The club is believed to have been formed in 1892 as John Smith’s FC. It wasn’t until 1923 that the Tadcaster Albion AFC name was adopted. In the early years the club played in the local York League. In 1948 Albion won the York League. They continued competing in the York League during the 1950’s & 60’s. Tadcaster Albion, in the early days, played home games on the site of the cricket ground on Station Road, before moving to the Ings ground, near to where the present Samuel Smith Brewery Packaging Block now stands. Changing facilities were in the town, at the rear of the Falcon Public House on Chapel Street, and it was a common Saturday afternoon sight to see nets, corner flags, buckets, oranges, players and officials trekking through the town. Down the years the club has played in several leagues.
In early times, Barkston Ash and later still the Yorkshire and Northern Counties East Leagues, football continued on the Ings ground until 1960, when the club moved 100 yards up river to its present home at the Park. In 1973 the club joined the Yorkshire League Division 3 and were promoted in 1975 and 1977 to reach Division 1, relegation was to follow in 1979 and 1980. In 1982-83 they became a founding member of the Northern Counties East League, originally in the NCEL Division Two North before league reorganisations led them to Division One in 1991. They rarely finish in the top half of the league in the 1990’s and finished bottom in 2001-02 & 2003-04. At the start of 2004-05, Jim Collis became manager and at this point fortunes on the pitch started to improve dramatically. In his first season, Albion finished 5th in the league, the following year a 3rd place finish meant promotion was missed by one point.
Jimmy Reid took over as manager in 2006, but his time was blighted by off the field problems. An attempted hostile takeover by dissident committee members took a massive amount of money to fight. Then in Nov 2007, an attempted arson attack on the clubhouse caused a lot of damage. Paul Marshall took over at the start of 2008-09, in his first season he played mostly local players and the team struggled and finished 17th. In 2009-10, with an influx of a few new key players, Albion won the NCEL Division One title.
In 2010, Rob Northfield, took over as chairman of Tadcaster Albion (2010) Ltd, and the club became a company limited by guarantee. Albion finished fourth in their first season in the NCEL Premier Division and won the NCEL President’s Cup, beating Farsley AFC 5-1 in the final. That was followed by an 8th place finish in 2011-12 and 6th in 2012-13. In the 2013-14 season Rob Northfield resigned a few days before the start of the season and i2i Sports Ltd agreed to take effective control of the club and company, with Matthew Gore becoming the new Chairman.
In 2014-2015 the Brewers led the NCEL Premier for most of the season but a poor run of games in March led to them finally finishing in third. An excellent run in the FA Vase saw them make history by making it through to the Quarter Final of the FA Vase where they drew a record breaking crowd of 1,307, but were narrowly beaten by Highworth Town. At the end of the season, the club opted not to renew their contract with manager Paul Marshall, two weeks later former Harrogate Railway boss Billy Miller was unveiled as the club’s new manager. In 2015-2016 the Brewers lead the NCEL Premier for most of the season once again, but this time they held their nerve and finished champions with a 2-1 home win over Armthorpe Welfare. They also made it to the League Cup Final, but were beaten in a thrilling 3-2 game against Cleethorpes Town.
In 2016-2017 the Brewers started their first ever season in the Evo-Stik First Division North. With a mix of old and new players Billy Miller was back in his old stomping ground and his experience and knowledge of this division was needed. The Brewers started the season well and were in the play-off spots, then injury problems hit the team and the season seemed to run away from them and they finished 19th in the league. The Brewers had a great chance for silverware in the West Riding County Cup Final, the game finished 1-1 but they lost out to Farsley Celtic 4-2 on penalties.
At the end of the 2016-17 campaign the Directors made the tough decision to change the management team from Billy Miller and Matt Heath to Michael Morton and Simon Collins bringing it more in-house. In the 2017-18 season the new-look management team took a couple months to adapt to the league and mould the squad that they wanted. However, it didn’t take them long to find their feet as the fortunes took a turn for the better after the new year with Michael and Simon steering the club to its highest ever finish reaching the Evo-Stik League play-offs after a dramatic final day. This once again brought massive excitement amongst the club and town but unfortunately it ended in semi-final defeat 2-1 at Bamber Bridge despite taking the lead and putting in a valiant performance.
There’s no doubting that the club is going in the right direction as the 2018-19 season sees the Brewers move into the Evo-Stik East Division after the league switched from a North/South divide to an East/West split. Can the club improve again this year ...