Didcot Casuals Football Club
Didcot Casuals Football Club

EARLY YEARS

Didcot Casuals were formed in 1969 and played their home games at Edmunds Park. Some of the founding members were Vernon Orr, Robert Rouse, Tony Wiercinkski, Alan Bennett. Other players from the Casuals early years included Arthur ‘Nobby’ Bennett, Dereck Burke, Roy Burke, Colin Blaydon, Alan Davis (?Davies), Charlie East, Bill Greenaway, John Greenaway, Colin Hillier, Jim Lucas, John Perham, Ian Driscoll, John ‘Bomber’ Bayliss, Howard ‘H’ Thomas (whose son played for Didcot Town), Chris ‘Pecker’ Woodley, Goff Woodley and Ian Thurley. John Bayliss was known as Bomber because when he took a corner he hit them across so hard that everyone was frightened to head the ball and used to duck – no goal was ever scored from one.

At the start of their second season, a Reserve team was also formed and then both teams entered the North Berks League, where they have stayed. The big local derby between Didcot Casuals and Didcot Athletic (a local club formed in the 1950s) was eagerly awaited each season. There was a great atmosphere at the club and normally a dinner and dance was held at the end of the season at either the Conservative or Labour Club.

In only its third season, the First team finished runners-up in Division 2. The first silverware for the club was lifted in the 1979-80 season, when the Reserves became Champions of Division 5.

1980-1999

Throughout the 80s and early 90s, the Men's teams had a very successful period, vying for various honours, including the First team winning the War Memorial Cup twice (1986-87 and 1990-91) and finishing runners-up twice to local rivals, Milton United, and the Reserves winning the League Cup (1986-87) and the A G Kingham Cup (1982-83), with the Firsts finish 3rd in Division 1 on no less than three times. Sadly the club had to withdraw from the North Berks League in the early 90s.

Didcot Casuals FC was reformed in 1999-2000 by Dave Taylor, who became Chairman, and others, with a new strip and new badge, and the club started rebuilding for the future.

2000-2009

Within 4 seasons of the club's return to the North Berks, the First team reached the 2003-04 Charity Shield final, losing 3-0 to Lambourn Sports (history repeated itself in the 2010-11 season, with the same result). However the Firsts lifted the Division 4 title that same season. A junior section for the club had also begun at this team, and the U14 boys team had an amazing season, going unbeaten in the Boys League, ending as C League champions. The team was managed by Dave Loughlin who was much loved and respected by players and obviously knew how to get them best out of them.

In 2004, the club was awarded Charter Standard status by the Berks & Bucks FA after continued development of the junior section. In 2006, following enquiries from local parents with young children, a Rising Stars section was established for 3-7 year olds, to have a informal, fun session on a Saturday morning under the guidance of qualified coaches. This has been very successful and has become the nursery of the club's youth teams.

Also in 2006, the club decided to start girls teams to go alongside the boys teams, and after obtaining a grant under the 3Lions FC banner, the then Vice Chairman, Rob Roslyn, held taster sessions in local primary schools, including Stephen Freeman, Manor, Harwell, Greenmere (now Willowcroft), Hagbourne, Blewbury and South Moreton. The sessions proved so popular nearly 60 girls turned up to the first club session later that year. The club then entered the Oxford Mail Girls Football League in the 2007-8 season with three teams.

2010-current

The Firsts continued their strong form, reaching both the Charity Shield final (losing 0-3 to Lambourn Sports) and the Berks & Bucks Intermediate Cup (losing 0-3 to Chalfont Wasps). The A Team though managed to lift silverware in the shape of the North Berks League Cup the following season, beating East Hendred Res 3-1. In 2012-13 season, the Firsts reached the North Berks Cup final losing narrowly 2-3 in a hard fought game to Long Wittenham. Sadly the men's section folded at the end of the season.

More details to follow