IN THE BEGINNING - THANK YOU MR CATER AND MR BOYCE
The birth of Bath Association Football Club as reported in the Bath Daily Chronicle of July 18, 1889.
Last night a meeting was held at the Christopher Hotel, to take into consideration the desirability of forming an Association Football Club for Bath, Mr R B Cater occupied the chair, and there was a numerous attendance including several well-know local football players. The Chairman said he was told by those who were far better informed on the subject than himself, that Bath was singular in not possessing an Association Football Club. He believed that all the principle places in the West of England, indeed throughout the country, could boast of one. The attendance that evening augured well for the success of the venture, and he would advise them not to proceed in a half-hearted spirit, but to have the best possible club they could (applause). Bath was getting rather famous for sports, and he thought there was plenty of room to edge in this Club (applause). He proposed that a Club be formed, to be called Bath Association Football Club.
Mr A E Boyce, who seconded, was quite certain that there was ample room in Bath for the Club, and he hoped it would prove successful. He saw a good many football men present, and he should like it to be known that this proposal was in no way antagonistic to the Bath Rugby Football Club (hear, hear), and he was sure they would pull together harmoniously. When he (Mr Boyce) came to Bath recently he was rather surprised to find that there was not an Association Football Club here, and when he suggested that one should be started he was told a similar attempt was made a few years ago, and fell through as no matches could be arranged. That was not likely to be the case now, considering the strides which Association Football had made during the last five years. Warmley could put three good teams into the field, Clifton had two strong fifteens, and there were successful clubs at Trowbridge, Melksham, Swindon, and in other towns not far away. He had promises from three Somerset county men to play occasionally for the Bath Club, and the members of the Clifton and Trowbridge Clubs had expressed their willingness to support them if they wanted men (applause). He might also mention the Mr A N C Treadgold, of Bath College, who was a host in himself, was a warm promoter of the enterprise. In conclusion, Mr Boyce stated that the tenant of the first Lambridge Meadow had offered the use of that field for next winter.
The proposition having been carried unanimously, Mr C H Clark proposed that Lord Weymouth, MP, be asked to accept the office of President of the Club, saying he had been told that the member for the Frome Division took great interest in the game (applause). He also proposed that the following gentlemen be asked to act as Vice-Presidents: Col. Laurie, CB, MP, Mr E R Wodehouse, MP, The Mayor (Mr H W Freeman), Messrs, R B Cater, R S Blaine, W C Jolly, C W Radway, J S Turner, and A G D Moger. Mr Walter Sants seconded, and expressed belief that there was plenty of room for the Club in Bath, though he knew a few years ago two or three unsuccessful attempts were made to start one. This motion was also unanimously carried.
Mr J E Henshaw, in moving that Mr Boyce be captain, said the success or failure of an institution of this description depended largely upon the officers, and notably upon the captain. Mr Boyce was a county player who had won laurels in the field, and would doubtless win more by his play in Bath (applause). Mr A M Pora, who seconded, mentioned that he was an Association player and had belonged to two London clubs. Mr Boyce, in acknowledging the compliment, assured the meeting that he should exert himself to the utmost to further the interests of the Club both in and out of the field. Mr W Sants, who was spoken of as a successful Rugby player, was unanimously chosen as vice-captain on the propostion of Mr Boyce, seconded by Mr Pinch. Mr B C Helps kindly consented to act as hon. sec. pro tem. and the following were appointed a Provisional Committee: Messrs R B Cater (chairman), A N C Treadgold, E H Biddlecombe, C H Clark, T N Parnham, S Fussell, and J E Henshaw. It was decided to leave the selection of Club colours, the framing of rules, and other details to the Committee. Mr Clark proposed, and Mr Boyce seconded, a cordial vote of thanks to the Chairman. Mr Boyce remarked that they had the right man in the right place, and if the Club had Mr Cater at its back it would be a success (applause). They were exceedingly grateful to him for having taken up the matter (applause). The Chairman, in returning thanks, said he was always ready to do anything in the interest of the city, and predicted a successful future for the club.