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About Colby A.F.C

1. The story of Colby A.F.C. begins over 90 years ago when the young men of the Parish were returning from the First World War. Colby had already become known as the "Moonlighters" because of their friendly games played against neighbouring teams which often went on into the dark. It was after playing one of these friendlies that it was suggested that Colby should join the Football Association.

2. A meeting was held in James Taylor's bake house. With possible league status in mind a deputation from this meeting met a group of young men from Ballabeg the neighbouring village. Unfortunately the Ballabeg young men objected to the name Colby, wishing the team to be called Arbory after the Parish but this didn't suit the lads from Colby who lived outside the Parish boundary in Rushen. Finally, at a third meeting it was decided to call the team Colby A.F.C. and apply for membership of the Football Association.

3. Membership of the Football Association with second league status was granted in 1920 and it was on Saturday 23 October 1920 on Colby's very first home ground off Beetons Terrace that Captain Edgar Gell proudly led out his team clad in claret and blue for their opening league encounter with Kirk Michael. Unfortunately the result was 2 – 1 in the opposition's favour. Colby remained in the second division for the subsequent 5 seasons but a highlight of this period was that our goalkeeper Jim Coole was honoured with his and our first international cap.

4. It was to be 1926 before Colby were to play in the Premier Division and it was to the surprise of many that Colby after only two years in Division One won the league title, the one and only time in the Club's history. It was during the years leading up to World War Two that Colby's team by now again in the second division began their run of Junior Cup wins, taking the Cup no less than four times, the last being in 1939.

5. Colby had by now an experienced team who were top of the second division and were looking to win this league. But it was not to be, with war looming on the horizon, army reservists were being called up it was decided on 8 May 1939 to suspend all football in the Isle of Man.

6. When the war ended and on the resumption of football in the Spring of 1946, Colby immediately won the Junior Cup, for a fifth time. With football becoming more popular it was during the 1948/1949 season that Colby were first able to enter two teams in the league and it was during this season that Colby by now clad in their black and white stripes attained what was probably their finest post war success by defeating Rushen 2-1 in the Hospital Cup Final.

7. An important change was introduced to Manx Football in the 1951/1952 season. This introduced promotion and relegation for the first time something which Colby was to experience many times over the succeeding years with the introduction of the new system of two senior leagues and one combination league.

8. Over the years since its formation Colby have played on over a dozen different pitches, never having a ground of their own, although they played on the Colby Bridge ground for eight years. It was around 1952 that probably the most important decision in Colby A.F.C.s history since those young men met in 1920 was taken. It was decided to purchase their own ground at the Glen Road. It took two years of voluntary labour to prepare the ground and much funding raising by the ladies to pay for it before Colby first played on it during the 1955/1956 season. The Club hut was the former site hut for the workers, who during the Second World War constructed the Cringle Reservoir and the changing rooms were the butcher's former shop. Both these buildings were timber framed, the butchers shop being replaced with new changing rooms and showers in 1975, and the site hut is still in use after nearly 50 years although in very poor condition and in need of urgent replacement.

9. In the years since we acquired our own ground the teams have had varying degrees of success most of which came in the Second Division, often gaining promotion and then being demoted the next year, being too strong for the Second Division but not strong enough for the First Division. We won the Second Division in 1957, 1973 and most recently in 2002. The season 2004/2005 was our third consecutive year in Division 1 and again we have a very young side. A lot ofthe more experienced players though themselves very young leaving to attend university. Many of these players represented the Island at Junior International level. We have always had a reputation as a cup side and since 1980 have won no less that 15 cup competitions including 3 consecutive Cowell Cups (under 18's) in 2000, 2001 and 2002. The Cowell Cup success being a direct result of our youth policy which started nearly 30 years ago with the introduction in 1974 of our under 14's team, the 14-16 team in 1984 and the under 12's team in 1988.

10. Massive expansion followed in 1998, 1999 and 2000 with the introduction of more junior teams. We now have two senior teams, one 15-17 team, one under 15 team, three under 13's, four under 11's, two under 9's, three under 8's, with children turning up from the age of four.

11. Additionally this year we have two girls teams, one under 14's and one under 11's; combined with the boys teams this totals over two hundred children.

12. The most recent off field history includes, the FA Charter Standard Community Award. This award being the top award for the administration and quality and safety of our coaching. Full credit must go to all our coaching staff and in particular Dickie and Monika Gale for achieving this for our Club.

13. Two important changes to the Clubs structure occurred recently as set out in more detail in section 3; firstly the Club was formed into a limited company with the former Trustees becoming Directors, thus enabling the members to have some financial protection from litigation and, secondly, we became a registered charity with the proviso in our constitution that if the Club wants to dispose of the ground and its buildings or change the rules it has to gain permission from the Attorney General thus ensuring the continued use of our amenities for the present and future members and the youth of the locality.

14. In recent years, the Club has focussed on the development of Junior football, as set out below. As a result, the Club has developed a five year (2010 – 2015) Development Plan for the Club's football. A copy of the full plan is attached to the Application form for the Football Foundation Grant.

15. The Development Plan outlines the Club's football history and competition wins and sets out the ambitions of Colby Juniors as follows:

16. To achieve the above ambitions, the Club's Development Plan sets out the following aim (and for each aim, there are a number of objectives):

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Colby A.F.C., Main Road, Colby, Isle of Man, IM9 4LR
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Registered Office: 2 Vicarage Close, Ballabeg, Arbory, Isle of Man, IM9 4LQ