Warminster Highbury Youth FC began well over 35 years ago as the “Celtic Boys (Warminster FC)”.
The Celtic Boys (Warminster FC) was founded in 1984 following a meeting between like-minded individuals who were keen to form a junior football team in the area. Those present at the inaugural meeting on Thursday 19th July 1984 were;
- Harry Theobold (Chairperson)
- Peter Farrell (Secretary)
- Fred Pinnell (Committee Member)
- Bob Pitman (Team Manager)
This represented the initial committee plus Rod Kitley (Treasurer) who was voted on in his absence. It was agreed that the team would be for Under 13’s and advertising took place locally. Practice matches were then held following a favourable response.
Sponsorship was obtained from McCarthy Information for the full kit and a suitable pitch was secured at Woodcock Road, thanks to the efforts of Barry Garrett and Ken Parker who ran the men’s team who also player here.
The club was accepted into the Mid Wilts Youth and Minor League and played its first competitive match on Sunday 9th September against F.C. Chippenham “B” in the Under 13’s cup competition. The score was 9-2. This was the start of a fantastic cup run that culminated in a cup final appearance at Melksham Town ground on Sunday 5th May 1985 against Avon Melksham. Unfortunately the Celtic Boys lost 4-1 on the day, but it was a truly commendable performance given the fact that the majority of the team were the youngest playing. The team finished fifth in the league.
Following the clubs initial success the next year, an Under 15’s and an additional Under 13’s team were formed. The original Under 13’s went on the win the Division One Championship only losing one game and also reached the Cup Final, this time beating Avon Melksham 1-0.
Robin George, todays president, begin his involvement in the 1985/1986 season as coach of the under 15’s. He and Bob Pitman were instrumental in starting organised football for age groups down to eights and nines during the nineties.
Today, 3 of the original Celtic Boys; Sean Bowden, Graeme Finch and Rob Robson are still with the club, albeit in a coaching rather than playing role.
The club has seen 2 name changes since its inception:
1984 – 1985 Celtic Boys (Warminster) F.C.
1985 – 1988 Highbury Youth Football Club
1988 – Present Warminster Highbury Youth Football Club
In February 2006, the club completed its application for FA Charter Standard Status. A good number of years of preparation was required to qualify for this prestigious accolade. A Charter Standard Award ceremony was held at the Warminster Assembly Rooms on Friday 17th February 2006. The award of Charter Standard acknowledges that the club is providing high quality football training to children in a safe environment under the management of a responsible committee.
The Charter Standard shows that
- The club is well managed by a properly elected committee.
- All team coaches are suitably qualified to teach children about football.
- All team coaches have attended a Child Protection course and the club has a nominated Child Protection Officer.
- All adults in charge of children have passed FA CRB checks.
- Any new team coaches go through a formal application procedure (including providing confidential references).
- Our club has clearly set out codes of conduct for behaviour of players, managers and spectators.
From these early successful beginnings the foundations were laid for the continued expansion and growth of the club to bring it to where it is today, supplying the highest quality, FA Charter Standard football facilities for boys from the ages of 5 to 16 in the Warminster and surrounding villages area.
In October 2008 Warminster Highbury Youth FC successfully retained its Charter Standard club status. We have held this every year since.
On February 25th 2010, Warminster Highbury Youth FC gained Charity Status (Registration Number 1134455).
We are into our 32nd year and look forward to many more, bringing football to all.
Last season 17/18, we had over 300 boys and girls signed on.