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Year formed: 1946.
Ground: Kiln Park, London Road, Raunds, Northants, NN9 6EQ. Tel: 01933-623351. Fax: 01933-460941.
Directions; From north, east or west, take A14 junction 13 and follow A45 signs to Raunds. Turn left at roundabout by BP garage. From south, follow A45 towards Thrapston. Turn right at BP garage, ground on left.
Chairman: Pete Scanlon
Secretary: David Jones, 21 The Shortlands, Irthlingborough, Northants. NN9 5XE. Tel: 01933-651874. Mobile: 07763-492184. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Manager: Colin Ridgway. Assistant: Kelly Meagan. Coach: Wayne Simmonds.
Programme editor: David Jones.
Colours: Red and black; change colours: All yellow or all white.
Raunds Unity was formed in the 1890s and played in the Northants League from 1896, changing name to Raunds Town in 1900. They remained in membership up to the First World War vying for local supremacy with Raunds St Peters. After WW1 Raunds finished bottom of the league two years running and dropped into local football where they remained apart from one season back in the Northants League 2nd Division.
Post war the club reformed at a meeting at the town's Temperance Hall in May 1946. In 1950 the Shopmates, named after workers in the town's shoe industry, rejoined the United Counties League Second Division, but little of note was achieved in the next three decades, indeed Raunds were relegated in 1979.
League reconstruction saw Raunds make a speedy return to Division One and the appointment of Maurice Murphy as manager prompted an upturn in fortunes. In 1982-83 Raunds won Division One and the Northants Junior Cup and in their first Premier campaign they were Knockout cup runners-up.
Promotion winning skipper Keith Burt began an 11 year stint at the helm in 1989 and it was to prove the most exciting time in the Shopmates' history. The club signed off its' 40 tenure at the Berristers ground with two trophies in 1990, the League Knockout Cup and Northants Senior Cup. At the end of the campaign Raunds moved to a new home at Kiln Park, Crystal Palace the first visitors to the new stadium. Raunds were league runners up in 1992 and in the following season they produced an FA Cup sensation, winning 2-0 at Conference side Northwich - the only time a UCL club knocked Conference opposition out of the FA Cup.
The Shopmates were beaten in the Knockout Cup final in 1994 but twelve months later a season of heartbreak saw them lose the Premier title to Boston on goal difference, the Knockout cup final to Spalding on penalties and lose at the semi-final stage of the FA Vase to Arlesey after a three goal first leg victory. A small consolation was success in the Benevolent Cup final.
Dreams were at last fulfilled in 1996 as the Shopmates finally secured the Premier title with a final day win over Long Buckby, the reward promotion to the Southern League Midland Division.
In the short term Raunds continued to prosper at the higher level, finishing fourth in the Midland Divisuion in 1998. Twelve months later they enjoyed a best ever FA Cup run reaching the 4th Qualifying Round and also performed well in the FA Trophy reaching Round Three.
The Shopmates were forced to move divisions in 1998, and by 2000 a lack of finance had begun to bite. Manager Burt quit and at the end of the season Raunds took voluntary relegation back to the UCL.
Adam Sandy built an exciting young team at Kiln Park and in 2002 they beat Yaxley 1-0 to win the Knockout Cup at Blackstones.
Northamptonshire FA Hillier Senior Cup
Northamptonshire FA Junior Cup
Reserve League Cup
Reserve Division One
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