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On the 29th January 2011 Windsor & Eton FC played their final ever match and 4 days later were closed down. This site gives a statistical history of the life and times of The Royalists.
Formed on the 18th August 1892 by a merger of Windsor Phoenix and Windsor St. Albans. They began in the Southern Alliance (which included teams like Tottenham), and in 1893 they merged with Windsor Victoria and entered the first FA Amateur Cup. A decline in fortunes saw them withdraw from the Berks & Bucks Senior League in 1901 before a ball had been kicked. In 1902 Windsor & Eton Temperance F.C. was the subject of a take over, with the name being shortened to the titled now used.
Among prominent people connected with the club in this era was H.R.H. Prince Christian and the royal patronage then continued with Kings George V and VI up to the present patron H.R.H. Duke of Edinburgh, hence the clubs nickname of 'The Royalists'.
Early grounds were Windsor Recreation Ground and Balloon Meadow (now part of Windsor Racecourse) before the move to the present ground at Stag Meadow in 1911.
Over the years the club has competed in the Southern League (1895/96), West Berks (1903/04), Great Western Suburban (1904/22), Athenian (1922/29), Spartan (1929/39), Great Western Combination (1939/45), Corinthian (1945/50), Metropolitan (1950/60), Delphian (1960/63), then the Athenian again (1963/81), until joining the Isthmian League in 1981. During this time Windsor won their County Cup five times in a row (1941/45), which, until recent times was an English record. In 1922 they recorded their best ever Amateur Cup Run reaching the 4th Round Proper and in 1925 reached the 2nd Round Proper of the F.A. Cup, losing 2-5 to Charlton at the Valley.
Two players who turned out for Windsor during this period were Vic Woodley in the 1930's, who later distinguished himself in goal for Chelsea, Derby County and England, and Billy Coward in the 1920's, who joined QPR before joining Walsall and playing in the first ever 'giant-killing' side which beat the mighty Arsenal in the F.A. Cup in 1933. The club has over the years seen many players progress to the professional game and some of the more recent of these include Steve Butler, Dave Barnett, Dave Regis, Damian Spencer and most recently Gavin Tomlin [Brentford] and Morgaro Gomis [Dunfermline] at the beginning of the 2006/07 season.
Without doubt the best period in Windsor's history was the 1980's. They started the decade by winning the Athenian League and reaching the last four in the F.A. Vase (just one year after losing in the quarter final). The League Title was retained in 1981, when they were also League Cup finalists and reached the 1st Round Proper in the F.A. Cup. Then came promotion to the Isthmian League Division Two where they finished 5th in their first season. Promotion came the following season after finishing 2nd. The following season the Division One Championship was won, along with another appearance in the F.A. Cup 1st Round Proper.
Their first campaign in the Premier Division saw them finish 5th as well as a draw at home against Bournemouth in the 2nd Round Proper of the F.A. Cup. Windsor eventually lost the replay with both sides already knowing that the winners would have a home tie against Manchester United in the next round! Since then they have had four further appearances in the 1st Round Proper and three appearances in the Berks & Bucks Senior Cup, winning in 1988 & 89. The 1990's started with Windsor celebrating their centenary in 1991/92. They suffered a poor following season and their 9 year spell in the Premier Division came to an end when they finished second from bottom and were relegated to Division One. 1993/94 saw them finish 21st again, to be relegated to Division Two and although they improved their position by one place the following season, it still wasn't enough to avoid the dubious honour for the third season running in 1994/95.
Season 1995/96 saw a revival in the club's fortune when they finished third in Division Three and were the Isthmian League leading scorers with 117 goals. Season 1996/97 (9th) & 1997/98 (10th) saw the club consolidate their position in Division Two. During season 1998/99 it looked like promotion was a distinct possibility, but a major backlog of fixtures proved too much for the Royalists and they eventually finished in 5th place and were runners-up in the Vandanel Trophy.
Season 2000/01 saw a complete overhaul of the club following the appointment of a new manager with Byron Walton taking up the reins and the changes were vindicated when the club achieved promotion to Division One by finishing runners-up.
In November 2001, following a poor start to their Division One campaign which wasn't helped by an horrendous early-season injury list, the club decided a change of manager was needed and Dennis Greene returned to the club once again - this time as player/manager, and although lots of new faces were brought in it didn't prevent the Royalists from finishing in bottom place although a league restructure meant relegation was never a worry.
Season 2002/03 saw some more experienced faces added to the squad during the course of the season and the club enjoyed its best FA Trophy run for years beating Welling Utd, Hitchin Town and Vauxhall Motors before bowing out on penalties to Aylesbury Utd. Promotion was a distinct possibility until an horrendous injury crisis six weeks from the end of the season saw any promotion hopes rapidly disappear. Some end of season success was gained though when the Ryman League awarded the ground an 'A' grade following some frenetic building activity which saw terracing completed all the way around the ground, plus a new turnstile block and an extension to the covered terracing on the far side of the ground.
The following few seasons saw nothing spectacular happen with early cup exits from all competitions and league form that was anything but encouraging, culminating in relegation from the Ryman Premier Division at the conclusion of last season. During the summer of 2006 it was confirmed that the club would be switching leagues after 24 years in the Isthmian setup to rejoin the Southern League which they had first joined some 110 years before. The switch in leagues coincided with a change in management for the first team with Simon Lane being appointed as our new manager for the forthcoming campaign. Simon has joined the club having had previous Southern League management experience at Berkhamsted Town and has put together a squad for the new season which includes some members of our squad from last season alongside a number of new faces, with the emphasis being on bringing in some younger talent which will blend together and hopefully serve the club for the foreseeable future. Part of the feeder process for the younger talent sees our reserves competing in the Capital Football League and the re-introduction this season of an under 18's side competing in the Allied Counties Youth League.
In December 2007 the board of directors concluded that despite their hard work in backing the manager in trying to build a promotion-winning squad that is wasn't going to happen for various reasons and the club parted company with Simon Lane. Ex-Windsor player Keith Scott was then appointed manager for the Boxing Day fixture against near-neighbours Slough Town and a win ensured he got off to the best start in everyones' eyes. The team went on a good sequence of winning games but, unfortnately, it looked like the appointment may have been made a bit too late as the club missed out on a play off place at the end of the season. Last season saw the club reach its' target of a playoff place finninshing as runners up to Champions Truro City but couldn't find that extra effort needed in the playoff semi-final losing to eventual playoff winners Didcot Town. This came as a massive disappointment to everyone involved at the club but the disappointment was short lived when the Berks & Bucks Senior Cup was won for the first time in many years with a convincing win against Marlow FC in the impressive Stadium MK, home of MK Dons.