Football in Hinckley

Hinckley has boasted a football team in the town for more than 100 years.

hinckley afc

1889 - Hinckley Town was formed in Hinckley, playing their games at the Holywell ground, behind the Holywell pub on the London Road.

1900 - Hinckley Town had a name change to Hinckley United.

1905 - Hinckley United played in the Leicestershire Senior League, where the club remained until the outbreak of the First World War in 1914.

1945 - After the Second World War, the brewery owners of the Holywell Ground decided they wanted the land for other uses, Hinckley United found themselves without a home.

1946 - The Club purchased a site along Middlefield Lane for £500, with the new ground came a new name in the form of Hinckley Athletic.

14-Sep-1946 - The First game that Hinckley Athletic played at Middlefield Lane was against Croft (South Leicestershire League divison 1), Hinckley Athletic lost 3-4.

21-Sep-1946 - The record victory for Middlefield Lane was 13-0, in the Nuneaton Combination Section B, against LMS Sports & Social Weddington.

1947 - Hinckley Athletic played in the Birmingham Combination during the 1947-1948 season.

24-Dec- 1949 - A record attendance for Middlefield Lane was 5,410 in the Birmingham Combination, against Nuneaton Borough.

1950 - The Main Stand was built with wooden benches for 350 people. Situated on the South side of the grounds, it includes a section for visiting officials and press agencies.

1958 - Westfield Wanderers were formed and went on to play in the Hinckley District League..

1959 - Hinckley Athletic were promoted to the Southern League division 1. A corrigated covered stand was built on the North side of the pitch, this was to be blewn down during stong winds in 1985.

1963 - Hinckley Athletic saw one brief season of Southern Premier in season during 1963-1964 season, this was followed with financial difficulties.

1967 - Hinckley Athletic joined the West Midlands league. Middlefield Lane went on to host the West Midlands league football for 27 years.

1972 - Westfield Wanderers had a name change to Hinckley Town.

1977 - The Clubhouse was erected which at the time was one of the best facilities in the local non league scene.

1979 - Floodlights were installed at the Middlefield Lane grounds.

1986 - The Ron Holtham Stand (named after clubmember and Hinckley Athletic stalwart) was built to hold 1,000 people, this stand extended for two thirds of the lenght of the pitch on the North side.

1991 - The Floodlights were upgraded to Conference standard lighting. The lights were purchased from West Bromwich Albion's training ground.

1993 - The Main Stand had the wooden benches upgraded to plastic seating when Leicester City replaced their old Filbert Street West Stand, when the club purchased some of the seats.

1994 - Hinckley Athletic became founder members of the Midland Alliance league.

18-Jun-1997 - Hinckley United (also known as the Knitters) was formed when Hinckley Athletic and Hinckley Town merged following a meeting during 1996 of the respective chairmen, Mick Voce (Hinckely Athletic) and Kevin Downes (Hinckley Town). Both clubs established there was some common ground with each club having something positive to offer.

2001 - Hinckley United were promoted to the Southern Premier.

2004 - Hinckley United were the founder members of the Conference North division.

26-Feb-2005 - The last game played at Middlefield Lane was against Bradford Park Avenue (the Conference North league), Hinckley United won 4-0. A new stadium was required due to Middlefield Lane being nearly 60 years old. Middlefield Lane site was sold for £3.5 million.

05-Mar-2005 When the Stadium opened at 'De Montfort Park' (Leicester Road, Hinckley, Leicestershire, LE10 3DR) it is named in honour of Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester. Architect commisioned was Savage Hayward, with the main contractors being FE Downes LTD. The construction of the stadium came to a cost of £4 million.

De Montfort Park football stadium complex covers 22 acres and includes three full size pitches, two three-quarter size pitches, three half size pitches and a full size, all-weather floodlit 3G rubber crumb surface pitch. The flagship of the complex is the Leicester Road Stadium, a 4,329 capacity purpose-built football ground, comprising the following:

The stadium was known as the Marston's Stadium, following a sponsorship deal between Hinckley United and Marston's Brewery.

Stalybridge Celtic FC were the first team to play Hinckley United at the Marston Stadium in front of a crowd of over 2000, the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

Jan-2009 - The club announced a stadium sponsorship deal with the Greene King Brewery and the stadium was renamed the Greene King Stadium. Later on in the year the West Stand of the Stadium was converted into a 400-seat covered end with changing rooms for the Juniors

13-Dec-2012 - Coventry City FC (as known as the Sky Blues) have held provisional talks with Hinckley United FC over playing at the Greene King Stadium. Coventry City FC went on to move to Sixfields Stadium in Northampton where Northampton Town FC play.

At the end of the 2012-2013 season, Hinckley chairman Mike Sutton confirmed that Greene King Brewery had decided not to renew their deal to sponsor De Montfort Park.

05-Oct-2014 - Hinckley United played their last match with Chesham United which ended in a 3-0 defeat.

07-Oct-2013 - Hinckley United was dissolved by the High Court of Justice for falling behind in their payments.

15-Jan-2014 - New football club to be called Hinckley AFC (Association Football Club) and will play within the Midland Football League Division 1. Hinckley AFC are the largest Non-League football club in Leicestershire.

07-Jul-2014 - Hinckley AFC, played their first match which ended in a 4-2 victory against Heather St.John's.

07-Oct-2014 - Hinckley AFC announced the official renaming of the clubhouse based at the former Greene King Stadium as ‘Gadsby’s’. Matt Gadsby was a defender for Hinckley United that collapsed and died on the pitch at Harrogate on 09-Sep-2006.

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