History of Football in Gamlingay

Gamlingay is one of the longest serving clubs in the Cambs League having missed only two seasons since the league was formed in 1921. When first formed in 1902 the club played local friendlies before entering the Biggleswade & District League and the Cambs Junior League. On the formation of the county league in 1921 Gamlingay were placed in Division 2 and in that first season finished runners-up to Girton. The following season saw Gamlingay decide to concentrate on the Biggleswade League as the fixture congestion from both competitions had proved too much. The club won the title with a Canter that year and decided to change back to the Cambs league as it proved provided better quality football.

It proved a good decision for the Club as although they were placed in Division 3B they won the Division 3 and 2 titles at the first attempt as well as reaching the final of the junior Cup where they lost 3-1 to Romsey Old Boys. The club was now on a roll and in l93O they won Division A of the Premier Division but were beaten in the Championship play-off by Chatteris Engineers. Three years later the league title was finally secured and for good nieasure beat Royston 2-0 in the final of the Creake Charity Shield. Eleven seasons were spent in the top flight before the club got relegated in 1936.

The club missed the first season after the war as they re-built but were rewarded with their Division 1 place when they re-joined in 1957. It was obvious that they had another good side as they finished runners-up in both 1949 and l95O before finally winning Division 1A in 1954. Unfortunately the Reds only lasted two seasons in the Premier Division before being relegated.

This time however there was no stopping the fall and by the 1960's they had dropped down into Division 2A, a descent that culminated in relegation to Division 3A in 1969. That proved the jolt the club needed and they won the Division 3 and 2 titles in successive seasons. They stayed in Division 1 until they were placed in Premier B in 1981. That proved to be a successful move for the club as in 1984 the reached the final of the William Cockell Cup, winning it the following season. Eventually in 1988 the won the Premier B double by taking both the title and the William Cockell Cup to regain their Premier Division place thirty two years after losing it. Gamlingay gradually resettled into the top flight and won the Premier League Cup in 1991 by beating Waterbeach. In 1992 they finished runners-up to Phillips UK for the title but after that they dropped in Senior A two seasons ago. 1993 saw the commencement of a youth policy for the club which was to prove so successful in the coming years. A major reorganisation off the field saw all the football clubs within the village combine under the new title of GAMLINGAY UTD. After spending the 1997 season consolidating, have put together a major promotion campaign and, at present, are one of the favourites for promotion as well as being in the semi-final of the William Cockell Cup.

Gamlingay received it's nickname by virtue of the fact that in their early years the Motor Car was just rising to prominence and with the team colours being right red the locals name the team the "Rear Lights".

Page prepared by Roderick Starksfield.