Winning trophies is what football is all about. Long, tough, campaigns all leading towards that moment, when you can lift the trophy above your head and be overcome with pure elation.
In over 117 years, Exeter City have lifted seven competitive trophies in both league and cup competitions. City’s first official trophy came in the inaugural Third Division South Challenge Cup in 1934. Set up as a way for third division teams to have a chance of winning a cup competition, the Football League created the Third Division Challenge Cup in 1933, with two competitions (north and south) running in parallel with one another. The Grecians won the first final, beating Torquay United 1-0 at Home Park. The competition was scrapped in 1946, but it was used as inspiration for the current lower league cup competition, the EFL trophy.
Exeter won the first of three East Devon Senior Cups in 1954, beating Beer Albion 2-0 in both of the sides’ first appearance in the final. It was another 27 years before City reached the final again, but they made up for lost time with an entertaining 4-3 victory over Willand Rovers. The Grecians again reached the final a year later, overcoming Cullompton Rangers 4-2.
City won another inaugural cup final in 1986, this time coming in the Bill Slee Cup. After a 0-0 draw in the original final, a replay was held where the Grecians came out as 4-2 victors.
The Fourth Division Trophy was added to the cabinet in 1990, as Terry Cooper’s Grecians stormed the league, finishing 10 points ahead of second-place Cambridge United, remaining unbeaten at home all season. Captain Shaun Taylor lifted the trophy in front of a sold-out St James Park after a 2-1 win over Burnley in the penultimate game of the season.
Captain Danny Seaborne lifted City’s most recent trophy in 2008, leading the Grecians to a 1-0 victory over Cambridge United in the Conference play-off final. After the heartbreak of the previous year’s loss to Morecambe, Rob Edwards’ header midway through the first half and a solid defensive performance from the Grecians meant that the demons would be banished as City returned to the Football League.
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