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Sturminster Marshall Fc
It all began for SMFC on the 26th May 1969 when the club was re-formed.
Entering one team into Dorset Division 4 East, a remarkable run of success in the following seasons occurred. By 1965 the club had reached the Dorset Combination. The club expanded and formed a reserve team in 1962.
For the next ten seasons the First Team remained in the top flight achieving 4th position in 1965/66 and again in 1966/67. The next eight seasons produced a steady decline in results until the unfortunate withdrawal of the team from the Dorset Combination in 1975.
Meanwhile the reserves were playing in Dorset Division 4, gaining promotion to Division 3 in 1970/71 season and again in 1973/74.
The knock-on effect of the decision was that the First Team dropped into Division 3 North which meant the disbanding of the Reserves.
Instant success followed as SMFC entered Division 2 as champions of Division 3 North and also winning the Junior Cup for the second time.
The celebrations continued as the reserve side was re-formed in 1977 and entered Division 4.
The following two seasons the First Team consolidated in Dorset Division 2 but were relegated in 1978/79. You could call them the “Yo – Yo years” as they were promoted back to Division 2 in 1981/82.
The First Team remained in Division 2 until they were promoted in season 1987/88. The team developed a reputation of being a “cup side”, winning the Intermediate Cup three times (1983, 1986 and 1987) and the 1981 Shaftesbury Charity Cup.
Meanwhile the Reserves continued in Division 4 winning their first ever honour in 1985 with the capture of the Division 4 North League Cup. This was followed by the double of Division 4 North Championship and Cup in 1978/88 without losing a game.
The Reserves have remained in Division 3 North up to the present day achieving 4th position on two occasions.
The First Team struggled in Division 1 and were relegated in 1990/91, later to return as Champions in 1994/95.
Season 1995/96 saw the return of large crowds on Churchill Close although not quite up to the crowds of five hundred which occurred in the sixties. Playing attacking football the First Team narrowly missed the championship by 1 point and picked up the Dorset Senior Trophy. However more importantly the Club were once again represented in Dorset’s Premier League.
The 1997/98 season saw the fruits of the youth policy pay off with the introduction of a third Saturday team (A Team) entering Dorset Division 4 North but more importantly the first team under the management of David (Jet) Copeland were crowned the best team in Dorset football for the first time in the Clubs history when they became Dorset Combination Champions.
After dropping out of the Combination the following season the club found it's self once again having to consolidate in Division 1 and reintroduced the policy of bringing on the youth players. With the restructuring of the Dorset Leagues Sturminster found themselves in the newly formed Dorset Senior League.
The youth policy once again paid off as now under the management of Kev Bowmer the team were crowned league champions at the end on the 2005-2006 season with no fewer than 14 out of the 17 man squad having played for the club at youth level.
As you can see it has been a memorable, often turbulent 46 years. Of course the football is important but the club could not survive without people who have given their services to the club. One such man is Dave Miller who is in his 27th season as club secretary.
The side has gone through many changes in this period of time and has risen and fallen as a result of the changing attitude to Saturday football and the decline in the number of sides playing in Dorset.
The Men's team during this period rose to the Dorset Premier League only to drop into the Senior League after a brief spell. The decline of players and management saw the 1st Team having to borrow players from the Reserves causing the Reserve side to fold. The Men's Team themsleves had to drop out of the Senior League and into Division 4. However, under the guidance of Adam Tong the side gained back to back promotions. Many ex players returned and the heart of Sturminster Marshall was reborn. The side finished Runners up in Division 4 before then winning Division 3, 2 and 1. Dan Haysom returned to take over the side and in 2021 led the team to the League Cup Final where they won 7-2 against Chickerell United.
The rise has led to the formation of a new Reserve side that is due to launch in 2021-22 season and will be a much needed link between the Youth section and Men's 1st Team.
Please take a while to browse through this archive section of our web. Past players may find this interesting and it may jog the old memory banks of nostalgia.
If anyone has any material, photos, press cuttings, records etc, that we could borrow to add to this section we would love to here from you.