Bracknell Town FC was formed in 1896 as Old Bracknell Wanderers and played local league football until 1959 when, on Bracknell becoming one of the New Towns, the club was elected into the Great Western League, where it spent four seasons.
In 1963-64, they were elected into the Surrey Senior League, winning the Championship in 1969-70. In addition, the Robins won the League Cup in 1968-69 and 1969–70, making the latter a “Double” season.
Bracknell moved into the London Spartan League a season later and in 1974-75 won the League Cup, with the Reserves winning their Championship. The following season saw the Club finish runners-up in both League and Cup to Farnborough Town and reach the last sixteen of the FA Vase.
Both the first and reserve teams were successful in the 1980s. The Firsts were victorious in the League Cup in 1981-82 and 1982–83 and also won the Premier Division Title in 1982-83, a season which also saw the Reserves finishing as champions.
After originally being turned down by the Athenian League in the early 1980s, the Robins were elected into the Isthmian League in 1984. The Robins were eighth in the first season in Division Two South, but in the following season finished as runners-up to Southwick. Once promoted to Division One, Bracknell missed promotion to the Premier Division by a single point, finishing behind Leytonstone-Ilford and Leyton Wingate.
The following season, 1987-88 was a contrast to the previous two, as the success story came to an end. The club finished fourth from bottom, being saved from relegation only by the resignation of Walthamstow Avenue. The following season saw Bracknell finish second from bottom to finally take the drop.
It was the start of a disappointing period from the club as they struggled to adjust to life back in Division Two South. The club was struggling, and failed to make the cut in the deregionalisation of Division Two, entering Division Three and finishing only 17th.
Season 1992-93 was also disappointing, with manager Paul Everest lasting only eight games before resigning. However, this led to the appointment of ex-Norwich City player Phil Alexander as manager. He turned the club around, and the Robins finished the 1993-94 season with a 6-0 win at Horsham to claim the Division Three championship under his former number two Nicky Collier, who took over the manager’s role after Alexander departed for a commercial role at Swindon Town.
The following season almost saw Bracknell clinch a return to Division One, but there was no last-gasp joy as Oxford City just pipped the Robins. This led to three seasons of mid-table security, although the Club enjoyed an extremely long run in the FA Cup, eventually equalling their best run in the competition before going out 3-1 at Burton Albion in the 4th Qualifying Round.
The 1998-99 season saw the Robins relegated. Bob Pritchard was unable to step up from managing the Reserves, and resigned to be replaced by former Egham Town manager Steve Roberts. Despite bringing in new blood and starting brightly, Roberts was unable to save the club from the drop.
During the close season that followed, Clive Tallentire and his brother Mark, an ex-Bracknell Town player, were given the chance to lead the Robins forward. Their first season was one of consolidation, as they sought to rebuild the club.
The rebuilding complete, Bracknell started the 2000-01 season in unstoppable fashion, hitting the head of Division Three and reaching the First Round Proper of the FA Cup for the first time ever, losing 4-0 to Lincoln City. However, the resultant fixture congestion and inclement weather that followed left the side with too much to do and they ultimately finished eighth.
The Tallentires stepped down at the end of that season and now former Farnborough Town manager Alan Taylor has taken the challenge of making the Robins fly up the Pyramid, achieving promotion from Division Three and a third Fair Play Award in four seasons at the first attempt.
The popular manager’s second season at the helm was less successful, as the Club initially struggled to make the step up to the new Division One South. However, relegation was avoided on the final day and the Robins reward was an extremely eventful 2003-04 season. The undoubted highlights were in the cups as Bracknell challenged on three fronts. They reached the 4th Qualifying Round of the FA Cup, losing at home to Barnet in front of almost 1,100, the quarter final of the League Cup and a first Berks & Bucks Senior Cup Final for 22 years, losing to Chesham United.
After twenty years in the Isthmian League, the club moved into the Southern League. With Alan Taylor stepping down at the end of the 2006/07 season, his assistant Jon Underwood was appointed as manager. However, six months in charge and one win later, Underwood parted company with the Robins and youth team manager Andy Keen was instated as caretaker manager. Keen took the underperforming Robins on a run of just one defeat in his five games in charge that included three victories and a draw, and ultimately provided the springboard for the clubs tense final day survival.
Byron Walton was appointed manager in February 2008, taking over from Andy Keen, and after a slow start he led Bracknell to safety, after they overhauled Slough’s 10 point advantage and held on to a priceless 1-1 draw at Taunton on the final day, with safety confirmed when Slough lost their final game 1-0 at Fleet Town, former striker Mark Anderson netted the winner for Fleet.
The 2008/09 season was a tough one for Bracknell, but started well enough with the Robins remaining unbeaten at home until mid-October. The club even made it to the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Cup following a 3-0 win over Bicester Town, and a 2-0 win over Oxford City.
Unfortunately, Bracknell were subsequently disqualified from the FA Cup after it emerged Chris Geary had not received international clearance having been registered for Welsh Club Rhydymyn FC. Oxford City were reinstated and handed the prize money, which they graciously shared with Bracknell.
Bracknell finished the season in 21st place after a dramatic final day. Relegation rivals Winchester City were deducted 3 points the night before for fielding an ineligible player, meaning a win at Cinderford Town would guarantee Bracknell’s survival for another year.
The Robins led 2-1 at half-time, but Cinderford forced their way back and came out 3-2 winners meaning Bracknell were relegated in 21st place.
However, following a number of club’s going into administration, Bracknell were granted a reprieve and will play Southern League Football in 2009/10, whilst they have replaced manager Byron Walton with Kerthney Carty, the former Maidenhead United reserve team manager.
Within two games of the new season however, ‘KC’ resigned from the club and has since been replaced by former Tottenham Hotspur centre-back and Millwall FC manager David Tuttle.
For the start of the 2010/11 season, Tuttle was replaced as manager by former Binfield FC duo Steve McClurg and Richard Whitty. Both McClurg and Whitty have been involved with Bracknell before, McClurg as captain in the late 1970s and 1980s,and then player manager in the late 1980s. Whitty is Bracknell’s all time leading goalscorer and former youth team manager of the Robins.
McClurg and Whitty were tasked with rebuilding the side and maintaining Hellenic Premier League football, which they did with a 16th place finish.
Ahead of the 2011/12 season, Whitty returned to Binfield as assistant manager, McClurg replaced him with former Youth Team manager Andy Keen but the pair couldn’t stop the club sliding to the bottom of the league at Christmas.
Former Windsor & Eton youth coach Mick Woodham was approached to join the management team and duly obliged, the club immediately turning their form around and picking up several wins.
Woodham brought with him a number of Windsor’s fringe players and once integrated with existing talent, the Robins fortunes started to turn – becoming far more competitive.
Unfortunately it was to little to late as despite a run of 3 games unbeaten at the end of the season, a final day defeat by Reading Town condemned the Robins to last place.
Ahead of the 2012/13 season in Division 1 East, the Robins have appointed Steve Nebbett and Danny Oliphant to take the club forward, with McClurg and Keen moving upstairs.