Burton Bradstock Football Club was founded and inaugurated for the 1907/08 season. The team played with some interruptions (e.g. 1st & 2nd World Wars) in the South West Dorset League right up to the 1979/80 season (Division 4) which was the last time a player kicked a ball in anger for the village club until 2004.
Village resident Basil Dent restarted the club for the 1968/69 season. He managed the club from this point right up to the 1979/80 season after which the team disbanded. A long gap of more than 24 years ensued during which no football action took place in the name of Burton Bradstock.
In 2003, village residents Dave Dixon, Chris Lamble and John Noonan got together to reform and resuscitate the team in preparation for the 2004/05 Bridport 5-a-side Sunday league. Donations from the Parish Council and village pub sponsor The Anchor Inn assisted greatly in putting the village team back on the footballing map after nearly a quarter of a century of inaction.
However, raising funds was a very different affair back in the 60's. Basil Dent recalls that the team did a sponsored walk along the beach from Portland to Burton Bradstock to get the team going again 1968.
A team photograph of the 1910/11 team shows the name 'Canarys' (sic) written on a football in the forefront. Indeed, Basil Dent confirms this was the nickname of the original team although it is not certain how it came about. During the 60's and 70's, the team's biggest fan and main benefactor [can't remember his name] was originally from Norwich and a fanatical supporter of Norwich City Football Club whose nickname is also the 'Canaries'. The nickname seemed most appropriate and Basil Dent continued to use it for the team throughout his period of management.
same picture but the ball is marked Canary's
picture of the 1910-111 team
The 1910-11 Football team contains Conrad Hawkins, 2nd right killed in action 1917, and Douglas Hawkins seated right front. Robert Howarth in the centre of the middle row. (Liz Grimshaw)
For their first ever season in 1907/08, the team wore shirts with black and amber vertical stripes, black shorts and black socks. It is not totally clear why the team played in these colours but it is mooted there could be a connection with Bridport Football Club (the 'Bees') who play in very similar colours.
The team photograph from 1910/11 shows the team still wearing the original colours 3 years after their inauguration. However, a team photograph from 1929 shows the team in the same colour shirts and socks but with white shorts instead of black.
Another team photograph from 1968/69 shows the Canaries wearing their away colours. This was the same away kit as used by Arsenal FC at the time. However, there is no connection with Arsenal FC and this is simply coincidental.
However, after nearly a century (97 years) since the original team kicked-off, the 2004 team play in the same original strip from 1907 of shirts with black and amber vertical stripes, black shorts and black socks. Also, they call themselves the 'Canaries' so the nickname lives on.
Curiously, there is no historical data regarding a badge or emblem for the club. Therefore, the assumption is made that the club has never had one.
Past records show that top Premiership referee Paul Durkin took charge of two matches involving the Canaries when he was a young newly qualified referee. Details of these matches are as follows:
1. 17 Feb 1973: Preston 3-1 Burton Bradstock. He was paid no match fee for his services and he was awarded marks of 8/10 for his performance by the team managers; and
2. 24 Feb 1973: Portland 2-2 Burton Bradstock. Once again he was not paid for his services and was awarded marks of 8/10 for his performance by the team managers
Both of the above matches were played in the Dorset League Division 4 (SW).
As mentioned before, the team now plays in the Bridport 5-a-side Sunday league. However, plans are being drawn up to put a full 11-a-side village team back in action at some point in the future.