace Yeovil Town History Section.

contact ciderspace:ytfcciderspace@yahoo.com
© Ciderspace 1999-2004
Last Updated : 4th September 2013
design by siteshape
Top