Since forming in 1886 Daventry Town Football Club has had a chequered history over its 130 years, from a devastating fire in 2005 which threatened the club’s future to an incredible cup run which saw over 700 fans travel to League 2 Chesterfield in 2014.
Town began as a local-town club playing in the Northampton Town League, consisting of players from the town and local area, competing for players with rivals Long Buckby and British Timken.
Switching to the Northants Combination in 1987, under the guidance of Manager Willie Barrett, the clubs fortunes began to flourish, Barrett leading the club to successive championships in the Northants Combination First and Premier Divisions.
After winning the Division One title then the Premier title in 1988/89 they secured promotion to the United Counties League Division One in 1989–90. On joining the United Counties League, they won promotion to the Premier Division on three occasions, but were relegated twice.
Leaving The Hollow playing fields in the centre of the town in 1990, the club moved to its current home at the Elderstubbs, on the edge of town, winning promotion again in 2001/2002.
Having won promotion at the first attempt, the new Elderstubbs ground did not meet tight ground regulations so the club were denied a further promotion, it may also have been considered a step too far for the club at the time, so promotion was refused.
Manager Willie Barrett left and the fortunes of the club declined over the next few years with relegation, alternating with promotion.
The clubs fortunes suffered a devastating blow in 2005–06, when the Elderstubbs clubhouse and changing rooms were destroyed by an arson attack.
Photographs, trophies and other items of historical significance to the club were lost; it was a massive setback for the club.
With the club facing an uncertain future, mobile phone company Shebang Distribution stepped in to offer the club a financial lifeline, a move which enabled the club to survive.
Iain Humphrey took the helm and work began to revitalise the club with the introduction of new floodlights, walkways and other infrastructure to support the clubs promotion ambitions.
More importantly the club introduced female and junior football, putting in a structure of football for everyone and was quickly recognised by the FA as Community Standard Club.
The club now consists of many teams with players as young as five. With a new name for the ground, Communications Park, Chairman Iain Humphrey set about creating a club house which is one of the best in the country at this level of football, offering a facility which is used by the community for meetings, weddings and conferences.
2007–08 was a very successful season for Daventry Town. They won UCL Division One, losing just once, and defeated three Premier division teams en route to the League Knockout Cup final, where they were defeated by Desborough Town 3–2.
In the season 2009–10, Daventry won promotion to the Southern League Division One Central, by becoming champions of the United Counties League under the guidance of manager Ady Fuller. As well as progress off the pitch, great strides were also being made on the pitch.
Daventry Town reached the last 16 of the FA vase, the final of the NFA Senior Cup, beaten by Corby Town by 3 – 2 and the semi – finals of the UCL KO cup before Captain Paul Saunders lifted the UCL championship to secure Daventry Town a coveted place in the Southern League for the 2010 – 2011 season.
Under the guidance of Ady Fuller and assistant Paul Lamb, their first season in the Southern League almost ended with another promotion via the play offs.
Former Aston Villa, Charlton and Republic of Ireland international Mark Kinsella was offered the Managers job to work alongside Ady Fuller as assistant manager, this should have been the season for Town to build on the success of the previous seasons and make the next step up the pyramid.
Fuller decided to leave and joined one of his old clubs Banbury United, taking most of the squad with him, leaving the club with very few players to start the season.
Former Bristol Rovers player Andy Reece was installed as assistant and former Walsall player Chris Marsh as coach and the rebuilding began. Town struggled all season, finally finishing in sixteenth position. Over 40 players wore the purple shirt during the season and not surprisingly the team struggled to find any level of consistency.
Kinsella left by mutual agreement in 2012 and former Daventry United/Ford Sports Manager Darran Foster was appointed with Neil Champelovier as his assistant and Paul Dempsey as coach.
Foster guided Town to an eighth-place finish with the team pushing hard for a play-off place all season. They also reached the final of the Northants County Cup, losing to Corby Town by 3 – 1 at Northampton Towns Sixfields Stadium.
Paul Dempsey stood down at the beginning of 2013- 2014 and Jamie Gould stepped up from player to first team coach. Most of that season’s squad remained, the continuity being a key factor in their success the following season.
Daventry Town also made history in 2013-2014 by reaching the First Round of the FA Cup, a visit to Chesterfield’s Proact Stadium their reward. They were eventually beaten by 2 – 0 in front of over 700 of their own travelling supporters and a crowd of over 5269. Town also reached the first round of the FA Trophy losing to Maidenhead United by 1 – 0.
Daventry reached the final of the Northamptonshire Senior Cup – Hillier Cup beating Cogenhoe United, managed by Andy Marks, 3 – 0, Scott Cross (2) and Luke Keen scoring the goals.
Town had been season-long favourites for promotion from the Southern League Division One Central in 2013 -2014 but the back log of fixtures caused by the cup runs took effect. They were knocked out of the promotion play-off at the semi-final stage by Kettering Town, narrowly beaten 1-0.
A few months into 2014-2015 the club were going through a tough time financially forcing cuts in the playing budget.
Darran Foster resigned as manager on 30th October 2014 and was replaced by former Watford, Oldham and Preston professional Allan Smart. Former Manager Ady Fuller was appointed as his Assistant Manager.
In the Summer of 2015, the club were moved to the Northern Premier League Division One South.
Smart resigned in July 2015 with Darran Foster returned to Daventry Town as Manager just nine months after resigning.
The Foster family ran both the clubhouse and the football club however financial problems and a transfer embargo meant that Town failed to win another match after their 2 1 victory at Tividale on 19th December 2015.
Foster resigned on Easter Saturday after a 5 0 home defeat to Kidsgrove.
Goalkeeping coach Derren Midson and the Club’s Juniors Development Officer Pete Flockhart stepped in as Caretaker Managers with Brian Porter as Club Secretary to ensure the club completed their remaining 6 fixtures of the 2015/2016 season.
In a move planned to reset the club’s financial problems, Town took voluntary relegation to step 6 football and the club returned to the United Counties League Division 1.
In April 2016, a new Executive Committee were formed together with a full club committee as Iain Humphrey began the process of relinquishing control of the Communications Park’s outfit. Steve Tubb took over as chairman.
On the 12th May 2016, the club appointed Arron Parkinson and Andy Marks as joint managers. In turn they appointed Steve Allen and former Town manager Ady Fuller as first team coaches. Des Midson returned as goalkeeping coach with Simon Lord as Physio.
An impressive squad, playing some very attractive football was put together, especially when considering there is no playing budget for the 2016 /2017 season. The side comfortably won the UCL Division 1 by 9 clear points scoring 103 points and going unbeaten at home in the process.
Andy Marks left the club at the end of the season due to family and work commitments. Ian King joined Parkinson as Joint Manager in May 2017 as the club prepared for their return to the UCL Premier Division.