Darlaston Town (1874) F.C C.I.C - Brief CLub History
Formed in 1874, in the early years Darlaston played friendlies and cup games moving between the Recreation Ground and Wakes Field. The first recognised league game was a 2-2 draw against Walsall Unity on 23 September 1893 in the Walsall and District League. The record gate of 7000 was recorded at their last ever game at the Recreation Ground on 3 April 1899 in a 3-1 wins against Wednesbury Old Athletic. The first competitive game at the Wakes Ground was on 9 September 1899 with the first reference to the City Ground in January 1900. The origin of the ground name is believed to emanate from the club nickname at the time when they were known as The Citizens.
In 1897/98 Darlaston won the B’ham County Junior Cup beating Hoobrook Olympic in the final. In 1907/08 they won the B’ham Junior League whilst in 1908/09 they were founder members of the Birmingham Combination, winning it in season 1910/11. In 1911/12 season they were promoted to the Birmingham & District League returning to the Birmingham Combination in 1928/29. Except for the war years they played in the Combination until 1962/63 becoming founder members of the West Midlands Regional League.
The 1937/38 season was probably the most successful in the club’s history winning the Birmingham Combination from runners-up Aston Villa “A” with 64 points from 38 games and a 101 goal difference. Between 22 January 1938 and 5 September 1938 they won 24 consecutive league games also winning the Tillotson Cup and Wednesbury Charity Cup.
During the Second World War the Combination ceased to run but on the return to normal Combination Football in season 1945/46 Darlaston were Champions. They remained in the Birmingham Combination until the end of the 1953/54 season when the league folded moving to the Birmingham & District League playing in Division One North.
The Birmingham & District League became the West Midlands Regional League (WMRL) in the 1962/63 season and they played in the Premier Division until 1981/82 when they were demoted because of poor Ground facilities. After winning Division One they were promoted in 1989/90. Darlaston became the first side to win the Birmingham County FA Vase back to back in seasons 1990/91 and 1991/92. Since then only 2006/07 has brought silverware to the City Ground winning the 2006/07 WMRL Division 1 League title and promotion back to the WMRL Premier Division.
The 2013/14 season saw the WMRL fixtures published for the first time without a Darlaston side present, the club folding in June 2013. Following two public meetings a new committee was formed and a new club formed as Darlaston Town (1874) FC.
During its long and distinguished history 5 FA Cup winners and an FA Cup winning captain have played for the club as have two England internationals including an England captain , a Welsh international and four Football League managers. At least 44 players have progressed into the Football League and 72 former Football League players have also played for the club.
In 2014, we were accepted into the Second division of the WMRL finishing third on the same number of points as runners up FC Stafford. In May 2015 we moved to our new home at Bentley Pavilion and following a league inspection were recommended for promotion to the first division.
On Saturday 10th of October 2015, the club attracted their highest league home gate of 105 for the visit of local neighbours Wednesfield FC.
Our first season back in the first division saw the club finish 5th in the league, and hopes of league cup glory were dashed when we lost 1 - 2 away at eventual Cup winners Worcester Raiders FC. However the season did end on a high when the Club’s high working match day staff were presented with the “Bob Juggins Hospitality award”.