Association Football first came to town in the 1890/91 season and was played in conjunction with the Yeovil Rugby Club, both codes being staged on a ground in West Hendford. The soccer club was known as the Yeovil Football Club, and the two codes were played at the ground on alternate Saturdays. The birth of the football club we know today took place in 1895 with the formation of Yeovil Casuals. They played in green and white stripes, which reflected their rural surroundings, at the Pen Mill Athletic Ground. By the 1907/08 season the club name had changed to Yeovil Town Football Club and a new strip of green shirts with white cuffs adopted. 1908 saw the formation of another club in Yeovil, Petters United, their colours being amber and black and playing at Brickyard Lane.
After a few years, Petters United entered senior football in the same competitions as Yeovil Town Football Club and the rivalry between the two clubs became intense. Eventually, the two local teams merged to become Yeovil & Petters United. renamed Yeovil Football and Athletic Club Limited in 1923.
The amalgamation coincided with a move from the Pen Mill ground to Huish, the first match taking place on 28th August 1920, when the reserves entertained Christchurch in the Dorset League in front of 1500 faithful. For the next seventy years Huish, renowned for its slope from the near-side under the main stand up to the far touchline, would produce sensational FA Cup stories. Since 1990 the giant killers, (maybe that would have been an apt nickname), reside at the splendid Huish Park, where maybe more FA Cup dramas lie ahead, now as a League team following their promotion in 2003.
Taking League opposition scalps at the old and new Huish, amounting to a staggering nineteen, hasn’t been the only constant club factor. So were their colours. Green and white have always been their main strip, in various guises – ranging from all green with white collars and cuffs to all white with green collars and cuffs, sometimes white with green pinstripes, sometimes thicker green stripes, sometimes a green body with white sleeves, sometimes it’s a darker green and sometimes a light green, even going to green and white hoops for the 2003/4 season….
Yeovil Town’s actual soubriquet ‘The Glovers’ alludes to the making of gloves the area is renowned for. The town contained many leather making factories at one time, though only one remains open now. These days the Westland Helicopter factory is the town’s main employer.
The emblem on the Glovers’ shirts are the armorial bearings of the Borough of Yeovil. These in themselves are not old, having been designed in the 1950’s from historical references. The shield contains the figure of St John the Baptist (the parish church) under a decorated canopy. These have been the basis of the seal of the borough for about 700 years. It represents the influence of the church on the town from the reign of the Empress Maud, who placed the saxon freemen under the protection of the Parish Church. On either side of the canopy is a crozier. One for the convent of Sion which was conferred the lordship of the borough by Henry V and one for the Chapter of Wells Cathedral in whose diocese Yeovil falls.
Each crozier is surmounted by a gold crown to denote Empress Maud, and King John who granted the first market charter, thus ensuring the continued standing of the town in those days. In the Saint’s hand is a red circular medallion (symbolising his martyrdom) with his holy lamb, in white in front of a gold cross staff. The supporters, as far as I can make out, are two gold lions of the Earls of Arundel, relatives of the Maltravers family of Hendford who held the lordship and advows on. The motto ‘Achieve by Unity’is not that of the Borough, but speaks for itself.
However, the town’s crest wasn’t Yeovil Town’s only insignia. A 1973 pamphlet the club released to support its election to the League shows a badge on the green shirts which was a large Y with a football at the apex and the letters Y F C in the gaps, the sort of post modernist emblem that was fashionable in those days.