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Hello and welcome to the first of a new series of historical football programme articles covering non league football clubs. In part one I will take a look at the history behind clubs in the New Milton and Lymington areas of Hampshire...


PART ONE - The History of football in New Milton and Lymington


The history of football in the New Milton and Lymington areas of Hampshire is, frankly, very complicated. This article is an attempt to cover that story from the late 19th century to the present day through the programmes issued at the time.


The first club to be formed was LYMINGTON FC, back in 1876. They played, mainly, in the Hampshire league and little happened in their history until 1986, when they merged with fellow Wessex league works team WELLWORTHY ATHLETIC, to form AFC LYMINGTON. 





Success on the pitch quickly followed, but the club were unable to gain promotion as the facilities at their Southampton Road ground weren�t up to the required level. The club eventually decided that the only way to move forward would be by a further merger with a club with better facilities, and that is where the second of our titular clubs enters the story. NEW MILTON FC, had been formed back in 1898, and had performed successfully under that name until 1993 when an offer of better facilities from New Milton Town Council led to them changing their name to NEW MILTON TOWN FC.


These new facilities quickly became a target for AFC Lymington as a way to facilitate promotion, and sure enough, after a hostile and acrimonious take over AFC Lymington moved in to New Milton and a new club called LYMINGTON & NEW MILTON was born.





This new merger was unpopular with supporters of both clubs, however, and it led to the formation of two splinter clubs. LYMINGTON TOWN, who were based back at the old Lymington ground at Southampton Road, and NEW MILTON (MILFORD), who set up shop in nearby Milford.


The new LYMINGTON & NEW MILTON TOWN club, again, proved successful on the pitch, but once again failed to win promotion as, ironically, facilities in New Milton also failed to reach the standards required by the Southern league. This pattern continued until 2005 when promotion to the Isthmian league was finally achieved. This long sought after success was short lived however, and after a couple of seasons the club asked to be demoted back to the Wessex league for the start of season 2007/08 season. This in turn led to most of the Lymington faction within the club leaving, and the club deciding to revert to their previous name of NEW MILTON TOWN. That is where they are now, in the second division of the Wessex League.




And what of the two splinter clubs I hear you cry?


Well, LYMINGTON TOWN have prospered, and have overtaken New Milton Town to be in the top division of the Wessex league. NEW MILTON(MILFORD), on the other hand, only lasted one season before folding.




 Steve Hardy 27/04/15