Crest of Sholing Football Club


The Boatmen

Sholing Football Club, nicknamed “The Boatmen,” is a non-league football club based in Southampton, Hampshire.

Established in 1890, they currently compete in the Pitching In Southern Football League Premier South, which is part of the seventh tier of English football. The team calls Gunners Keep their home ground.

The club has a rich history, starting from their early days as Woolston Works in 1884. They made notable achievements in the late 19th century, including winning the first Hampshire Senior Cup in 1888. Post-World War I, they re-formed as Thornycrofts (Woolston) and joined the Hampshire County League, reaching the FA Cup First Round proper in 1920. After re-forming again in 1960 as Vosper Thornycroft FC, the club experienced various successes in the Southampton leagues, culminating in their promotion to the Hampshire League Division 3 in 1991 and subsequent promotions and cup victories throughout the 1990s and early 2000s.

In 2010, the club was renamed Sholing FC following the closure of their parent company, VT Group. This period saw significant achievements, including multiple Southampton Senior Cup wins and promotions, with a highlight being the 2013-14 season when Sholing won the FA Vase at Wembley Stadium. Despite facing challenges like ground grading issues and voluntary relegation, Sholing consistently performed well in the Wessex League, often finishing in the top positions and securing various cup wins.

Recent years have continued to see Sholing’s competitive spirit, with a historic promotion to the Southern Premier South in the 2022-23 season. Despite a challenging first season at this level, finishing 15th, the club secured their place for the following season. The season also marked the end of Dave Diaper’s 25-year managerial tenure, with Paul Doswell taking over and overseeing improvements both on and off the pitch, including the start of construction on a new stand and ground refurbishments.