Sholing F.C.

Full name Sholing Football Club
Nickname(s) The Boatmen
Founded 1960 (as Vosper Thornycroft)
Ground Portsmouth Road, Sholing
Capacity 1,000[1]
Chairman Gerry Roberts
Manager Dave Diaper
League Southern League Division One South
2020–21 Southern League Division One South (season curtailed)

Sholing Football Club is an English football club based in Sholing, Southampton, Hampshire. Formerly known as Vosper Thorneycroft FC and later VTFC the club changed its name in 2010 to Sholing FC. In 2013–14 they won both the FA Vase and the Wessex League Premier Division and have three times been runners up in the Wessex Premier, in 2007, 2009 and 2016. They are currently members of the Southern League Division One South. The club has twice won the Hampshire League, in 2001 and 2004. Sholing are also 8 times Southampton Senior Cup Winners.


Vosper Thornycroft FC

Vosper Thorneycroft were formed in 1960 as a successor to Thornycroft's (Woolston F.C.), which had folded eight years earlier, although teams from the Woolston Works had competed as early as 1878 under various names. During one remarkable season in 1920, they held Burnley to a 0–0 draw in the FA Cup, losing the replay 5–0.

In its post 1960 incarnation they initially played in the Southampton Junior League. After a number of successful years, they were promoted to the Hampshire League Third Division in 1991, rising to the Second Division the following season, followed by the First Division in 1998. A year later they were relegated when the league was re-organised, but at their first attempt they won promotion to the new Premier Division.

In 2003 Vospers were renamed as VT FC, after their parent company, and in their first season under their new name they were Hampshire League champions and won promotion to the Wessex League. After winning the Wessex League Cup in 2005, VTFC were league runners-up in 2008 and 2009. VTFC arrived in the Southern League Division One South and West for the 2009–10 season when they finished 4th. They lost in the subsequent play-offs to Bridgwater Town and were also runners-up in the Southern League Cup, losing on penalties to Cambridge City.

Sholing F.C.

Sholing won the FA Vase in 2014.

In June 2010 the club changed its name to Sholing F.C. as the parent company VT Group no longer existed. The change also reflected the district of Southampton in which the club is based.

After four years in the Southern League Division One South and West, where they finished runners-up in 2011 and reached the play-offs in all four of those campaigns, the club resigned from the Southern League in 2013 for financial reasons and stepped back into the Wessex League Premier Division.

During the 2013–14 season Sholing won the FA Vase for the first time in their history, beating West Auckland Town in the final at Wembley Stadium, with Marvin McLean scoring the only goal in the game in the 71st minute.

They also finished as champions of the Wessex League Premier Division and secured promotion back to the Southern League for 2014–15.

Three players retired after the Wembley final and three more moved to other clubs in higher leagues, so 2014–15 was going to be a transition season. The club finished 17th and reached the final of the Hampshire Senior Cup, losing 3–0 to Gosport Borough. At the end of the season it was revealed that the club's ground did not meet the new FA Step 4 grading criteria and once again Sholing were placed in the Wessex League for 2015–16.

Sholing finished as runners-up to Salisbury in the Wessex League Premier Division 2015–16. The Boatmen won 10 of their last 11 games to pip Blackfield & Andover to second place. Dan Mason finished as club top scorer with 39 goals, placing him second in the League golden boot competition.

The Boatmen achieved two cup wins in the space of 3 days at the end of the 2016-17 season, firstly winning the Wessex League Cup, beating Baffins Milton Rovers 2-1, then lifting the Southampton Senior Cup with a 3-1 victory over Team Solent at St Mary's Stadium. In the Wessex Premier Division, they finished 3rd.

Sholing, once again, finished in 3rd place in the Wessex Premier Division in 2017-18 season. Despite the runners up, Andover Town, declining promotion, Sholing's Points Per Game (PPG) was less than other clubs in Step 5, so the club was not offered promotion by the FA. The following season, however, the club won the Wessex League championship.[2] During the course of the season, manager Dave Diaper reached the milestone of 1000 games in charge of the team.[3]


Sholing play their home games at Portsmouth Road. The ground has covered seating for 150 supporters and a covered terrace for another 100. There is hard standing around the length of the pitch. A new clubhouse was opened on 8 December 2019 by former Southampton and England striker James Beattie. Plans have been approved by Eastleigh Borough Council for a new changing room building.

Portsmouth Road, home of Sholing Football Club
Aerial photograph of Portsmouth Road, home of Sholing Football Club

Current squad

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
— GK England ENG Ryan Gosney
— GK England ENG Luke Deacon
— DF England ENG PJ McLean
— DF England ENG TJ Cuthbertson
— DF England ENG Marvin McLean
— DF England ENG Dan Miller
— DF England ENG Joe Smith
— DF England ENG Owen Royl
— MF England ENG Jamie Bulpitt
— MF England ENG Stuart Green
— MF Portugal POR Claudio Herbert
— MF England ENG Nick Watts
— MF England ENG Jake Hoole
— MF England ENG Conor Whiteley
— MF England ENG Byron Mason (captain)
— MF England ENG Alex Sawyer
— MF England ENG Bradley Targett
— MF England ENG Charlie Wagstaffe
— FW England ENG Dan Mason


  • FA Vase:[4]
    • Winners: 2013–14
  • Southern League Division One South & West[5]
    • Runners-up: 2010–11
  • Wessex League Premier Division[6]
    • Champions: 2013–14, 2018-19
    • Runners-up: 2007–08, 2008–09, 2015-16
  • Hampshire Premier League[6][7]
    • Champions: 2000–01, 2003–04
  • Wessex League Cup:[8]
    • Winners: 2004–05, 2016-17
  • Hampshire Senior Cup[9]
    • Runners-up: 2008-09, 2010–11, 2014–15
  • Southampton Senior Cup
    • Winners: 2001-02, 2003–04, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2009–10, 2013–14, 2016-17
  • Russell Cotes Cup (Hampshire FA Benevolent Cup)
    • Winners: 2019-20

Club records


  1. ^ "VT Group Sports Ground". Soccerway. Perform Group. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  2. ^ "Football:Portland to host champions Sholing". Dorset Echo. 22 April 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  3. ^ "Dave Diaper: Sholing FC manager reaches 1,000 games in charge of non-league club". BBC Sport. 30 August 2018. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  4. ^ "Sholing win the FA Vase". Southern Daily Echo. 10 May 2014. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  5. ^ "Football Club History Database – Sholing". Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  6. ^ a b "Football Club History Database – V T F C". Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  7. ^ "Football Club History Database – Vosper Thornycroft". Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  8. ^ Sydenhams League Cup Archived 23 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine Sydenhams Football League (Wessex)
  9. ^ "AFC Totton beat Sholing to win Hampshire Senior Cup". BBC Sport. 26 May 2011.

External links

Coordinates: 50°53′35.75″N 1°20′17.24″W / 50.8932639°N 1.3381222°W / 50.8932639; -1.3381222

Other Languages