Banbury United hope to make history on Saturday – and super fan Phil will be there with dreams of Wembley

A Banbury United super fan of over 50 years will be in the crowd this weekend as Banbury United hope to make history in the FA Trophy – with dreams of Wembley in the horizon.
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If the Puritans beat Gateshead FC on Saturday (February 11) at The Spencer Stadium, they will reach the quarter finals of the tournament and go one round further than ever before.

Wroxton born United fan Phil Coles has followed the club since he was taken to the stadium as a boy by his father and was there in 1974 when the Puritans were knocked out of the trophy in 1-0 second replay match against Dartford.

Phil is still a steadfast fan and watches as many home and away matches as he can get to, often alongside his son and grandson, who have inherited his love of Banbury United FC.

Wroxton-born Phil Coles recalls the last time the club reached the last 16, in 1974, when he was working as an electrician for National Electric in Banbury.Wroxton-born Phil Coles recalls the last time the club reached the last 16, in 1974, when he was working as an electrician for National Electric in Banbury.
Wroxton-born Phil Coles recalls the last time the club reached the last 16, in 1974, when he was working as an electrician for National Electric in Banbury.

He remains faithful that his beloved team will set a new club record this Saturday and progress further in the high-profile competition than the last time he watched them play in the fifth round of the competition back in 1974.

Phil said: "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!

"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."

Banbury’s Jack Stevens and Henry Landers celebrating a goal this recently promoted season.Banbury’s Jack Stevens and Henry Landers celebrating a goal this recently promoted season.
Banbury’s Jack Stevens and Henry Landers celebrating a goal this recently promoted season.

Phil will be attending the Gateshead match, which promises to be a highlight of the club’s season so far, on Saturday with his son and grandson, who both live locally.

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

Chairman of Banbury United FC, Ronnie Johnson, said: "Word is increasingly spreading locally about the success of Banbury United, and what a great show the team puts on for the crowd. 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."

Admission prices for Saturdays game are: Adults £15, Concessions £11 Students with ID £8, U18s £5 U11s £2. They can be purchased in advance via the Banbury United website.