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Club History

Although there are records of a football team being formed in Gloucester in March 1883 the Gloucester club's first recorded game was in January 1886. the match was against Eastville Rovers (now Bristol Rovers) and was refereed by famous cricketer W.G. Grace. The club spent it's early years in the Bristol and Gloucester District League, officially adopting the name Gloucester City in 1902 when moving to compete in the North Gloucestershire league.

City were runners-up in this league in 1925/6, and also won the Glos. Northern Senior Cup that season by defeating Ch@#tenham Town in the final. City claimed the league title for the first time in 1933/4 and turned professional the following year, entering the Birmingham Combination and moving to Longlevens. On the break out of WWII in 1939 the club entered the Southern League for the first time, playing in the Western section of the temporary war time competition. After the war the club formally joined the Southern League and has stayed in permanent membership ever since.

Between 1948 and 1951 City reached the first round proper of the FA Cup for three consecutive seasons, but on each occasion they were beaten by Football League opposition in the shape of Mansfield, Norwich and Bristol City. The club's first major success came in 1955/56 when the League Cup was won in an epic two-leg final victory over Yeovil Town. The 6-5 triumph following 1-4 defeat in the first leg was inspired on the pitch by player-manager Harry Ferrier.

In 1964/5 the club left their Longlevens ground to a new home nearer the city centre in Horton Road. In 1981/2 a 5th place finish in the Midland Division was sufficient to secure the club a place in the newly re-formed Premier Division of the Southern League. However by the end of the 1984/5 season they were relegated back into the Midland Division.

Having moved again in 1986, this time to their present home at Meadow Park, the club was able to build a strong side and won promotion as Midland Division Champions in 1988/89. The side managed by former Welsh international Brian Godfrey went on to again re-write club history the following season, this time reaching the second round proper of the FA Cup where they held Cardiff City 2-2 at Ninian Park before losing the home replay 0-1. The following season an expensively purchased side were three minutes away from promotion to the Conference until a late Farnborough goal at Atherstone gave the Hampshire club the title.

After a period of financial turbulence and mid-table finishes the club managed two fourth place finishes as new chairman Keith Gardner began a period of expansion and refurbishment. Leroy Rosenior took over the managerial reigns in 1996 and the former West Ham and QPR star guided the Tigers to 3rd place in the Premier in 1996/7. City again missed out on promotion by one point after a surprise last day home defeat against Salisbury, the last of seven league games played in a frantic fifteen day end to the season. That heartbreak followed the disappointment of narrowly missing a Wembley appearance after an FA trophy semi-final replay defeat to Dagenham & Redbridge.

Following the disappointment the club faced financial crisis as the departure of Gardner as Chairman left City facing a huge debt repayment crisis. New Chairman Rob Thomas was faced with having to appeal to supporters and local business to raise money to fight a winding-up order from the Inland Revenue. By all at the club pulling together the money was found and survival was achieved, although at one point in January 1998 the club was 24 hours from closure.  

However financial problems have continued and in 1999 a new regime came in to the club and instigated cost cutting measures aimed at the club's long term survival. Despite relegation back to the Midland Division in May 2000 and the sometime schism between the board and supporters, the club can draw on it's past to ensure that it will continue and grow towards the success that has been threatened for so long.

Further Reading
Season by Season Statistical Analysis
Thugs, Lies and Tickertape
Financial Crisis: Blow by Blow
T-Ender Archive