Club History 1892 - 2010
The Cornwall County Football Association was founded on the 18th September 1889 at a meeting in the Royal Hotel, Truro. Clubs present were: Truro, Porthcurno, Penzance, Probus School, Liskeard, Dunheved School (Launceston), Torpoint and Millbrook.
By November 1891 the West Briton was able to report that the “Association game is making much headway in Cornwall; whereas last year only six clubs were affiliated to the C.C.F.A., this year 14 clubs have representatives on the committee”.
In September 1892 a meeting was held at St Agnes for the purpose of forming a football club. Mr G.C. Hancock presided, and it was decided that the club would be formed under Association rules. The following officers were elected: Mr G.C. Hancock C.C., president; Mr W. Littleton-Geach, vice president; Mr Pollard, captain; Mr G.C. Hancock, jun., vice captain; Mr Alfred Martin, hon. secretary; and a committee of C. Harris, jun., James Johns and S.J. Hooper. Several members were enrolled and it was thought that there was every prospect of the game becoming very popular in St Agnes.
St Agnes played in the Senior Cup, with fixtures against teams including Truro, Newquay and Penzance. Against Truro at home, in March 1894, 600 spectators watched the game. At the end of the 1898/99 season St Agnes had finished second to Penzance.
The situation had changed by the 1904/05 season and St Agnes were suffering very heavy defeats. Another local team however appears to have been doing better, and in August 1905 the Royal Cornwall Gazette reported: “The best football in the district will probably be seen this season with the Goonvrea club which held its annual meeting … A selection committee was also appointed and decided to join the C.C.F.A”.
In September, at the St Agnes club’s annual meeting, it was agreed to disband the club, but on the 21st of that month the Cornish Post and Mining News carried a report about two teams from St Agnes parish which would be competing during the coming season: It would appear as if we may after all have a little football in the place, seeing two clubs have started, instead of the one just disbanded. The Goonvrea Club have engaged the Bowling Green and intend entering the Dunn Cup competition. The second club has been started in connection with the church. Rev. Rawson, the curate, who is a great advocate for athletics, is taking a great interest in the latter club, of which Mr Charles Harper has been elected captain. We hope both clubs will be successful.
Goonvrea started their 1905/06 season in September with an away match against Blackwater, another parish side, and won 3-0. Records unfortunately do not show how many of the old St Agnes team moved to this club. Goonvrea played in the Dunn Cup and the Mining League, competing against Blackwater four times between September and November.
At the end of September the Church team had a practice game on their new ground in Penwinnick Road. The goalposts, nets etc. had been purchased from the defunct St Agnes side. Their first match was against ‘Truro Church Lads Brigade’ on the Penwinnick ground and resulted in a 7-0 win. In October they beat Probus School 2-1.
During the summer of 1906 the Goonvrea club disbanded and amalgamated with the St Agnes Church team, which was to become the main St Agnes side until the First World War, winning both the Junior Cup and the Dunn Cup in the 1910/11 season. The Mining Division Football League Golden Jubilee Souvenir Handbook of 1955 includes ‘A short history of St Agnes Football Club’, which describes the Church team’s success: The team which won the Junior Cup in 1910/11 drew 1-1 with Truro City 1st eleven which went on to win the Senior Cup. After such a successful run, the club was instructed to enter senior football or drop five of their regular players, but it so happened that a number of the players emigrated to America and the club was able to remain in junior football.
In the 1912/13 season they again won the Junior Cup and the Dunn Cup but sadly in February 1914 the West Briton reported that owing to lack of support the St Agnes Church Football Club was to be wound up.
Later in 1914, with the outbreak of the First World War, all competition football in Cornwall was to come to an abrupt end.
In February 1918 a local team called St Agnes Rangers played Newquay County School and won by three goals to nil. The Mining Division souvenir handbook of 1955 stated: “The club was disbanded at the outbreak of the First World War but when peace was declared was soon re-established as St Agnes Rangers, playing in red and green stripes against local teams”.
In September 1919 St Agnes held a meeting to revive their club. The West Briton described this meeting as ‘well attended and enthusiastic’. Mr C. Letcher was appointed hon. secretary, Mr H. Heamingway was the president and Mr M. Uglow treasurer. The appointment of captain would be made later. It was decided to enter the Junior and Dunn Cup competitions. Most of the former players had indicated their intention to assist, but unfortunately the team did not last long. On the 6th January 1921 the West Briton, under the heading ‘Wind up of St Agnes club’, carried this report: Owing to lack of support the St Agnes Football club has been compelled to wind up and all fixtures have been cancelled. The failure is partly due to the great expense incurred through taking over Mithian’s Junior Cup engagements, the poor success of the team and the consequent small takings on the field. The club has a debit balance of £21s. [£2.05] which it is hoped to be wiped out by the sale of goalposts and balls.
St Agnes was to reform again for the 1923/24 season. At that time there were other teams playing in the parish, including Mithian, Blackwater, Mount Hawke and a newly formed Porthtowan side, but in August 1923 the Royal Cornwall Gazette reported that the football club in St Agnes itself was to be restarted, playing in the Junior and Dunn Cup competitions and the Truro and District League.
During the 1920s and early 1930s St Agnes had a very successful team, winning the Dunn Cup, the Truro and District League and the St Columb and District League on several occasions. In the 1932/33 season they won the two leagues and the Junior Cup.
After this very successful season results went downhill, and at the annual meeting of the Truro and District Football League at the beginning of September 1936 it was reported that owing to lack of interest, the Perranporth and St Agnes clubs had been disbanded, though new entrants to the league were Goonhavern and Mithian.
The St Agnes club would not reform again until 1949, though other teams would play in the parish and the St Agnes area. Mithian became the dominant team and all good players from St Agnes would play for them. The Royal Cornwall Gazette of the 7th September 1949 reported on early results for the 1949/50 season: For many years St Agnes has had no football team, but this season there are four in the Parish; three of them played their first matches on Saturday, all in the Junior Cup competition. St Agnes lost 16-0 at Perranporth, Goonbell drew 2-2 with Zelah and Mithian lost 3-1 at Goonhavern.
Things did not improve for St Agnes in the new year – heavy defeats continued in January (6-1 to St Erme and 8-1 to Goonhavern) and in February (15-1 to Goonhavern). By the end of March they were in eighth and last place in the Truro and District League, having lost all eleven of their matches.
Since St Agnes were having such poor results, finishing below Mithian and Goonbell in the league, it seems strange that at the end of the season Mr C.T.R. Eva, the St Agnes hon. secretary, wrote to the Mithian and Goonbell clubs, asking them to join St Agnes ‘with a view to running a first class club’. Mithian agreed to join St Agnes and with the arrival of their players for the 1950/51 season St Agnes now had a very strong team and a successful year was anticipated. The loyal supporters were not to be disappointed and the season started in September with a 10-0 win against Penhale, a 10-3 win against St Erme and a 3-0 win against Goonhavern.
The team steadily grew in strength and in 1953/54 won the Dunn Cup and the Knock-out Shield of the Mining Division League, and were Western finalists in the Junior Cup.
The 1955/56 season was also successful and on the 31st May 1956, under the heading ‘Good Season, St Agnes A.F.C. win two Cups and a Shield’, the West Briton reported on the club’s annual dinner: St Agnes Association Football Club was congratulated on one of the most successful seasons in its history at their annual dinner at Porthvean Private Hotel on Saturday … On view were the Truro and District and Mining Division Leagues’ cups and the Mining Division Shield, which had been won during the season.
The team maintained their success in 1958/59. The West Briton of the 21st May 1959, under the heading “Successful Season” reported: The senior team of St Agnes A.F.C. have had one of the most successful seasons in the club’s history, having won the Jubilee, Dunn and Hoskins cups, the last named in the Truro and District League. The side lost the final of the Mining Division Shield competition to Pool and were runners-up in the Truro and District league. Only six matches were lost in the season. Goals scored totalled over 150, and against just over 40. Mr M. Jackman was the captain and Mr C. Tamblyn was vice-captain. The players have received five sets of commemorative medals.
The sixties and seventies brought few trophies to St Agnes, although the club came very close to finishing top of the Falmouth/Helston League in the 1974/75 season, winning 26 of their 32 games and losing the title to Penryn by just one point. For the 1978/79 season St Agnes took the big step into senior football, competing in the Cornwall Combination League.
For the 1988/89 season the team had a new player-manager, St Agnes-born Chris Thomas, who had had an illustrious playing career with top Cornish clubs including Newquay, Falmouth Town and Truro City. He signed new players to the club and a good season followed, the team finishing fifth in the league. They finished in the same position the following season, when they also won their first trophy for many years, the Jolly’s Combination League Supplementary Cup, with a win against Penryn. In 1990/91 St Agnes finished third in the league.
Chris Thomas left the club before the 1992/93 season and took several players with him, so St Agnes had to rebuild the squad, and mediocre results meant that they finished mid-table for the next few seasons.
For the 1998/99 season St Agnes had another manager, Martyn Kimmins, who started to build a new, strong team. His efforts were rewarded in 2001/02, when the club won the Combination League and the Supplementary Cup. The following season they won the league again.
The next few seasons were not as successful, although St Agnes finished runners-up in the league in 2005/06 and won the Supplementary Cup the following season, beating Helston 5-2 in the final.
Another final was reached in the 2009/10 season when the team played for the League Cup, only to lose 3-0 to Illogan.