It was during the 1970s that the Gladiators sprang to prominence as one of the country's best non-league sides. They won the FA Trophy at Wembley in 1974/75, beating Scarborough 4-0 by a now record-equalling final scoreline, and it is the only Wembley final when three brothers have represented the same side.
Tom and Nick Fenoughty both scored, with other brother Mick playing an important role out on the left. Former England centre-half Peter Swan had been appointed as manager at the start of the 1974/75 campaign, when they also reached the First Round Proper of the FA Cup, losing 4-1 at home to eventual Third Division champions Blackburn Rovers. The season ended with a second Cup win, beating Glossop in the Derbyshire Senior Cup Final.
Tom Fenoughty replaced Swan as manager at the start of the 1976/77 season, which saw Matlock slug out a keenly contested NPL title battle with Boston United and Northwich Victoria, having to settle for third spot. But they had a fantastic FA Cup run, including a magnificent 5-2 win at eventual 3rd Division champions and close neighbours Mansfield Town, before bowing out at Carlisle in the third round. The season ended with silverware, as New Mills were beaten in the Derbyshire Senior Cup Final.
Town won the NPL Cup at Maine Road, Manchester, at the end of the 1977/78 season, with a 3-0 win over Boston United, and also won the Derbyshire Senior Cup Final against Alfreton Town. The League Cup Final win enabled them to qualify for the Anglo Italian tournament during the 1978/79 campaign, Matlock losing 2-1 to both Chieti and Pisa in Italy, but beating Juniorcasale and Cremonese 2-0 at Causeway Lane. They finished as English runners up to Sutton United.
Prior to the 1970s they had reached the FA Cup First Round in 1959/60, losing 1-0 to Crook Town in a home replay, but they won the Central Alliance League title. This success was repeated the following season before a hat-trick of title victories was completed as they won the Midland League at the first attempt in 1961/62. When they won the Midland League again in 1968/69 they accepted an invitation to join the NPL, and have been members of the league ever since.
Matlock's best NPL league campaign was in 1983/84, when they finished runners up to Barrow. Their last FA Cup 1st Round appearance was in 1989/90, when they were beaten by Scunthorpe United at Glanford Park. The Gladiators lost their Premier Division status in 1995/96, after finishing bottom, and it was not until 2003/2004 when they returned after finishing second to champions Hyde United.
Their best league season since then was in 2006/07, when they finished in fifth spot to qualify for the play offs, but were beaten after extra time at Witton Albion. That same season saw them lose the NPL Cup Final to Fleetwood Town 1-0 at Witton and also the Derbyshire Senior Cup Final to Ilkeston Town.
Two years earlier though the NPL Cup was captured for a second time following a two-legged extra time win against Whitby Town.
Matlock's recent league form has been inconsistent, leading to a number of mid-table or lower-half finishes, but there have been Derbyshire Senior Cup wins against Belper 2-0 at Pride Park in 2010 and Gresley by a convincing 7-0 at Chesterfield in 2015.
Matlock's facilities have improved immeasurably in the last few years, with the Twigg Stand and social club opening in 2011; an academy was formed in 2015 to bring on up and coming players.
Former players Glenn Kirkwood and Craig Hopkins were appointed joint managers during the summer of 2016, and are keen to provide the Matlock public with a team of which they can be proud.
FA Challenge Trophy Winners 1974/75
NPL Cup Winners 1977/78, 2004/05
NPL Cup Runners Up 2006/07
NPL Shield Winners 1978/79
NPL Runners Up 1983/84
NPL (UniBond) Div One Runners Up 2003/04
Evans Halshaw Floodlit Cup Winners 1988/89, 1990/91
Derbyshire Senior Cup Winners 1974/75, 1976/77, 1977/78, 1983/84, 1984/85, 1991/92, 2003/04, 2009/10, 2014/15
Derbyshire Senior Cup Runners Up 1960/61, 1963/64, 1971/72, 1973/74, 1975/76, 1980/81, 1981/82, 1982/83, 1989/90, 1993/94, 2006/07, 2008/09, 2012/13
Central Alliance Div North Winners 1959/60, 1960/61
Midland Counties League Winners 1961/62, 1968/69
FA Cup 1st Round Appearances 1959/60 - lost 1-0 to Crook Town in home replay
1974/75 - lost 4-1 to Blackburn Rovers at home
1975/76 - lost 4-1 away to Wigan Athletic
1976/77-- beat Wigan Athletic 2-0 at home
1989/90 - lost 4-1 away at Scunthorpe United
FA Cup 2nd Round Appearances 1976/77 - beat Mansfield Town 5-2 away
FA Cup 3rd Round Appearances 1976/77 - lost 5-1 away to Carlisle United
Most goals in a season 2010/11 - Ross Hannah (52 goals).