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Aldershot F.C.

Aldershot Football Club were the last (at time of writing June 2003) English league club to go out of business during a season.

The club was nicknamed The Shots for obvious reasons (the last syllable of the town name, the military links, and a vague link to football).

Based in the Hampshire military town of Aldershot[?] the club was founded in 1926 as Aldershot Town, and admitted to League football when Thames F.C.[?] declined to apply for re-election in 1932, when it dropped the Town from its name. They spent many seasons in the lower divisions of The Football League, never reaching Division 2.

Division 3 South1932/3 to 1938/9
War time competition
Division 3 South1946/7 to 1957/8
Division 41958/9 to 1972/3 (Promoted 4th place)
Division 31973/4 to 1975/6 (Relegated 21 of 24)
Division 41976/7 to 1986/7 (Won play off. 6th place)
Division 31987/8 to 1988/9 (Relegated 24 of 24)
Division 41989/90 to 1991/2 (not completed)

They came bottom of Division 3 South in 1934/5 and 1936/7, but were re-elected both times.

They were among the founder members of Division 4 in 1958/9, and the first winners of a play off final (this was before the play offs involved a trip to Wembley or Cardiff, Aldershot beat Wolves over two legs.

In March 1992 the financial problems that had hung over them for some time finally swallowed the Shots. The final game played was at Cardiff City F.C.[?] on 20 March 1992. That two clubs (Maidstone F.C.[?] went out of business at the end of that season) from the lower divisions went under in the season running up to the foundation of the Premier League primarily motivated on distribution of more TV rights money to the larger clubs was not unremarked on at the time, yet predictions of further club failures have yet to be fulfilled.

In response to the bankruptcy a group of supporters set up Aldershot Town (1992) F.C. to play in a much lower division within the non-league pyramid of English football. Between 1992 and 2003 this club has thrived and will start 2003-4 in the Football Conference, only one division below the league Aldershot were in at their demise. The reformed Accrington Stanley F.C., the club who were the last before Aldershot to go out of business mid season (in 1962), will be one of their opponents.

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