15th May 1901. Up the Brewers!
The Author’s home town of Burton-on-Trent, Staffs,. has had probably more teams in the Football League than any other town.
Burton Wanderers 8, Manchester City 0. (26.12.1894).
Burton Wanderers 9, Newcastle United 0 (15.4.1895). Their greatest defeat.
Burton Wanderers (1871) were founder members of The Midland League in 1890 and in 1893-4 were elected to the 2nd Division of The Football league. In 1896-7 they were voted out being replaced by Luton. They rejoined The Midland League.
Later a worsening financial situation caused by plummeting attendances forced both Wanderers and Burton Swifts to sell players. The Wanderers ‘gate-money’ was less than half the wage bill.
There was talk of merger and a crisis meeting was held Today at the Station Hotel, Burton in May 1901, to decide the future of Swifts, and Wanderers, who played at Derby Turn.
The feeling was that with a growing population, the town could successfully support one Football League side. It resulted in the merger of Swifts, who were still playing in the 2nd Division, with Burton Wanderers, and a new team called Burton United was accepted into the League in the 1901-2 season.
Playing at Peel Croft, the Swifts’ old ground, and nick-named the ‘Crofters’ or ‘Brewers’, 4,000 turned up for their first home match against Blackpool, and they were to enjoy success in the FA Cup.(1)
However the glory days ended and United folded with financial problems, and after coming second-bottom two years running, finally in 1906-7 suffered the ignominy of being voted out of the League. Fulham replaced them.(2)
United’s final game of the season was a 2-0 win home win over West Bromwich and proved to be their last Football League game in Burton until they played their second (Division 2) game (at home) to Morecambe at the Pirelli Stadium on August 15th 2009, a 102 years later.
Burton United having merged with All-Saints ((established at the same time as United) in 1910, re-joined the Birmingham and District League, becoming Burton All Saints in 1919.
The club was well supported at their now Victoria Crescent Ground, before it was renamed Burton Town in 1924, but to be finally disbanded in 1939 at the outbreak of war.
Then Phoenix-like in 1950, saw newly-named Burton Albion in the Birmingham League, playing on the cinder-banked Wellington Street Ground, next to Lloyd’s Foundry, where the author saw them play Gloucester City before a crowd of 3.000.
The Albion moved to Eton Park in September 1958 on promotion to the Southern League. Then moving through Conference and Blue Square Premier Leagues, in the meantime moving to the purpose-built Pirelli Stadium in 2005.
Then in April 2009 Burton qualified, after 102 years, again for Division Two of the Football league.
On May 8th 2016 Burton Albion drew with Doncaster Rovers (0-0), thus securing a place in the Championship League, by coming second to Wigan.
Ref: wikipedia.org/burton_albion. Also sites relating to burton_town.etc.
(1) Burton Rugby Club in 1910 regained possession of Peel Croft.
(2) To compound the trouble the grandstand was burnt down the evening after a Good Friday match against Leicester Fosse.