Millwey Rise Football Club all set to celebrate 60th anniversary

PUBLISHED: 11:38 29 April 2018 | UPDATED: 09:09 02 May 2018

Football on pitch

Football on pitch

(c) Image Source

Founded in 1958, Millwey Rise FC started life in the Perry Street and District League Division Two, writes Dick Sturch.

In their first season they topped the league and carried off all the silverware that went with it. The idea of a club was first mooted in the Trout Inn, the birthplace and hub of all things Millwey Rise FC in those early days.

Bernard Hiscox was not only the pub’s landlord, but chairman of the club and the team goalkeeper!

Other members of the committee included, president Stan Trenchard, Fred Sweetland, Aubrey Lee and John Tiller.

Players included Sam Branker and Pete Stevens, two outstanding strikers ably supported by Skip Willey. Cyril Dickson and Perce Downton on the wings with Henry Trenchard marshalling the defence.

The first pitch was alongside Sector Lane where the Redrow houses now stand, and it was not unusual to see crowds of a hundred plus here.

The ground had to be vacated the following season and the team moved to a pitch squeezed between the allotments and the cemetery wall before eventually moving to the much maligned ‘Slope’ where Millwey played for over 50 years.

After the success of the first season, fortunes varied. A Reserve side was formed which, apart from being occasionally disbanded when player numbers dipped, continues today along with several youth teams.

During the 1960s, Millwey gained promotion from Division Three and won the cup that went along with it, beating Broadwinsor in the final at Combe St Nicholas. In May 1966, they clinched promotion from Division Two against Upottery and the ‘Rise’ celebrated their coming of age in 1979 with a Dinner and Dance at the Guildhall where the late Chris Fear from Westward Television was their guest. There was a match the following day when the veterans of the 1958-59 campaign, played the then current team of the day, losing 9-2.

Dick Sturch scored an unusual hat-trick for the ‘oldies’, netting two in the opponents’ net as well as an own goal past his own glovesman!

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s the team continued playing in the Perry Street League with varying results, even at one point on the verge of disbandment until one or two of the veterans came back to help them through the season.

In the early years of 2000, the team was again on the road to success with promotions and winning cups culminating in the 50th anniversary celebration in 2008.

This triggered some momentous times in the club’s history as, three years later in 2011, they bid farewell to the ‘Slope’ and moved to their current ground at Cloakham Lawns.

In 2012, Millwey Rise lost their first ever final of the Devon Intermediate Cup after an unexpected five minutes of added time allowed Moreley Rangers to equalise at 2-2 and they went on to win on penalties after extra time. In the same year the Reserves won the Daisy Hutchings Cup against Dowlish & Donyatt.

The following year, 2013, ‘Rise’ went one better and won the Devon Intermediate Cup, beating Northside Atlantic 5-1 with a Sam Dibling hat-trick and a great Ashley Hall penalty save. In the same year, they beat Crewkerne 3-1 in the Coronation Cup final.

In 2015, Millwey Rise moved to the Devon and Exeter League, joining Division Six and a runners-up finish in that first season brought with it promotion to Division Five. Levi Hoole scored 73 goals to become Millwey’s record goal scorer. In 2016-17 came a fifth place finish and a similar result is expected in this 2017-18 season.

Millwey Rise FC will be celebrating their 60th birthday with a Dinner and Dance at the Guildhall in Axminster on Saturday, June 16, and invite all ex players, supporters and friends to join them.

For more details, please contact any member of the club or contact Dick Sturch on 01404 43720 or by email at

Come and have a great night with the ‘Five Minute Wonders’.

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