The Rise, Decline & Fall Of Dudley Town

Following his quite excellent piece for us about non-league videos a couple of days ago, we are pleased to welcome Mike Bayly back from the Non-League Day initiative. Mike wrote a book called “Changing Ends”, about a season in non-league football, last year, and this excerpt from the book traces the history of Dudley Town FC, the representatives of the largest town in Britain never to have hosted league football. Dudley Town were formed in 1888 and played their games at the Shavers End ground in the Birmingham League. The club remained dormant after the Great War, but was reformed in 1928, entering the Cradley Heath and District League and then the Worcestershire Combination. In 1932 they moved into the Sports Ground, built as part of a project to provide work for the large unemployed population during the inter-war years. Over 16,000 people attended the opening match – a clear indication of the potential support available to a rising team. In the early 1930s Dudley dominated the Worcestershire Combination, but the financial strain of a move to the Birmingham League saw the club fold shortly before the Second World War. After the war, the club was once again resurrected; re-joining the Birmingham League which was later renamed the West Midlands Regional League. The 1960s onwards marked a high point in the history of the club, both in terms of...

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