Like the origins of Milton Keynes, there is a misconception that there is no history or heritage of football in Milton Keynes. Football in the area can be traced back as early as 1887 with the formation of the very succesful Wolverton Town. Indeed Wolverton Town which was later known as Milton Keynes Wolves could boast the oldest covered football stand in the world, having been built in 1899.
AFC Wolverton 1887-1992
Wolverton Park Stadium was built in 1885 and AFC Wolverton were formed in 1887. They entered the Southern League as Wolverton L & NWR FC. In 1889 the club changed its name to "Newport Pagnell and Wolverton London & North Western Railway Amalgamated Association Football Club" which is the longest recorded name of a football club in England. The name change only lasted one season though as it was unsurprisingly unpopular. Their first trophy came in 1892 when the club won the Berks and Bucks Senior Cup. During the 1893-94 season Wolverton played a friendly match against Wycombe Wanderers in front of a crowd of over 2000. They then played against Wycombe Wanderers again in the 1895/96 season, running out winners 3-2. The same season they were champions of the Southern League Second Division, progressing to the London Division of the same league.
During the 1897-98 season they finished runners up in the new division and also took on the might of Queens Park Rangers in the FA Cup, losing 2-1 on that occasion. They then moved into the United Counties League and became Champions during the 1913/14 season. After the First World War, Wolves joined the North Bucks League and finished runners up in 1920-1. They then progressed into the South Midlands League and in 1939 were crowned Champions of the Premier Division. They again became Champions of the Premier Division at the end of the 1945-46 season. Despite becoming champions twice, the club were not granted promotion and remained in the re-named Spartan league (Premier Division).
In the late 1940s T&BR was added to the club name. During the 1949/50 season, Wolves finished 4th in the league, above well known clubs like Stevenage and Slough Town. In 1951 Wolverton Town and BR finished runners up in the Spartan League (Premier Division), but were again denied promotion and stayed in the league until the end of the 1960-61 season. Meanwhile, in 1957, the club reached the fourth round of the FA cup, losing to Peterborough United.
In 1961 Wolves joined the United Counties League and in 1970 finished runners up and reached the final of the Berks & Bucks Senior Cup. They stayed in the United Counties League until the end of the 1979-80 season. In 1980 Wolves rejoined the Spartan League (Tier 9)and then progressed to the Isthmian League (now known as the Ryman League) finishing runners up in Division 2 (North) in 1986/7. Wolverton then changed their name, firstly to MK Wolverton Town and then AFC Wolverton, and rejoined the South Midlands League. They finished runners up in the SML Premier Division for the 1990/91 season but eventually folded in January 1992.
Milton Keynes County FC
Milton Keynes County started out as members of the North Bucks League; however in 1993 they replaced MK Wolverton in the South Midlands League, Division One, after Wolves folded. At the same time they moved to Wolverton Park following the demise of the previous occupant. After one season in the South Midlands League, where they finished 15th, the club left the League and moved to a new home at Kiln Farm in Milton Keynes. They closed shortly after the move.
MK City FC (Bletchley Town) 1956-1985
The original Milton Keynes City FC was founded as Bletchley and WIPAC FC in 1956 and joined the Southern League. In 1957 they changed their name to Bletchley Town before changing again in 1974 to Milton Keynes City FC, making them the first representative football club of Milton Keynes. In 1980 the club reached the final of the Berks and Bucks Senior Cup, winning the match against Aylesbury United 2-0 in front of a crowd of over 2000.
Then in 1979 Ron Noades and Sam Hamman bought the club and appointed fellow Wimbledon FC directors Bernie Coleman and Jimmy Rose to the board. Ron Noades expressed his wish to bring Wimbledon FC to Milton Keynes and merge the two clubs together. However, this never happened and Ron Noades took up a new role with Crystal Palace instead in 1981. During the 1980/81 season the club finished bottom of the Southern League Midland Division and repeated the placing during the 1982/83 season with no wins during the whole season. At the end of another poor season in 1983/84 the club was relegated out of the Southern League and in 1985 the club folded. At this moment in time it is not known at what point Ron Noades and his Wimbledon FC associates left MK City FC.
Milton Keynes Borough (Milton Keynes FC)
Milton Keynes Borough FC started out as a Sunday League side representing Bowens Cameras, which was a company operating from an industrial estate in Bletchley and played in the Milton Keynes Sunday Football League. They later changed their name to Denbigh United; however a number of players worked for another Bletchley based company called Belsize Engineering. Through this link Belsize started sponsering the team and the name was changed to Belsize FC. In 1970 Belsize FC joined the United Counties League. In 1973 they moved to Division 1 of the Hellenic League and in 1976 changed their name to Milton Keynes Borough FC. At the end of the 1978/79 season MK Borough were champions of the Hellenic League (Division 1) but were not granted promotion.
In 1984 they joined the South Midlands League Division One. The same season they were promoted as champions to the Premier Division of the SML and in 1992 finished runners up in the South Midlands League. In 1993 the club folded; however they were immediately reformed as Milton Keynes FC and re-entered the South Midlands League Premier Division with a one point penalty. In 1998 Milton Keynes FC were placed in the South Midlands League Senior Division. Then in 1999 the club was re-named as Bletchley Town FC but resigned from the South Midlands League in December 1999
MK City FC (Mercedes Benz)
The second Milton Keynes City FC started life as a Sunday League club called Mercedes Benz FC, being a team that represented the famous car maker. In 1993 they joined the First Division of the South Midlands league and stayed there until 1996 when they won promotion to the Senior Division as champions of Division One. In 1997 they became founder members of the Spartan South Midlands League, Senior Division, and during the same year they registered the trading name of MK City FC Ltd. In 1998 they were promoted to the Premier Division of the same league and changed their name to Milton Keynes City FC. They moved to a new home ground at Wolverton Park in Milton Keynes which had previously been used by Wolverton Town (MK Wolverton) and Milton Keynes County.
On 13th June 2002 a resident of Merton named Cliff Peters presented himself to an AGM of the Dons Trust in Wimbledon claiming to be the owner of MK City FC. Peters stated that he had offered the name of MK City FC to Charles Koppell in exchange for the rights to the name of Wimbledon FC. In August 2002 Bob Flight wrote to WISA as chairman of Milton Keynes City showing support for the formation of AFC Wimbledon. In 2003 Flight announced the withdrawel of the club from the South Midlands League. He made a statement in the local press stating that this decision was taken after several directors left the club for business and family reasons . In 2003 the company registered as MK City FC Ltd was dissolved.
Milton Keynes United (Milton Keynes Town)
Milton Keynes United started life in the North Bucks League. Then in 1984 they joined the South Midland League, Division One. In 1987 they changed their name to Milton Keynes Town, but only stayed in the South Midland League for one season finishing 6th that season.