History

Club History

The club was founded in 1904 as Pilton Yeo Vale, and were founder members, and the first winners of the North Devon League, at the end of their first season they changed to their current name. The club went on to win the league again in the 1908–09 campaign, and then left the league the next season to play in the Devon & Exeter League.

The club returned to the North Devon League after the First world war for the 1920–21 campaign, and later back in the Devon & Exeter League. After the Second World War the club won the Devon and Exeter league in the 1946–47 campaign.

Two Seasons later the club then joined Division Two of the Western Football League. Their first season in the Western league saw the club make their debut in the FA Cup, making it to the Preliminary round before being knocked out by Gloucester City. After winning the Western League Division Two in the 1949–50 season under the management of Arthur Coles. Three seasons later the club achieved the double of winning the Western league and the Devon Professional Cup.

The club would then have to wait until 1979–80 for when they would win the Western league again, this time under joint managers Brian Hill and Dave Baglow. The club remained in the top division until they were relegated at the end of the 1990–91 campaign. Brian Hill was appointed manager again and got the Barum back into the top division after three seasons winning the First Division Championship in 1993–94. The club maintained this status until 2013 when they were relegated to Division One after finishing bottom of the Premier Division.

History of the Western League

Western League Badge.The Western Football League was formed in 1892, and was then a Bristol based league. Indeed, the League badge is based on the coat of arms of the City of Bristol.

In the first half of the 20th Century the League enjoyed mixed fortunes, but for the past 60 or more years has been recognised as the strongest of the south western based leagues. The establishment of a clearly defined pyramid system of promotion for clubs gave all member clubs a clear and achievable route to the Football League. It is recognised that the clubs who win promotion from the League have facilities in excess of the grading requirements, and in recent years the promoted clubs have established themselves well in the higher league.

Clubs in membership over the years have included the reserve teams of all of the Football League clubs in the area but with a change of rules brought in by The FA there are now none. No reserve team may operate at a level above Step 7 of the National League System and The Western League Premier Division is at Step 5 with the First Division at Step 6.

Four seasons ago The Football Association took on the responsibility for match official appointing for all Contributory Leagues, which led to the League losing its Match Officials Officer. Then, within two years with the reorganisation of non league football, the First Division was re-designated as a Supply League in the refereeing structure, which meant that a Match Officials Officer was once again required to deal with that division.

Over the seasons the standard of play within the League enabled many referees to gain experience and to progress to higher levels, and local referees who became FIFA officials acknowledged that they were able to hone their skills within the Western League, to provide the opportunity to operate successfully on the international scene.

The Western League has led the way in attracting sponsorship and when Rothmans became involved in non league football as sponsors it was the Western League that they chose to support in the south. Since that groundbreaking deal the League officers have been successful in gaining financial backing from south west based businesses.

Great Mills Warehouse, then a well known DIY retail chain, became main sponsors in the early 1980’s only to step away when the company was taken over.

Screwfix Direct Ltd were in the early years of trading when they stepped in with the offer of a three year deal, which lasted for 11 years, again brought to an end because the company was taken over.

Current sponsors, Toolstation Ltd, broke the previous record for Western League sponsorship, and probably for any league at the same level, and are now in the seventh year of a long term deal with member clubs enjoying the benefits of increased prize money, free matchballs and reduced membership fees.