Alternative History

In 1894, Bristol South End formed, but lasted only three years before taking on the name of the city and jumping in with Bedminster in 1901. A year later they joined the League in the Second Division, playing at St. Johns Lane for three years then moving into Bedminster’s old ground – Ashton Gate. The ground was so named as it was situated at the entrance to the old Ashton estate, a rambling swathe of Gloucestershire owned by the football mad Lord Ashton of Southville. Although he could no longer play football after a particularly nasty injury, when he received a hefty kick in the groin, he regularly threw open the gates to all the locals to play on his two acres.

City’s first success came in 1906 by taking the Second Division championship and this was quickly followed by finishing second in the First the next season. The club also reached the FA Cup final in 1909, but lost to Manchester United. Bristol City then fell down the leagues and despite winning the Division 3 (South) title three times, they had to wait nearly fifty years for a return to the First Division in 1975. They remained there for only three seasons, before plummeting to the Fourth Division in the next three seasons. By 1982, the club escaped going out of business by minutes, when a consortium baled them out to form Bristol City (1982).

Although the club has been at the wrong end of the League for a while, they did enjoy a spell in the old 2nd and new 1st Divisions between 1991 and 1995, finally returning to the First in 1997-8 after finishing runners-up to Watford. Other honours the club have achieved are the Welsh Cup (crossing the border to do a spot of “ram raiding”) in 1934 and the Freight Rover Trophy in 1986.
The battle to be top dog in Bristol is quite fierce and has spilled over into crowd violence, but City have generally had the upper hand. Nicknamed “The Robins” they have bobbed up and down the divisions, but usually always above their neighbours. The club’s name is Cockney rhyming slang and this caused a rash of female exhibitionists at their ground during the mid-80’s. There was certainly some bobbing up and down then.

A series of good Cup results has epitomised City’s history for a number of years – reaching the semi-finals of the League Cup in 1971, when they lost to Spurs, through to the win at Anfield in 1994.

Bristol City has become quite a cosmopolitan club over the last few years, signing players from Australia, Wales, Sweden, Barbados and Bermuda. They even signed Gary Owers from Sunderland. A quick turn over of managers – five in three years – had left the Robins unsettled and despite flirting with promotion to the top flight under Gary Johnson, the club underwent another period of instability, with managers coming and going, as City flirted with relegation on more than one occasion.

FAMOUS PLAYERS : – John Atyeo, Billy Wedlock, Gary Marriage, Joe Jordan, Brian Tinnion, Don Clark.

FAMOUS FANS : – Scott Davidson (Chairman – ex keyboard player with Bros and Pet Shop Boys), Tony Robinson (Actor – “Baldrick” in “Blackadder”), Elliot Kidner (Live TV’s News Bunny), Jeffrey Archer (MP) and Jonathan Pearce (Sports commentator – Capital Radio and Channel 5), Marcus Trescothick (Cricketer – Somerset and England); Mark Watson (Comedian); 

Club Records

Formed 1894
Turned Professional 1897 
Became a Limited Company 1897
Previous names Bristol South End   1894-1897
Previous grounds St. John’s Lane    1894-1904
Nickname “The ROBINS”
Club Colours HOME : Shirts – Red with white trim
Shorts – White with red down seam
Socks – Red with white turnover
AWAY :  Shirts – Purple with lime green trim
Shorts – Lime Green
Socks – White
Record Football League Win 9-0       v Aldershot
Div 3 (S)       28.12.1946
Record Football League Defeat 0-9       v  Coventry City
Div 3 (S)       28.4.1934
Record Cup Win 11-0     v  Chichester
FAC R1        5.11.1960
Record Fee Paid £8 million to Chelsea for Tomas Kalas  (July 2019)
Record Fee Received 20 million from Brighton & Hove Albion for Ben WEBSTER  (August 2019)
Record Football League Appearances 597  –  John ATYEO  (1951-66)
Record goalscorer in a season 36  –  Don CLARK  (Division 3 (S) 1946-47)
Record all-time goalscorer  541  –  John ATYEO  (1951-66)
Record all-time League goalscorer  314  –  John ATYEO  (1951-66)
Most goals in a match 6 – Tommy “Tot” WALSH  v  Gillingham  Division 3 (South)  15.1.1927
Record Attendance (all-time) 43,335        v  Preston North End
FAC R5       16.1.1933
Record total of goals in a  League season 104     Division 3(S)  1926-27
Record  League points total 3 points for a win : 99    League 1   2014-152 points for a win : 70    Division 3 (South) 1954-55
Most Capped player while at club Billy WEDLOCK  –  26 (England)

Stadium details 

Address :  Ashton Gate, Bristol BS3 2EJ

Capacity : 27,000
Away Allocation :  4,200
Pitch size :  115 yards  x 75 yards  (105m x 69m)

Official website :


Division One Runner-up (First tier) 1906-07
Division Two Champions (Second tier) 1905-06
Division Two Runners-up (Second tier) 1975-76, 1997-98
Division Three (South) Champions (Third tier) 1922-23, 1926-27, 1954-55
Division Three (South) Runners-up (Third tier) 1937-38
Division Three Runners-up (Third tier) 1964-65, 1989-90
FA Cup Finalists 1909
Welsh Cup Winners 1934
Anglo-Scottish Cup Winners 1978
Freight Rover Trophy Winners 1986
Freight Rover Trophy Finalists 1987
Auto Windscreens Shield Runners-up 2000
LDV Vans Trophy Winners 2003
Football League Trophy Winners 2015


Sam HOLLIS 1897-1899
Bob CAMPBELL 1899-1901
Sam HOLLIS 1901-1905
Harry THICKETT 1905-1910
Sam HOLLIS 1911-1913
George HEDLEY 1913-1915
Jack HAMILTON 1915-1919
Joe PALMER 1919-1921
Alex RAISBECK 1921-1929
Joe BRADSHAW 1929-1932
Bob HEWISON 1932-1949
Bob WRIGHT 1949-1950
Pat BEASLEY 1950-1958
Peter DOHERTY 1958-1960
Fred FORD 1960-1967
Alan DICKS 1967-1980
Bobby HOUGHTON 1980-1982
Roy HODGSON 1982
Terry COOPER 1982-1988
Joe JORDAN 1988-1990
Jimmy LUMSDEN 1990-1992
Denis SMITH 1992-1993
Russell OSMAN 1993-1994
Joe JORDAN 1994-1997
John WARD 1997-1998
Benny LENNARTSSON 1998-1999
Tony FAWTHROP 1999- May 2000
Danny WILSON June 2000-June 2004
Brian TINNION June 2004-2005
Lee JOHNSON 2005-2010
Steve COPPELL 2010
Keith MILLEN 2010-2011
Derek MacINNES 2011-2013
Sean O’DRISCOLL 2013
Steve COTTERILL 2013-2016
Lee JOHNSON 2016-2020
Dean HOLDEN 2020-

League Record

Elected to Division Two 1901
Division Two 1901-1906
Division One 1906-1911
Division Two 1911-1922
Division Three (South) 1922-1923
Division Two 1923-1924
Division Three (South) 1924-1927
Division Two 1927-1932
Division Three (South) 1932-1955
Division Two 1955-1960
Division Three 1960-1965
Division Two 1965-1976
Division One 1976-1980
Division Two 1980-1981
Division Three 1981-1982
Division Four 1982-1984
Division Three 1984-1990
Division Two 1990-1992
Division One 1992-1999
Division Two 1999-2004
League One 2004-2007
Championship 2007-2013
League One 2013-2015
Championship 2015-