Clifton All Whites Football Club, nicknamed “The All Whites,” is a non-league football club based in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire.
Established in 1970, they currently compete in the uhlsport UCL Division One, which is part of the tenth tier of English football. The team calls Norman Archer Memorial Ground their home ground.
Clifton All Whites, originally named Thistledown Rovers, was founded in 1963 by Dick Lambert, Ivor Ekrem, and Bill Norwell. In its early years, the club was a dominant force in Nottinghamshire youth football, drawing talented players from across the county. Their progress led to international exposure with a Dutch Tournament at the end of the 1964/65 season, a notable feat as overseas tours were rare at the time. Innovatively, Clifton All Whites provided full football kits for players, a significant advancement from the norm of clubs only supplying shirts. The club also made headlines when their under-12 team played before a crowd of over 20,000 at a Nottingham Forest first division match.
Clifton All Whites resisted becoming a nursery club for professional teams, maintaining independence in their operations. David Staniforth emerged as the first player from the club to turn professional with Sheffield United. The club’s success in FA Youth Cup games and its venture into senior football in 1973 marked significant milestones, joining the Midland League with Mick Walker as the first club manager. However, they resigned from the Midland League during the 1977-78 season. In the following decades, the club played in various leagues, achieving notable successes including winning the Central Midlands League South Division championship in 2013-14 and becoming Nottinghamshire Senior League Champions in the 2016/17 season. The club also expanded its scope, introducing a girls’ team in 1999 and maintaining teams from junior levels to seniors.
Clifton All Whites has been a stepping stone for many professional footballers. Notable alumni include Garry Birtles, who won European Cups with Nottingham Forest and played for England, and Keith Alexander, a successful manager in non-league and Football League. Jermaine Jenas, Michael Johnson, Richard Liburd, Darren Huckerby, and many others started their careers at Clifton, showcasing the club’s significant contribution to professional football. The club’s history is not just about its achievements in leagues and cups, but also its role in nurturing talent that has graced both national and international stages.
Former players and managers elsewhere in the non-league pyramid