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Aylesbury United

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Aylesbury United

Not to be confused with Aylesbury F.C..
Aylesbury United
Club badge
Full name Aylesbury United Football Club
Nickname(s) The Ducks
Founded 1897
Ground Bell Close, Leighton Buzzard
Ground Capacity 2,800 (400 seated)
Owner Aylesbury United Supporters Trust (2009–present)
Chairman Graham Read
Manager Tony Joyce
League Southern League
Division One Central
2012–13 Spartan South Midlands League
Premier Division, 2nd (promoted)
Home colours
Away colours

Aylesbury United are a football club currently based in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, currently playing in the Southern League, nicknamed the Ducks.

The club are currently without a permanent home following eviction from their old Buckingham Road stadium in 2006, and since 2009 have been ground sharing at Leighton Town. Aylesbury are currently managed by Tony Joyce.


Aylesbury United were formed in 1897 with the merging of Night School FC, the Printing Works and Aylesbury Town. Wearing the traditional green and white colours still worn today, they remained an amateur club, spending the post-war years playing in the Delphian League until it merged with the Athenian League in 1963 to become that competition's Division Two whilst the Corinthian League became Division One. They turned semi-professional and took their place in the Southern League in 1976 in the early years of open i.e. officially paid football.

Most successful period

During the period between 1985 and 1993, under the management of Trevor Gould, Aylesbury boasted the best FA Cup record of any side outside the Football League, reaching at least the First Round Proper every season. The highlights of this period were a victory over then Division Four leaders Southend United, a narrow extra-time replay defeat against Northampton Town, and Aylesbury's tie with Walsall at Buckingham Road being shown live across Europe on Sky television.

It was also during this period that the club reached its peak in terms of league competition, as a Southern League championship win led to the club spending an unsuccessful season in the Football Conference in 1988–89 after which they were relegated into the Isthmian League, where they would remain for fifteen years. Famously Aylesbury became the only non-League side to face the full England team, as they hosted the national side in a warm-up match in 1988 in preparation for the European Championships. The match attracted at record attendance of over 6,000 at Buckingham Road, and people even watched from the trees. England won the game 7–0.

Aylesbury enjoyed their longest FA Cup run in 1994–95, as they reached the Third Round Proper before going out to then Premiership side Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road. During this run, Aylesbury again made themselves well known, largely due to their invention of the "duck walk" goal celebration, and were notably featured performing this celebration on an edition of the popular BBC television programme They Think It's All Over.

Record holder: Cliff Hercules

Along with manager Gould, another figure central to this glory period was striker Cliff Hercules, who currently holds the club records for most appearances (669) and most goals (301), following a career spanning 18 years (1984–2002). Hercules "retired" from playing as Aylesbury were relegated in 2000, still one goal shy of his landmark 300th; however, he returned a few months later as manager and was able to add two more goals to his tally during fleeting substitute appearances as his team earned promotion in his first and only full season at the helm, 2001–02.

Recent history

Since their FA Cup success in 1994–95, Aylesbury have only reached the First Round proper on one further occasion, when they travelled to Port Vale in 2001. The club did however have their most successful FA Trophy campaign in 2002–03, reaching the semi-finals before finally losing to eventual winners Burscough by way of an injury-time penalty.

The closest that the club have come to returning to the Conference was in the 1998–99 season, when they led the Isthmian League Premier Division for long periods, but fell away, eventually finishing second following the sacking of manager Bob Dowie midway through the season. The club went into administration later that year (having experienced similar problems three years earlier) and, largely as a result of this, were relegated in 2000.

After the team regained their place in the Premier Division under the aforementioned Hercules, Steve Cordery took over at the helm, but resigned after just a year in the job to become manager at Staines Town. Following this, the club appointed three permanent managers and two joint-caretaker managers during a dismal 2003–04 season, which saw the club finish 24th and bottom of the Premier Division, ten points behind their nearest competition.

Following the extensive restructuring of the non-league pyramid in 2004, Aylesbury were placed in the Southern League for the 2004–05 season, finishing 10th. The following season they finished 23rd and were relegated to the Southern League Division One Midlands.

The club currently play at Bell Close in Leighton Buzzard, the home of neighbours Leighton Town. There is an ongoing "Bring the Ducks Home" campaign to return the club to a ground in Aylesbury,[1] with one possibility being a new 10,000-seater stadium to be built if a new sports village is approved.[2]

In July 2009, The Aylesbury United Supporters Trust was able to gain control of the club, which thus became a fan-owned football team.[3]

At the end of the 2012–13 season the club gained promotion to Division One Central of the Southern league, when they finished as runners-up behind Dunstable Town.[4]

Aylesbury United timeline

Season Division Position Significant Events
Founding member of Delphian League
1951–1952 Delphian League 6
1952–1953 Delphian League 2 Runner-Up
1953–1954 Delphian League 1 Champions
1954–1955 Delphian League 3
1955–1956 Delphian League 5
1956–1957 Delphian League 4
1957–1958 Delphian League 5
1958–1959 Delphian League 7
1959–1960 Delphian League 5
1960–1961 Delphian League 9
1961–1962 Delphian League 5
1962–1963 Delphian League Abandoned
Delphian League disbanded. Moved to Athenian League Division Two
1963–1964 Athenian League Division Two 13
1964–1965 Athenian League Division Two 13
1965–1966 Athenian League Division Two 15
1966–1967 Athenian League Division Two 10
1967–1968 Athenian League Division Two 2 Runner-Up
Promoted to Athenian League Division One
1968–1969 Athenian League Division One 11
1969–1970 Athenian League Division One 11
1970–1971 Athenian League Division One 10
1971–1972 Athenian League Division One 15
1972–1973 Athenian League Division One 15 Relegated
Relegated to Athenian League Division Two
1973–1974 Athenian League Division Two 10
1974–1975 Athenian League Division Two 11
1975–1976 Athenian League Division Two 9
Joined Southern League Division One South
1976–1977 Southern League Division One South 18
1977–1978 Southern League Division One South 6
1978–1979 Southern League Division One South 10
League re-organised, placed in Southern League Southern Division
1979–1980 Southern League Southern Division 2 Runner-Up
1980–1981 Southern League Southern Division 11
1981–1982 Southern League Southern Division 11
Moved to Southern League Midland Division
1982–1983 Southern League Midland Division 13
1983–1984 Southern League Midland Division 5
1984–1985 Southern League Midland Division 2 Runner-Up
Promoted to Southern League Premier Division
1985–1986 Southern League Premier Division 8
1986–1987 Southern League Premier Division 3
1987–1988 Southern League Premier Division 1 Champions
Promoted to Football Conference
1988–1989 Football Conference 20 Relegated
Relegated to Isthmian League Premier Division
1989–1990 Isthmian League Premier Division 3
1990–1991 Isthmian League Premier Division 3
1991–1992 Isthmian League Premier Division 7
1992–1993 Isthmian League Premier Division 10
1993–1994 Isthmian League Premier Division 12
1994–1995 Isthmian League Premier Division 4
1995–1996 Isthmian League Premier Division 11
1996–1997 Isthmian League Premier Division 7
1997–1998 Isthmian League Premier Division 18
1998–1999 Isthmian League Premier Division 2 Runner-Up
1999–2000 Isthmian League Premier Division 20 Relegated
Relegated to Isthmian League Division One
2000–2001 Isthmian League Division One 14
2001–2002 Isthmian League Division One 3 Promoted
Promoted to Isthmian League Premier Division
2002–2003 Isthmian League Premier Division 17
2003–2004 Isthmian League Premier Division 24
Rejoined Southern League Premier Division
2004–2005 Southern League Premier Division 10
2005–2006 Southern League Premier Division 21 Relegated
Relegated to Southern League Division One Midlands
2006–2007 Southern League Division One Midlands 6
2007–2008 Southern League Division One Midlands 8
2008–2009 Southern League Division One Midlands 10
2009–2010 Southern League Division One Midlands 22
Relegated to Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division
2010–2011 Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division 6
2011–2012 Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division 4
2012–2013 Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division 2


Aylesbury United currently play their home games at Bell Close, Lake Street, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, LU7 1RX.

The ground is shared with owners Leighton Town


League honours

  • Southern League Premier Division :[5]
    • Winners: 1987–88
  • Southern League Midland Division:[5]
    • Runners-up: 1984–85
  • Southern League Southern Division:[5]
    • Runners-up: 1979–80
  • Spartan South Midlands Football League Premier Division:[6]
    • Runners-up: 2012–13
  • Athenian League Division Two:[5]
    • Runners-up: 1967–68
  • Delphian League:[5]
    • Winners: 1953–54
    • Runners-up: 1952–53
  • Spartan League:[5]
    • Runners-up: 1913–14
  • Spartan League Division A:[5]
    • Runners-up: 1909–10
  • Spartan League Western Division:[5]
    • Winners: 1908–09

Cup honours

  • Berks & Bucks Senior Cup:[7][8]
    • Winners: 1913–14, 1985–86, 1996–97, 1999–00
    • Runners-up: 1986–87, 1995–96, 2002–03, 2004–05
  • Berks & Bucks Senior Shield:[9]
    • Winners: 2012–13
  • Berks & Bucks Benevolent Cup:[8]
    • Winners: 1932–33, 1933–34, 1952–53, 1953–54
  • Isthmian League Cup:[8]
    • Winners: 1994–95
  • Spartan South Midlands Football League Premier Division Cup:[10]
    • Winners: 2012–13


  • Highest League Position:[5] 20th in Conference National Division 1988–89
  • FA Cup best performance:[5] Third round 1994–95
  • FA Trophy best performance:[5] Semi-Final 2002–03
  • FA Vase best performance:[5] Fourth round 1975–76
  • Highest Attendance:[8] 7440 vs Watford 1951–52 Season
  • Most Appearances:[8] 669 – Cliff Hercules 1984–2002
  • Record Goalscorer:[8] 301 – Cliff Hercules 1984–2002

Former players

1. Players that have played/managed 20 or more games in the football league or any foreign equivalent to this level (i.e. fully professional league).
2. Players with full international caps.
3. Achieved a first in the football league


Aylesbury United at the Football Club History Database


External links

  • Aylesbury United Official Website
  • Aylesbury United Myspace Site

Coordinates: 51°54′46.41″N 0°39′34.81″W / 51.9128917°N 0.6596694°W / 51.9128917; -0.6596694

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