Club History


The first evidence of a football club in Sidmouth was in 1912 when a team known as the Sidmouth Unionists played in the East Devon League, but after just two seasons the First World war disrupted their progress.

In 1919 the team seems to have been reformed and played until 1922 possibly as the Sidmouth Imps when they joined the Ottery & District League for just one season. They won that at the first time of asking so rejoined the East Devon League until 1928 when they switched across to the Victory League. One season and back to the East Devon League again and in 1931 became Junior 1 East champions. 

In 1937 Sidmouth became champions again so retried their hand back in the Victory League until progress was again hampered by the intervention of World War 2.

After the war Sidmouth moved back to the East Devon League which was now known as the Exeter & District League, and in 1957 were promoted to the Premier division for the first time. 

In 1968 Sidmouth won the Premier title for the first time but in the 1980s they found themselves back in Senior football on three occasions although they did win the Senior 1A title in 1987. 

In the 1990/1991 when three points were first awarded for a win, the Vikings were relegated, but returned to Premier a year later despite only finishing eighth. This is because the Devon & Exeter League as it had now become saw a number of its Premier teams transfer to the newly formed Devon League, and had to change its constitution so clubs with better facilities such as Sidmouth were favoured.

Sidmouth were then in Premier until they won the championship for the second time in 2011, and then decided to step up into the South West Peninsular League which is where they currently operate.

Over the years matches were played variously on a field between Lawn Vista and the Sid – now allotments, Vicarage Field – where Glebelands now is, occasionally the hockey field at Manor Road, Blackmore Field – the current rugby pitch, a field in Sid Road, where Redwood Road now is, changing at the Anchor Inn, and finally, the Recreation Ground, Manstone.

The original changing accommodation at the “Rec” was sited at the top end of where the skate park now is. It was to say the least very small, with a wooden hut through which the wind whistled, two tin baths filled by a gas copper which was emptied in the stream behind.

The current Clubhouse has developed over several phases, the apex roofed area being the original, built in 1974 and financed by a reasonable bank balance, supplemented by grants from Devon Playing Field Assoc. and Devon County Council. The latest phase, completed in 2010, has seen the addition of modern changing facilities for players and officials, including an accesible toilet and laundry.

sidmouth_unionists copy

1 thought on “Club History

  1. The nickname “The Vikings” was the result of a competition held by the Sidmouth Herald in about 1975. A prize of £10 was on offer for the winner of the competition, to give Sidmouth Town a nickname. I entered the competition myself as a then 15 year old boy………….. and WON !!!!
    Among the reasons I gave for choosing this name was that the Sidmouth crest/coat of arms had a viking ship on it and it also described their attacking play. I was duly invited to the club house and then presented with my cash prize of ten crisp one pound notes, which were aranged in a large fan shape and subsequently my picture appeared in the following weeks Herald with a rather large grin on my face.
    Ten pounds was a good sum of money back then, as when I began work the following year i was only earning £25 pounds a week and a pint of trophy bitter was only 29 pence a pint, in a pub.
    Just thought i might add a little to the club history as I syumbled across this page today.

    Cheers for now …… Andy Harris

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