The latest in our series on Heroes from the Past reflects on the rich history of Exmouth Town Football Club, and specifically the glorious 1980s.

Formed in 1933, Exmouth Town FC originally played their home games on the Maer Cricket Field until moving to their current home at Southern Road in 1964.

Town were a dominant force in the Devon and Exeter League over the course of four decades, eventually making the leap to Western League football in 1973. Promotion to the Premier Division was achieved in 1981-82 after finishing as runners-up in Division One.

Exmouth won the Premier Division title in 1983-84 and again in 1985-86, as well as the League Cup in 1989-90. Town have won the St Lukes Devon Bowl on three occasions, the Devon Senior Cup and the Devon Premier Cup twice.

The club famously reached the semi-finals of the FA Vase in the 1984-85 campaign, taking on a Fleetwood Town side that has since progressed to fame and fortune in the Football League. Exmouth performed brilliantly to win the first leg 3-2 at Southern Road but went down 2-0 in the North-West to just miss out on a place at Wembley.

Just under 3,000 fans attended the away game, with 2012 fans turning up for the Southern Road fixture. The Town team listed in the programmes for both the home and away legs was: Mike Barrett, Jeff Weeks, Keith Sprague, Lionel Thomas, Russell Petersen, Alan Hooker, Graham Weeks, Russell Dawson, Paul Gidley, Mel Pym, Steve Hynds and Robbie Hook.

Town reached the Vase semi-finals by beating Port of Bristol, Backwell United, Newbury Town, Newport IOW, Bristol Manor Farm, Hucknall Colliery Welfare and Sudbury Town.

The 1980s was undoubtedly a golden era for the club, as Town installed floodlights at the ground, enabling them to host a number of professional clubs in friendly fixtures. In July 1987, Liverpool paid a visit and the highest recorded attendance of 2,395 fans watched the game. Since then, Southern Road has proudly welcomed many Football League clubs to East Devon.

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