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Raunds Town Info and History

Chairman:George Hagan
President:Mahen Perera
Secretary:Mrs. Carol Warcup
9 Warwick Close, Raunds, Northants
Tel:01933 626516
Commercial Manager:Ralph Maloney
Tel:01933 622036
Manager:Keith Burt
Asst Manager:Glen Burdett

Colours:Red & Black
Change Colours:Yello
Midweek Matchday:Tuesday
Reserves' League:UCL Reserve Div. One
98-99 - Top Scorer:Kevin Slinn(30)
P. of Y.:Darren Watts
Captain:Andy Peaks

Ground:Kiln Park, London Road, Raunds, Northants NN9 6EQ
Tel:01933 623351, Matchdays 01933 460941

Capacity: 3,000     Seats:250         Cover:600    Floodlights:Yes

Clubhouse:On ground, open every day
Club Shop:Open matchdays, selling shirts, books, programmes, contact Malc York, c/o club

Leagues:Rushden & District, Central Northants Combination, United Counties League Premier Div
Grounds:Greenhouse Field (until 1948), The Berristers (1948-91)

Club Records:
Attendance:1,500 v Crystal Palace, ground opening 23/7/91
Win:9-0 v Potton 95, 11-2 v Brackley 93
Defeat:0-6 v Baldock 83, v Buckingham 84-85
Career Goalscorer:Shaun Keeble 208
Career Appearances:Martin Lewis 355 (+29subs)
Transfer fee paid:£1,000 to Gloucester City for David Johnson 97
Transfer fee received:None

Best Season:
FA Cup:4th Qual Rd. 98-99 (0-2 v Enfield)
FA Vase:Semi-final v Arlesey Tn 94-95
FA Trophy:3rd Rd v Weston-super-Mare 98-99 (2-2, 0-1)

Honours:UCL Premier Division Champions 95-96, UCL Division 1 82-83(Runners up 91-92), KO Cup 90-91,(runners up 83-84 & 93-94), Reserve Division 1 88-89,95-96(runners up 86-87,87-88,89-90,90-91,91-92),Reserve KO Cup 84-85, 88-89 & 93-94; Northants Senior Cup 90-91; Hunts Premier League Runners Up 92-93; Daventry Charity Cup Runners Up 83-84; Northants Junior Cup 82-83, 91-92(Reserves) 92-93 (Reserves)

Players Progressing:Greg Downs (Norwich)

A club called Raunds Unity first joined the Northants League in the 1896-7 season which was the 2nd in the league's existence and finished 6th out of the 9 clubs. Raunds Unity and by 1900 Raunds Town remained members until the outbreak of World War 1 but success was elusive and 3rd place out of 7 clubs was the highest position the club had reached until that point. At the end of the Great War Raunds returned to the United Counties League but finished right at the bottom in its first two seasons. After a drop into local soccer the club came back to the United Counties League for a single season - that of 1927 and second place in Division 2 was achieved. It was back to local soccer then for the Shopmates (named after workers in the shoe factories that proliferated in the town). In May 1946 at a meeting at the town's Temperance Hall Raunds Town were reformed, separate from any previous club with Raunds in its name. By then the United Counties League had expanded to two Divisions again after 11 seasons as one and the new format allowed Raunds Town to join and the club was a member of the league until 1996. In Division 2 until 1956 the highest position Raunds reached was 4th and that was in the 1952-1953 campaign. The United Counties League changed its format again to a single division and Raunds struggled against better opposition and on 4 occassions in 5 years were in the bottom two. The leage was reorganised again and Raunds went into the lower division. Even there the club struggled in the lower reaches.

However things began to look up and in the 1969-70 season Raunds Town finished 3rd in the UCL Division 2. However at the end of the 1978-9 season Raunds Town were relegated to Division 3 of the United Countiel League. Yet again the league underwent a change of format - in 1980 - and the Shopmates fortunes took a turn for the better. The appointment of Maurice Murphy as the manager was the catalyst. In 1981-2 the club was placed third in Division One and the club won the title the following season (1982-3) and was promoted to the Premier Division. In addition in that 1982-3 season the club won the Northants Junior Cup for the first time. In 1983-4 Raunds reached the final of the United Counties League Knock Out Cup but lost to the league champions Buckingham Town in the two legged final. Raunds Town made steady progress in the Premier Division and in 1987-8 finished in third place. Two managers had been responsible for this progress - Maurice Murphy who had taken the club into the Premier Division and Alan Wright who was promoted from first team coach following a short spell in charge for Keith Burt in the 1984-5 season.

The club then began to go from strength to strength and in the 1988-89 season Raunds Town finished 6th in the league and reached the final of the Daventry Charity Cup. However Banbury United won that two legged final while the club lost in the semi final of the Northants Senior Cup for the third season in a row. At the end of this campaign Alan Wright decided to stand down as club manager. The Reserves, under the guidance of Keith Burt, completed the double of the Reserve Division One title and the Reserves Knock Out Cup, beating Stotfold in the final. Keith But took over the club's football affairs on the departure of Alan Wright and with assistant Glen Burdett, he helped Raunds reach the last 32 of the FA Vase. Raunds lost a 4th Round tie at Berristers to Hucknall Town. The club finished third in the Premier Division and were semi finalists in three competitions - the Northants Senior Cup, the Daventry Charity Cup and the Key Consultants Floodlit Cup. The Reserves were runners up in the Reserve Division One of the United Counties League.

The following campaign - 1990-1 - the second in charge for Burt and Burdett, saw Raunds win two trophies in what was to be the final season at Berristers, the club's home for 40 years. The final of the Northants Senior Cup was reached and Raunds won against Rushden Town at Hayden Road in extra time 1-0. In addition Raunds took the United Counties League Knock Out Cup by beating Irthlingborough Diamonds in both legs of the two legged final (4-2 at Berristers and 2-0 at Nene Park). A treble was narrowly missed when Eynesbury Rovers just shaded the Hunts Premier Cup at Somersham Town by the only goal of the game. In addition 6th place was achieved in the league and eventual finalists Gresley Rovers knocked Raund out of the FA Vase in the 3rd Round. The Reserves were yet again runners up in Reserve Division One.

Raunds moved to brand new facilities at Kiln Park at the start of the 1991-2 season, opening the ground with a crowd of 1,500 watching Raunds play Crystal Palace. The first goal on the ground was scored by Raunds' Gary Torrance and the first competitive match was in the Maunsell Cup against 4th Division Northampton Town. The Cobblers won the the only goal scored in the last minute. Raunds finished higher than ever before in the league, being runners up to Northampton Spencer. Cogenhoe knocked Raunds out of the Senior Cup while Diss Town won at Kiln Park in a third round Vase tie. The Reserves were runners up in Reserve Division One for the 4th time in 5 seasons (being champions in the other season) while at Nene Park they defeated Peterborough Molins in the final of the Northants Junior Cup 2-0 to win that trophy 10 years after the first team had accomplished it.

In the 1992-3 season the club finished third in the Premier section of the United Counties and reached the semi final of the KO Cup, going out to Daventry at Elderstubbs. The club achieved national fame with their exploits in the FA Cup. In the 2nd qualifying round Raunds collected probably the best win in their history, winning at Conference side Northwich Victoris 2-0 and although the powerful Nuneaton Borough ended the run in the next round the memory of the day at Northwich will live for many a moon at Kiln Park. The Reserves retained the Northants Junior Cup with a 4-3 extra time win over Perkins Sports at Kettering's Rockingham Road. Shaun Keeble scored 44 goals.

In 1993-4 Raunds faced Conference opposition in the FA Cup but Telford proved too strong at Kiln Park and ran out 4-0 winners. A lofty league position was reached but the clubs best effort of the campaign was to reach the Final of the Knock Out Cup for the third time. However Northampton Spencer won both legs of the Final to take the trophy. A very promising run commenced in the FA Vase and Raunds Town reached the 4th Round for the second time, losing 1-2 to Belper Town at Kiln Park. The Reserve side reached the Reserve Knock Out Final but Raunds earned the not particularly wanted distinction of being the first club to lose both KO Cup Finals in the same season. Rothwell took the Reserve Knock Out Cup. For the first team Shaun Keeble broke his previous season's record by scoring on 45 occasions for the club in all competitions.

The 1994-5 season will be forever remembered as one of the best in the club's history but with no major trophy coming to Kiln Park. In the FA Vase the club made its way into the semi final. S&L Corby, Great Wakering, Lowestoft Town, West Midlands Police and Basildon were all beaten on their own soil with only St. Andrews losing at Kiln Park. In the semi final Raunds Town took a 3 goal 1st leg lead to Arlesey Town only to slump 0-5 reverse in extra time in the 2nd leg and go out 3-5 on aggregate. That defeat was the only away reverse Raunds Town suffered all season. The Vase exploits put the club well behind in its league fixtures but a tremendous struggle near the end saw Raunds catch up with Boston Town on points but it was not enough and the Lincolnshire club took the title on goal difference. Raunds had lost just two league games all campaign - against Boston Town and Spalding United, the one denying Raunds the League title, the other denying Raunds the League Cup. For the second season in a row Raunds reached the United Counties Leage Knock Out Cup Final and took a 3 goal lead at Spalding United to draw the 1st leg 3-3. In the 2nd leg at Kiln Park Spalding took a three goal lead and it was Raunds who came back and the final ended after extra time 6-6 on aggregate. Spalding took the Cup on penalties. By virtue of finishing second in the league Raunds Town were invited into the United Counties League Benevolent Cup and Raunds won at Division One Champions St. Neots Town to go into the final. Boston Town and Higham Town both declined to play in the tournament and St. Neots were invited back and in extra time in the Final Raunds at last secured a trophy by beating the Saints 3-2.

1995-6, however, saw Raunds Town at last fulfil the promise of the past few seasons although it was left late as a goal by Shaun Keeble in the 4th minute of injury time of the final match against Long Buckby saw the club to the United Counties League Premier Division title. Ground improvements ensured the club's promotion to the Southern League Midland Division for the 1996-7 season. In the FA Vase the club reached the 6th Round losing narrowly to Mangotsfield United. The Reserves, for the second time, won the United Counties League Reserve Division One title to complete a very fine season for Raunds Town.

The 1996-7 season saw Raunds Town make their debut in the Southern League Midland Division and after a falftering start the side rallied to finish 10th in the Final table. The club also made its bow in the FA Trophy and wins in the qualifying rounds over Barton Rovers, Weston-Super-Mare and Bognor Regis Town led to a 1st Round match at Kiln Park against Conference side Welling United. However Welling won by the only goal in the first competitive match at Kiln Park played on a Sunday. A run in the KO Cup saw Raunds into the 4th Round with victories over King's Lynn, Corby and Tamworth before eventual KO Cup winners Burton Albion won 2-0 at Kiln Park.

1997-8 ended with Raunds Town finishing in 4th spot in the Southern League Midland Division table. In addition the club reached the FA Trophy 1st Round proper again before losing at Bashley by 0-3 and reached the Northants Senior Cup by beating Rushden and Diamonds 1-0 in the semi final. However a last minute goal gave the cup to Conference side Kettering Town by a 2-1 margin.

After being moved over from the Midland to the Southern Division of the Southern League, Raunds Town finished the 1998-9 season in 6th spot. During this campaign they went through without losing a League game at home (a run of 25 home League games without defeat). During the season the club reached the FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round (their best ever) before losing 0-2 to Enfield. In the FA Trophy they lost to Weston-Super-Mare 0-1 (at home) in the 3rd Round after a 2-2 draw. The club yet again reached the final of the Northants Senior Cup, but Rushden & Diamonds gained their revenge from last season's semi-final defeat by winning 2-0.