Brantham Athletic Football Club was founded in 1887 and the team was basically drawn from employees from BXP, a plastics manufacturing firm from London, who after a massive explosion at their works in East London moved the factory down to the Suffolk/Essex countryside.
The Brantham Social Club is 50 years old and the original club was situated near the village hall. The playing field was purchased by the factory and over the years a lot of different sports took place on the playing field including football, cricket and bicycle pursuit racing. The playing field area is now part of the Brantham Leisure Centre complex which caters for a lot of different sports and activities.
The Football Club were founder members in 1896 of the Ipswich and District League (now the Suffolk and Ipswich league) and won the Senior Division championship in the 20087-2008 season. That success gave us the springboard to apply to re-join the Eastern Counties League, now sponsored by Thurlow Nunn, having been involved in what was the then Jewson sponsored Eastern Counties League from 1982/83 to 1995/1996.
Local lad Basil Acres, born in Brantham in 1926, started his football career with Brantham Athletic and joined Ipswich Town in July 1951. As a full back he made over 230 appearances for the Blues over a nine year period. Over the years some well known names in Suffolk football have been involved with the club as manager.
One of the most locally well known was Stan Box who was manager from 1971 through to 1983 with one of his best seasons being 1975/1976 when the first team were Border League champions (for the third time), Suffolk Senior Cup winners, League cup winners, Hadleigh Charity Cup winners and Woodbridge Cup winners and to make it an even better season the reserve team were also Reserve League champions, the first time in the history of the club-the double.
Stan received his MBE for his work with HM Customs and Excise. Other managers included Jimmy Barker and when he spoke people listened, Brian O’Reilly was with us for a while as was Jim Warnes and Chris Symes.
The popular Peter Gorham was manager until he departed at the end of the 2005-2006 season. At this time the club was preparing, off field, for a return to Ridgeons League football. On-field, manager and former professional footballer Tony Hall was recruited from East Bergholt for the start of the 2006-2007 season with a brief to achieve senior status within three years. Tony, a very good player and a top class manager, did that with a season to spare when Brantham won the SIL title in 2007-2008.
Our first season (2008-2009) back in the Ridgeons League saw the club finish in the top half of Division One and reach the semi-finals of the Suffolk County Senior Cup. The following season 2009-2010, we finished a creditable third which saw the club gain promotion to the Premier Division. Centre forward Ollie Mann who was the leading goal scorer in Division One also won the Ipswich Evening Star Player of the Year award, presented to Ollie by Ipswich Town legend and ex-England international Kevin Beattie.
In the 2010-2011 season again with Tony Hall at the helm ably supported by assistant manager Colin Grogan and the coaching staff of Paul Skingley and Robbie Rothwell. At the end of the season we finished a creditable just under mid table slot and were one of the few teams to take points off the top clubs, including a great 3-3 draw with league champions Leiston, a fantastic 5-1 away win at the home of second placed Dereham and a good 2-2 draw away to the much fancied Wroxham. For the second year running Ollie Mann scooped the Ipswich Evening Star Player of the season award, the first time it has happened.
The 2011-2012 season saw us pick up some very good results, both home and away and we finished a very creditable third spot in the league table, and we all know that if it had not been for a bit of a 'blip' towards the very last part of the season we could well have finished in the runners-up slot, and who knows maybe even higher. I know that the management team of Tony Hall and Colin grogan are looking to improve on that third slot this coming season. We have lost two important members of the team, with leading goalscorer Ollie Mann going to Leiston Town and Ollie will be a hard man to replace. However, in saying that we still have a top man in front of goal in Josh Mayhew and he is helped by Dan Pryke and Lee Grimwood,so we are still more than capable of hitting the back of the net. We alsolost influential defender Tom Wray, who has also gone to Leiston, and Tom's ability to read a game and his fine football defending skills will be hard to replace, but yet again we have people to step in who I am sure sure will do a superb job for us in the back four.
1898-1899. Junior Cup winners
1898-1899. Division Two League Champions (Ipswich & District League)
1913-1914. Division Two League Champions (Ipswich & District League)
1919-1920. Division Three League Champions (Reserves) – Ipswich & District League)
1926-1927. Suffolk County FA Senior Cup winners.
1927-1928. Suffolk County FA Junior Cup Winners
1959-1960. Suffolk County FA Senior Cup winners.
1976-1967. Suffolk County FA Senior Cup winners.
1982-1983. Suffolk County FA Premier Cup winners.
1996-1997. Mick McNeil League KO Cup winners
2007-2008. Metaltec Suffolk and Ipswich League Senior Division Champions
2009-2010. Promotion to Ridgeons League Premier Division, Brantham Charity Cup winners- Essex and Suffolk Border League Cup winners.