KNOWLE FC

By Dave Sykes

The Robins were formed in 1926 under the quaint name of Knowle Men’s Institute! We have lots of lovely old photos of past glories with the likes of the Dr Nelson Charity Cup, the Henry Butler Cup, the West Bromwich Shield before the war! After the war, our club house was built at our Hampton Road ground – its still there today and probably has a preservation order on it! In 1947 Knowle won the league and cup double in the Birmingham Youth & Old Boys Amateur Football Association. There is then much confusion over which league Knowle played in, with some records suggesting we then joined we the Worcester Combination League (later to become the Midland Combination!) and others showing we stayed in this league until 1953 when it became the Mercian League, then joined the Worcester Combination in 1966.

After a few (make that a lot!) seasons of mediocrity, Knowle Town (as we were known as in those days) suddenly began to find their feet. By the time England won the World Cup we had won the 2nd Division title and moved up to Division 1. We did flirt with relegation a few years after, but by ’68 Knowle went storming up to the Premier Division, They reached the final of the Birmingham Junior Cup where they lost to Highgate United in front of over 1000 spectators but did win the League and President’s Cup during that brilliant period of the early 70s. In ’86 we also reached the fifth round proper of the FA Vase (last 16!) under Gordon Cooper, and were unlucky to lose 2-1 to two goals in the last five minutes. The team also got lost on the way to the ground, and only arrived 15 minutes before kick off which probably didn't help on the day!

 Now operating under the name of Knowle FC our best period of success came when Dave Prust became the Chairman. He brought together a series of highly successful managers who went on to win the league title 4 times, the Challenge Cup twice and the Presidents Cup twice. The most notable of these was Peter Frain (who went on to manage Alvechurch & now Highgate United). Sadly Dave died tragically of a thrombosis in 2003 at the age of 44 and in the same year we were relegated to the 1st Division even though we finished 11th as the ground didn’t have floodlights! This left Knowle in a real quandary, but the late Roger Whittick and current President, Liam Coyle steadied the ship and still under Peter Frain, we won the 1st Division twice but couldn’t get back into the Premier Division because we still didn’t have floodlights! Peter left as he was frustrated – what more could he do?

Derek Adamson and Dave Cox then took over and were immediately successful! They won the 1st Division in 2005 and then again in 2007. This time the lads were adamant that they were going to go up so it was decided that we would ground share with Studley! Last season saw us finish 12th under the management of Dave Cox & Martin Bishop (with Derek Adamson moving ‘Upstairs’ to become Chairman). Adam Green’s reserve team also gained promotion to Div 2.

 The club moves from strength these days with a further reserve side, a ladies team, 2 girls teams (from U10 to U16) and 23 boys teams (from U7 to U18s). Quite a few of our current squad have come through the ranks but our real gem was Jimmy Davis, who was tragically killed while driving his car down to play for Watford where he was on loan from Manchester United. Jimmy played 4 and a half seasons for Knowle Juniors before signing for Man U. In that time he scored 256 goals in the Premier League of the CWYFL – some record! We also boast Ashley Sammons who captained Blues U18 side in 2009 and scored a 30 yarder at Anfield in the Youth Cup Semi Final! Unfortunately after signing pro terms with teh Blues, Ashley suffered a knee injury which ended his career before it began.

edward victor plews 1947 back 3rd from right

The 1947 team - third from the right on the back row is Edward Victor Plews, right side of middle row is forward Ron Sharrman who played for Knowle from after the war until 1951, as well as turning out for Alvis! If you can identify anybody else or know any information about this team, please get in touch through the website contact page! Picture courtesy of Edward's nephew, Mr Colin Plews

Jimmy Davis'' Knowle side

Knowle Juniors team from the early 90's. Jimmy Davis is at the front, second from the left. Please visit www.jimmydavissite.com for more information on Jimmy's memorial fund.

U11 girls

U11 Girls, Cup winners, 2010.

charter standard

The mayor presents the FA Charter Standard to Knowle FC in 2010. Pictured here with him is Treasurer John Simmons, Club Welfare Officer Dave Sykes, Dan and Ryan from our U18 boys, Emily and Emma from U10 girls and Sam from the U14 boys.

U14 Cup Winners

U14 Boys, Cup winners, 2010.

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