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Holbeach United


Website last updated: 7 Apr, 2015 @ 15:24


Club History

Holbeach United, nicknamed "the tigers", were formed in 1929 and played in the Kings Lynn and Peterborough leagues. They joined the United Counties League (UCL ) after world war II and enjoyed a good spell in the early fifties, finishing third in 1952 and 1955 and runners-up in 1954. In 1955 under the management of ex-Crystal Palace player Len Richley, Holbeach United joined the Eastern Counties League where they stayed for seven years, competing against the likes of the Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United "A" sides.

Success came with victory in the Lincolnshire Senior Cup "B" in 1958. In 1962 Holbeach United joined the Midland Counties League but failed to gain re-election after finishing next to bottom and the following season they returned to the United Counties League.

After missing out on the championship by a single point in their first season back the tigers carried off the Knockout Cup in 1965 beating Desborough 7-1 in the final. Long serving manager Mr Freddie Watkins guided Holbeach United to the runners up medals in 1969. The seventies passed with their only success being runners-up in 1974.

The arrival of Mr Lloyd Hudson as player manager turned their fortunes around and the 1982-1983 campaign saw the tigers reach the FA Cup first round where they lost 4-0 to wrexham. They went on to win the Lincolnshire Senior Cup in 1984, 1985 and 1987, whilst Alan Day led the side to the last 16 of the FA Vase in 1988-1989.

The UCL title was won for the first time in 1990, along with the Knockout Cup and benevolent cup - this was the first domestic treble in the league's history.

The next major success came under the management of Mr Dominic Genovese when the club won the Senior Cup in the 1994/1995 season.

In 2002 the tigers finished league runners up and in 2003 they were crowned Premier League champions adding the Lincolnshire Cup with a 3-1 final defeat of FA Vase winners Brigg.

The 2003/04 season saw a change in management with Shaun Keeble, who started his senior career at Holbeach, take over after two seasons as assistant. Assisted by, ex Peterborough and Holbeach player, Milton Graham they managed to finish a creditable 7th in their first season and the two local derby matches against Spalding United drew in then record UCL crowds of 701 & 760.

The following season, 2004/05, saw Holbeach gain 3rd place and also all the hard work on the pitch was matched by the excellent work by the clubs committee in gaining a 90% grant from the FA to develop a new 140 seater stand and associated fencing and dugouts to replace the condemned 70 year old stand.

In the 2005/06 and 2006/07 the tigers finished in 17th and 11th place respectively.