The Association, now 120 years old, has developed from small beginnings in 1886 into an Association of more than 2000 affiliated teams and 20 affiliated Leagues.The following facts illustrate some of the important occasions...
1882: Association Football or Soccer appears to have arrived in Bristol on the 2nd December when a report of a match between St George and Warmley was published in the Western Daily Press. This first fixture ended with St George winning 2-1.
1886: At a meeting in the Full Moon Hotel, Stokes Croft, Bristol on the 7th September, the Gloucestershire Football Association was formed to be administered by a Management Committee. Gloucestershire’s first President was the famous cricketer Dr W.G. Grace who was also an active Referee.
1889-90: 33 Clubs had affiliated to the County, which enabled a delegate to be sent to the Football Association.
1892: The Association was running two Cup Competitions and playing five or six County matches a season with the first League commencing operations
1894: The first Youth Football League, which was actually a Schools League, was formed.
1898: The Association's Management Committee became the Council with representatives from 15 Clubs and a representative from each League affiliated to the Association.
1913: Referees gained representation on the Council.
1919-20: A major change in the structure of the Council occurred when Northern Council was formed from areas north of Thornbury. However all decisions still had to be sanctioned by the full Council
1927: The County Minor (Youth) Association was formulated
1927: The Northern Council was given responsibility for disciplinein the area. In 1929, this was extended to the examination of Referees and the organisation of the County Cup Competitions in the north.
1933: The responsibilities of the County Minor Association were assumed by the Main Council.
1946: The County Youth Association was revived following its demise in 1933.
1967: Moves were made to form an entirely separate Council in the North. But at a meeting in December it was agreed that two separate Associations were impractical. The immediate result was that a joint annual meeting was introduced in addition to the A.G.M.
1976: The last independent North and South Council meetings took place and in 1977 the Council again became a unified body.
1995: Following the sudden death of the long serving Hon. Secretary E J Marsh, the County appointed Paul Britton as full- time Secretary and shortly afterwards purchased the property at Oaklands Park, Almondsbury as its first permanent Headquarters.
1999: The County took the significant step of becoming a Limited Company becoming known as Gloucestershire Football Association Ltd.
2000: The development of Oaklands Park that included the addition of a Floodlit All-Weather Pitch and new Dressing Rooms was completed. These facilities are now being extensively used for training groups from local junior clubs and disabled organisations.
2001: The development of the All-Weather Pitch and Dressing Rooms released capacity within the original building for the development of office space, a Board Room and Council Chamber.
2002: The County Youth Association ceased to be a semi- autonomous Association when it was incorporated into the main Association as the Youth Committee.
2006: David Neale was appointed Chief Executive following the death of Paul Britton in December 2005.
Our thanks go to Colin Timbrell (County Historian) for many facts that have been extracted from his publication ‘The Gloucestershire F.A. Centenary Brochure‘.
Colin, who has extensive knowledge on Gloucestershire football, is always willing to provide historical information on football in the County. He can be contacted by telephone on 01453 543250.