Belper Town
Club logo
Full nameBelper Town Football Club
Nickname(s)The Nailers
Founded1883
GroundChristchurch Meadow, Belper
Capacity2,650 (500 seated)[1]
ChairmanIan Woodward
ManagerGrant Black
LeagueNorthern Premier League Premier Division
2021–22Northern Premier League Division One Midlands, 5th of 20 (promoted via play-offs)
Entrance to Christchurch Meadow
Entrance to Christchurch Meadow
Main Stand
Main Stand
Reg Walker Stand
Reg Walker Stand

Belper Town Football Club is a football club based in Belper, Derbyshire, England. They are currently members of the Northern Premier League Premier Division and play at Christchurch Meadow. The club are nicknamed the "Nailers" due to the town's nail-making industry.[2]

History

The club were originally formed in 1883 and reached the first round of the FA Cup in 1887–88, losing 3–2 to The Wednesday.[2] They were founder members of the Derbyshire Senior League in 1890, and finished as runners-up in 1895–96.[3] By the mid-1900s the club were playing in the Mid-Derbyshire League and were league champions in 1904–05.[4] In 1906–07 they were runners-up,[5] The league was rebranded as the Derbyshire Alliance in 1907 and merged with the Notts & District League in 1908 to form the Notts & Derbyshire League, with Belper as founder members.[6] However, they left the league midway through the 1911–12 season and folded due to financial difficulties.[7]

The club reformed in 1951 and joined Division One of the Central Alliance, taking over the fixtures of Mansfield Town 'A', who had withdrawn from the league.[8] In 1956 the league was restructured, with Belper placed in Division One North. They finished as runners-up in 1956–57 and were champions in 1958–59,[8] a season in which they also won the Derbyshire Senior Cup for the first time.[9]

When the Midland League was re-established in 1961, Belper joined the league.[10] They finished bottom of the league in 1969–70. After it was split into two divisions, Belper were placed in the Premier Division, of which they finished bottom in 1978–79. However, they were not relegated, and went on to win the Premier Division and the Derbyshire Senior Cup the following season.[9][10]

In 1982 the league merged with the Yorkshire League to form the Northern Counties East League, with Belper placed in the Premier Division.[11] They won the Premier Division in 1984–85 and the President's Cup in 1995–96.[9] The following season they finished as runners-up in the Premier Division and were promoted to Division One of the Northern Premier League.[11]

When Division One was split in 2007, the club were placed in Division One South. After finishing as runners-up in 2008–09 (missing out on the title on goal difference) they qualified for the promotion play-offs. Although they beat Rushall Olympic 1–0 in the semi-finals, they lost the final 1–0 to Stocksbridge Park Steels.[11] A third-place finish in 2012–13 led to another play-off campaign, which resulted in them losing 4–2 to Stamford in the semi-finals.[11] However, after finishing fourth the following season, they defeated Leek Town 2–0 in the semi-finals and Mickleover Sports 1–0 in the final to earn promotion to the Premier Division.[11]

The club's first season in the Premier Division saw them finish bottom of the table, resulting in relegation back to Division One South.[11]

Ground

The club originally played at the Acorn Ground, before moving to Christchurch Meadow in 1951,[2] taking over from a junior team, Field Head.[12] The ground initially had a single stand on the northern side of the pitch, but it was demolished in the early 1960s to allow the adjacent West Mill to be extended. Parts of it were reused to build a new stand on the opposite side, although the stand ran from the halfway line to one corner rather than being positioned centrally.[12]

The club bought the freehold to the ground in 1986 for £6,000.[2] New dressing rooms were built in 1999 and new 500-seat stand opened in 2003.[2] The ground also has a covered stand, the Reg Walker Stand, with a capacity of 300.[2]

The record attendance of 3,200 was set for a match against Ilkeston Town in 1955.[9]

Honours

Records

See also

References

  1. ^ Belper Town Non-League Club Directory
  2. ^ a b c d e f Club History Belper Town F.C.
  3. ^ Derbyshire Senior League 1890-1938 Non-League Matters
  4. ^ 1904–05 Ilson Football
  5. ^ 1907–08 Ilson Football
  6. ^ The Central Alliance 1911-1925 Non-League Matters
  7. ^ 50th anniversary for Nailers Archived 2019-04-27 at the Wayback Machine Belper News, 31 January 2002
  8. ^ a b The Central Alliance 1947-1962 Non-League Matters
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i Honours and records Belper Town F.C.
  10. ^ a b Midland Counties League 1958-1982 Non-League Matters
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h Belper Town at the Football Club History Database
  12. ^ a b Belper Town Pyramid Passion
  13. ^ a b Mike Williams & Tony Williams (2012) Non-League Club Directory 2013, p414 ISBN 978-1-869833-77-0

Coordinates: 53°1′37.819″N 1°29′14.370″W / 53.02717194°N 1.48732500°W / 53.02717194; -1.48732500