Billericay Town Football Club was formed in 1880 making it one of the oldest clubs in Essex. It moved into the Romford & District League in 1890 competing in this league until 1914. After the 1st World War, Billericay entered the Mid-Essex League where they remained until 1947. Between 1947 and 1966 they played in the Southern Essex Combination League. In 1966 they became founder-members of the Essex Olympian League. For the start of the 1969/70 season Billericay appointed their most successful manager to date, John Newman. In his first season he won the Essex Olympian League and Cup double and repeated the same feat again next season. By this time the club had moved from its ground in Laindon Road to it’s current position at New Lodge.
In 1971, Billericay Town Football Club became founder-members of the Essex Senior League and the club’s six-year stay in that competition saw them win the Championship three times and be Runners-Up twice (finishing third the other season). The League Cup was won four times and they were Finalists once. In addition they won the League Challenge Cup the only time that it was competed for. The Essex Senior Cup was won for the first time in 1976 with a 3-2 victory over Epping Town.
Whilst members of the Essex Senior League, and still under the managership of John Newman, the club won the FA Vase in 1976 beating Stamford 1-0 at Wembley Stadium thanks to an extra-time goal scored by Geoff Aslett in front of 11,848 spectators. The following 1976/1977 season saw the club at Wembley again for the FA Vase Final. After a 1-1 draw at the national stadium (with Fred Clayden scoring the goal - Attendance 14,000), the replay was played at Nottingham Forest FC where Billericay Town emerged victorious with a 2-1 victory over Sheffield, thanks to goals from Geoff Aslett and Paul Woodhouse. Just 24 hours after playing Sheffield at Wembley Stadium, the Billericay Town players took to the field again, this time at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre for the 6-a-side football final of the Philips Electrical Floodlight competition, with the winners receiving £7,500 worth of floodlights. The Blues duly won all 4 games beating Friar Lane Old Boys 3-0 in the final with Tony Wakefield grabbing a hat-trick. As referee Jack Taylor blew the final whistle, thousands of Billericay fans flooded onto the pitch in celebration. Those floodlights are still present at New Lodge today!
Billericay Town also became the first Non-League club to win the Rothmans Merit Award in 1978 for "having made a worthwhile contribution to the wide spectrum of the game in 1977/78" - the ONLY club previously to have won this award was LIVERPOOL, the previous season, when they were the EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS!
Progressing to the Athenian League in 1977, Billericay won the Championship and the League Cup in their first season. They became champions again in 1978/1979 and after two seasons were elected into the Isthmian League. In November 1978, having led the club to back to back FA Vase victories and taken the club from the Essex Olympian League to the Isthmian League, manager John Newman shocked the club when he left the managerial position to take up the hot seat at rivals Chelmsford City. Colin Searle and Arthur Coughlan were appointed as caretaker managers with Colin Searle going on to take the managers job on a permanent basis in January 1979. Under his guidance, Billericay Town became the first club to win the FA Vase for a third time in 1979 when they defeated Almondsbury Greenway 4-1. This match was notable for a hat-trick by Doug Young - the first hat-trick in a cup final at Wembley Stadium since Geoff Hurst’s in the 1966 World Cup Final. Fred Clayden claimed the other goal in front of 17,500 strong crowd.
The club then competed in the FA Trophy until 1989/1990 when the FA Vase was again entered and the Quarter-Finals were reached, losing 1-0 at New Lodge to the eventual finalists, Bridlington.
During the summer of 1979, Colin Searle quit as Blues boss citing pressure of work and Paddy Betson was appointed as the new manager. After their success in the Athenian League, Billericay’s league successes continued in the Isthmian League when, in their first season (1979/80) they easily won the Division 2 title with a winning margin of 17 points, scoring 100 goals in their 36 league matches. The following season, in Division 1, they finished as Runners-Up to Bishops Stortford - the first time in the history of the Isthmian League that a club had won promotion in two successive seasons on entry into the League. With the club having gained promotion to the Isthmian Premier League for the first time, manager Paddy Betson dramatically resigned as manager. Making a sensational return to the manager’s job was John Newman along with former player Steve Bone as joint manager. But they couldn’t replicate the previous glory years and they were to last just two seasons, followed by Andy McDermid (1983 to 84) then Micky Pincott (1984 to 86) as the club struggled with mid/lower table finishes before being relegated on the last day of the season in the 1985/86 season. 1985/86 would also see the club lose the Essex Senior Cup Final to Chelmsford City 3-0 on aggregate.
Former player Peter Burton took over the reigns in the 1986/87 season before resigning in September 1987 as the club struggled with life in Division One. Brian Moffatt and former England International Peter Brabrook both had stints in charge but neither could save the club from relegation to Division Two North, just two seasons after being relegated from the Premier Division.
It was in November 1989 following Brian Moffatt’s resignation that John Kendall took the managers job and a Blues revival was under way. It took just three season’s for the former reserve team manager to get the club out of the Division Two doldrums when they finished in third place in the newly formed Division Two in 1991/92. That season they finished with an unbeaten run of 15 games, including winning the Essex Thames-side Trophy.
Full Membership of the Football Association was achieved in 1993, twelve years after obtaining Associate Membership in 1981.
The Club then spent the next five seasons knocking on the promotion door finishing 8th, 6th, 5th, 6th and 5th respectively. During this time, Kendall had led the Blues to 3 consecutive Essex Senior Cup Finals (1993-96), all of which would end in defeat to Grays Athletic, Grays Athletic and Braintree Town respectively! The Blues eventually gained promotion back the Isthmian Premier Division in 1997/98 on the last day of the season with a 4-0 victory over Thame United. That game also saw super striker Leon Gutzmore score his 51st goal of the season. That season was also notable for the club’s first ever appearance in the FA Cup 1st Round. After beating Camberley Town in a replay, the Blues were pitched at home to fellow non-leaguers Wisbech Town, whom had defeated the Blues in the 4th Qualifiers just two seasons before. In a classic game at a packed New Lodge, Wisbech again ran out winners (3-2) and went on to play Bristol Rovers at home in the second round! In the same season again, the club also enjoyed a then best ever FA Trophy run beating Grays Athletic (3-2), Forest Green Rovers (4-0) and Aldershot Town (2-1) all at New Lodge, (and all of whom were top of thier respective leagues at the time) before being defeated 1-0 at Dagenham & Redbridge.
With the Blues back in among the non-league elite, they finished a respectable mid-table after briefly topping the table at the start of the season. During the summer of 1999 John Kendall was controversially sacked after ten years as Blues boss, by then Chairman, Rod Moore. Gary Calder was put in charge and in his first season led the club to their highest and still highest-ever league position in the pyramid structure; 7th place. He also guided the Blues to the FA Trophy 4th Round before bowing out to Rushden & Diamonds after a replay. The following season would see the club go further in the Trophy, this time to the 5th round, before succumbing to Telford United 3-2 at New Lodge. This still remains the clubs best ever FA Trophy run. In the following three seasons in the league they finished in 8th, 9th and 12th places.
Following the resignation of Gary Calder as manager at the end of the 2002/2003 season, the club moved away from the usual list of local managers and appointed ex-Tottenham Hotspur player and local lad Justin Edinburgh as manager - his first venture into football management following his early retirement from the game.
In January 2004, a local businessman, Steve Kent, acquired the controlling interest in the club by buying the shares of the major shareholders and also settling the club’s debts. The arrival of Steve Kent saw the renovation of many of the club’s facilities, notably the building of new boardroom with office facilities and the refurbishment of the clubhouse.
The 2003/2004 season ended in disappointment for Billericay as they were unable to escape the bottom four and failed to earn a place in the newly formed Conference South league. In the 2004/05 season the Blues finished runners-up to Yeading and were subsequently beaten 2-0 at New Lodge in the play-off semi-finals to Leyton. That season also saw Justin Edinburgh’s side reach the FA Cup 1st Round, losing 1-0 at New Lodge to Stevenage Borough. Edinburgh’s tenure as manager ended in December 2005 when he left to take up the vacant post at Fisher Athletic.
Assistant Matt Jones was promoted to the manager’s position where he guided the Blues to 7th place, missing out on the play-offs on the final day of the season. In the 2006/07 season, Jones took his side into the play-offs where the Blues would travel to local rivals Chelmsford City in the semi-finals. In a night of high drama, captain Jamie Dormer sent the Blues through on penalties in front of 1,000 travelling supporters after Chris Whelpdale had scored a dramatic 94th minute injury time equaliser!
Billericay then went to Bromley backed by an estimated 1,000 following, for the final where a tense and exciting game was eventually settled on penalties. Bromley won the shoot-out 4-2.
The 2007/08 season was most notable for the clubs 3rd appearance in the FA Cup 1st round and its first game against League opposition. League One side Swansea City, managed then by Roberto Martinez, came away 2-1 victor’s at a sell-out New Lodge, where Wayne Semanshia had given the Blues a 20th minute lead. That season also saw Matt Jones sacked from his position as manager with former Blue Jason Broom taking charge of team matters.
The 2008/09 season saw Jason Broom and Grant Gordon take control as joint managers; a stint that would last until March 2009 when Jason Broom was relieved of his duties. After a season in which the club had flirted with relegation, Grant Gordon and player Lee Hodges took over the reigns for the remainder of the season.
In the summer of 2009, Brian Statham took over the hot-seat at New Lodge. His managership lasted until March 2010 after another season of relegation worries. The Blues though had managed to reach the FA Trophy 1st round when they bowed out by a single goal at then Conference National side Rushden & Diamonds. Reserve team manager John Mifsud was given the role as caretaker manager and he successfully steered the side to safety after 8 wins in the last 15 games.
In the summer of 2010/11 Craig Edwards was handed charge of the Blues and in his first season the Blues flirted with the play-offs before finishing mid-table. The most memorable game though would be the lifting of the Essex Senior Cup, the clubs first piece of silverware since winning the FA Vase in 1979! Adam Flanagan and Harrison Chatting claimed the goals in a 2-0 victory over fellow Ryman Premier side Aveley.
But Edward’s finest hour was yet to come. On Saturday 21st April 2012, the Blues eventually made it to the Conference South when a 2-2 draw at Margate was enough to see them claim the title in the penultimate game of the season. It was fitting that captain Rob Swaine would head home in the dying minutes to achieve the clubs biggest moment in recent history.
The start of the 2012/13 season saw the Blues embark on their first ever Conference South league campaign. Despite an encouraging start, a run of postponed matches due to the weather and a lengthy injury list saw them struggle to keep pace with those above and were relegated at Weston-Super-Mare almost a year to the day that promotion was achieved. It was one of fifteen defeats suffered on the road. With relegation, the club now prepares to embark on another season in the Ryman Premier League.