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Non League Football Under The Microscope

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Eastbourne Borough fans celebrate - August Bank Holiday Monday 2003                                Photograph by Sam Hicks

Swindon Supermarine FC

Hunts Copse, Highworth Road, South Marston, Swindon, Wiltshire SN3 4SY
Telephone: 01793 828778
Nickname: Marine
Southern League

Note Swindon Supermarine FC is a relatively new club, founded as recently as 1992 through the amalgamation of two established Hellenic League clubs, Swindon Athletic FC and Supermarine FC. At the time of the merger, Athletic (known as Penhill FC until 1989) were enjoying better fortunes on the pitch but were having problems meeting grading requirements at their Southbrook ground in Pinehurst Road.

The Supermarine aircraft company became synonymous with the Spitfire during WW2, and the football club grew out of the Works Social Club in 1946 under the name of Vickers Armstrong, and then simply Vickers FC. Supermarine played on a pitch adjacent to the social club on the Highworth Road complex, which is also shared with a number of other sports, including rugby.

On moving to the current pitch the club took its small but characterful stand with them and re-erected it, with the playing area roped off. In November 1999 a smart new clubhouse with a gabled roof was opened, whilst new floodlights also went up for the first time.

An application to join the Southern League after a championship-winning season in 2000/01 was accepted but in order to secure promotion a number of ground improvements were required. A new 225-seater stand was erected to compliment the old stand, taking the covered accommodation to 300 seats. The two now stand adjacent to one another and I know which I prefer! In addition, a six foot perimeter fence was erected to enclose the ground; new toilet facilities for spectators were built; and the floodlights were renewed. The dugouts are on the opposite side of the pitch, and it is interesting to note that in order to meet new seating regulations, seats have been added although not actually in the dugouts themselves. The letters “SSFC” set them off nicely. The two ends of the ground remained uncovered at the time the photographs were taken in November 2005. 

During the summer 0f 2005 the club managed to secure its future at South Marston with the purchase of the current ground and an additional seven acres of land. There are plans to develop the whole complex over a five year period with enhanced training facilities for both the senior team and the local young footballers of Swindon; as well as an improved playing surface. DB