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A cartoon from 1910 about Exeter City’s still-record victory of 14-0 against Weymouth.

Remarkable history of Exeter City FC seen in new exhibition

Rarely-seen pictures will tell the remarkable story of Exeter City FC at a new exhibition dedicated to the club’s unique history.

The exhibition, displayed at both the club and Phoenix Arts Centre, will allow visitors to discover different aspects of the club’s history, including classic matches, people who work and volunteer at St James Park, old advertising and sponsorship, squad pictures, and high points in Exeter City history.

It has been made possible thanks to work University of Exeter researchers are carrying out with City staff, supporters, fans, current and former players, volunteers and students to develop a rich archive, which includes film, photographs, sound, and artefacts, to showcase City’s fascinating history and illustrate the role the Club and Supporters Trust have played in the community over the last one hundred years.

As part of the exhibition, which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, fans can view images and pictures and newspaper reports not seen for decades, including a cartoon from 1910 about Exeter City’s still-record victory of 14-0 against Weymouth. The image shows Weymouth’s goalkeeper getting pelted with balls representing Exeter City players. Other pictures include the 1914 squad which played Aston Villa, a newspaper report of the first time Exeter City played in the football league and a picture of the game with the highest attendance in the club’s history. A massive 21,000 people visited in 1931 to see the team play Sunderland. New safety regulations mean this record hasn’t yet been broken.

Exeter City high points represented in images in the exhibition include pictures of fans pouring into the pitch to celebrate promotion in 1977, the victory over Newcastle United in 1981, promotion in 1990, the game against Brazil in 2004 and Manchester United in 2005 and the victory on the last day of the season which secured Exeter City’s position in league 1 in 2010. There is also a picture of David Wheeler, who scored seven goals in seven matches.

The exhibit will be on permanent display in the club’s hospitality area near the trophy cabinet.

Gabriella Giannachi, Professor in Performance and New Media in the department of English, PhD student Will Barrett, and, since 2013, thirty-one undergraduate student interns, in collaboration with the University of Exeter’s Digital Humanities team have already created a web archive for the Club and Supporters Trust called Grecian Archive.

Former players and staff have also given their memories of the club in a new film which will be shown on March 27, at a private screening at the club and for all fans on the Grecian Archive website. Those connected with the club will talk about their experiences and memories.

Professor Giannachi said: “We have been honoured to work with former players, fans, collectors and volunteers and we are so proud to be able to tell the story of Exeter City with their help. It is a very special club with a rich history, and this exhibition shows the high points and sometimes fascinating twists and turns people have experienced over the years.”
The exhibition will be shown at the Phoenix Arts Centre until 20 April.

Date: 23 March 2017

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