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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. 
 
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 at the time of ‘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!  (To read more, visit: 

https://www.dorsetecho.co.uk/news/features/lookingback/18012884.1995-discovery-unexploded-world-war-two-bomb-portland/.) 

 
Although Portland did step up to the Wessex League in 2001, they struggled and returned to the Dorset Prem League 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 were promoted to The Dorset Premier League. 

 
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.   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.   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. 


Season 2019/20 proved to be very eventful for everyone at the club - mainly due to the pandemic which shortened the season with several unplayed games.  This resulted in no promotion or relegation.  The season as a whole saw us under achieving with the quality of players we had at the Club.  Although we did reach the semi-final of the Sydenhams Wessex League Cup which should have been played v Hamble.  Another highlight was our 2nd QR of the Emirates FA Cup home v Salisbury when we had an incredible day losing 0 – 1 in front of just under 600 supporters.  A fantastic memory can be found at:  https://dbauckham.exposure.co/out-on-a-limb. 

 
Off the pitch, it proved to be a very successful year as we were faced with the prospect of either seeing out the remaining time on our lease from The Crown or purchasing the ground for £55,000.  We achieved this by the end of March through the Squares initiative, Stars board, help from The Court Leet and all the wonderful people/organisations who donated.  The ground is now owned by Portland United FC and will remain as a sporting facility for ever. 

 
On a sadder note, was the decision made by our Chairman, Robin Satherley, to step down from this post, although remaining on the committee.  Robin has held this position for several years and was an excellent, popular Chairman.  With our Vice-Chairman also stepping down, Gary Bailey was appointed as Vice-Chairman. 

 
At the end of the ‘expurged’ (2019/20) season Brendon announced that he wished to resign as 1st team Manager and Callum Brooks was duly appointed for the 20/21 season; but for personal reasons, Callum resigned at the end of September.  Once again Gary Bailey stepped into the breach and was interim Manager until mid October when Franklyn Clarke was appointed Manager bringing with him Sam Poole.   For the second season running, the league had to curtailed due to Covid19 and our last game of the season was played on the 12th December 2020. 

 

20201/22:  Portland Utd FC’s centenary year!  Pre-season was busy with the appointment of Matt Lucas as Chairman, Robin Satherley became the Club’s first ever Club Ambassador, the appointment of a Commercial Manager – Vic Holland and the addition of an U18 team to play in the Dorset Football League. 

Latest News

Lewis Clarke Returns

Wednesday 09 Jun 2021

We are very pleased to announce that Lewis Clarke has re-signed for the 2021-2022 season. 1st team manager Franklyn Clarke commented "Lewis came in last season and has been great with the young lads, Its important that the experienced players in the group set good examples for the younger ones and he certainly done that. Lewis returned to training and he looks like a new player; he`s clearly worked hard during the time we have had off. I think we will now get to see the best of him. Lewis has a lot to offer, he`s a real handful, no defender will have an easy time of it and he also knows where the back of the net is too. I`m hoping he hits the ground running once the games come around and scores lots of goals for Portland this season. Lewis is looking for a sponsor for this season. Sponsors names will be shown on our website with a link to their business where appropriate. Sponsors will also be shown in our home programmes and at the end of Echo reports - Still just £50.

Lowes Signs

Wednesday 09 Jun 2021

We are very pleased to announce that Ollie Lowes has re-signed for the 2021-2022 season. 1st team manager Franklyn Clarke commented, "I`m really happy Ollie has re-signed; his commitment is brilliant and he sets a real example. He is a big part of how we are going to play next season and I feel he has much to offer. Ollie has a lot of potential and the more games he plays for us the better he gets. Ollie is versatile which I like in a player. He`s outstanding technically and has been working hard away from the club on areas he wants to make better too. Ollie is a good character in the group and I believe he`s got a really good season ahead of him". Lewis is looking for a sponsor for this season. Sponsors names will be shown on our website with a link to their business where appropriate. Sponsors will also be shown in our home programmes and at the end of Echo reports - Still just £50.

Hutch Re-Signs

Wednesday 09 Jun 2021

We are very pleased to say that Harry Hutchinson has re-signed for the 2021-2022 season. Big thank you to Lawrence McCarthy Gates & Railings for their sponsorship this season of young Hutch. 1st team manager Franlyn Clarke commented, "Harry is a great lad who enjoys his football; he`s one who is always wanting to progress and work hard. Harry is another young lad we have who has a lot of potential; he`s left footed, a good size, moves well and also, importantly, technically good. Harry just needs games and someone to believe in him - which I do and he knows that. Harry`s looked very sharp and trained really well over the past month or so and I can see him really kicking on this season. He`s been at the club for a couple of seasons now and I think the Portland fans will see the best of him this coming season."

Macca Re-Signed

Tuesday 08 Jun 2021

We are very pleased to announce that Ryan Mckechnie has re-signed for the 2021-2022 season 1st Team Manager Franklyn Clarke commented, “I am delighted to sign Macca for the 21/22 season. With the new direction the club is going in - bringing young lads through - he is the type of experienced player you want around for the young lads to learn from. He is at every training session, he trains like he plays, he encourages those around him, he’s a leader. Ryan is everything you want in a CAPTAIN.” Macca will be sponsored by D Whyton Building Services - thank you.

Morris Back in Blue

Tuesday 08 Jun 2021

We are very pleased to say that Ben Morris has re-signed for the 2021-2022 season 1st team Manager Franklyn Clarke commented, “I am very happy to announce that we have re-signed Ben Morris for the 21/22 season; Ben will become our VICE CAPTAIN. Ben is a fantastic attacking player who can do a little bit of everything - you always know you are going to receive everything from Ben that he can possibly give. He’s a good, honest lad and I think there’s plenty more to come from Ben.” Ben will be sponsored by Phillip Dove for the upcoming campaign.

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