MELKSHAM Town Football Club is set to take to the town’s Conigre pitch for the last time – 95 years after they played their first match at the historic ground.
On Saturday 14th March Melksham will take on Willand Rovers, 3pm kick-off, in their final home league match of the season and their final ever league match at The Conigre before their move to a new stadium next season.
And they are hoping for a bumper crowd to say goodbye to the old stadium in style.
The match comes at a time when Town are six points clear at the top of the Toolstation Premier Division after Monday night’s win over Gillingham Town and heading for their highest ever finish in the club’s 141-year history.
“We’re hoping the town will come out and support the team who have performed above expectations and who are still chasing a league title,” said chairman Dave Wiltshire.
“And as an extra incentive we’ve introduced a ‘pay as much as you want’ offer at the game for all fans. Come and cheer the team on and pay what you want!
“Playing the last league match at the Conigre will be emotional for many, but there is a lot riding on the game as the lads have done so well to be in the title hunt. The players deserve the support of the town and I urge everyone to back the team and say goodbye to the old ground in style.
“It would be fantastic to beat our home league attendance record which I believe is 791, but if that is not possible I am sure the figure will still be impressive.”
Town’s first match at The Conigre was in 1920 and since then they have played 768 Western League home games with a record of won 315, drawn 195, lost 258, goals for 1,252 and goals against of 1,113.
Town, who lead the Toolstation Western Premier Division are on course for their best ever season in their history. Their best ever finish to date was third in the mid 1990s and they have already reached their best ever FA Vase run, having reached the 4th round.
With the new community campus of sports facilities set to be built on Melksham House and the Conigre football ground site, the club is set to relocate to a brand new facility at Woolmore Farm near Melksham Oak Community School, with the move expected to take place later this year.
It is hoped they will be playing at Woolmore Farm by September, with the ground fully complete by the end of the year.
“The Conigre holds many fond memories but as a club we are looking forward to taking the next step and playing at a fantastic facility once it is up and running,” added Dave. “The club is on an astonishing upward curve with the reserves, ‘A’ team and youth sides also doing very well and the size of the club continues to grow.
“So get wearing the Melksham colours and come down to the Conigre to witness history.”
Joint vice-president Mike Perrin has been involved with Melksham Town FC for over 50 years and he has given his thoughts on the club leaving their Conigre home. He said, “All my time involved with the club has been spent at The Conigre. Nothing can be better – unless you make the big time – than playing at your home ground in the centre of your town.
“In the time at The Conigre we have had some great times. The Amateur Cup first round against Harwich & Parkstone in front of over 1,000 people, the opening of the new floodlights against Southampton – who fielded nine first team players including five or six internationals – in front of 1,500 people, and too many more to mention.
“The greatness about The Conigre is that I believe it’s a proper non-league ground with a great atmosphere. Obviously from my point of view there is a twinge of sadness when we leave, but to move to new premises will be a great boost for the club and the youth structure of Melksham.”