Swindon Town Club Profile
Swindon Town : Quick Links
Click on the links below to go directly to the relevant parts of the guide :|
We've Met Before;
Directions To The Ground;
Food And Drink;
Swindon Town : Club Background
It is generally accepted that the club was founded in 1881 though the name Swindon Town didn't come into being until 1883. In 1894 (semi-) professionals were allowed to join the club for the first time, and Swindon Town became a founder member of the Southern League First Division. The early years were something of a struggle with the club generally finishing in the lower reaches. They came last twice, in 1900-01 and 1901-02, but weren't relegated to SL Division Two for whatever reason.
From 1908-09 there was a major upturn in the club's fortunes, and they were runners-up three times and Champions twice between then and the closing of the Southern League for the rest of the War in 1915. They were also F.A. Cup Semi-Finalists twice (1910 and 1912) during this period. Despite this success Swindon did not bother to apply for election to the Football League. The Southern League was hugely strong at that time, encompassing clubs like Crystal Palace, Millwall, Portsmouth, Queens Park Rangers, Southampton, and West Ham United, whilst the Football League was made up predominately of Northern and some Midlands clubs. Southern teams were wary of the travelling and only a few, initially some of the bigger London clubs with good rail links to the North, had begun the shift of allegiance before the First World War.
Post-war everything changed. In 1920 the Football League, coming to terms with the geographical imbalance in its membership, took the whole of the Southern League First Division into a newly formed Division Three en bloc. Swindon Town was amongst them, and finished fourth. The following year there were more invitations and some re-jigging as the Division Three South and Division Three North structure was created that would last until the end of the Fifties. The Robins were continuous members of Division Three South throughout its existence, though they did require re-election to survive on three occasions - 1933, 1956 and 1957. They turned things round just in time because the 1957-58 placings would determine whether clubs ended in the Third or, about to be created, Fourth Divisions. Fourth in D3S was comfortably good enough to avoid being placed in the basement.
The outside of the Arkells Stand as you approach the ground - the County Ground Hotel is on your right
Photo © 2008 Ciderspace
Yeovil met Swindon Town twice in the F.A. Cup in the Qualifying rounds early in the last century, with both as Non-League clubs. Swindon were the victors on both occasions, 1901-02 and 1902-03, by four goals to nil. Starting from 1949, and ending in the mid-Fifties, Yeovil Town played an annual 'challenge' match against Swindon Town for a cup put up by the Yeovil Town Supporters' Club, but serious competition didn't reoccur until 1962-63. The meeting in the Second Round Proper of the F.A. Cup at Huish saw the Wiltshire team progress 0-2.
In 1962-63 The Robins finally got out of level three with promotion to the Second Division, though they only lasted there two seasons. It was back in Division Three that they achieved one of their greatest feats to date, the only club outside the top two flights to win the League Cup. It took three games to dispose of Burnley in the Semi-Final before 98,189 saw them defeat Arsenal 3-1 at Wembley. The late Stan Harland, who became Yeovil's Player-Manager from 1975 to 1978, was Swindon captain that day. The Robins also took the runners-up spot in Division Three and were promoted.
Rather flummoxed by a Division Three club winning the League Cup the authorities allowed them to enter the Anglo-Italian Cup the following season as way of European reward. They won it, defeating AS Roma, Juventus and Napoli on the way.
The side-facing South Stand - one of the newer additions to the County Ground
Photo © 2008 Ciderspace
From the mid-Seventies Swindon were in the doldrums for over a decade, relegated from Division Two in 1974, and then down into Division Four in 1982. Lou Macari began their resurgence with consecutive promotions in 1985-86 and 1986-87. The Robins spent six seasons in Division Two (by then renamed Division One), only one of which saw them struggle. It should have been only three seasons, as they won the play-offs in 1989-90 under Ossie Ardilles, but were found guilty of illegal financial payments and demoted two divisions. This was reduced to one on appeal, so Swindon remained in Division One and Sunderland, defeated play-off finalists, went up. In 1992-93 Swindon got into the play-offs again under player-manager Glenn Hoddle. An odd goal in nine saw Tranmere Rovers disposed of in the semi-finals, and then a memorable final at Wembley saw Leicester City defeated 4-3. One of the most unlikely clubs to date had made it to the Premier League.
Hoddle didn't wait to face the challenge of keeping them there, heading off to Chelsea. His judgement was right even if his lack of stomach for what was bound to be a huge task was disappointing. Swindon didn't win a game until November, eventually conceding a hundred goals and going straight back down with thirty points. However they have the right to boast they've been in the top flight.
The hangover the following season saw them suffer a successive relegation, though in the League Cup they came close to repeating their 1969 trip to Wembley, only losing 3-4 on aggregate to Bolton Wanderers at the semi-final stage.
1995-96, with Steve McMahon in charge for his second season, saw the decline halted and reversed with Swindon winning the Third Division title by a street. But the glory days were not to return. Three years of relative struggle in Division One were followed by relegation in 1999-2000. With financial clouds gathering off the pitch and managers coming and going rapidly these were dark days. On too many occasions bills were unpaid, telephones and even the electricity cut off, wages in arrears. They've had several well publicised 'near misses' in terms of breaches of their CVA where the Western Daily Press have reported on issues where the club have been playing close to the wire, but somehow each time they've managed to bodge their way through. The new regime under Andrew Fitton has the superficial appearance of having brought some off-field stability but we suspect many fans are continually looking over their shoulders to wonder where the next drama is going to come from.
The end-facing Town End Stand - at the far end to away supporters
Photo © 2008 Ciderspace
Recent seasons have seen plenty of drama in the managerial hotseat as well. Iffy Onuora took over as manager for the majority of the
2005-06 season, clocking up what was a 'steady' season that was expected to earn him the right to start the next season. But the board had
other ideas, and there was plenty of sympathy for Onuora when he was given the boot, with the board wanting the high profile partnership of
Dennis Wise and Gus Poyet for the start of the 2006-07 season. That didn't last long - Wise and Poyet were poached by Leeds United in October
and the decision appeared to be backfiring, despite Wise having won 9 out of his 17 games for the Robins. After Ady Williams held the fort
as caretaker, former Southampton manager Paul Sturrock came in a month later, and he managed to keep Swindon's momentum going and get the
Wiltshire side promotion back up to League One level, finishing in 3rd place in League Two on 85 points. Sturrock was soon lured back to
Plymouth Argyle towards the end of 2007, and Maurice Malpas entered the fray in January 2008. He didn't last the calendar year, being
sacked in November 2008.
David Byrne, who had provided a caretaker role between Sturrock and Malpas, stepped in a second time before Danny Wilson came in during
Christmas 2008. His 15th placed 2008-09 finish and four points off relegation was modest, but in 2009-10 everything clicked and Swindon got
a 5th placed finish in League One, they eventually lost in the play-off final to Millwall. Of course as Yeovil Town supporters have found,
the season after the play-offs can be a difficult one, particularly when other clubs move in to cherry-pick your best players. Billy Paynter,
who scored 29 goals for them in their play-off season was snapped up by Leeds United, whilst Gordon Greer got involved in a transfer war
with big-spending Brighton, with the Seagulls eventually persuading the Robins to let go. Then in January of that season, they lost Charlie Austin to
Burnley, and they went from 2009-10 play-offs to 2010-11 relegation, going down in last place.
In the midst of that chaos, Wilson had lost his job, and Paul Hart came in to save them. That lasted just eleven games before mathematics caught up
with the inevitable, and Paul Bodin saw out the season. Another change of manager followed again as they restarted live in League Two - with
Paolo Di Canio coming in as a high-profile replacement. He managed to get them back into League One at the first time of asking, but not without being given
a fair slice of money. For the 2012-13 season when they got back into League One, Swindon revealed that they'd given Paolo a £4.5 million playing budget.
That sort of money was never likely to last, and when the club's owners at the time decided to pull the plug on funding the club, the Robins landed under a transfer embargo - the first club to fall part of the SCMP rules at League One level - in February 2013 the Italian left, new owners came in, and Kevin MacDonald did a relatively decent holding job, given the circumstances. Swindon finished in 6th place in the 2012-13 table, but were knocked out by Brentford in the play-off semi-finals. In came Mark Cooper as a new permanent boss, and an 8th place followed in 2013-14 - close but no cigar. They look on course for another run at the play-offs again this season, although still have half a chance of an automatic position at the time of writing.
The main Arkells Stand - away fans get the very far corner blocks
Photo © 2008 Ciderspace
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|Swindon Town : We've Met Before|
|Previous Results for Yeovil Town First Team vs Swindon Town
|29/04/1954||Home||YCC||W||3-0||Reid(2), Own Goal|
|27/08/2005||Away||CCL1||L||2-4||6973||Bastianini 1, Skiverton 87|
|20/12/2008||Away||CCL1||W||3-2||7072||Alcock 10, Peltier 28, Own Goal 72|
|30/10/2010||Home||NPL1||D||3-3||4671||G Williams 45, Bowditch 50, 61|
|30/07/2016||Home||Frnd||W||2-1||888||Eaves 16, Khan 74|
Results Summary For Yeovil Town First Team vs Swindon Town
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Swindon Town : Club Statistics
Highest League Attendance: 6760, vs Bristol Rovers, 20/09/2016
Lowest League Attendance: 6760, vs Bristol Rovers, 20/09/2016
Average League Attendance: 6760
CURRENT LEAGUE SEQUENCE STATISTICS
|Games Without A Win: ||1
||Games Without A Home Win: ||1
|Games Without An Away Win: ||0
||Games Without Defeat: ||0
|Games Without A Home Defeat: ||0
||Games Without An Away Defeat: ||0
|Games Without A Draw: ||1
||Games Without A Score Draw: ||1
|Games Without A No-Score Draw: ||1
||Games Without Scoring: ||0
|Games Without Conceding: ||0
||Home Results Sequence: ||L
|Away Results Sequence: ||
||Overall Results Sequence: ||L
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Swindon Town : Club Information
The County Ground
(Click for map)
Telephone Number : 0871 4236433
Fax : 0844 8801112
Chairman : William Patey
Fixtures Secretary : Louise Fletcher
Stadium Safety Officer : Mark Isaacs
Media & Communications Manager : Chris Tanner
Manager : Mark Cooper
Capacity : 15,728
Seated : All seater
Uncovered Seating : 2,100
Colours : shirt red, shorts white, socks red with white turnover
Record Attendance : 32,000 v Arsenal, F.A. Cup R3, 15/01/1972
Nickname : The Robins
Ticket Prices :
Glovers fans have been allocated a section in the Arkells North Stand, which is a covered seated area of the ground, side-on to the pitch.
Away fans usually get the end two blocks closest to the Stratton Bank End in a total allocation of around 1,200 seats.
Admission prices for the 2014-15 season for that part of the ground are as follows:
Adults: £25.00; Aged 65 and Over & Disabled: £19.00; Full Time Students: £19.00; Aged 16-18: £17.00; Under-16s: £12.00 .
Students must purchase their ticket in advance of matchday as this concession is not available on the day of the game. You'll need to be in possession of a valid NUS Card. Those aged 16-18 years old are strongly advised to carry proof of age with them.
With the exception of the student pricing, all ticket prices remain the same on the day of the match itself. However, Swindon make available advance tickets to the visiting club, so call the Huish Park Ticket Office if you want to purchase in advance of the game. Tickets will remain on sale from the Huish Park Ticket Office until Thursday 16th April at 4.00p.m.
Applications for Disabled supporters must be made direct to Swindon on 0844 880 1116. You'll be charge the above Concessionary rate, but can admit an assistant free of charge. Ambulant Disabled supporters are eligible provided they are on the middle/higher level of disability. Their Disabled Liaison Officer is Jason McGinley and can be reached on 0871-876-1969 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Disabled supporters enter the ground at Gate E11, which is situated close to the standard away turnstiles on the corner of the Arkells Stand and the Adkins Family Stand.
If you are driving to the game, there are 12 dedicated parking spaces on a first-come, first-served basis. They also have Soccer Sight equipment for
any visually impaired supporter. In all cases book via the DLO if you need these. There is a refreshment kiosk close to the disabled bays they use for away fans,
or stewards can help you. Similarly disabled toilets are accessible using a Radar key.
The away sections of the covered Arkells Stand
Photo © 2008 Ciderspace
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Swindon Town : Directions To The Ground
Swindon is just North of the M4, Junctions 15 and 16. Junction 15 is the better for the stadium. It was also a major railway town and is on the former Great Western Railway out of London Paddington and Bristol Temple Meads.
From Junction 15 head north on the A419. At the Commonhead Roundabout take the first exit onto the A4259 (Marlborough Road). After about a mile you'll meet another roundabout. Take the second exit (still the A4259, but now Queen's Drive). Carry on for one and a half miles until you reach yet another roundabout at the junction with Drake's Way. Take the first exit(still the A4259) and immediately prepare for the wonders of the Magic Roundabout*. You will see The County Ground to your right.
* Magic Roundabout: there are reputed to be only two in the World, at Swindon and in Hemel Hempstead. It's actually a concept that works
pretty well, but locals do gain amusement from the gesticulations and sheer panic of first-timers as they approach a system that defies
all they have ever learnt and allows for both clockwise and anti-clockwise navigation.
You can park at the County Ground itself, but prices are an eye-watering £10.00 so maybe you won't. There are 12 allocated disabled bays in this area but the implication is that you'll be charged for them.
If you want to avoid the trauma of the Magic Roundabout there is usually parking made available in St Joseph's Catholic School shortly
before you reach it. There's 180 spaces, and the charge is £5.00 for the 2012-13 season - this is the only other 'official' car park
that is sanctioned by Swindon. Once there, it's then a couple of minutes walk to the ground. Note that Swindon have pointed out that the
Ocotal Way Tesco car park in the same road is out of bounds for football traffic - we presume you risk a parking ticket if you overstay
Spring Gardens House is the nearest council pay and display car park to the stadium and remains open until 9.00 p.m. Thereafter it's the
town centre, where there are a number of car parks. Commercial rates apply. Those in the centre will entail around half a mile walk back to the stadium.
There is limited street parking around if you can sniff it out.
Swindon is well served, being on the main line from London to the West and Wales. It is an expensive line however.
Using Yeovil Junction requires changes at Salisbury and Bath Spa and will take the best part of three hours. Pen Mill is the better option
at around two hours (change at Bath Spa).
If walking from the station it's between ten and fifteen minutes to the stadium. From the front of the station turn left onto Station Road
between the GW, a huge hotel, and the Queen's Tap. Head on into Corporation Street. At the traffic lights turn left onto
Manchester Road. At the end of Manchester Road turn right onto County Road. The entrance to the stadium is on the left, around 300 yards
A selection of Swindon taxi companies can be found here.
The open seating at the Stratton Bank end. Sometimes used for away supporters but not for us for any visits from the 2008-09 season onwards
Photo © 2008 Ciderspace
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|Swindon Town : Web Resources|
Swindon Town Official
PTV, register or forget it.
Swindon Town Supporters Club
Basic site for members of the STSC. Not updated since July 2006, so probably only worthy for historical and fixed info.
Fans site with match reports, stats and other bits and pieces including a reasonably active message board. Nice to see a genuinely independent advert-free, chain-free, betting-free site. A lot of the articles linked from the front page make use of the message board structure meaning that the front page acts more as a portal into the message board, but there is plenty of content here.
Online presence of the Swindon Town Supporters Trust, includes a fairly active message board. Latest message (Jan 2011) says "Currently under construction, a new website is coming soon" so you won't find anything here just now.
Vital Swindon Town
|Web Message Boards|
Red Army Loud & Proud
Busy Swindon forum, divided into a multiplicity of sections. Registration required to post (and even to read some sections).
Another busy forum, also divided into lots of sections.
Vital Swindon Forum
Forum provided by the aforementioned site.
E-Mail Mailing Lists and Newsletters
Swindon Town FC Mailing List
Roughly 240 members producing an output of about 140 messages a month, so not one of the busiests around. However, this is still the busier of the two around.
Swindon Town Results and News Service
c.120 members. Send a blank e-mail to subscribe.
Swindon Evening Advertiser
Wiltshire Gazette and Herald
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Swindon Town : Food & Drink
There is one major active brewery in Swindon. Arkells dates back to 1843 and is still run by the original
family. Remains very much in the 'regional brewer' tradition, of which there used to be dozens and dozens and now sadly are very few. A
smallish range of beers, a hundred or so tied houses, and steeped in its locality. Arkells has a long association with Swindon Town FC,
witness the Arkells Stand you will probably be in. 2B (session) and 3B (Best) are its older beers, dating back to the early years of the
Nineteenth Century. Kingsdown Ale was originally created to celebrate Swindon Town's winning of the League Cup in 1969. It went into
regular production in the mid-Seventies as the demand for stronger beers increased. It's 5%. More recently the brewery has followed the
market further with the introduction of an organic honey ale called Bee's, and most recently a smooth (spit) called er, Smooth. There are
six seasonal brews: JRA, Yeomanry, Summer Ale, Peter's Porter in autumn, Mash-Tun Mild in winter, and the 5.5% NoŽl Ale at Christmas as a
A second Swindon brewery, Archers, went into administration in the summer of 2009. It has been bought up by the Welsh brewery
Evan-Evans and their plan is to establish a new brewing and wholesaling business called Wiltshire Ales. October 2010 plans
were for the brewery itself to be turned into a large restaurant and micro brewery. Sadly, it would appear that the name of Archers
and its long and lengthy tradition of one-off beers, such as the infamous Christmas Ale Marley's Ghost is no more, and as yet
we can't see any evidence of the new company producing just yet.
Club Bar :
Alcohol is available within the ground to away fans in the Arkells Stand (but not in the open Stratton Bank End when its in use).
The bar opens from 12.00p.m. on a Saturday and 6.00pm for an evening kick off. It serves both draught beer and lager as well as serving a selection of snacks.
They advise that if you are wanting to book in coaches specifically for the bar, that you should call 0844 880 1099 in advance - presumably to
make sure adequate bar staff are available.
Local Pubs :
County Ground Hotel: Not actually a full hotel any more, but does do B&B. An Arkells house, it's the closest pub to the County Ground. Right beside it in fact. As such it's very much home fans, and you are almost certain to be refused entry in away colours and may be denied if they even suspect you are a visiting supporter. If you do get in you'll find pool and Sky Sports. Has a garden and parking.
County Ground Hotel - next to the Arkells Stand
© Martin Baker
County Ground Hotel, 115, County Road, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN1 2EB. Tel: 07752 493225. Website: Click Here. Map: Click Here.
|Duke of Wellington: The only pub in Swindon still serving beer on gravity. It's an Arkells outlet, and has been since it opened in 1869. It has er, Arkells beer. Small two room local tucked away in the back streets and not necessarily easy to find. Half a mile south of the railway station and a mile from the football ground. Traditional pub games like darts and cribbage. Has a beer garden, does bar food and is open 12.00 noon - 2.00 p.m. and 6.30 p.m. - 11.00 p.m. weekdays and 12.00 noon - 11.00 p.m. Saturdays.|
Duke of Wellington, 27, Eastcott Hill, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN1 3JG. Tel: 01793 534180. Website: Click Here. Map: Click Here.
Steam Railway: Large pub twenty minutes walk from the stadium. Good all-rounder. Opens 12.00 noon - 12.00 midnight week days; 12.00 noon - 1.00 a.m. Friday and Saturday; 12.00 noon - 10.30 p.m. Sunday. Food served Monday to Friday up to 8.00 p.m., weekends until 4.00 p.m. Has nine handpumps with Fuller's London Pride, Wadworth 6X and Charles Wells Bombardier as the regulars and up to six guests, one of which is always from the Adnams range. Carlsberg, Fosters, Kronenbourg, John Smiths Smooth, Guinness and Strongbow Cider also available. Wheelchair friendly, adapted toilet, children welcome until early evening, pool table and darts, sport shown on six TVs around the pub and a big screen in the roofed courtyard. Smoking area on the premises. There's a car park (not the pub's) virtually opposite.
Steam Railway Company - 20 mins from the ground
© Martin Baker
Steam Railway, 14, Newport Street, Old Town, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN1 3DX. Tel: 01793 538048. Map: Click Here.
|The Glue Pot: Tucked behind the Railway Museum and about a mile from the stadium. A Hop Back pub (if you like their beers, and we do) that generally has six of their offerings on plus a couple of guests and four or five ciders from the Westons range. Has a big screen to show sports and does basic but decent '....and chips' type food at lunchtimes. Opening is noon - 11.00 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 11.00 a.m. - midnight Friday and Saturday, 11.00 a.m. - 10.30 p.m. Sunday.|
The Glue Pot, 5, Emlyn Square, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN1 5BP. Tel: 01793 523935. Map: Click Here.
|The Grove: From the Beefeater stable, a little further along Grove Road from the stadium than The Merlin (below) but still not much more than five minutes walk. Stocks Stella, Grolsch, Carlsberg, John Smiths, Murphys and Strongbow Cider, with Wadworth 6X as the real ale. Has the Beefeater food range which includes vegetarian options, but is far duller than they like to believe. The dish titles might indeed look almost exciting, but the core of meals are mass produced and the flavours dumbed down so as not to offend conservative palates. Fundamentally unadventurous, like the drink - and indeed the clientele - they serve. There's a beer garden, patio area, baby changing facility and car parking with 90 spaces. Children are welcome. Opening is 11.00 a.m. - 11.00 p.m., with food served 12 noon - 10.00 p.m.
The Grove, Drove Road, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN1 3AG. Tel: 01793 521028. Fax: 01793 433698. Map: Click Here.
|The Merlin: 'Sports Bar' orientated pub around five or so minutes walk south of the stadium. Has 8 TVs, 2 plasma TVs, a 67" plasma screen, 3 pool tables, dartboard, and video juke box. Real ales are Greene King IPA, Ruddles County, and a rotating guest. Also on draught are Fosters, Kronenbourg, Stella, Carlsberg, John Smiths, Guinness, Guinness Extra Cold, Strongbow Cider. All lagers are served iced - if that excites you. Food is served lunchtime and early evening. There are parking spaces for 40+ cars, and wheelchair access. Strictly over 18's, away fans welcome but NOT in colours used to be the rule (don't know if this has changed).
The Merlin, Drove Road, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN1 3AF. Tel: 01793 431496. Map: Click Here.
|The Swiss Chalet: Originally The Carpenters Arms when built in 1964 it was renamed in 1988. The choice is obvious when you see it. Another Arkells pub, the other side of the railway line north of the stadium and around 15 minutes walk away. One of the main pub venues for live music in Swindon. A full range is covered but it specialises in young local bands. Also has satellite TV and its own parking. Serves food.|
The Swiss Chalet, Chapel Street, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN2 8DA. Tel: 01793 535610. Website: Click Here. Map: Click Here.
Likelihood the Natives Will Understand You :
Is Wiltshire part of the West Country? Close, but no cigar in my book. Not the London over-spill dormitory that are the likes of Reading
and Basingstoke, but Swindon's local character is much diluted. Heading down the 'could be anywhere' road apace.
Remember, the Magic Roundabout isn't a fairground dodgems, even if it feels like one.
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Swindon Town : Local Amenities
Local Guesthouses and Hotels
Go to A1 Tourism's Online Guide
to find Guest Houses/Hotels in the town and surrounding areas.
Other Points Of Interest
Swindon's growth was built on the railway industry, but that is long gone. Much of the centre is a soulless wasteland of the very worst of
municipal planning. There has been some attempt more recently to salvage and restore what little of the old Swindon escaped the bulldozers.
Now its wealth comes from the M4 Silicon Corridor. The more distant past is recalled in the
Museum of the Great Western Railway, but there's already a
Museum of Computing.
[No responsibilty is taken for any inaccuracies. This page is entirely the product of bias and prejudice.]
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