Coton Football Club has its roots in the Coton Institute team of 1908-9. Of the twelve players in that first team picture, no fewer than four were to die in the First World War and are commemorated on the War Memorial in the Church Yard.
The years immediately following WW1 saw the emergence of a strong Institute team. A team picture of 1919, taken outside what is now the Women’s Institute in the High Street, shows no less than 43 players, divided into at least two teams, both of which achieved considerable success. The Histon and District Championship was won in 1920 (this is the team whose picture now adorns the restaurant area of the Plough) and, now playing on the newly donated Recreation Ground, Coton Institute won the title again in 1922 and 1924.
The 1930s also saw some success. In 1932, Coton FC (the relationship with the Institute now severed) was victorious, winning the cup at the Abbey Stadium by 3 goals to 2. Moreover, 1935 saw us win the Thursday Evening Shield (the first team in Cambridgeshire to do so).
The records then fall silent until the early 1960s, when a Coton team won the Championship in both 1962 and 1963. There is further quiet from the records throughout the 1970s and 1980s.
Our story from the 1990s to the present day is one of rebuilding as the team slowly recovered from the nadir of Division 6 in 1992. Successive promotions, reaching Division 2 in 1996, were followed by 9 years as a mid to lower table team with occasional tilts at the cups – for example 2002/3 (also known as the never ending season) when we reached two semi finals and came third in the league. The team was reinvigorated in 2005/6 when an influx of new and (mercifully) younger players finally saw us promoted out of Division 2. The men’s team now plays in the Senior Division of the Cambridge and District Sunday League – a real achievement for a village our size – and a fitting tribute to the fine teams that have represented the village in the past.
Our current youth team set up is relatively recent. We first offered children’s football in May 2005 with one coach and three players. What it may have lacked in quantity was offset by quality! By September this had grown to 28 players, and kept growing to now stand at more than 90 players, 13 coaches and six teams.
So here’s to the next 100 years!