W*ymouth: Club history

It is probably not a coincidence that football clubs in W*ymouth and Yeovil were both formed in the same year, 1890, as the game spread from its early heartlands into remoter corners.

W*ymouth’s first six years were filled with playing in various cups and friendlies with the Terras, so named because of their terracotta coloured kit, winning the Dorset Senior Cup for the first three seasons.

Founder members of the Dorset League, W*ymouth joined the Western League in 1907–08 when they faced Yeovil Casuals the first time in March 1908. A double header saw the home sides prevail in each game, with W*ymouth winning the opening encounter 8-3 and then losing 2-1 in the reverse fixture in Somerset.

The club turned semi-professional in 1923 after winning the Western League, joining the Southern League in the process, but withdrew five years later amid mounting debts and returned to amateur status.

The Terras’ stadium since 1897, The Recreation Ground, was requisitioned in 1939 to assist the Second World War effort and it was not until 1947 that the club reformed in the Western League. After two campaigns at that level, they returned to the Southern League for the 1949-50 campaign where they remained until the mid-1970s.

In successive seasons 1964–65 and 1965–66, W*ymouth were Southern League champions, and they share with Telford United and Yeovil Town the distinction of playing all 20 seasons in the Premier Division prior to the re-organisation of the league structure at that time.

The club moved to its current home, initially called the Wessex Stadium, in 1987 and played Manchester United at the stadium’s opening in October 1987. A goal from Peter Conning, who would go on to become one of a string of players to represent both Yeovil and Weymouth, was the only goal that night.

Having spent the first two seasons in their new ground in the GM Vauxhall Conference,

Yeovil Town celebrate an 3-1 FA Cup win at the Wessex Stadium in 1987.
Picture courtesy of Tim Lancaster.

W*ymouth were relegated in 1988-89.

They beat Yeovil at the Wessex on Boxing Day 1988 but went down 2-0 at Huish in the return fixture on January 2, 1989, and that was the last we saw of our friends down the A37 in league action for more than three decades.

A brief bit of success in 1997-98 saw them win the  Southern League South and in 2003-04 they finished second.

That year saw the club taken over by journalist Ian Ridley who appointed Steve Claridge (he’s played at the highest level you know), who had played 110 times for the Terras in the 1980s before going on to turn out for the likes of Birmingham City, Leicester City and Portsmouth.

Between them the pair turned the team from relegation fodder to second place in the Conference South.

The arrival of hotelier Martyn Harrison, who owned the Hotel Prince Regent in the resort, led to the departure of Ridley in September 2004.

Claridge was sacked the next month following the Terras defeat to Thame United in an FA Cup third qualifying round and Harrison appointed Steve Johnson, the brother of Gary.

Johnson lasted less than a season and Garry Hill, a familiar face in non-League football after spells at Heybridge Swifts, At Albans City, Dagenham & Redbridge and Hornchurch, was put in charge. Hill guided W*ymouth to the Conference South title in 2006. However, the success was built on as much sand as you’d find on W*ymouth beach, with Harrison shelling out £20,000 a week in full-time wages. In January 2007, the owner transfer listed the entire first team and dispensed with Hill and assistant Kevin Hales, placing player Jason Tindall in charge with former Glover Roy O’Brien named player-coach.

The following summer Harrison (allegedly) cleared the club’s debts and sold the club to Mel Bush, the father-in-law of Tindall. That didn’t save him, sacked after a year in charge to be replaced by John Hollins who just about kept them up.

The spiral of financial chaos merely continued. Bush sold the club to Malcolm Curtis. Hollins was initially suspended and then sacked for what the club described as an “unprofessional attitude”. Assistant Alan Lewer took over. At the start of 2009 chief executive Gary Calder announced that Curtis had resigned as Chairman and from the Board. Irregularities with first-team medical insurance saw them forced to field an under-18s team in February in a game against Rushden & Diamonds, suffering a 9-0 thrashing, the heaviest in their history. Many first team players never returned.

Step forward saviour Stephen Beer with a £300,000 cheque to save the club. Calder announced to the world (well the tiny bit that was listening): “It is not everyday that a person like Stephen Beer drops out of the sky and makes such an investment. Stephen Beer’s investment is a huge boost and it will help stabilise everything.” Or not… as Calder discovered when he went to deposit the cheque and discovered banks do not accept the validity of cheques that have parts tippexed out and re-written. Within days it all unravelled: Beer was a fantasist who actually had no money at all, being a part-time cleaner. Calder’s position would become untenable.

Ridley returned briefly to try to salvage something from the fiasco but this just split the club further as there remained huge bitterness amongst some about how they had been portrayed in his 2006 book Floodlit Dreams concerning his first spell as Chairman. Lewer was sacked, replaced by Bobby Gould, but he was on a hiding to nothing. Still with a makeshift team W*ymouth were relegated, having gained just one point since that February debacle. Gould departed at the end of the campaign to be replaced by Matty Hale.

The club started the 2009-10 season in Conference South badly on the field, and worse off it. A desperate appeal for fund raising kept it afloat during September, but in October as they hit bottom of the division and Hale resigned as manger. The following week Ridley resigned as Chairman along with chief-executive Dave Higson.  On October 26th the club announced  it could see no option but to enter into administration. had plunged into administration.

Could things get any worse? Well the next saviour to arrive was George Rolls, a man who came with a reputation from his chairmanship at Cambridge United that was dubious. (In 2012 the F.A, would go on fine him £10,000 and ban him from all involvement in football for five years.)

Ian Hutchinson had taken over as manager after Hale but he only lasted until January.  In came Jerry Gill. He resigned after 44 days. In March Rolls announced that there were debts of £822,000 and applied for a Company Voluntary Agreement, declaring if the CVA was not accepted the club would be liquidated. Creditors had little option but to agree and at least get something. They received 9% of what they were owed. Meanwhile, on the pitch, W*ymouth was relegated to the Southern League Premier Division.

Rolls brought Hutchinson back as manager, then with the club bottom of the SLPD sacked him again in January 2011. Martyn Rogers came in and the Terras avoided a third straight relegation on the final day of the season.

Finally in February 2012  director and lifelong fan Nigel Biddlecombe completed a takeover that got Rolls out. One of the first things Biddlecombe did was to establish a Trust into which a majority of shares were transferred to ensure no one individual could have total control of the club again.

In 2011-12 they again just kept their place in the SLPD, this time with two matches to go; but over the next four campaigns stabilised with 9th, 12th, 7th, 7th, 10th and 5th finishes.

The Southern League was restructured for the 2018-19 season, W*ymouth finishing in first place in the new Southern League Premier Division South, and thus securing promotion to National League South. Mark Molesley was the manager who finally got them rising up the table.

In the following incomplete 2019-20 campaign W*ymouth were awarded 3rd place on PPG and in the delayed play-offs they were promoted to the National League Premier after a play-off final win against Dartford. Two successive promotions meant they couldn’t hold on to Molesley who was lured away by Southend United (though it didn’t work out for him there – does it for anybody these days?). He was replaced at the Bob Lucas by Brian Stock.

Last season, played with no relegation, the Terras finished 18th.


W*ymouth: We’ve Met Before

Previous Results for Yeovil Town First Team vs W*ymouth

02/01/1989 Home GMVC W 2-0 2,480 Grimshaw, Whittingham
28/11/1999 Away FAT D 0-0 4,053
30/11/1999 Home FAT W 2-1 3,196 Patmore, Tisdale
05/01/2021 Away NLP W 3-0 0 Neufville, Skendi, Quigley (pen)
23/02/2021 Home NLP W 3-1 0 Murphy (3)
16/10/2021 Home FAC D 1-1 3354 Wakefield
19/10/2021 Away FAC W 1-1 aet (2-1 pens) 2911 Worthington

For the full head-to-head results vs W*ymouth dating back to 1908 – click here.

 

 

W*ymouth: Club Statistics

LAST SIX RESULTS

25/09/2021 Barnet Away NLP L 1-3 1269 Goodship 70
02/10/2021 Stockport County Home NLP L 1-2 872 Shields 39
05/10/2021 Bromley Away NLP L 0-3 1337
09/10/2021 FC Halifax Town Away NLP L 0-2 2241
16/10/2021 Yeovil Town Away FACQR4 D 1-1 3354 Bearwish 90
19/10/2021 Yeovil Town Home FACQR4r L 1-1 aet (1-2 pens) 2911 McQuoid 87

 

ATTENDANCE STATISTICS

Highest League Attendance: 1783
Lowest League Attendance: 849
Average League Attendance: 1145


W*ymouth: Club Information

Bob Lucas Stadium
Radipole Lane
Weymouth
Dorset
DT4 9XJ

(Click for map)

Telephone Number: 01305 785558
Email: info@theterras.co.uk

Chairman: Ian White
Secretary: Pete Saxby
Media Manager: Amberley Silk
Safety Officer Chris Palmer
Manager: Brian Stock

Capacity: 6,600
Seated: 900
Covered Terrace: most but not all of the rest of the stadium.

Record Attendance : 6,500 vs Nottingham Forest, FA Cup First Round Proper 14/11/2005. (At former Recreation Ground 12,512 vs Yeovil Town, FA Cup First Round Proper 11/12/1948.)
Colours: For anyone who might care, there is much debate (even among the Portland North faithful themselves) whether it’s Terracotta or Claret & Blue.
Nickname: The Terras.

Ticket Prices
Ticket prices are flat rate whether seated (100 section in the Main Stand) or standing (Windowman Terrace):
Adult: £16.00
Concessions*: £11.00
Aged 16-19: £7.00
Over 7 – Under 16: £4.00
Under 7: £0.50p

Registered disabled supporters (middle or higher rate of Disability) pay the relevant ticket price above but may be accompanied by a carer for whom entry is £0.50p. For wheelchair users spaces are in front of the Main Stand at pitch side. Mark Golsby is the point of contact at the club for further information or questions on  07506 826524.

(* Concessions are Over 65, Armed Forces personnel.)

Update: No away seating left. sold out Sunday afternoon.

Update to the update: On Monday morning the home club released an additional 100 seats for away fans.

The Windowman (South) Terrace is mostly roofed with uncovered areas to the sides. Entry turnstiles 9 and 10.

At time of writing seen no decision announced as yet as to whether there will be sales on the night or not. Even if there are Weymouth does not sell at the turnstiles but only through the ticket office so queues a distinct possibility; and there’s a £2.00 surcharge on most ticket prices. For all these reasons would strongly recommend buying on-line via the link below:

Click here for on-line purchase.
UPDATE (Tuesday a.m.): all away allocation, seated and standing, is SOLD OUT.

Programme: £2.00


W*ymouth: Directions To The Ground

By Road

Door to door, Huish Park to Bob Lucas Stadium is 30.2 miles by road. Called the A37 Derby by no one except desperate journalists, that will be the route those Glovers based in Yeovil will  mostly take, becoming the A35 at Poundbury and then the A354 on the run from the south side of Dorchester down towards the sea. The stadium is out on the north-west side of town. Leave Weymouth Way (A354) at Chafeys Roundabout, taking the third exit onto Granby Way (B3157). Follow Granby Way for just under a mile until the next Wessex Roundabout, where the third exit leads to the stadium and carpark (on the left).

TRAFFIC UPDATE: For those driving to the game at Bob Lucas this evening, the A37 Dorchester bypass between Weirs and Monkey Jump roundabouts is closed for roadworks. Traffic will therefore have to go through the centre of town so there may be a need to add some extra time for the journey. LINK.

Although the ground name was changed to Bob Lucas Stadium in 2010 you may well see route signs using its former name, The Wessex Stadium.

Parking

Parking at the ground is limited. Of these 16 are bays for disabled drivers (so probably ring the club if needing to try for these, though its website doesn’t appear to specify whether they are bookable of not). Being up a no through road (and additionally the car park is round the back of the stadium with a single exit onto that one road) there is only one way in and out and exiting the carpark post match can be very slow.

Given the club has a Car Park Season Ticket Scheme its not clear how many spaces remain available on a first come first served basis. If you can secure a space the charge appears to be £2.00. Once the car park is full parking can be problematic. Be aware that the local Dorset Police Station is yards away, so don’t take the mick where you dump the car! Given it’s an evening fixture on-street in Granby Industrial Estate may be the best bet. Depending exactly where on the estate this will then be  around a half mile (ten minute) walk to the ground. There’s also on-street (and a moderate sized free public car park) in the Southill housing estate half a mile north-east of the stadium, though maybe not if your vehicle can be identified as belonging to a Yeovil supporter.

By Rail

Weymouth Railway Station is 1.8 miles (so around 35 minutes walk) from the Bob Lucas Stadium. However that doesn’t much matter as one can’t get back to Yeovil after the game anyway. Services out of Pen Mill are run by South West Tains / Great Western Railway with a journey time of 46 to 54 minutes but the last train back departs Weymouth at 20.16.

By Bus

The local bus services that run closest (and that’s not very close) to the ground are the Nos. 3 and 8. The No. 3 runs once an hour but that service has finished by 18.30. There are two No. 8 buses an hour (via Chickerell) with that service ending before 21.00.

By Taxi

Given the woeful public transport (see above) those without their own transport wanting to do anything pre- or post-match around Weymouth will find some taxi numbers here.

 


Web Sites

The club’s Official Website, ambiguously named Up The Terras, can be found here.

There’s a forum called TerrasTalk where they can engage in what loosely passes for conversation amongst themselves here.

 

Local Press

W*ymouth FC is covered by the Dorset Echo. Well someone has to do this distasteful job.

 


W*ymouth : Food & Drink

General

There really is very little anywhere near the stadium unless one slaughters and barbeques some cattle or sheep in the surrounding fields. The nearest pubs are the John Gregory in the Southill housing estate, a 0.6 mile walk; and the Marquis of Granby across the other side of Granby Industrial Estate at 0.9 of a mile away (both below). After that there’s The Lugger Inn and Turk’s Head Inn (also both below) about a mile west in Chickerell; or Weymouth town centre which is just under two miles away. We’ll throw in a couple from there, but lots to choose from and you might already have your favourite(s). Doghouse Micro Pub is the sort of place that would normally make this guide, but as it only opens from noon to 5.00 p.m. on a Tuesday it hasn’t this time.

Club Bar

The main club house/bars at Bob Lucas Stadium are not available to away fans when matches are segregated. Our match is definitely going to be segregated. There’s a basic hot food/drinks outlet in the away end. No indications what it might sell. One of our seasider friends has been in touch to say there is a ‘bar’ in the away end “cage” (his word not mine) which opens from around 6.30 p.m. and dispenses beverages of the alcoholic kind.

Local Pubs

Globe Inn: Could have gone for a number of pubs in the centre but this is an unpretentious back street wet lead freehouse boozer just off the harbour with decent real ale and cider selections. Six hand pumps mostly focused on West Country beers. The cider is usually Cheddar Valley. 10% discount for CAMRA members. Separate pool table and games room. Opening given as a straightforward 11.00 a.m. – 1.00 p.m. everyday. Two miles from the ground.
Globe Inn, 24 East Street, Weymouth, Dorset, DT4 8BN. Tel: 01305 786061.Map: Globe Inn.

John Gregory: Nearest pub to the ground at 0.6 of a mile (around 10 minutes walk). Large recently redeveloped open plan family-dinning style pub belonging to Heineken, so it’s their keg range that will predominate. Has one real ale, Doom Bar. Food served from noon – 9.00 p.m. in the standard family-chain-pub-grub style. Has separate children’s menu. Sports TV, beer terrace, pool table, darts. Parking is a free public car park about 50 yards away. Opening hours are 11.30 a.m. – 10.30 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 11.30 a.m. – 11.30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11.30 a.m. – 9.00 p.m. Sunday. Website.
John Gregory, 113 Radipole Lane, Weymouth, Dorset, DT4 9SS. Tel: 01305 591092. Map: John Gregory.

Lugger Inn: The other pub in Chickerell (see Turk’s Head below) slightly further away from the ground at 1.3 miles (c. 25 minutes walk). Has Sports TV, beer garden, darts, own parking, live music sometimes. As is all too common, times are chaotic with all differing on the pub’s own website, its Facebook page and the local CAMRA page. At a best guess: it probably opens around 10.00 a.m….or 11.00 a.m….or noon…or 4.00 p.m!; and closes any time from 9.00 p.m. to midnight (take your pick – I despair!!). The on-line menu is nicely typed, but doesn’t include prices or the hours food is served. It presumably serves some beer – suggestion there may be three hand pumps, with the endlessly tedious Doom Bar on one and possibly a couple of local brews on the other two.
The Lugger Inn, 30-34 West Street, Chickerell, Dorset, DT3 4DY. Tel:01305 766611. Map: Lugger Inn.

Marquis of Granby: Second closest pub to the stadium at 0.9 of a mile so around 15+ minutes walk. Formerly called The Swiss Cottage – will understand why if see the very un-pubby building – this is a Freehouse. Food dominated (two thirds of its interior area is taken up with dining tables) with service 12 noon – 2.00 p.m. (3.00 p.m. Sunday) & 6.00 p.m. – 8.30 p.m. (8.00 p.m. Sunday) from Tuesday to Saturday – it is closed on Mondays. Has beer garden and own car park. Three real ales, commonly Courage Directors, Doom Bar and Palmers Dorset Gold. Also stocks a real cider. Opening hours on its website appears to be wrong (doesn’t one just love incompetent businesses that can’t keep their own info correct) and this seems more likely: from 11.00 a.m. Tuesday to Sunday, closing 3.00 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday and 3.30 p.m. Sunday; and again from 5.00 p.m. 5.00 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday, closing 10.00 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday, 11.00 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 9.00 p.m. Sunday.
Marquis of Granby, Chickerell Road, Weymouth, Dorset, DT4 9TW. Tel: 01305 785149. Map: Marquis of Granby.

Turk’s Head Inn: Rather a dining pub these days (the skittle alley was ripped out to increase table space). One mile (twenty minutes walk) from the stadium. There are six hand pumps, though normally only three in use at the same time. Cask offerings may be Doom Bar or one of the Ringwood range from Marston’s; St Austell Tribute, Timothy Taylor Landlord Dartmoor’s Jail Ale; or something from a more local micro-brewery. Real cider available, commonly from the Purbeck Cider Company. Keg is the likes of Peroni, Kronenbourg, Coors Light, John Smiths Extra Smooth, Strongbow Dark Fruit and Thatcher’s Gold. Garden and own parking. Food is served seven days a week, from 11.00 a.m (noon on Sunday) – 9.00 p.m. Expect to pay towards the upper end of pub mid-range dining… eight quid for a sandwich, twelve for a burger, 15 to 18 for a main. There is a separate children’s menu. Opening hours are 11.00 a.m. – 11.00 p.m. every day except Sunday which is 12 noon – 10.30 p.m.
Turk’s Head Inn, 6 East Street, Chickerell, Dorset, DT3 4DS. Tel: 01305 778565 Map: Turks Head.

William Henry: Town centre Spoons 1.8 miles from the ground. You know what Spoons are like so no need for detail. This one opens from 7.00 a.m., children allowed until 10.00 p.m., and closes midnight Sunday to Thursday and 1.00 p.m. Friday and Saturday. (There’s a second Wetherspoon in town at 41-43 St Thomas Street, DT4 8EH, that opens an hour later, same closing times. This one does not allow Under 18s at any time.)
William Henry, 1 Frederick Place, Weymouth, Dorset, DT4 8HQ. Tel: 01305 763730.Map: William Henry.


Likelihood the Natives Will Understand You:
A possibility they speak the same language, but they won’t like you so probably not worth finding out.

Top-Tip:
Best not to mention you’re there to support Yeovil.

Weymouth: Local Amenities
It’s by the sea so expect there’s some sort of beach. Probably has donkeys on it – two and four legged.

Other Points Of Interest:
None at all, except the road out.

[No responsibility is taken for any inaccuracies. This page is entirely the product of bias and prejudice.]