Crest of Banbury United Football Club

Banbury United

The Puritans

A photo of Banbury United Football Club
© Biddle of Nowhere Photography, licensed under CC BY SA 2.0

Banbury United Football Club, nicknamed “The Puritans,” is a non-league football club based in Banbury, Oxfordshire.

Established in 1931, they currently compete in the Pitching In Southern Football League Premier Central, which is part of the seventh tier of English football. The team calls Spencer Stadium their home ground.

Banbury United FC originated in 1931 as Spencer Villa, a works team. Renamed Banbury Spencer in 1934, they swiftly won the Oxfordshire Senior League and joined the Birmingham Combination the following year. After turning professional in 1946 under manager Jimmy Cringan’s 25-year leadership, the club reached the FA Cup First Round and the Birmingham Senior Cup final.

Post-1950s, Banbury joined the Birmingham League, evolving into the West Midlands League by 1962. In 1965, following financial challenges, the club was renamed Banbury United. They entered the Southern League in 1966, enjoying a 24-season tenure with notable FA Cup and FA Trophy appearances.

The late 1970s marked a decline, leading to relegation to the Hellenic League in 1990. A revival in the late 1990s, spearheaded by a revitalized committee and manager Kevin Brock, led to a return to the Southern League in 2000. The club experienced fluctuating fortunes, including relegation and a supporter-led takeover in 2015. Mike Ford’s managerial stint from 2015 to 2020 included promotion and a strong finish in the Southern League.

In 2021/22, Banbury United, managed by Andy Whing, had their best season, winning the Southern League Central Division Championship. Mark Jones took over as manager for the 2023/24 season, guiding a largely new squad in the National League North.