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📝 On this day in 1964: Grecians Promoted for the first time!

25 April 2024

Club News

📝 On this day in 1964: Grecians Promoted for the first time!

25 April 2024

Saturday 25 April – exactly 60 years ago today – saw a famous event in the history of our Club.

After being in and around the top 4 Division Four places all season the Grecians travelled the 700 mile round trip to Workington in Cumbria knowing that a win or a draw would secure promotion to Division Three. A 0-0 draw did the business unleashing massive celebrations to mark our first ever promotion – sixty three years after our formation in 1901.

It was a nervy day for players and fans. Workington were also seeking to confirm promotion and 8,600 turned out to watch the last game of the season. Hundreds of Exeter fans had made their way by train and coach.


City striker Alan Banks, whose signature for a record Club fee back in October had provided much needed firepower, recalled that “to be honest it wasn’t much of a match. Both teams would be promoted if it was a draw and that is how it ended – goalless. Both sets of supporters invaded the pitch at the final whistle to celebrate and it took us some time before we were able to get back to the dressing room. The Workington directors brought in a case of champagne so that we could celebrate as well”. 

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Long time supporter Fred Pound, then just 15, was one of those who made the trip north. In his account of the season held on the Grecian Archive, Fred records how ‘the match was a nail biting affair. There was a lot of tension in the air. The noise from our support and especially from the rattles is great. The match seems to last forever, no one seems to care how bad it had been.

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‘We arrive back in Exeter in the early hours and some of us trek to St David’s to welcome the team back. We sleep on benches in the waiting room and are awoken by a din sometime later. There is a huge mass of fans which has made its way down, many waving banners. The most memorable one of which simply says ‘Thanks Banks and all the ranks’.

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A series of articles by the Exeter City Football Club Museum team about the promotion have been published in this season’s match day programme. These include pieces putting the spotlight on the manager Jack Edwards, captain Arnold Mitchell, goalie Alan Barnett, Defenders Dermot Curtis, Keith Harvey, Des Anderson and Cec Smyth plus forwards Alan Banks and Graham Rees. Fan memories are weaved in too including those of promotion season ball boy Rob Doidge.

These can all be seen on the Grecian Archive by clicking here.

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