Delabole Utd AFC play their football in the Duchy League Division 2.
Their home ground is the King George V playing field in the centre of the village opposite the church.

Delabole United AFC Honors
Duchy League Honors – Division 2 champions 1991/92
Division 1 champions 1992/93, 1997/98, Division 1 cup winners 1992/93
1992/93 Division 1 Most sporting club trophy
Bodmin and District League Honors – Champions- 1927/28, 1982/1983 winning all but 2 games which were drawn
Runners Up- 1983/84
League Cup – Runners Up 1982/83
Cornwall Junior Cup – (Eastern Section) Winners 1927/28 , Runners up 1927/28
St Breward Cup – Winners 1983/84
Runners Up – 1980/81, 1982/83, 2006/07, 2007/08

Honorary Members
Honorary Life Vice-Presidents
Mr RT Speare, Mr C Burrell, Mr W Pooley,
Mr L Cory, Mr FK Hatch
Honarary Life Members
Mr J Paul

A very interesting article researched by Ray Worden

Delabole Football Club: Season 1927/1928

Champions: Bodmin & District League
Winners: Cornwall Junior Cup (Eastern Section)
Runners-up: Cornwall Junior Cup

The 1927/8 season was without doubt, one of the most successful ever in the history of Delabole Football Club. The team was champions of the Bodmin & District League, winners of the Eastern Section of the Cornwall Junior Cup and runners-up to Western Section winners, St Columb Major in the Cornwall Junior Cup Final played in front of a large crowd at Wadebridge.

Here’s how the Cornish & Devon Post, recorded some of the key matches and events leading up to the ending of that momentous year.

Saturday 24th March 1928
“Delabole Win Cup”
“The Defeat Of Millbrook”

“A Great Defence”

After being three goals in arrears at half time, Millbrook made a brilliant recovery and after desperate efforts, nearly succeeded in drawing level with Delabole in the Eastern final of the Cornwall Junior Cup, played at Launceston on Saturday.
By winning this match, Delabole still remain unbeaten.
It was indeed, a typical cup-tie match, although the kick and rush style was not evident, the game being fought out at a very fast pace. Delabole were the better team in the opening half, but in the second, the pendulum swung in favour of Millbrook, who at times played the Slaters to a standstill, but try as they would, they could not draw level.
This can be accounted for in no small measure to the brilliance of Delabole’s defence, which tackled and cleared their lines during more than one dangerous rush. Portas, the goalie, was in tip top form and made two or three spectacular saves. In passing, it would be very unfair not to put a feather in the cap of Colvell (centre half). He was, without a doubt, the heart and soul of Delabole’s half-line and worked like a Trojan both in defence and attack. It would not be justifying to individualise any of the Slaters as they all played hard and their efforts were not in vain. Turning to the Millbrook eleven, in the opening half nothing would go right, but they can be congratulated on making such a fine recovery in the final half. It was then that everything worked like clockwork, but nevertheless, that other all-important goal did not fall to their lot. If it had done so I think Millbrook might have won in playing for the deciding goal.
As to the game, Delabole set the ball in motion and in the first minute – before anyone could realise what had happened – they were given the lead. Paul worked the leather towards the Millbrook goal and by some means it fell to the feet of Sandell, who slammed the ball goalwards. The goalie fumbled the ball in its flight and it eventually passed on to Prout, who quickly transferred the leather into the net. With such an early success, Delabole’s forwards immediately settled down to their game, but on the other hand, Millbrook could not find their feet. The Slaters’ halves gave them no rest and tackled and kicked clear with earnest, Colvell being the chief stumbling block. For the major portion of the half it was nothing else but Delabole versus the Millbrook defence. Delabole swung the ball about to a purpose, the distribution of the leather by Paul, the centre forward, being excellent. Millbrook were not altogether left in the shade and on one occasion, Portas made a good save from the outside right from close range and was equally prominent when he saved a free kick. As the game continued Delabole hammered away at the Millbrook defence but it showed no signs of crumbling. Paul fed Edbrooke on the right wing with a nice pass and the winger at once made tracks for the opposing goal, leaving all his opponents in the wake. Cutting in towards goal, the Millbrook custodian saved his first shot, but could not hold the ball and again gaining possession, Edbrooke found the net.
The third and last goal was not long in coming. Millbrook’s forwards had been trying unsuccessful conclusions with Delabole’s defence when Paul again got possession. Sandell cut in, gathered his forward pass and with the leather at his toes, slipped through the opposing defence and scored – a brilliant solo effort. A little later the Millbrook goalie was again at fault. Paul shot across the goalmouth from the left and the custodian was obliged to throw the leather behind for an unfruitful corner. At the other end Portas was again prominent in saving twice in succession, ultimately a free kick relieving pressure. 
Turning over with a lead of three clear goals, it was thought that Delabole would retire easy victors, but such was not the case. This half it was Millbrook’s turn to have a look in, which they did. The opening few minutes were fairly even, but after that – excepting for about 10 minutes – Delabole were outclassed and resorted to kicking to touch whenever danger was spelt on their goal. Millbrook’s first goal which was truly well-deserved fell to the lot of their outside right (Dutton), who headed into the net following a centre from the left. The Millbrook inside right on two or three occasions tried to penetrate Delabole’s defence with solo efforts, but did not prove successful. It was during this heavy pressure that the Slaters’ defence shone and on one occasion Portas was obliged to throw the ball to touch when hard pressed.
Try as they would, Millbrook, with all their good work could not penetrate the opposing defence, not even when Delabole were reduced to ten men, Cecil Thomas (captain) having to receive attention from the Launceston Ambulance Brigade. He, however, resumed later.
Delabole managed to make headway on a few occasions but nothing resulted from their endeavours – they were driven back to their own half. Before the final whistle blew Millbrook added another goal through Snell, time coming soon after following an abortive corner with the score: Delabole 3 Millbrook 2.

“Presentation Of The Cup

After the match the Delabole supporters swarmed onto the pitch and carried Colvell and Portas – who were without doubt the heroes of the game – to the grandstand when the cup was presented to Cecil Thomas (Delabole’s captain)
Mr Baker (Trenifle), who was asked to carry out the presentation on behalf of the Cornwall Football Association, before asking his wife to present the cup, congratulated both teams on the splendid game. Delabole had won the cup, which he thought they deserved, not but what they had had a hard tussle and for the good defensive game in the second half. He also congratulated Millbrook on being such sporty losers.
On receiving the cup from Mrs Baker the captain said it was the first time in the history of the Club that they had achieved what had been done that afternoon although they had had a team for the past 30 years.
Three lusty cheers were given the Millbrook team and Mrs Baker.

Our Delabole correspondent writes:
Saturday was a red-letter day for Delabole footballers, having won for the first time the trophy of the Eastern cup in the Junior League Competition.
To celebrate the event, the victorious team were met on their return home at the Launceston end of Delabole by an enthusiastic crowd, accompanied by Delabole Ex-servicemen’s Band. The char-a-banc was stopped and the captain (Mr Cecil Thomas) mounted the bonnet holding the cup. Mr S Smith, on behalf of the team and officials, heartily thanked all their supporters, remarking that it was the first time the cup had been brought to Delabole and hope was expressed that they would win the other cup. He thanked the team for doing so well, adding that the game was one of the best he had ever witnessed. Three cheers were given for the team and officials, after which the streets were paraded, led by the band playing the Flora Dance.  

Saturday 5th May 1928
“St Columb Win Junior Cup”
“Delabole Record Broken”
 Delabole have been through this season without being beaten at home or away. The first round of the Cornwall Junior Cup was played at St Mabyn when Delabole won by 2 to 1; the next game was with Lanjeth – a team that shattered the Slaters’ hopes last year – at Camelford, when the Slaters returned victorious by 2 to 1. The defeat of Millbrook at Launceston in March won Delabole the Eastern Division Trophy and they also qualified for the final of the Junior Cup with St Columb Major at Wadebridge on Saturday. This match they lost, their downfall being mainly due to the injury of Cecil Thomas, their captain and right back who, after 20 minutes play had to retire for the rest of the game. (Note: In those days no substitutes were allowed.)
The crowd of nearly 2000 spectators arrived on motor cycles, cars and a special train from Delabole brought nearly 300 spectators. The St Columb spectators who wore top hats of blue and white, made use of bugles etc. decorated in blue and white to enliven the proceedings, whilst Delabole spectators made a deafening din with their “everyday instruments.”

Although of a cup tie nature, the game was not productive of good football. Delabole, not being accustomed to such a large ground, made inaccurate passes. After the injury to Cecil Thomas there seemed to be two of the Saints’ forwards to Delabole’s one.
 With C.Q.M.S. Phillips of Bodmin as the referee, the Saints won the toss of the coin and played against the wind. Delabole, with their “lion” (Colvell) at centre half made good progress towards the Saints’ goal and after about ten minutes play they were awarded a corner kick. Sandell’s well played shot was met by Colvell who quickly transferred the ball into the net. St Columb, although somewhat down heartened at Delabole’s early lead, showed signs of drawing level when they were awarded a free kick, Fiddich receiving a pass and rushing through to send the ball behind. Sgt. Bellier in goal for the Saints was making some good saves and in an attempt to stop a shot from Edbrooke he received an injury which necessitated the attention of first aid, but he afterwards resumed play. The Slaters were keeping up the pressure and at times came so near to scoring that a thundering shout would rise from their supporters, but the ball would eventually go behind and all would be silent again. At this point of the game Thomas was injured and had to be taken off the field. This gave the Saints an opening and they immediately broke through. Fiddich received a pass and found the corner of the net amidst the blast of a bugle. The half time whistle blew with a goal for each.
The resumption found the Slaters with four forwards and Colvell at back. This alteration weakened the Delabole attack, although with this handicap they made a few progressive movements. The Saints took the lead through Furse who shot from the left wing. Sweet, the Delabole goalie made an attempt to save, but the ball struck the back of the net. Sandell, on the left, was anxious to get a pass, but none was forthcoming, each time an opponent would pop up at an unexpected moment. When this player did receive a pass, he was away and the Saints’ goal had a narrow escape when Bellier saved Sandell’s shot on the line. Hatcher and Colvell were working like Trojans at back and had it not been for their hefty kicks the Saints would have scored more than they actually did.  Paul took the ball through and passed to Sandell, the goalie in attempting to save let the ball pass to Edbrooke, who transferred it into the net. Immediately after the centre Coles took the ball to the Delabole goal. Sweet saw him coming and rushed out to clear, but Coles shot the ball into the untenanted net for the all-important goal. The Slaters tried their very hardest to equalise, but their efforts seemed futile. The game now became very scrappy and uninteresting, the Saints making their lead evident by kicking to touch.

The runners up match was played between Millbrook and Helston British Legion, the former winning by two goals to one. This match was far superior to the final. E Cunnach opened the score for Helston, but Millbrook equalised through Bartlett and later took the lead through Snell.

The cup and medals were presented to the respective winners by Mrs Menhennick, wife of Mr Menhennick, president of the Wadebridge United Football Club. Three cheers were given for Mrs Menhennick, preceded by three for each team.

Saturday 12th May 1928
“With The Slaters”
“A Mournful Lull In The Game”
Saturday was favoured with ideal weather when the Slaters played what could be termed as the final of the Bodmin & District League with De Lank.
The visitors brought their best team to compete against the Slaters, but after a well- contested game, the latter ran out winners by two goals to one. This win puts Delabole on the top of the B & D League, and so wins them the trophy of that League. Paul was responsible for the scoring of the two goals for Delabole and Courley for the visitors.
The home team lined up as follows: F.Prout; M.Thomas; H.Hatcher; Cyril Thomas; F. Colvell; L. Dungey; J. Edbrooke (capt.); R. Avery; F.Paul; W. Mutton and C. Sandell.  Referee, Mr R.Clarke, Delabole.
The visitors won the toss of the coin and chose to kick down the slope with the sun at their backs. The homesters were the first to attack when Avery went away on the right and passed to Paul,  who was unfortunate to kick the ball behind. From the goal kick the visitors were away and Prout was tested with a fast shot, but he was found to be safe. The first goal came through Paul, who received a pass from Dungey and after a melee in the mouth of the goal, netted. From the centre the Slaters took the ball to the visitors goal , after a scramble they were awarded a corner, Edbrooke’s shot was cleared by the defending backs.
At this point of the game the referee’s whistle blew for the players to stand in silence as the body of the late Mr Arthur Nicholls, who lived opposite the football field, was being brought home from Bodmin.
On the game being resumed, Sandell was sent away on the left wing and a nice centre was met by Edbrooke who shot the ball over the bar. The visitors forced a corner and came near to scoring when Kelly on the right shot over the bar. Half time arrived with Delabole one up.
On the resumption, De Lank were having the best of matters and the equaliser soon came when Courley received a pass from the left wing and after a scramble, succeeded in netting the ball. Avery, a reserve on the Delabole side, was playing a good game and was putting in some good shots and he deserved to have scored more than once. Colvell was not up to his usual form and could not get near enough to score. Paul was always on the spot and from a centre by Avery, he gave the goalie no chance. The final whistle blew with Delabole winning by the odd goal in three.

Saturday 19th May 1928
“Delabole Footballers”
“Presentation Of Cup”
Saturday was a red-letter day in the history of Delabole footballers, the secretary of the club (Mr F. Rush) having received a message to go to Bodmin to fetch the trophy of the Bodmin and District League. On Saturday adternoon the Secretary, accompanied by the captain of the team (Mr Cecil Thomas) and a few supporters journeyed to Bodmin when the cup was presented to the captain outside the Assize Hall.
Their return home was a proud occasion for the “Slaters”, the car being decorated with the club’s colours. They were met at the west entrance to Delabole by a large number of inhabitants and Delabole British Legion Band, the trophy of the Eastern Division Cornwall Junior Competition (previously won) being brought on the scene. The captain of the team took this cup and Mr C Sandell the B & D League trophy and they were displayed to the admiring spectators.
Mr R C J Pearce observed that he had been asked to say a few words respecting the cups (one on his right and the other on his left) and he felt it a great honour to do so. It was the first time, he believed, for about thirty years that either of those cups came to Delabole. They had got very near to winning them, but had failed. He had only one regret and that was, there were only two cups brought to Delabole instead of three. They would be proud of the team work that had brought those cups to Delabole. Besides the team there were the people behind the scenes – the secretary and the committee. The secretary had worked hard to get the three cups and had succeeded in securing two. He thought their best thanks were due to those who had brought the cups to Delabole, not only the team, but those behind the scenes. There was not only the question of teamwork, but also the question of finance. He understood the club was not in the position they would like to be, and he was making an appeal for support. He then called for three cheers for the team, the secretary and his committee.

These were heartily given, after which the two cups were carried in front, followed by the band and the large gathering

Les Cory gems from The Camelford and Delabole Post newspaper clippings

80 years ago on Saturday 22nd October 1927, Delabole United AFC beat Boscasltle 10 – 0, with the centre-forward Colville scoring all of the Slaters goals!!!!

From the looking back section of the C & D Post, 25 years ago June 17, 1978:
‘Delabole Football Club will be recieving a water bill for more than it has in the bank. Club Treasurer Les Cory said ” All we can do is plead poverty and ask the Water Authority for time to pay”.

An article provided kindly by Mrs P Molloy
An Uncle of mine WILFRED HAWKE wrote in an exercise book in 1900 some reports of football matches involving Delabole.
Football matches played by Delabole
Delabole Boys v Wadebridge : Played at Wadbridge in not good football weather but not much rain falling. The first half was fast and exciting, Wadebridge scoring one. Changing ends, matters were changed and Delabole began the attack and Finch scored with a stinging shot this equalising. soon after another shot came from the left and the Wadebridge back missing or kicking the wrong way placed Delabole a goal ahead. Time was getting near and Delabole back (E.Jenkin) shot a beautiful goal. Time being called and Delabole winning a well contested game by 3 – 1.
Delabole v St Breward : Played at St Breward in not good football weather and a one sided game ended in a win for St Breward by 6 – 0.
Delabole v St Breward : Played at Delabole in good football weather and a rough game ended in a win for St Breward 3 – 0.
Delabole v Camelford : Played at Camelford and ended in a win after a hard fought game for Delabole by 2 – 0.
Delabole v Camelford : Played at Delabole a rotten game resulted in a win for Camelford by one 1 – 0.
Delabole Boys v Delabole Men: Played at Delabole on Saturday 27th October 1900’s the men winning easily by 5 – 2.

This next item seems to be the report from the Delabole football club AGM in the early 1900’s

Money Received
£ S D
£ S D
S Gilbert
W Buscombe, fixture card
E Geake
C Pearce, fixture card
W Hawke
G Case, member
R Spragg
E Jenkin, shirt
E Knight
R H Grigg, member
F S Hockaday
S Gilbert, shirt
H H M Lawrence
H Allen, member
J Hayne
C Heard, member
J Tucker
E Jenkin, member
W Seacombe
J Kent, fixture card
J Broad
B Hawkey, fixture card & c
W Knight
H Heard, fixture card
James Oag
J Stephens
W Richards. fixture card
Gate money Wadebridge rangers
J Parsons
Gate money Bodmin match
A Reed, fixture card
Gate money Wadebridge Res
W Kendall, fixture card
Members Cards
A Lobb, fixture card
F Richards, fixture card
T Blake, fixture card
R Cory, fixture card
J Knight, fixture card
Money Expended
£ S D
£ S D
Secretaries Expenses
W Seacombe for cutting grass
Goalkeepers gloves and post
Football Bladder x 3
Football Shirts
2 Pails and Whitening
Referees Expenses
1 Eagle LT Marker
3/4 yard of blue serge and silk
C.Packet of Whitening
Wadebridge Res Match Expenses
Wadebridge Rangers Match Expenses
Secretaries expenses to W
Expenses Connection C.M
Expenses to Padstow
Wadebridge Rangers
Bodmin Expenses
Wire To St Thomas
Drivers Dinner
Brought Forward
Total: £6.8s.10 1/2 d

Stories from newspaper clippings

Taken from a clipping not sure of date:Written by The Nomad
‘Nine goals was the highlight of the game between Delabole and Pensilva. This was a fine 6-3 win for the Slater’s and although Pensilva have not been cutting much ice lately, this should not take anything away from Delabole’s convincing victory. Steve Dungey grabbed himself a first hat-trick. Alfie Greenaway and Steve Welford weighed in with one apiece and Ken Wherry own goal put the scoreline at 5-1 when the half-time whistle blew. Billings and Pender pulled two back for Pensilva in the second half but Graham Burnard put delabole further ahead before the end.’

Written by The Nomad 3/3/77
I witnessed a game between Tintagel and Delabole. this was a surprisingly quiet and sometimes dull affair for a local derby and the only visible ‘needle’ took place in the first half when the referee had to lecture two Delabole players for apparently quarrelling amongst themselves. Geoff Hollister came close to opening the Tintacs account after only four minutes play. Phil Burnard struck the home side’s crossbar from 30 yards in the17th minute, then Delabole seemed to have the game wrapped up with two goals in the space of three minutes, Gerald Steer with his left foot, normally use for standing on, opened the score in the 18th minute and Phil Burnard got the second in the 21st and scored the best goal of the match with a 52nd minute volley. With 27 minutes to go Hollister reduced the arrears for the Tintacs but they never looked like pulling the game out of the fire. Delabole are having quite a reasonable season. Although they have not repeated their run of 1973 when they were perched in the first and second place until well after christmas their current league position is quite respectable and should glean another six points from their next three games – two against St Minver and a home fixture with Tintagel – and could finish further up the table than in the aforementioned boom days.’

A Cornish Poem about ‘The Slaters’
By Tim Saunders (An ex Delibolian)

An Leghwesyon
Ha tan y’ga goes
Gwesyon men glasloes
A lenow kil roes

The Translation to English is as follows:

The Slaters

With fire in their blood
The men of the blue-grey stone
Fill the back of the net
The link below will take you to a pdf version of a book about Delabole Utd AFC in Cornish and English 
The-Slaters by Tim Saunders, Ray Worden & Lee Hore

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