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Yeovil Town 1970s Programmes
Season 1969-70
1969-70 v Brentwood, Southern League Premier Division - CLICK TO ENLARGE

Unlikely it was noticed at the time, and even more unlikely anyone tempted fate by mentioning it, but there were strong similarities between the appointment of Mike Hughes and that of Alec Stock twenty-three years before. Both were in their late twenties and little known. And both applied almost on a whim, with few expectations, after stumbling across ads in national newspapers. Hughes was playing for Chesterfield when he happened to see the job. There were over twenty applicants, many with better qualifications for the post on paper, but the Yeovil board handed him the reins immediately upon meeting him, just as an earlier board had to Stock.

The internal battles at the club raged on throughout the summer. Meanwhile, almost unnoticed in the background, Hughes began bringing in new players. With little or no money he was relying on free transfers. Tony Clark had not made it at Exeter City and was languishing at Barnstaple Town. Stuart Housely had been released by Grimsby Town. Cyril Davies let go when Carlisle United disbanded their reserve side. John Clancy came from Bristol City. Ronnie Williams was from Swansea Town (they didn't become 'City' until 1970) and Paul Lowrie from Bristol Rovers. They all had a number of things in common. These weren't old Football League journeymen looking to extend their careers in the game a few years by dropping down to a part-time standard, but youngsters who had been told they wouldn't make the grade and so had a point to prove. They were cheap. The vast majority of Yeovil fans had never heard of them.

The final piece in the jig-saw was when Hughes persuaded Cliff Myers to resign just before the season began, though Myers insisted he be allowed to remain available on the transfer list. However there was no confidence when the campaign kicked off. Most supporters thought Yeovil would be lucky to complete its fixtures, and expectations were at an all time low. Less than 2,000 spectators turned up for the opening game of the campaign, and saw a loss. A point was thrown away in the second match, as Poole Town came back to draw. Things then went from bad to worse as Yeovil was humiliated 7-0 at Margate. Although the two-legged first round of the Southern League Cup against Trowbridge Town saw better performances the crowd was down to 1,300. Form was still stuttering. There was a much better effort in the return against Margate, won 5-2, but also a miserable 1-0 defeat by lowly Minehead in the Somerset Professional Cup. The chairman, Edmund Templeman, announced his resignation as Yeovil Town F.C. declared losses of 6,015 on the previous season and an overdraught of 17,000. At the AGM three weeks later Norman Burfield became the new chairman of the club.

It was, not for the first or last time, cup competitions that tided Yeovil over. Nothing impressive in the way of opposition, but a succession of replays provided desperately needed cashflow. A 0-0 draw away at Hereford United in the Southern League Cup saw a return at Huish that drew 3,512 and garnered 627 in ticket sales. Similarly in the F.A. Cup a 0-0 in the Fourth Qualifying Round in front of a record crowd of 2,580 at the Recreation Ground, Minehead, saw a replay at Huish that attracted 5,003. 1,900 programmes were sold, 100 taken on the the Golden Goal (it was a 0-0 draw after extra time), and 150 put across the bar. There was more revenue from a second replay in front of 2,719, played at the neutral venue of St James Park. A 5-0 victory brought Shrewsbury Town to Huish in the First Round proper, Yeovil losing 2-3, but more income with 6,355 all-pay. Nothing spectacular in the record books, but at the time the difference between survival and potential disaster.

League form was picking up and as Christmas approached Yeovil were into mid-table, and not too far behind the leaders in a very tight division. However the financial problems might have been given a breathing space, but they hadn't gone away. New chairman Norman Burfield was feeling the pressure and publicly named and criticised three players as the team lost three games in a row 0-1, including an exit from the Southern League Cup at home to Gloucester City. Club debts now stood at 25,000 and receivership was a distinct possibility.

On 13th January Yeovil Town played their first ever F.A. Trophy game, away at Corby Town. Only two goals in injury time made the score look vaguely respectable, the Glovers still losing 4-3. A miserable crowd in the new competition meant that after deductions and expenses the club profited to the princely sum of 10. When 1,384 turned up for the next home game in the league versus Dover Hughes had had enough and launched an open attack on the town in the local press. He accused the fans of living in the past, harping on about 1948-49, being too wrapped up in the F.A. Cup, and not deserving of the good side he was building. Many managers have burnt their bridges with supporters for far less than that, but maybe Yeovil fans knew they had a good one in Hughes, and perhaps deep down accepted there was some truth in his onslaught. Anyway at the next home game the attendance was back over 2,000 and pretty much stayed there for the rest of the season. It would have also helped Hughes that the team won seven of the next eight games.

1969-70 v Andover, Western Counties Floodlight League Cup Round 1  - CLICK TO ENLARGE The Floodlight competition had continued to shed interest and Yeovil had dropped out of that league and were only involved in the cup aspect. The programme for it was now just a single typed sheet, 10" x 8". The example lower left is from the Round One tie played on October 8th against Andover. 937 spectators saw the home side win 4-0. Yeovil went out in the Second Round away at Weymouth 0-1. The club at last accepted the inevitable that the minority on the Board had long argued for, and tendered its resignation from the Western League to take effect at season's end. The Reserves would be disbanded.

Amidst the gloom and despondency by early Spring Yeovil found itself competing at the head of the table, and by Easter we topped the league. On Easter Monday Weymouth were defeated 2-0 in front of 4,147 and the Glovers had pulled out a three point advantage. Six clubs were still seriously in the hunt, almost all with games in hand. Cambridge United were the most dangerous, with four.

No one could say Yeovil didn't battle to the last. With only five games left in their schedule they won every one. Nuneaton were defeated 3-0 at home. The team then travelled to Abbey Stadium and produced a monumental performance for a 2-1 victory. Back at Huish King's Lynn were demolished 4-0. Then the U's arrived for the rematch and 4,557 watched Dick Plumb (2), Stuart Housley amd Ken Thompson score the goals, to a single reply from Cambridge. But it was Cyril Davies who ran the show, tearing the visitors to shreds, and was man of the match for a performance described by the local press as "one of the finest individual performances ever given at Huish". The scouts were drooling and it was Charlton Athletic who stepped in, paying a then record transfer fee for Yeovil of 3,000 plus another 2,000 after ten appearances and a guaranteed home friendly, for a player Town had picked up on a free at the start of the season.

The victory over Cambridge took the title race to the final day, but with the U's making the most of their games in hand the destination of the Shield was not in the Glovers control. Brentwood Town were duly defeated 2-1 but Cambridge United also won, beating Margate, and took the Championship by a single point. It was a good year to take the title - they were elected to the Football League at the expense of Bradford Park Avenue. It was the fourth season in a row BPA had had to apply for re-election, the last three from 92nd position, and finally the old boy network failed to bend over backwards.

The programme top right (No. 25) is from that last game of the league campaign against Brentwood Town. After the ejection of the Yeovil Town Supporters' Club from Huish the new body sponsored by the club, the Green & White Supporters' Club, took over the production of the official programme. There were two different secretaries during the season. Dick Donovan was theoretically responsible until issue 16, with George Brown taking over from issue 17. However in practice the content they produced was pretty much restricted to Green & White Supporters' Club Notes. Almost everything else in the programme came from the pen and records of Bryan Moore.

1969-70 v Swindon Town, Friendly - CLICK TO ENLARGE Whilst physically the programme remained the same, both in the page size (7" x 5") and numbers (16) that had been in place from 1952, there was a major redesign of the front cover as if to emphasize the break with the immediate past. Inside content was not much altered. Around 55% of the programme was advertisments. Boardroom Notes normally occupied around a page, and Green & White Supporters' Club Notes half a page. Social Club Notes were occasional. Fixtures and results and tables for the Southern League and Western League occupied 1 pages in total. The team line-ups remained as the centre page spread, surrounded by ads. Opposition In Focus dedicated half a page to the visiting club, and Our Visitors another half page to very brief details on each of the opposing players and the manager. Stats were restricted to appearances, broken down into First Team and Reserves, and goalscorers across all competitions. Leading divisional goalscorers from the Southern League Premier and First were also listed. Manager's Notes were buried towards the back of the programme. The price remained the 6d it had been since 1961.

The third issue displayed (bottom right) is for the final game of the season, a friendly against Swindon Town on Tuesday May 5th. It was a single sheet in the format of the Floodlight Cup programme above. The visitors won 3-0. However the reason it's shown is that it advertised the Pop Festival to be held at Huish on Saturday June 6th, with tickets priced at 30/- and 1.00. It was the brainchild of Dick Donovan, and it was hoped that 10,000 to 20,000 would attend and thus help alleviate the club's desperate financial position. All local police leave was cancelled in expectation. In the event it was a disaster. Of the two headline bands, Nice chose that moment to break up, and Yes cancelled. With no major names on the bill less than 500 tickets were sold. Fortunately guarantors of the event shouldered some of the losses, but the club was plunged further into debt. Burfield, the club chairman, offered his resignation, but it was not accepted.

On a particularly sad note Len Dennett, who had produced the club programme from 1956-1963, died during the season at the desperately early age of 47.

Season 1970-71
1970-71 v Aveley, F.A. Cup Round One - CLICK TO ENLARGE Although Davies had been lost to Charlton Athletic Mike Hughes was confident in the side he'd created and there were minimal changes over the summer. The most significant addition was that of Brian Grey, a twenty-one year old striker from Swansea, who would end up the club's top scorer in the coming campaign. With money so tight Hughes probably couldn't have changed much even if he'd wanted to. The squad he set out with for the 1970-71 season was a mere fifteen in total, fourteen semi-pros and one amateur.

Things went well until mid-September when something of a goal drought struck. This was compounded by Charlton Athletic returning to take main striker Dick Plumb, top scorer the previous season with thirty goals. The 7,000 was more than welcome, though half went to Eastville as a sell-on fee, but the forward line was looking threadbare. Charlton also offered Paul Gilchrist, initially on loan (he played four games), and then as a permanent transfer. Although money was almost certainly an issue, turning him down was perhaps not the best move the club ever made. Gilchrist went on to play for Southampton and acquired a F.A. Cup winners medal in the 1976 Final against Manchester United.

The Glovers own F.A. Cup campaign began quietly away at Poole Town in the Fourth Qualifying Round, the visitors playing poorly but getting the luck and squeezing out a 2-1 win . Whereas Poole were familiar opponents in various competitions Round One brought a completely new club to Huish. Aveley played in the First Division, which they would win that season, of the amateur Athenian League, and it was the first time they had reached the F.A. Cup Proper. Another tight match, a single John Clancy goals separating the sides. These days Yeovil Town might easily have found themselves kicked out of the competition. A spectator got on the pitch and assaulted an Aveley player, knocking him out. Later the referee was also attacked.

The programme cover (No.9 top left, from the Aveley tie) only showed two changes from the previous season. The disbanding of the Reserves saw the removal of reference to the Western League. And the price had increased 50% to 9d. Inside there were no changes other than the lack of any need for Reserves fixtures and statistics. No new content appeared, the freed up space simply seeing an increase in advertising.

John Bond was in his first season managing Bournemouth & Boscombe as a visit to Dean Court came out of the hat for the Second Round. Bournemouth were riding high in Division Four, in fourth place, and Ted MacDougall had put seven out of Bournemouth's eight past Oxford City in the previous round's replay. If Bournemouth had expectations of another cricket score they were soon to be disabused. Cliff Myers got the only goal of the game in front of the biggest crowd of the season at Dean Court, with 3,000 of the 11,583 in the green and white. But it was the Yeovil wingers Stuart Housley and John Clancy who had particularly shone, so much so that Bournemouth had within days tabled a 2,000 bid for Housley. However on the back of the Third Round draw that Monday the Board felt confident enough to ask for 6,000, rightly suspecting the Cherries would not meet it. Yeovil Town had drawn Arsenal, lying second in Division One.

1970-71 v Arsenal, F.A. Cup Round Three - CLICK TO ENLARGE This was the first time Yeovil had drawn a club from the top flight since Sunderland and Manchester United in 1949. For the town it was high excitement, but for the Board it was an absolute financial godsend, and they were determined to milk it for every penny they could. Terrace prices were raised from 4/6d to 15 shillings, the Main Stand from 6/6d. to 1-10-0d, and the Vice Presidents' seats to 2. They were the most expensive Third Round tickets in the country. People may have complained but the market rules, and the fact the match easily sold out made it clear the Board had judged it right if profit maximisation was the objective. Around 5,000 of the postal applications failed. Tickets were also first put on sale at the Southern League game versus Worcester City on December 23rd, producing a gate of 8,102 for the final fixture before Christmas that traditionally sees lower attendances throughout football. Total receipts were 12,500 and the club made a 6,000 profit. The one area the club lost out on was the capacity. The police set a maximum of 14,500, much to the irritation of the chairman who wanted 17,000. Burfield's famous quote was that ' the supporters could have brought skipping ropes there was so much room'.

The programme produced was a special "Souvenir Edition" priced at 2/- compared to the normal 9d. As a one off there was no issue number. The dimensions were still the same but for your money there were 8 extra pages, a photograph on the cover showing action from the Aveley game, and formal team shots of both squads inside. Of course matches like this one attract the more part-time fans, and as well as the profile on the history of the visiting side a Profile on Yeovil Town Football Club was thoughtfully provided for spectators who might have been a little short on knowledge about the club they had suddenly discovered they supported passionately.........for a day. The centre page spread of the teams is shown above right.

The game was postponed on the Saturday because of snow earlier in the week, and a row then developed between the two clubs as Arsenal made a great fuss about playing in the evening, claiming the floodlights were not good enough. Eventually the kick-off was set for 2.00 p.m. on Wednesday 6th January. Local schools were due to reopen that day after the Christmas break but an extra day's holiday was given. Westlands and many other firms bowed to the inevitable and only worked a half shift. A mere 30 tickets were returned, to be snapped up in minutes. Arsenal won the match 3-0 and went on to win the double of the F.A. Cup and Division One Championship. Any previous animosity about the kick-off time must have been forgotten as the London club was fulsome in its praise of their hosts and promised to support any application for Football League status.

There was little time to dwell on the F.A. Cup exit as it was almost immediately into the F.A. Trophy campaign. The First Round saw the Glovers come from behind to defeat Grantham, and was followed by another home tie against Weymouth. Yeovil's tiny squad was decimated with six players out with illness and injury. Despite Hughes personally going to F.A. headquarters with medical certificates proving the club's plight the authorities refused to countenance any postponement and only eight of the team that took the field were fit. In a sterling effort 4,889 saw Yeovil hold out 0-0. Four days later the same team were at the Recreation Ground for the replay in front of 3,800. They were battered for ninety minutes as Tony Clark made save after save. Then in extra time Chris Weller nicked a goal and Yeovil held out for a heroic victory. A special train was laid on for the Third Round trip to Plough Lane, around 1,000 Glovers boosting the crowd. A 1-1 produced another replay and 5,157 saw a Chris Weller hat-trick. 4-0 the final score. In Round Four Stourbridge were the visitors. The programme announced that due to the advent of decimalization some ticket prices were being rounded - up to 23p for adults on the terrace and 20p for chidren in the stand, down to 20p for old-age-pensioners. The programme price was altered to 4p. 6,193 saw Yeovil through to the Semi-Final 2-0.

1970-71 v Telford United, F.A. Trophy Semi-Final at The Hawthorns - CLICK TO ENLARGE In the early years of the competition semi-finals were single leg affairs played at a neutral ground. Hereford United were drawn against Hillingdon Borough, with the chosen venue Filbert Street. Telford United were to be Yeovil Town's opponents, and a formal protest was lodged when the F.A. designated The Hawthorns as the 'neutral' stadium. Burfield commented that Telford supporters would be able to "cycle to the match". In the event around 4,000 Glovers were part of a 9,111 crowd. The team was in good form and had already fairly comfortably beaten Telford twice in the league. Expectations of a trip to Wembley were high, as this writer remembers well. Unaccountably the team froze on the day and could easily have been beaten by more than the 3-1 result. Telford went on to defeat Hillingdon in the Final 3-2.

The programme is shown right. 9" x 7" and 8 pages, it was black and white throughout. The only advertising was a third of a page on the back cover promoting Telford New Town.

1970-71 v Hillingdon Borough, Southern League - CLICK TO ENLARGE It was another tight league with eight clubs fancying their chances at various times during the season. Hereford United had been six points ahead at one time, but fell away badly to finish fourth eventually. Yeovil were handily placed in the pack thoughout the campaign and as the run-in approached had games in hand over everyone except the Bulls. There was a blip away at Poole Town on April 12th, but thereafter the Glovers won six league games straight in thirteen days, starting in the return against Poole on the 13th, and finishing with Hillingdon Borough on Monday the 26th. By then in practice Yeovil only needed a draw to be certain of the title, though theortically could still have been pipped by Hereford winning their last four matches and improving their goal difference by 41 goals. There was no nervous wait. Boro were demolished 4-0. It was a special night at Huish. The centre page (No.28, left) shows the teams that evening. The final league game away at Chelmsford City became an irrelevance, and was duly lost. Arsenal did keep their promise, but another Championship cut no ice with the majority of Football League chairmen however. Hereford having a famous manager appeared to be far more important than performance on the pitch, and they were the best placed of the Non-league applicants, but still fell well short of Newport County's total vote.

1970-71 v Chartton Athletic, Friendly - CLICK TO ENLARGE All that was left in the season was to take a 2-1 lead in the Somerset Professional Cup Final to Ashton Gate, but the tie was lost 4-3 on aggregate. The very last game was a friendly against Second Division Charlton Athletic on May 7th (No. 29 , bottom right), promised as part of the Cyril Davies deal a year before. Both Davies and Plumb played, as shown in the team line-ups. The 4-0 win was nice, but far nicer the presentation by the Southern League Vice-President Bob Evans of the Championship Shield after the final whistle to captain Cliff Myers.

A successful season on the pitch, and also off. Average league gates were up to 3,249. The club declared a profit of 15,781 and the latest financial crisis was past. And of major importance for the future: back in the autumn Bass Charrington Limited agreed to lift the restrictive covenant on the ground. Under the terms of the covenant, the ground had to be sold back to the original vendor, Joseph Brutton or his heirs, for the purchase price of 1,750 if ever football ceased to be played there. Yeovil Town F.C. now had total control over an asset valued in 1970 at around 250,000.

Season 1971-72 Programmes
1971-72 v Romford, Southern League - CLICK TO ENLARGE 1971-72 v Stafford Rangers, F.A. Trophy Semi-Final at Manor Ground - CLICK TO ENLARGE

Season 1972-73
1972-73 v Brentford, FA Cup Round One - CLICK TO ENLARGE 1972-73 v Hereford United, Friendly - CLICK TO ENLARGE
Season 1973-74
1973-74 v Dartford, Southern League - CLICK TO ENLARGE

1973-74 v Sunderland, Friendly - CLICK TO ENLARGE 1973-74, reproduction of the Sunderland 1949 programme included with the issue left- CLICK TO ENLARGE
Season 1974-75
1974-75 v Burton Albion, Norwich City, testimonial - CLICK TO ENLARGE

1974-75 v Romford, Southern League Premier Division - CLICK TO ENLARGE

1974-75 v Fulham, Friendly - CLICK TO ENLARGE
Season 1975-76
1975-76 v Kettering Town, Southern League - CLICK TO ENLARGE

1975-76 v Southampton, Friendly - CLICK TO ENLARGE 1975-76 v Millwall, F.A. Cup Round One - CLICK TO ENLARGE
Season 1976-77
1976-77 v Wimbledon, Southern League - CLICK TO ENLARGE

1976-77 v Nuneaton Borough, Southern League Cup Semi-Final 1st leg- CLICK TO ENLARGE
Season 1977-78
1977-78 v Bath City, Southern League Cup, Round One 2nd leg - CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977-78 v Bath City, Western Floodlit Cup Final 2nd leg - CLICK TO ENLARGE
Season 1978-79
1978-79 v A.P.Leamington, Southern League Premier Division - CLICK TO ENLARGE

1978-79 v Bath City, Southern League Cup Final 2nd leg - CLICK TO ENLARGE

1978-79 v Redditch United, Southern League Premier Division - CLICK TO ENLARGE
Away Programmes and other items
1969-1970, Cambridge United, Southern League Premier Division - CLICK TO ENLARGE 1970-71, Bournemouth & Boscombe, F.A. Cup Round 2 - CLICK TO ENLARGE

1971, the 75 Years history, page 42 showing the Championship winning team - CLICK TO ENLARGE 1971-72, Hereford United, Southern League Premier Division - CLICK TO ENLARGE

1972-73, Weymouth, Southern League - CLICK TO ENLARGE 1974, Elect Yeovil brochure - CLICK TO ENLARGE

1974-75, Trowbridge Town, Western Counties Floodlight League Cup Final, second leg - CLICK TO ENLARGE 1975-76, Millwall, F.A. Cup Round 1, 1st replay - CLICK TO ENLARGE

1976-77, Wimbledon, Southern League Championship Cup - CLICK TO ENLARGE 1976-77, Anglo-Italian Inter-League Semi-Professional Tournament handbook - CLICK TO ENLARGE

1979, Southern League v Northern League, Inter-League Cup Final - CLICK TO ENLARGE 1979, International Semi-Professional Tournament - CLICK TO ENLARGE

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