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History of Bridgwater Town FC

The early foundations were set on the 28th January 1898 at the Cross Rifles public house in Bath Road. At the well attended meeting Bridgwater Association Football Club was founded.

A field on the current UCB Cellophane factory site was acquired as a pitch and a series of friendly fixtures arranged. The following season the fledgling club was admitted into the Somerset Senior League. They spent 4 seasons languishing in the lower reaches of this competition before lack of support and financial problems forced them to disband.

Image of early players

However, in 1898-99 they became the holders of the Somerset Senior Cup when they defeated Yeovil Casuals by 1-0 in a replayed final held at the Athletic Ground, Wells.

A distinguished member of their winning squad was S.M.J. Woods, the greatest all rounder of this era. He is seated in the middle row of the picture of the victorious squad to the left of the club captain, Toby Bowerman. They were also finalists in 1900 but lost 1-0 to Street.

1903 - 1914

1903 to 1914 saw the re-establishment of a football team bearing the name of Bridgwater. A junior club, it started playing friendly fixtures at the Taunton Road base of the Albion Rugby club.

The following season saw a move to Westonzoyland Road to make use of a new field close to where the Dolphin Fish Bar now stands. Bridgwater AFC entered the Somerset Juinor Cup for the first time in 1904. By 1905 the club was a member of the Clevedon & District League and finished mid-table in it's first season. This proved to be the one and only season in that competition.

In the same year both the SJC semi-final and the final of the Ashcott Cup were reached both unsuccessfully. For 1906-07 it was decided to join the Weston & District League. This was to cut traveling costs, support had by this time dwindled dramatically and the club was struggling desperately to remain financially solvent.

A team photo from the 1903-1914 era

Despite severe problems Bridgwater AFC remained in the membership of both the Weston and Highbridge Leagues. The season of 1908-09 saw the club become champions of Weston's Division 2. The 1st Division struggle in the following season proved to great and a "wooden spoon" finish was the result.

The yo-yo existence of the club was illustrated by another bout of championship followed by immediate relagation between the years of 1911 and 1913. The club disbanded during the following season and the Great War ensured that it would never be reformed.