Promoted to Nationwide Division Three 1993
1909-1915 n p
1922-Sept 1929 n o p
1946-1948 l n
1954-1956 n o
1956-1959 l m n
Aug-Dec 1966 n
Dec 1966-1968 m
1969-1972 b n
1976-1978 n p
1980-1982 b n
1986-1987 l n
1987-1989 g n o
1989-1990 k n
1990-1992 g n
1992-1994 c n
1994-1996 c n
1996-1997 d e h j
1997-1999 d n
2003-2005 c d
Some sources claim that the club was founded in 1884 but 1887 is now thought to be the real year of Wycombe’s foundation. Their first colours were the “varsity” combination of Oxford and Cambridge blue. Originally the team played in halved jerseys, changing to stripes sometime early in the twentieth century. The now traditional quartered shirts were introduced around 1930. The club's nickname of "The Chairboys" is thought to have been coined because the young men who formed the club were apprentices in the furniture making industry.
In 1896 Wanderers joined the Southern League Second Division but they made little impression, finishing in or near the bottom of the league. As an amateur club playing against professional teams, Wanderers could not compete and they left to join the Great Western Suburban League in 1907.
After the Great War, Wycombe joined the amateur Spartan League, winning the championship in 1921 after which they moved up to the Isthmian League. The captain of the side, Frank Adams, owned the lease to Loakes Park, the club's home since 1895. He made a gift of the lease to the club in 1947. Wycombe continued to compete in the amateur Isthmian League for over 60 years, winning the FA Amateur Cup in 1931. The first evidence we have of the team wearing a crest comes from the 1931 Amateur Cup final. The crest featured a chained swan derived from the Buckinghamshire coat of arms, a motif thought to date back to Anglo-Saxon times when swans were bred in the county for the king's pleasure. (To this day, swans remain the property of the Crown.)
Wycombe won the Isthmian League title for the first time in 1956. In the 1960s four more championships were won and, after installing floodlights, the team spent one season wearing striped shirts (which were traditionally worn by the reserves). This experiment proved unpopular and the quarters were reinstated the following season.
In the late 1960s, Wycombe followed the trend for ditching traditional colours, considered old fashioned at the time, in favour of plain Cambridge blue shirts and Oxford blue shorts. Programme notes researched by Dave Peatey state, Wycombe wore their new plain sky blue shirts and dark blue shorts for the first time in the game on December 31st 1966 against Corinthian-Casuals. The quarters may have made a few more appearances but were definitely retired by 1969-70.
From 1973 a simple monogramme was worn on the team's shirts until this was dropped when they adopted an Adidas strip in 1979. A modified version was used between 1980 and 1982 with horizontal lettering. Then, for the 1982-83 season the chained swan re-appeared, now rendered in outline and embroidered directly onto the shirt. This crest made several appearances during the decade.
In 1985, having won the Isthmian League title for the seventh time, Wycombe stepped up to a higher league, winning promotion to the Gola Football Alliance (forerunner of the Conference).
The following season Wycombe were relegated but it took them only one season to return to what was now the GM Conference. In February 1990 Martin O'Neill arrived as manager and the club now mounted a serious challenge for promotion to the Football League, reinstating their quartered shirts adorned with an updated version of the traditional crest in which the swan inexplicably faced to the left rather than right as was customary. At the end of the season they moved to a purpose built Adams Park Stadium after 95 years at Loakes Park. In a triumphant 1992-93 season The Chairboys won the FA Trophy for the second year in succession as well as the Conference Championship and promotion to the Football League.
In 1994, the team colours changed subtly to a more conventional sky-blue and navy. Wycombe won promotion to Nationwide Division Two via the play offs that season and held on until 2004 when they were relegated to Coca Cola League Two.
In 2001 a modernised crest was introduced that showed the swan walking in the correct direction. Eight years later the traditional shades of varsity blue were reintroduced when Joma became Wycombe's kit partner in 2009.
The team's original halved shirts were re-created for their 125th anniversary in 2012-13 along with a special crest, which added beech tree leaves to symbolise their roots in furniture making.
- a Chairboys Website
- b Club Colours (Bob Bickerton 1998)
- c empics
- d Kit Classics
- e footballnotmuggybonehead.com
- f Wycombe Wanderers Official Website
- g Alliance to Conference (John Harman 2005)
- h Pete's Picture Palace
- i jumpers4goalposts
- j David King
- k Ralph Pomeroy
- l chairboys on the net
- m Simon Monks
- n Dave Peatey - HFK Research Associate
- o Keith Ellis
- p Dale Hurman
Photograph courtesy of the Chairboys Website. Modern crests are the property of Wycombe Wanderers FC.