Crest of Banstead Athletic Football Club

Banstead Athletic

The A's

Banstead Athletic Football Club, nicknamed “The A's,” is a non-league football club based in Tadworth, Surrey.

Established in 1944, they currently compete in the Premier Sports Southern Combination Division One, which is part of the tenth tier of English football. The team calls Merland Rise their home ground.

Initially known as Banstead Juniors, the club was founded during World War II in 1944/45 and won the League Cup in its inaugural season. The club changed its name to Banstead Athletic F.C. in 1946/47 and won the Surrey Intermediate Cup. The late 1940s and early 1950s were particularly successful, with league titles in 1947/48 and 1948/49, followed by dominant performances under Harry Clark, who scored 81 goals in 26 games, leading the club to several league titles through the early 1950s. Gordon Taylor, now the club’s President, also led the team to a league title in 1964/65.

In 1979/80, Banstead joined the Athenian League and won the League Cup the following season. After the Athenian League’s dissolution in 1984/85, the club joined the Isthmian League. The late 1980s were challenging, with the club nearly closing in 1989/90, but it survived and had notable runs, including reaching the FA Vase quarter-final in 1992/93 and the semi-final in 1996/97. The late 1990s and early 2000s saw frequent managerial changes and fluctuating league performances. The club joined the Combined Counties League in 2006, experiencing mixed fortunes and numerous managerial changes, with brief highs such as finishing 6th in 2006/07 and 2015/16.

The 2010s brought further turbulence and restructuring. Despite relegation struggles and frequent managerial turnovers, Banstead had a notable achievement in 2017 by winning the Division One title and securing promotion. However, the following seasons were difficult, exacerbated by injuries and the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to the cancellation of two seasons. Recent years have seen continued challenges, with relegation in 2022/23, leading to another overhaul of management and players. The club saw the passing of significant figures like President Gordon Taylor in 2015 and Chairman Terry Molloy in April 2024.