Formed 1912. Wound up April 1989
Founder members of Division Three (1920). Failed re-election 1931.
Elected to Division Three (South) 1932. Relegated to the Conference 1988.
September 1912 a
1912-1913 2 p
1912-1913 3 a
early 1919-1920 n
September 1938 a
Oct 1938-1945 a
1948-1950 a g k
1950-1952 a i
1952-1954 a r
1954-1956 a r
August 1968 j n
Sept1968-1970 j m n
Sept 1968-1970 n
1970-1972 b j m
February 1972 j l n
Feb 1972-1974 j o
1976-1977 e c j o
1977-1979 d g j n o
1986-1987 f j
Aug 1987-Dec 1988 j
Dec 1988-Jan 1989 j
Jan-May 1989 j q
Newport is in the heartland of South Wales rugby union territory and the football club has always struggled to survive against competition from Newport RUFC. In fact the club was originally formed by a steel magnate to cater for English and Scottish emigres who had settled in the town to work in the steel mills. This association with heavy industry led to their original nickname of the "Ironsides." Their traditional colours of amber and black are shared with the town's rugby side although County have turned out in other colours from time to time, including a set of chocolate and blue shirts donated by West Bromwich Albion and worn briefly at the beginning of the 1919-20 season.
The club joined the Southern League and became founder members of the new Third Division of the Football League in 1920.
After several mediocre seasons, County failed to win re-election in 1931 and lost their place to Mansfield Town. After a season in the Southern League, they were elected back into the Football League and were fortunate to keep their place, having to apply for re-election no fewer than three times over the next four seasons. A change of colours in the mid 1930s did nothing to improve performances.
In 1938, County reverted to their traditional black and amber with a novel hooped jersey. There was a delay in delivering the new strip and for a while the players turned out in predominantly black shirts. The new look seemed to do the trick and County won the Third Division (South) Championship in 1939. Sadly the Second World War intervened and when the League resumed in 1946-47, Newport were relegated at the end of their only season in the Second Division.
A crest, based on the Newport coat of arms was adopted between 1948 and 1954 and was reinstated in 1959.
The Fifties passed in mid-table mediocrity but County did manage to scrape into the new Third Division when the regional leagues were scrapped in 1957. In 1962 the club was relegated to Division Four and could count themselves fortunate once again to retain their place, finishing in the re-election zone for three consecutive seasons between 1969 and 1971. 1969 brought a change from amber to tangerine shirts and in February 1972, the club adopted striped shorts. After mass ridicule from their own fans, the players refused to wear these items and plain black shorts were restored after only two games. In 1976, County adopted a sky blue and white strip in an effort to improve their fortunes. When the side narrowly avoided relegation in May 1977, the players tossed their shirts into the crowd. The following season, Newport reverted to orange and black and then manager Colin Addison insisted on a return to their traditional amber and black for the 1979-80 season. A new crest was also introduced.
Promotion in 1980 and victory in the Welsh FA Cup heralded a successful period in the club's history. The following season European football came to Newport and they reached the quarter-final of the European Cup-Winners Cup. In 1983, County narrowly missed out on promotion to the Second Division. The following seasons, however, Newport struggled and in 1987 they were relegated back into Division Four. After a catastrophic season, Newport finished bottom of the League in 1988, 19 points adrift, and were relegated to the Conference.
In April 1989, Newport County declared bankruptcy and resigned from the Conference before the season ended. A new club was formed and entered the Hellenic League. The FA of Wales refused to sanction the new club participating in an English league competition while based in Wales so they played their first season in the north Gloucestershire town of Moreton-in-Marsh (so becoming known as "The Exiles"). The club was forced to spend another two seasons playing their home games in Gloucester as attempts were made to force them out of the English pyramid. These were eventually defeated in the courts and County have now returned to a new stadium in Newport with sights set on a return to the Football League.
- (a) Newport County FC - Images of Sport
- (b) Football Cards
- (c) Images of Sport
- (d) Crewe Alexandra FC - Images of Sport (Harold Finch)
- (e) Workington AFC - Imaages of Sport (Paul Eade 2003)
- (f) Football Focus
- (g) Swindon Town FC - Images of Sport (Richard Mattick 2000)
- (h) Alliance to Conference (John Harman 2005)
- (i) Geoff Charles Collection at the National Library of Wales
- (j) Ade Williams (HFK Research Associate)
- (k) Pete's Picture Palace
- (l) Chris Shingler
- (m) Football League Review provided by Simon Monks
- (n) Ray Taylor (NCAFC programme editor)
- (o) Alick Milne
- (p) Simon Monks
- (q) Robert Morgan
- (r) Keith Ellis