Banbury United FC calls for massive town support for historic FA Trophy match this Saturday

Banbury United FC is calling on townsfolk for huge support on the next step in their journey towards Wembley.
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The Puritans are hoping for a great crowd at their historic FA Trophy, fifth-round match against Gateshead this Saturday at 3pm at Spencer Stadium.

The last time they reached the last 16 of this high profile competition was in 1974.

Reaching the last 16 out of 319 teams, Banbury equals its previous best in the competition. Unfortunately they lost that 1974 match 1 – 0 in a second replay against Dartford.

Phil Coles, a long-time supporter of Banbury United FC who will be urging his team on towards WembleyPhil Coles, a long-time supporter of Banbury United FC who will be urging his team on towards Wembley
Phil Coles, a long-time supporter of Banbury United FC who will be urging his team on towards Wembley

This weekend’s fixture is a big day for Banbury, a highlight of the club’s season so far and another chance to make the history books.

If Banbury United is successful this weekend, they will go through to the quarter-finals and be just two matches away from a final at Wembley Stadium, which would be a massive achievement for the recently promoted, community-owned Banbury side, managed by Andy Whing.

“Word is increasingly spreading locally about the success of Banbury United and what a great show the team puts on for the crowd,” said United chairman Ronnie Johnson.

“If you’ve been wondering when to take the leap and finally come down and see what all the fuss is about, then Saturday’s home FA Trophy match is the time to do it. Our players need the town to get behind them.”.

Jack Stevens and Henry Landers urge fans to support Banbury Utd this Saturday at 3pm at Spencer StadiumJack Stevens and Henry Landers urge fans to support Banbury Utd this Saturday at 3pm at Spencer Stadium
Jack Stevens and Henry Landers urge fans to support Banbury Utd this Saturday at 3pm at Spencer Stadium

Watching the team in ‘74 was Wroxton born Phil Coles, 69, who has supported Banbury United since being taken to the stadium as a boy by his father.

Today he still watches as many home and away matches as he can. He recalled the last time the club reached the last 16 in the FA Trophy, in 1974, when he was working as an electrician for National Electric in Banbury.

“There was a lot of anticipation for the fifth round match in 1974. I had a dream the night before the match that we got all the way to Wembley. Instead of winning a trophy, we won my tea flask. I won’t be sharing any of my visions this time round,” he said.

“In 1974, there wasn’t much sport on the telly and Banbury United had big crowds, regularly over 1,000. We had some great players in that season including Tony Jacques and Tony Foster up front and Colin Moulsdale in defence.

"We had a power crisis in 1974, meaning our FA Trophy match was played on a Wednesday afternoon, to avoid the need for floodlights.

“This is a really big game for the club. Gateshead are in the league above us but let’s not forget, it’s a Cup tie and anything can happen.”

Mr Coles will be attending the match on Saturday with his son and grandson.

Admission prices are: Adults £15, concessions £11 students with ID £8, U18s £5 U11s £2 from the Banbury United website – fans are advised to book early. Parking is free (between 1pm – 6.30pm) in the Chiltern Railways car park adjacent to the stadium.

The FA Trophy was established in 1969 as the FA Cup for non-league football clubs registering professional players. Banbury United FC play in the Vanarama National League North. The team currently stands 13th in the table, having been promoted into the league for the 2022-23 season.