Dive into the journey of our club so far, where we’ve come from, and the successes we’ve achieved along the way…
Bristol Manor Farm Football Club was formed for the 1960/61 season before disbanding and reforming for the start of the 1962/63 campaign.
Our ground ‘The Creek’ used to be the site of the Port of Bristol Authority Sports & Social Club. In 1965 when the authority moved to new premises, Manor Farm took it over, making it our permanent home.
The club joined the Somerset Senior League and over time made good progress through the divisions. In 1977 the club made the step-up to the Western League and five years later were promoted to the Premier Division as Division One Champions in 1982/83.
The club would remain at this level for the next three decades but ambitious seeds were sown for the club’s future in 1998 when Geoffrey Sellek, a founding player during those early 60’s ‘homeless’ years, took over the helm of the club as Chairman.
In a life of total dedication to the football club and its social club activities, Geoff began the long, arduous task of steering the club towards promotion to the Southern League and beyond.
Bristol Manor Farm’s decent FA Cup pedigree is rooted in an exciting run during the 2010/11 competition which saw us win a penalty shoot-out against Almondsbury Town and hold Basingstoke Town to a draw before being pipped by a single goal in the replay.
2011/12 was the most successful season in the history of the club to that date. We won the GFA Challenge Trophy after beating Shortwood United 5-0 in a thrilling ﬁnal and this was followed three days later with another cup triumph when we beat Willand Rovers in extra time to lift the Les Phillips Cup.
The modern era of Bristol Manor Farm truly began at the start of the 2013/14 with the appointment of our current, long-serving and most successful Manager, Lee Lashenko.
Fresh from winning the Premier League title with Bishop Sutton, Lashenko quickly made an impact with Manor Farm. The team made a good push for the league title but finished as runners-up to Larkhall Athletic – breaking club records for league position, goals scored and fewest goals conceded along the way.
Our FA Cup run saw us put 9 goals past Oldland Abbotonians and 7 past Lymington Town, bringing us national media attention. The 1st Round Qualifying tie against Corsham Town ended in a 4‐4 draw with Manor Farm winning the hard fought replay 1-0. We then also held Bridgwater Town to a 4-4 draw in the next round before narrowly going out 2-1 in the replay.
Again, in 2014‐2015, Bristol Manor Farm just missed out on promotion by 3 points. We did win the GFA County Challenge Trophy however with a 2‐0 win over local neighbours Shirehampton.
2015/2016 saw an epic run in the FA Vase that took us to within sniffing distance of Wembley. A notable 3-2 comeback win in the 5th Round at Sunderland RCA, meant another long return trip to the north-east for a Quarter Final showdown with Morpeth Town. On a heavy pitch we heroically went down fighting 2-0 with Morpeth going on to beat Hereford FC 4-1 in the showpiece Wembley final.
We finished third in the League – narrowly missing out on promotion once again but won the GFA County Challenge Trophy for the second season in succession with a record 9-2 win over Lydney Town.
On a happy night at Ashton Gate our former Exeter City and Truro City striker Dean Stamp also won the Bristol Post ‘Footballer of the Year’ award for his astonishing tally of 59 goals in all competitions.
The many highlights of the triumphant 2016/17 season will be forever woven into the fabric of the club’s history as Geoff Sellek’s Bristol Manor Farm finally secured that elusive promotion to the Southern League in emphatic style – Lee’s team amassing 102 points and scoring over 100 goals on the way to being crowned as Western League Champions.
An extraordinary unbeaten league run of 21 games between September and March (19 wins and 2 draws) all but secured the title, which was eventually clinched with three games to spare following a 2-0 win at local club Hallen on Good Friday.
Lee and his squad were warmly acknowledged later in the year on another great night for the club at Ashton Gate – popularly walking off with ‘Coach of the Year’ and ‘Team of the Year’ respectively at the Bristol Post Sports Awards.
Manor Farm hit the ground running during our dramatic, debut Southern League campaign (‘17/18) – briefly leading the pack in September and never out of the top six until the final agonising fortnight of the season.
The 2018/19 campaign was beset by second season syndrome – a plague of injuries, a rash of suspensions and inconsistent league form. Manor Farm’s national profile was given a further boost however by another extended run in the FA Cup. We finally fell to National League side Slough Town in a Third Qualifying Round replay after a valiant 2-2 draw in the original tie at their Arbour Park ground and a 5-2 thumping of Basingstoke Town at home in the previous round – both games played amid torrential rainfall.
During the Covid-19-interrupted League seasons of ‘19/20 and ‘20/21 we enjoyed two further FA Cup runs. A smash and grab 4-2 victory at Tiverton Town set us up with a tasty home tie with National League side Wealdstone. Manor Farm defended heroically in a goalless draw in front of a sell-out capacity crowd at The Creek but bowed out bravely in the replay.
The following year saw dramatic penalty shoot-outs – away at Kidlington (which we won) and at home to the National League’s Cray Wanderers, which we lost, after a thrilling 3-3 ‘comeback’ at The Creek. We also won the inaugural Steve Hillier Memorial Cup, named in honour of our long serving Secretary.
Last season (‘21/22) – the first to be completed post-Covid – was the most epic in the club’s history for all kinds of reasons. A rocky first half to the season was swept away on a tide of pure emotion after Christmas with a breath-taking push for promotion in which Manor Farm were defeated just once – winning 12 from 16 with 32 goals scored and just 8 conceded. On the final day of the season, at a delirious, jam-packed Creek, Owen Howe scored an 84th minute equaliser against Winchester City to finally secure us that coveted play-off spot.
The team, fans and wider community were undoubtedly spurred on throughout the second half of last season by the tragic news the club had received in January that Geoff Sellek had become terminally ill.
Alas, Geoff was not well enough to witness Manor Farm’s greatest ever night – a well-deserved 3-1 semi-final victory over Frome Town at their Badgers Hill home. After going one-nil down Kye Simpson responded with an immediate equaliser and the tide duly turned. Owen Howe sealed a famous and historic victory with a superb second-half brace to the obvious delight of the travelling Farmy Army.
The season was to end on the saddest of notes however with Winchester City winning 4-1 in a traumatic final over-shadowed by Geoffrey Sellek’s tragic passing just three days earlier.
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