Who are Witney Town Football Club?
It’s not too easy to piece together the history of the Blanketmen because t’internet isn’t awash with resources. But the one reliable source we can find says that Witney Football Club came to life in 1885; later reforming as Witney Town in 1922. We’re not sure what “reforming” means in that context, however. Anyway, it’s from the mid-1950s that we can get a better picture of their story – popping up in the Hellenic League, according to the Football Club History Database.
Hello Hellenic. We should’ve used that somehow.
Between their maiden season in 1953-4 and 1973, the Blanketmen won seven league titles and finished second on three other occasions. It was a run of success that gave them confidence to join Southern League Division One North in 1973. And just five years later, they won promotion to the Premier Division. It’s also worth noting that they were competing in the same division as Stevenage Athletic for a three of those five seasons.
Why do we know the Blanketmen?
But why do we know ’em? Well, we’re getting there folks. We can tell you now, however, that it wasn’t because they continued moving upwards. In fact, the 1987-8 season saw them go down from the Premier Division into the Southern Division. They never returned – although they did come close in 1994, when Sudbury Town’s superior goal difference was the only reason they’d miss out on second place (and the promotion that came with it).
By this point, Boro’ had risen into the GM Vauxhall Conference; two divisions standing between us and them. But cup draws can throw up all manner of interesting and intriguing ties. And this is exactly what happened in 1998. A year after our exploits had taken us through to Round Four against Newcastle United, our cup run started in the Third Qualifying Round away to the Blanketmen. For them, it was their reward for beating Northwood, Long Buckby, and Wroxham.