Founded in 1892, Cheltenham Town spent the first three decades of their existence in local football where they celebrated a number of championships and cup wins. The earliest recorded match of Cheltenham Town was a friendly against Dean Close School on 12 March 1892, played at Prestbury, half a mile from Whaddon Road. The team played at two more grounds within half a mile of their current home, namely Whaddon Road Lane and Carter’s Field.
The team started life in a deep red playing kit which inspired a nickname of “The Rubies”. In 1903 they adopted the colours which are still worn, red and white. Over the years the style has varied, including plain shirts and hoops but striped shirts have proved recently popular. The new colours led to a change in nickname to “The Robins” which is still used today.
The early 1930s were a time of immense importance in the club’s history. In 1932 the Robins moved to their current home at Whaddon Road. The club also turned professional and joined the Birmingham Combination league. In 1933-34 Carlisle United were beaten in the FA Cup Second Round on the Cumbrian’s home ground and over 10,000 were present for the Third Round tie on 13 January 1934 against First Division Blackpool. The match was played at the now demolished Cheltenham Athletic Ground and Blackpool won 3-1.
The town’s coat of arms is also the emblem of Cheltenham Town. The crest denotes the legend of the discovery of the Mineral Waters, to which Cheltenham owed its rise as an “Island Watering Place”, and to which, according to the story, attention was drawn by flocks of pigeons resorting to a saline spring, which rose to the surface. The coat in the arms is that of Edward the Confessor, to whom the manor of Cheltenham at one time belonged. The manor is consequently “Terra Regis” (The King’s Land) and of “Ancient Demesne”. The open book and the word “Eruditio” in the motto indicate the educational advantages Cheltenham possesses, and is so famed for, in the ancient foundations of Pate’s Grammar School, the Cheltenham College, the Ladies’ College, St.Paul’s college, St.Mary’s College, the Dean Close Memorial School and other educational establishments. The oak tree and sprays are symbolic of the avenue of trees in the public promenades and streets, and for which Cheltenham is also celebrated. The word ‘Salubritas’ (meaning Health) in the motto is indicative of the high repute in which Cheltenham is held as a health resort.