Ground Address: The Belmont, Belmont Road, Whitstable, Kent. CT5 1QP
To get a route to the ground type your postcode into the box below.
The Early Days
The first recorded football match took place in the town during October 1885 when, under the name "Whitstable United", a team played Whitstable College. Earliest use of the name "Whitstable Town" can be traced to the following season (1886-87). Matches were played on Fridays at "Mr Saddleton's field" - an area of ground near the railway station.
Use of the club's Belmont ground commenced in January 1888 with a friendly game against Herne Bay. A century later, the club is still there and still competing against its local rivals on the North Kent coast.
The club changed its name briefly to "Whitstable Swifts" in 1893 but reverted to "Whitstable Town" just two years later.
The Start of Competition
Whitstable Town played their first competitive game in 1897 - a Kent Junior cup match that resulted in a 7-1 defeat by Dover Star FC. Shortly after this, the club joined the "East Kent League" and later played in both the "New Brompton" and "Faversham & District" leagues.
The Early Kent League
In 1909, Town joined the Kent League Division 2 and achieved a respectable fourth place in its first season. Two teams were also entered in the Thanet League and these were successful in lifting both the first and second division titles.
The FA Cup Comes to Town
The first FA Cup campaign came in 1910. A 3-2 victory over Folkestone preceded a defeat by Dartford in front of a crowd of some 2,150.
Between Wars... The First Major Successes
Following the First World War, Town rejoined the Kent League and remained in the competition until the outbreak of World War II. The club won the Division 2 title in 1927-28 and 1933-34. However, the key success came in 1928-29 when the team lifted the Kent Amateur Cup (now known as the Kent Senior Trophy).
Post War and Promotion
Returning to the Kent League after the war, the club won the Division 2 title in the 1949-50 season and played in the First Division until the League disbanded in 1959.
The Swinging 60s.... the Wilderness Years
The loss of the Kent League came as a hammer blow. Wealthier clubs moved onward and upward to the more prestigious Southern League leaving behind a small band of teams fighting for survival.
Town joined the Aetolian League briefly. Gone were the days of the money-spinning East Kent derby games against the likes of Folkestone, Dover, Sittingbourne and Margate. Matches against far off London-based sides were no substitute and, inevitably, the 1960's became a period of financial problems and decay. The team dropped into the Kent Amateur League for a short period - an all time low for a senior side with such a rich history - and later moved on to other competitions including the Greater London League.
There were, of course, successes but at a lower level than in the past. The team finished as runners up in the Kent Amateur Cup in 1960-61 and second in the Greater London League in 1965-66.
Return of the Kent League.... and the Road to Recovery
The Kent League was reformed in 1968 and Town rejoined immediately. However, this was not the Kent League of the "heady" 1930s and 1950s. Populated by a large number of reserve sides from Southern League Clubs, there was little to appeal to supporters... but it was a start.
Gradually, former Kent League clubs began to return. Some like Whitstable, had wandered various leagues. Others had encountered financial problems in the Southern League. At last, the League Management Committee was in a position to remove reserve sides from the competition and impose strict conditions governing grounds and facilities. East Kent derby matches became a reality once more - against Ramsgate, Canterbury City, Folkestone, Deal, Faversham Town, Chatham..... and, of course, our oldest and nearest rivals, Herne Bay.
The club responded - building a club house and attempting to restore the Belmont to its former glory on limited funds. The "Town" celebrated its centenary in 1985-86 in a healthier state and the occasion was marked by games against Charlton Athletic and Crystal Palace. Both matches attracted large crowds to the Belmont.
Most progress has been achieved in the last 10 years following the arrival of chairman Joe Brownett and sponsorship by D&J Tyres of Herne Bay. Since then, dressing rooms have been refurbished, the club house re-fitted, floodlights erected, a new snack bar created, committee rooms extended, the pitch levelled and a drainage system installed. Most of the work has been undertaken by the committee and the most loyal group of unpaid volunteers to be found anywhere in football.
....But Limited Success
Success on the pitch has been elusive since the re-formation of the Kent League. Despite a regular "top 10" position, the best league finishes have been two "third place" spots.
Cup competitions have yielded greater success but there has been heartache as well.... "runners up" in Kent League Cup twice and the Kent Senior Trophy on three occasions. The only major reward came in 1979-80 - a 4-3 victory over Chatham to lift the Kent League Cup at the Bull Ground at Sittingbourne. Trailing 2-0 and 3-1 in the final, the team recovered to score two late goals and an "extra time" winner.
The club achieved it best FA Vase run during 1996-97. Despite being drawn away from home in virtually every round, we reached the last 16...just 3 matches from an appearance at Wembley in this nationwide competition. With everyone praying for a home draw, luck deserted us...North Ferriby united (near Hull) ...away. A tight 1-0 defeat ended our dream on Humberside.
A few years ago in March 1989, the club and one of its most popular players (Gerry Allen) received coverage in the national press following one of the quickest goals in football history - timed at just over 4 seconds. From the kick off, the ball was rolled forward and Gerry attempted to lob the ball over the goalkeeper from the half way line. A slight miscue caused the ball to drop short but it skidded on the damp surface and passed under the goalkeeper's body.
Everyone dived for the Guiness book of records but it seems that there have been slightly quicker strikes. Had Gerry made a clean connection, it it might have been the fastest goal of all time!
... And the Next 100 Years?
We have a following of some 150 to 200 regular supporters. However, we know that many more people take an interest in the club from a distance and with the population of Whitstable approaching 30,000, we are fully aware of our potential. In the distant past, crowds topped "four figures". Even now, attendances for the Herne Bay derby matches regularly exceed 400 and one FA Cup match against our local rivals attracted 850 people. When we appeared in a cup final a few years ago, phone calls were received from around the world as ex-Whitstable residents attempted to discover the match result!
This brings us up to Date…
Whitstable Towns Chairman Joe Brownett, after sixteen years at Town, is stepping aside for Tony Rouse to take over as chairman. Joe spoke of his pride at the legacy he leaves behind. "The youth set up at Whitstable is amongst the best in local football." Whitstable won the U15' cup. Simon Kay won the reserves Div 2 title, in the process won promotion to the 1Div; the U18's, under Peter Budge won their league. Although we faltered at the final hurdle, the first team under Matt Toms finished 3rd in the best position for over 30 years.
With the leagues best gate for some years of just under 700 (achieved 2004/05 season) and an average of just under 200, only bettered by Maidstone United. Three years ago Whitstable lifted the Kent Senior Trophy at Sittingbourne in front of a large crowd, braking the run without cup success stretching back 21 years, the celebrations back in Whitstable lasted well into the night.
With the new sponsorship from GLS Football.com in place for the next three years, the future looks very exciting and one all at the club are really looking forward to. WTFC is the local football club and we aim to serve the community of Whitstable and try to achieve this by providing supporters with acceptable facilities and running junior teams for some 300 young people, together with the youth and senior sides.
It's your football club and can only survive for the next hundred years with the support of the people of Whitstable, you are most welcome to visit the Belmont Ground to sample all that is good about local football.