Boro’ have taken on their fair share of opponents down the years and some of those teams have simply been no more than passing acquaintances, while there are others that have become – well – annoyingly familiar. For all the many times we’ve faced teams like Woking, there have been rare match-ups too. So, we’re asking, where do Leamington stand in the grand scheme of things?
Leamington: Us And Them
Leamington had entered uncertain times when they arrived at Broadhall Way for the first and only meeting between us and them. For decades, they had been a ‘works’ team – first for Lockheed, then with Automotive Products. It’s why the history books have them listed as Lockheed Borg and Beck between 1944-6; Lockheed Leamington between 1946-73; and AP Leamington between 1973-85. The link between club and industry ended in 1985, however.
The Brakes went back to plain old Leamington after that – a name it hadn’t used since 1892, when Town was tacked on the end of their title. Automotive Products’ ended its association with the club due to financial problems. Unsurprisingly, it had a knock-on effect on the club – as programme notes from our 1984-5 FA Cup Preliminary Round stated. A developer snapped up the old Windmill Ground and, three years later, left the club homeless.
It was another kick in the teeth for Leamington during the mid-80s. In 1983, the club won the Southern League Premier Division title – but were denied promotion back to the Conference. The state of the stadium was the cited reason – and it meant runners-up Kidderminster Harriers were sent up instead. It took another 30 years, but the club finally avenged that disappointment and won that title again in 2013.
Leamington are now back in the Southern League after a couple of seasons in Conference North. The club did come close to an immediate return. The Brakes made it through to the playoff final after finishing 5th in the 2015-6 campaign – only to be edged out by Hungerford Town. Hungerford, by the way, ended Hitchin Town’s promotion hopes in the semi-finals. Oh, and that one match we played them in? We won 2-1. Did we not mention that? Oops.
BoroGuide’s Leamington club profile – for old time’s sake…