Although the 1970/71 season was ultimately to prove the most successful in the Club's history
to date, the build-up commenced on a disastrous note. A Pop Festival was organised at the ground
in the summer of 1970 and showed a loss of £470 even after allowing for the £5,000-plus
of guarantees from the Directors and Vice-Presidents.
Paul Gilchrist, holding the FA Cup he helped Southampton win when they defeated Manchester United 1-0 at
Wembley in May 1976.
There were other financial successes, however. The successes on the field the previous
season produced a profit of £1,117, whilst, in July, Alwyn Lugg, Chairman of the
Green & White Supporters' Club, reported at their A.G.M. that £2,475 had been handed to
the parent club in the past ten months.
Only two new players had been signed in the close season, Brian Grey and Andy McCluskey,
with Ron Bayliss following shortly after. The season got underway on 15th August with a 1-0 win
at home to Cambridge City, a Dick Plumb goal sending the 2,344 crowd home happy. By the middle
of September Yeovil were in third position behind Hereford United and Chelmsford City.
Then, on 23rd September, Dick Plumb was transferred to Second Division Charlton Athletic for a
total fee of £7,000. During his spell at Huish he had scored 53 goals in 111 games.
He scored on his debut for Charlton against Birmingham City. Half the fee received for Plumb
had to be paid to Bristol Rovers as part of the agreement which brought him to Huish and,
as part of the deal, Charlton loaned striker Paul Gilchrist to Yeovil.
At the end of the month, Yeovil turned down an offer for Gilchrist to join the Club on a
permanent basis ... and he later went on to play in the First Division with
Southampton and was part of the team when they defeated Manchester United 1-0 at Wembley in
the FA Cup Final! Gilchrist scored one of the FA Cup Semi-Final goals against Crystal Palace
that put the Saints on their way towards their finest hour.
In October the Club became the owners of Huish when Bass Charrington Limited agreed to
lift the restrictive covenant. Under the terms of the covenant, the ground had to be sold back
to the original vendor for the purchase price of £1,750 if ever football ceased to be
November saw Yeovil's entry into the F.A. Cup, a 2-1 victory at Poole, followed by a 1-0
win against Aveley in the First Round Proper. The match was marred by crowd trouble,
Bullock, Aveley's substitute, being laid out by a spectator and the referee was kicked at
the end of the game. A man later appeared in court in connection with these offences.
Although terrace admission was increased from 4s.6d. (22.5 pence) to 15s (75 pence),
this ticket could have been sold on the Black Market for £100.
Round Two of the F.A. Cup brought the short journey to Bournemouth, then managed by
John Bond. In the previous round, the 'Cherries' had beaten Oxford City 8-1 in a replay,
Ted MacDougall scoring seven of them. When he heard Yeovil had a Navy man in the shape of
Bev Dixon, Bond suggested it might be wise if he brought along to Dean Court a battleship
to block up the Yeovil goal! However, in front of 11,583 spectators, a Cliff Myers goal
just before half-time put Yeovil into the Third Round once again. Stuart Housley had a
field day and completely took full-back Powell apart. His display led to a
£2,000 bid from Bournemouth. This was rejected, the Yeovil Directors asking for £6,000.
The draw for the Third Round at Lancaster Gate, on Monday, 14th December was, as usual,
broadcast on the radio. Over the airways came: "Number 62, Yeovil Town, will play ...
Number 1, Arsenal". Within a minute the 'phone rang at Huish requesting tickets - the start
of three weeks of pandemonium at the Club.
The Directors, in an effort to wipe out the overdraft, increased Terrace prices
from 4s. 6d. to 15s., the Stand from 6s. 6d. to 30s., and the Vice Presidents' box to £2.
The admission prices became the most expensive in the country for Third Round matches.
The Press criticised the Club, but the genuine supporters agreed with the decision.
tickets were put out on sale at the home game against Worcester City, a match that kicked off
at 7.30 p.m. The first to arrive - before
dawn - were Yeovil schoolgirls Christine Dunn and Dianne Hewtley, followed shortly after by
schoolteachers' John Arscott and Derek Geer. The 'gate' that night was 8,102 and Yeovil Town
won 2-0. But could the match against mighty Arsenal produce a similar result?
When the big day came on 2nd January, snow that had fallen during the week was still on
the pitch. This caused referee Bill Gow from Swansea to put the match off until the following
Wednesday afternoon. The Yeovil officials were furious and Arsenal greatly relieved.
Goalkeeper Tony Clark and full-back Paul Smith can only look on as Ray Kennedy scores Arsenal's third goal.
Although the game was to be played with a 2 p.m. kick off, only 30 tickets were returned
to the Club (these were sold within minutes) and the
schools in Yeovil extended the Christmas Holiday by
one day due to the postponement. Yeovil held
Arsenal for 35 minutes but eventually went down 3-0 in front of 14,500 spectators.
Yeovil's team that day
was: Clark; Herrity, Baylis; Myers, Smith, Hughes;
Housley, Weller, Grey, Thompson, Clancy. Harris
Arsenal's team: Bob Wilson, Pat
Rice, Bob McNab, Peter Storey, Frank McLintock,
Peter Simpson, George Armstrong, Jon Sammels,
John Radford, Ray Kennedy, George Graham. Sub:
After the dust had settled, it became clear that
Yeovil had made £6,000 on the game and £4,000 had been returned to unsuccessful
postal applicants for tickets. Chairman Norman Burfield was upset that the Police had limited
the crowd to 14,500 and said the spectators could have brought skipping ropes with them as
there was so much room on the terraces!
Arsenal went on to complete the 'double' and Yeovil returned to their Southern League
programme lying in second position with the F.A. Trophy to look forward to. The first match
after the Arsenal game was a great anti-climax, a 3-0 defeat at home to
Barnet. Then came the First Round of the F.A. Trophy, when Yeovil defeated Grantham of
the Midland League, 3-1 at Huish, goals coming from Bob Moffatt on loan from Dallas Tornadoes
and Brian Grey (2).
In the Second Round Yeovil were paired with Weymouth in another home tie. Yeovil made a
desperate attempt to postpone the game and manager Mike Hughes went to F.A. Headquarters
with medical certificates to show six of his 14 professionals were unfit. His pleas were
turned down and Yeovil, with only eight fit men, drew 0-0 before a crowd of 4,889.
It was the same team that went to Weymouth for the replay and for 90 minutes it was
Weymouth against keeper Tony Clark.
He stopped everything thrown at him and Chris Weller got the only
goal of the game in extra-time.
By the end of February, when Yeovil travelled
to Wimbledon in the Third Round of the Trophy,
they were in fifth position in the League with games in hand over the leaders.
The attendance at Wimbledon was 3,059 and included over 1,000 from Somerset. A train and
18 coaches were organised by the Club. The match ended 1-1. The replay at Huish was a
formality, a 'gate' of 5,157 seeing Chris Weller contributing a 'hat-trick' in a
Stourbridge from the West Midland League came to Huish for the Quarter Final, Yeovil
winning 2-0 in front of 6,193 people. The Semi-Final brought an encounter with Telford United
at The Hawthorns, West Bromwich Albion's ground. 4,000 Yeovil fans travelled to the match
to swell the attendance to 9,111. Yeovil were odds on favourites to win and so earn a trip
to Wembley: They had beaten Telford twice already that season and the Shropshire side were
fourth from bottom in the Southern League.
However, Telford's experience of getting to the Final the year before proved to be the decisive
factor, Yeovil freezing on the day and losing 3-1.
Chairman Norman Burfield seen toasting the team after their 4-0 win over Hillingdon Borough that
clinched the Southern League Championship.
Back Row: Tony Clark, Stuart Housley, Brian Grey, Len Harris.
Front Row: Andy McCluskey, Cliff Myers, Ron Baylis, Ken Thompson, Mike Hughes, Bev Dixon,
Maurice O'Donnell and Richard Reynolds.
So it was back to the League programme with ten games still to play, seven of them at
home. April 19th saw the first of five home games in a week, Bedford Town being defeated 2-0.
The last match of the sequence was against F.A. Trophy finalists Hillingdon Borough on 26th April
when 4,434 people saw Yeovil win 4-0 to become Southern League Champions for the third time
in their history.
During their winning spell Mike Hughes pulled off another stroke of genius
when he signed Richard Reymolds on loan from Plymouth Argyle. He led the forwards with great
flare, scored five goals and put visitors' defences to fright.
The title was eventually won by the margin of two points from Cambridge City and Romford.
Although Yeovil played a 4-2-4 formation, only 31 League goals were conceded all season.
As part of the Dick Plumb deal, the season ended with a friendly against Charlton Athletic, 3,830
seeing Yeovil win 4-0.
Tony Clark won the first ever Supporters' Club "Player of the Year"
award. For the first time ever, Yeovil retained all their professionals. The average League
'gate' was 3,249. The great success on the field produced a profit of £15,781 and
the overdraft had been wiped out. 122 goals were scored in all competitions, Grey leading
the way with 23 followed by Myers (21), Weller (18) and Clancy (14). Eighteen of the 21
players found the net during the season. The one disappointment was in the Southern League
Cup, wins over Folkestone Town and Gravesend & Northfleet being followed by a 2-1 defeat at
Link: 1970-71 First Team Fixtures And Results.
Link: 1970-71 First Team Scorers.
The 1970-71 Southern League Champions.
Back Row: Paul Smith, Ron Baylis, Richard Reynolds, Alan Herrity, Bev Dixon, Ken Thompson,
Chris Weller, Len Harris, Tony Clark.
Second row: Maurice O'Donnell (Trainer),
Albert Lukins and Jack Baulch (Directors), Cliff Myers, Mike Hughes (Manager),
George Banbury, Tony Coles (Director), Dick Donovan (Secretary), Doug Hunt (Physio).
Third row: Oliver James, Derek Barnett, Bryan Moore, Dick White, Norman Burfield,
Ivan Rendall, Cyril Farthing, Edmund Templeman, Ted Mears, Bert Cobb (Director).
Front row: Andy McCluskey, Stuart Housley, Brian Grey, John Clancy.
Season 1970-71 : Southern League Table