Heritage Event At St Sidwell’s On 25 June
FOLLOWING MUCH deliberation between the Club and Trust boards after a period of consultation with supporters, it has been agreed that the Grecians were formed in 1901.
Research has shown that it was after the 1900/1 season that St Sidwell’s United was formed. They played their first ever game – a 4-2 friendly victory at home to Dawlish on 21 September 1901. Contemporary newspaper reports refer to St Sidwell’s as “a new organisation” and “a newly-formed club”.
United moved into St James Park for the 1903/4 season and then at their AGM on 31 May 1904 voted to change their name to Exeter City. They retained the club colours (green and white - used until 1910) and the club nickname ‘The Grecians’. As a result of this research and support in the fan consultation, 1901 has been adopted as the Club’s formal date of formation with 1904 the year of the name change to Exeter City.
Exeter City joins many other famous clubs in football that started out with a different name. These include Manchester United (formed as Newton Heath LYR), West Ham (Thames Ironworks) and Manchester City (St Marks (West Gorton).
To mark the new date and the link with St Sidwell’s, the Exeter City History Group and the team from the Heritage Lottery Fund supported St James Park Heritage Project will be at the St Sidwell’s Community Centre Fete on Saturday 25 June; 11am – 4pm.
It was members of St Sidwell’s School and Church that helped form St Sidwell’s United in 1901. Some of the Club’s early players died in World War One and are remembered on the war memorial in the Centre (which operates from the now disused parish church in Sidwell Street).
“If anyone has any information or items relating to these early days we would be very excited to hear about them. We are always interested in any memories or materials relating to the Club’s history including the St James Park ground”. said Will Barrett, for the Heritage Project. “We would be delighted to meet people at the Fete who are interested in the St Sidwell’s link with the beginnings of the Club”
The Exeter City History Group, established by the Exeter City Supporters Trust, can be contacted at:Exeter City History Group, c/o Exeter City Supporters Trust, St James Park, Exeter EX4 6PX.firstname.lastname@example.org,