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Club News

Club History

1 April 2017

An extensive look back at Swindon Town's illustrious history.

 - Swindon Town Football Club was founded by Reverend William Pitt of Liddington in 1879.

 - The team turned professional in 1894 and joined the Southern League which was founded in the same year.

 - Originally playing in black and white with the addition of blue sash for away games, the club changed to black and red quarters on entry to the Southern League in 1894. The club changed again in 1897 with green shirts, with white sleeves. Town changed their shirts to the more familiar red in 1901. Initially a dark maroon, a lighter shade was chosen for the start of the 1902-03 season and also resulted in the club's nickname "the Robins" appearing in print for the first time in programme notes for the first game.

 - Swindon reached the FA Cup semi-finals for the first time in the 1909-10 season, losing to eventual winners Newcastle United.

 - In 1910-11, Swindon Town won the Southern League championship, earning them a Charity Shield match with the Football League champions Manchester United. This, the highest-scoring Charity Shield game to date, was played on 25 September 1911 at Stamford Bridge with Manchester United winning 8-4. Some of the proceeds of this game were later donated to the survivors of the Titanic.

 - Swindon entered the Football League in 1920 as a founding member of Division Three and defeated Luton Town F.C. 9-1 in their first game of the season. This result stands as a record for the club in League matches.

 - The club secured their first ever promotion in 1962/63. Bert Head's young side finished second in Division Three and included players like Ernie Hunt and Mike Summerbee.

 - In 1969 Swindon beat Arsenal 3-1 to win the League Cup for the first and only time in the club's history. Roger Smart opened the scoring before two goals from club legend Don Rogers sealed victory, a triumph that still stands as Town’s greatest ever achievement.

 - As they were not a First Division club, Swindon were denied entry into the Fairs' Cup (latterly the UEFA Cup and Europa League) so a two-legged, Anglo-Italian League Cup Winners' Cup tie against Coppa Italia winners AS Roma was arranged. Town triumphed 5-2 on aggregate. Later on in the 1969/70 season, Town won the inaugural Anglo-Italian Cup competition, beating Napoli 3-0 in the final. 

 - Despite a number of management changes, Swindon went through a long unsuccessful period culminating in them being relegated in 1982 to the Fourth Division.

 - Following the appointment of Lou Macari in 1984, they were promoted as Division Four champions in 1986 with the club achieving a Football League record of 102 points, becoming the second club to score over 100 points in a season and breaking no fewer than 16 club records in the process. A year later they defeated Gillingham in the Third Division play-offs to achieve a second successive promotion. 

 - Macari left in 1989 to take charge of West Ham United with former Argentine international Ossie Ardiles replacing him. In his first season Swindon were Second Division play-off winners beating Sunderland 1-0 at Wembley. However, the club later admitted 36 charges of breaching league rules, 35 due to illegal payments made to players, and were relegated to the Third Division. A later appeal saw Swindon Town being allowed to stay in the Second Division.

 - Swindon progressed well during the 1991-92 season, Glenn Hoddle's first full season as manager, and just missed out on the Second Division play-offs.

 - In 1992-93 Swindon beat Leicester City 4-3 in the Division One play-off final to achieve promotion to the Premiership — bringing top-division football to the club for the first time.

 - They were relegated at the end of 1993-94 after recording only five wins and conceding 100 goals. The following year, Swindon were relegated for the second successive time and slipped into Division Two.

 - Swindon won the Division Two Championship in 1996 under the stewardship of former Liverpool midfielder Steve McMahon.

 - The club were relegated to League Two in 2006 which meant that they became the first ever former Premiership team to be demoted to the lowest Football League division.

 - Paul Sturrock was appointed manager in November 2006 and he guided Swindon to promotion to League One in his first season with the club.

 - In 2008 Swindon Town was taken over by a consortium fronted by local businessman Andrew Fitton.

 - A disappointing season then followed, as Maurice Malpas endured a tough spell at the club, leading them into relegation trouble from which Danny Wilson did well to rescue them - guiding them to 15th in League One at the end of the 2008/2009 season thanks to some standout performances from the likes of Simon Cox and Gordon Greer.

 - The 2009/10 season, which was highlighted by the emergence of striker Charlie Austin, ended in Play-Off Final heartbreak for Wilson's men as they went down 1-0 to Millwall, the club's first defeat at Wembley.

 - After relegation back to the basement division in 2010/11, former West Ham United, Sheffield Wednesday and Celtic striker Paolo Di Canio took the reigns at the County Ground. The Italian led the club to the League Two Title in 2011/12, securing an instant return to League One in his first season in charge.

 

The 2011/12 season was also a memorable one in the cup competitions. The club were awarded the Ronnie Radford Award for their efforts in eliminating Premier League side Wigan Athletic in the Third Round of the FA Cup, triumphing 2-1 in front of a packed County Ground. Di Canio also led his team out at Wembley in the Final of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy where they lost 2-0 to Chesterfield.

 - After making the Play-Off semi-finals in the 2012/13 season - eventually losing to Brentford on penalties in the second leg after netting a dramatic, injury-time equaliser - Town would make it to Wembley at the end of the 2014/15 campaign. Under the stewardship of Mark Cooper, the Robins would reach the national stadium following a breathtaking 5-5 draw with Sheffield United in the semi-final second leg at the County Ground. Unfortunately for Swindon's young side, they were beaten 4-0 by Preston North End in the final. 

- Following a slow start to the 2015/16 season, Mark Cooper left his role as Manager of the football club and his position was filled by Martin Ling. And the former Town midfielder made a bright start to life at SN1, winning five of his first nine games in charge but illness forced him to resign from his role. 

- As a result, First-Team Coach Luke Williams was promoted to the role of Head Coach and he successfully led his side to safety last term, but he could not repeat the trick in 2016/17 and Town are now on the lookout for a new manager as they attempt to secure an immediate return to the Sky Bet League One. 


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