|Football in Dursley|
Dursley Association Football Club effectively began in October 1893 with the formation of a team supported by the St. James Club. This club was an organisation started at the beginning of that year by the clergy of St. James Church to foster the idea of healthy recreation for the young men of the town. The very first match was against Forest Green Rovers who came to the town in December 1893 but unfortunately the home team were beaten 2-0. The return match two weeks later at Forest Green's ground produced the same result but no doubt the fledgling Dursley football team had gained some good experience. In 1898, Dursley joined the new Dursley League, one of eight clubs who did so and at the same time they decided to drop the St. James suffix from their name. Dursley's fortunes up to the beginning of the First World War were mixed, with their best season being 1907/08 when they won the Dursley League championship. For the 1908/09 season they also joined the North Gloucestershire League in which they continued to play up to 1922 with the exception of the 1909/10 season.
In 1919, following the return of men from the war, a new football club started up in Dursley which became known as the Dursley ex-servicemen. They competed in the Wotton League and they Second Division of the Dursley League, both of which they won during their first season - a great achievement. It was at the conclusion of this season that the team name was changed to Dursley Rovers, at the same time as the older club officially became known as Dursley Town. In 1922 the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League came into existence which Town and Rovers both joined although in 1926 the two clubs amalgamated, coincidentally at the same time as another club was formed, the team of R.A. Lister Engineering Works.
1939 was a good year for Dursley Town AFC as they won the Gloucestershire Senior Amateur Cup Final, beating Forest Green Rovers 3-1 in the replay after an initial 1-1 draw. War intervened again soon afterwards and most football clubs closed down with Dursley Town matches not resuming until 1944. A team for the town's youngsters, the Dursley Colts, was also formed in 1948 which took players aged 18 and under. The mid fifties were some of Dursley Town's most successful years. In 1955 they won the Stroud Senior Charity Cup and in 1956 they were again victorious when they came top of the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League (GNSL) Division 1. The 1960s through to the 1990s were relatively uneventful for Dursley's senior football club, no further championship victories followed and the team alternated between Div 1 and Div 2 of the GNSL apart from the 1968/69 and 1969/70 seasons when they played in the Wiltshire County Combination. In 1960 they did win the Stroud Senior Charity Cup Final and the Berkeley Premier Cup but thence followed a sparse period until 1995 when they won the Stroud Senior Charity Cup. This was followed in the 1995/96 season when at last they were champions again in the GNSL, after a gap of 40 years.
Dursley Town Football Club continues to thrive, and home matches are still played regularly on the recreation ground in 2004.
Ref: "Town Score 100+, The History of Dursley
Town FC", Colin Timbrell, 1996