Promoted to Nationwide Division Three 1999
circa1932-1934 a o
circa 1957 g
1965-1966 early n
1965-1966 late g n
1982-1983 e j
1987-1988 a c d
circa 1995 d p
1997-1999 b c m
1999-2000 b l
2000-2002 b m
2004-2006 a b f
2006-2008 a m
Until recently it was believed that Cheltenham Town was founded in 1892 but research published on the club's web site (April 2010) states that it came into being five years earlier. Credit goes to a native of the town, Albert Close White who became a devotee of the association game while at college in London and introduced it to Cheltenham when he returned to take up a teaching post. The club was formed after trials were held at the East Gloucestershire cricket ground in 1887.
Cheltenham’s first known colours were deep red, earning them the nickname of “The Rubies.” They played in local leagues until 1932 when the decision was taken to turn professional and join the Birmingham Combination. At this time the ruby shirts were dropped in favour of red and white hoops.
Three years later Cheltenham joined the Southern League, where they remained for the next 50 years.
Success did not arrive until the mid-1950s when the Robins (as they were now nicknamed) achieved six consecutive placings in the top six and won the Southern League Cup in 1958. In 1969 they dropped into the second tier of the Southern League and although they returned to the Premier Division in 1977, they narrowly failed to qualify for the Alliance Premier League, which was formed in 1979 and was the forerunner of the Conference.
After a further period of mediocrity, Cheltenham won the Southern League championship in 1985 to earn promotion to the Football Conference. After seven years at the top level of non-League competition, Cheltenham were relegated back to the Southern League but they returned in 1997. Two years later Cheltenham sealed the Conference title with a dramatic 3-2 win against Yeovil and with it a place in the Football League.
The club crest, which is the coat of arms of Cheltenham, was, as far as we know at HFK, first worn in the 1950s and was revived in 1991.
After two very creditable finishes, the Robins reached the play-off final in 2002 where they beat Rushden & Diamonds for a place in Nationwide Division Two. Life at this higher level proved too challenging, however, and the club were relegated at the end of their first season. Indeed, the team has ever since bounced between the two lower divisions.
For the 2010-11 season a brand new crest was introduced, a smart modernistic design based upon a robin, the team's traditional nickname and the following season, to mark their 125th anniversary, an all-ruby strip was used. The colour proved popular with supporters and was retained when striped shirts returned in 2012-13.
- (a) Cheltenham Town Official Website
- (b) empics
- (c) Alliance to Conference (John Harman 2005)
- (d) Ade Williams
- (d) jumpers4goalposts
- (e) Mark Halliwell
- (f) David King
- (g) Mike Weaver
- (h) Ralph Pomeroy
- (i) Fabrizio Taddei (Errea)
- (j) Mark Alton
- (k) Brendan Lewis
- (l) Stefan Cooper
- (m) Keith Ellis (HFK Research Associate)
- (n) Simon Monks
- (o) Warren Lyons
- (p) Paul Evans
Modern crests are the property of Cheltenham Town FC. Photograph courtesy the club's Official Website.