History

 Nigel Biddlecombe’s ‘A History of Weymouth FC’ mentions ‘The Blues’ as early as 1902/03 when the club was referred to as Portland and Grove and they were also called that in 1905/06.  (In 1904/05 we were just mentioned as Portland.)  1906/07 we were then Portland Prison Officers.  In 1910/11 there was reference to Portland Prison Officers and Utd. 
 
In 1907/8 a combined team entered the FA Cup under the name 'Portland Prison Officers and Portland United'.  They were exempt from the preliminary and 1st qualifying round and were drawn in the 2nd QR to Longfleet St Marys.  The game was played on 19 October 1907 in Poole (probably at Eastlake) and the score was 2 - 2. The replay resulted in a 3 - 1 win for Portland.  In the 3rd QR they were drawn at home to Whiteheads and lost 0 - 2 (2 November 1907).  They entered again the following year and also in 1909/10. There were then two more seasons when the Prison Officers part of the team did not play.
 
1912/13 saw the first reference of Portland Utd! 
 
After that, the next entry was after the war when the club reformed in 1921 playing at Grove Corner and in 1925 joined the Western League Division Two.  Although winning this division twice before World War II, the club never achieved promotion to Division one.  They regularly played in front of crowds of two and three thousand – a period when they were virtually unbeatable at their Grove Corner ground.  During this period, the club won the Dorset Senior Cup on four occasions and the Dorset Amateur Cup three times. 
 
Following World War II, the club turned semi-professional and re-joined Division One of the Western League, where they remained for the next 24 seasons.  During this time the ‘Blues’ lifted the Dorset Senior Cup a further six times.  The record attendance at Grove Corner was set in January 1949 when 4,127 watched the League match against neighbours Weymouth - which Portland won 4 - 1. 
 
One of the most successful seasons in the club’s history came in 1965/66 when they finished as runners-up in the Western League Division One and progressed to the 4th Qualifying Round of the FA Cup where they held Yeovil Town to a 1 - 1 draw at Grove Corner in front of a crowd of 3,069.  In the replay at the Huish, in front of 6,005 spectators, the ‘Blues’ were beaten 3 - 1. 
 
In 1994 the Crown decided it needed the original ground for mineral extraction and the club was provided with a new home a couple of hundred yards along the road – hence the name ‘New Grove Corner’!  The last game at the ground took place on 9 May 1994, when neighbours Weymouth were the visitors in front of a 500 plus crowd. It was however a far cry from the record attendance, set on 27 January 1949 when 4,127 saw Portland defeat Weymouth 4 - 1 in a Western League Division One match. 
 
During the winter of their first season at the new ground, the entire island of Portland had to be evacuated whilst an unexploded wartime bomb - found underneath the penalty area of their old ground - had to be defused! 
 
Although Portland did step up to the Wessex League in 2001, they struggled and returned to the DPL IN 2006 where they were very successful League winners:  2007–08, 2008–09, 2012–13 and 2013-14 and runners up in 2014/15.  They also won the Dorset Premier League cup in 2008/09 finishing as runners up on three more occasions. 
 
Portland’s promotion was approved by the Football Association in 2015 (new floodlights were installed) and Portland Utd FC were promoted, much to the delight of everyone connected with The Blues, to The Sydenhams Wessex Football League Division One. 
 
The Blues won Division One in their first season, losing just four games in the league, amassing 84 points with a +72 goal difference from 34 games.  Portland also reached the semi final of The Wessex League Cup losing to eventual winners Team Solent in extra time.  The Blues also knocked out three other Wessex Premier Division sides en route to the semi-final. Portland Utd FC's programme also received the Programme of the Season Award. 
 
The start to the 2016/17 season in the Prem Div saw Portland Utd FC win six, lose two and draw 2 - everyone supporting The Blues were looking forward to hopefully ending up in the top ten at the end of the season.  However, following an unbeaten league run of 27 league games, Portland Utd FC had everything to play for in their last match home v Bemerton Heath Harlequins - needing all three points to have a chance of winning the league.  With the game at 1 - 1 at 90 minutes it looked like The Blues would have to settle for second place - but a 95th minute goal saw the Blues clinch victory and achieve a remarkable first season in the Premier Division under Manager, Gary Bailey.  Portland Utd FC's once again received the Programme of the Season Award and Portland also topped the highest average attendance table.  
 
After four years of being in charge of The Blues, Manager, Gary Bailey, made the decision in the beginning of May 2017 to step down.  In those four years, Gary's squads had been league champions three times and runners-up on the other occasion.  Simon Browne (former Manager of Dorchester Res, Salisbury Res, Hamworthy Utd and Wimborne Town FC) was appointed to take on Gary's role. 
 
The 2017/18 season saw mixed results for Portland Utd FC First Team and following some disappointing results, it was decided to relieve Simon Browne of his duties. Gary Bailey stepped up as Interim Manager at the beginning of February 2018.  The Blues ended up in 15th place and although the attendance had dropped slightly, Portland were still second in the league attendance table.  For the third year running, Portland received the Programme of the Season Award for the Premier Div.  Gary Bailey also picked up an award for Outstanding Contribution as a Manager in Dorset at The Dorset County Football Association Awards 2018. 
 
Our Reserve team, playing in the Dorset Senior League (with Justin Faulkner in charge again), had a good season and found themselves equal second on points with Chickerell Utd First - but coming third on goal difference.  Justin’s team was duly promoted and this season is playing in the Dorset Premier League. 
 
The 2017/18 season also saw Portland A Team come under our umbrella playing in Div 1 of the Dorset League and coming 5th. 
 
At the end of the season, Gary decided that with work commitments, he would not be able to continue as Manager of the First Team but joined the committee.  Brendon King was appointed manager with Mark Carter as his assistant and Stuart Heath as coach. 


2018/19 saw The Blues start off well and were sitting at second behind eventual Champions, Sholing, at Christmas.  Unfortunately with injuries and unavailabilities, the second half of the season saw a number of unexpected losses which resulted in Portland Utd FC ending up in fourth position.   The season did not end with the league though as The Blues reached the final of The Sydenhams Wessex League Cup v Baffins Milton Rovers.  A very even and hard fought game with some heavy tackles against us resulting in three players coming off injured - two ending up in hospital (the goal keeper being one).  The only goal was scored in injury time and that was by Baffins. 
 
Justin’s Reserve side were fourth in the DPL at Christmas but with the first team short of players on so many occasions, there was a knock on affect with reserve players being called up to help Brendon’s squad and they ended up a credible eleventh.  It was good though to see so many youngsters coming through so positively - including two sixteen year olds who featured (and started) in so many first team matches).  Another knock on affect was our third team playing in Div 1 of the Dorset League who also ended up eleventh. 
 
At The Sydenhams Wessex League Presentation Evening, for the fourth year running Portland Utd FC were award the Programme of the Season Cup. 

 

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