Club History

The club that is now known as Tipton Town FC was established in 1948 under the name of Ocker Hill United, turning out in the Wolverhampton and District Amateur League. Ocker Hill enjoyed significant success, winning the Handsworth League, the Wednesbury League (four times), the West Bromwich League and the Wolverhampton Amateur Premier on various occasions between 1948 and 1964.

Tipton Town FC
The Wednesbury League winning Ocker Hill side of 1949-50.

It was not until 1967 that the club changed its name to Tipton Town when it successfully applied to join the West Midlands (Regional) League Division One. Around the same time, work began on Tipton Sports Union stadium, now known as Tipton Sports Academy, to provide a home for the club and several other sporting teams in the area.

HRH Prince Philip opened the Tipton Sports Union stadium in June 1971.

The stadium, which was built on a former municipal tip and smelting works, officially opened in June 1971 and has been the club’s home ever since; with the exception of a few years in the 2000’s when the development of the neighbouring Tipton Sports Academy facilities required a temporary move to nearby Oldbury United.

The club’s first major success arrived in 1984 when Tipton were promoted to the Premier Division as champions, winning the divisional league cup along the way. Tipton’s stay in the top tier of the West Midlands League lasted seven years and it took another seven years before the club was promoted back.

It was during the era of legendary Tipton boss John ‘Bonky’ Hill that the club began to emerge as a force in local non-league circles.

Legendary Tipton Town boss John ‘Bonky’ Hill (left) with Adrian Cartwright and the West Midlands League winners shield 2004/05.

When Hill took over in 2003, having played for Tipton since the mid-1990s, the club had only recently finished bottom of the West Midlands League but survived relegation due to clubs in the feeder leagues being unable to complete their fixtures due to the foot-and-mouth epidemic.

Under Hill, they managed a third place finish in 2003, second place in 2004 and then finally in 2004/05, they dominated the league on the way to the title, scoring over 100 goals along the way. That same year, Tipton enjoyed their best ever run in the FA Vase, reaching the fifth round.

In addition to the West Midlands League win, Hill’s reign saw a runners-up spot in the Midland Alliance (in 2010/11), runners-up in the Walsall Senior Cup (2006 and 2009), West Midlands League Cup winners (2006) and Midland Floodlit Cup winners (2003).

John Hill departed Tipton in 2011, following the highlight of the club’s history, when they reached the First Round proper of the FA Cup before losing to Carlise United, a club six tiers above them in the English league system.

Since that high-point in the club’s history, Tipton Town underwent significant rebuilding following the nadir of the club’s history with the imprisonment of chairman Bill Williams for fraud in June 2011.

2013/14 Season, former Gornal Athletic and Dudley Town boss Ian Rowe – and a new chairman – Mat Danks guided the club to a mid table finish of eleventh and also to the final of the Polymac Cup which resulted with a runners-up spot following a one goal defeat against Quorn. Following the final, both Rowe and Danks left for pastures new.

The club wasted no time with the appointment of a new manager – former Eastwood Town and Bedworth boss Nick Hawkins in May 2014. However, five weeks into the new season and following the club’s FA Cup win over Sporting Khalsa, the football club parted company with their recently appointed first team management. Director of football Mike Pitt, who was in charge of the clubs youth development, quickly put together a side with local home grown under 18 & U21’s players to represent their club in the MFL.

After a few weeks a new management team of Nicky Pugh and Wes Cox were put in place. Both had long established links with the club, however even after a lot of hard work and effort the club were unable to remain in the Midland Football League Premier division, finishing third from bottom and thus were relegated.

Pugh and Cox both resigned following the club’s relegation, and had soon appointed Paul Totney, former Smethwick Rangers boss, to take the helm of the 2015/16 season in the West Midlands (Regional) League Premier division. Unfortunately after Christmas, the club were informed that Totney and his management staff had resigned and so Sunny Bains and Wes Cox were appointed as interim joint managers until the end of the 2015/16 season, where the club was relegated to Division 1 of the West Midlands (Regional) League.

Following the end of the 2015/16 season, the club immediately appointed Ian Guy as manager, who was joined by Neil Hesson and Adam Colin as coaches, and later joined by Chris Essex as GK Coach. They lead the club to a successful fifth place finish for the 2016/17 season.  Season 2017/18 the club finished in a respectable 10thplace, but manager Guy took the decision to step-down as first team manager, due to work commitments. Ian remains with the club in his role as General Manger, which he has held for the past 5 years.

Club captain Sam Hesson (left) and vice-captain Kieran Smith lift the BCFA Saturday Vase Trophy (2019)

The club immediately appointed Neil Perks as first team manager prior to the start of the 2018/19 season. Neil is an experienced manager who’s former clubs include Dudley Sports, Bustleholme and Dudley Town. He guided the club to a respectable mid-table finish, whilst also securing the BCFA Saturday Vase; beating Enville Athletic with an emphatic 3-0 victory in the final at Ray Hall Lane.

After a couple of tumultuous seasons due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we reached the semi final of the BCFA Saturday Vase before the season abruptly came to an end. Season 2020/21 we finished top of the table, again before the season was brought to a premature end.

Perks and Hesson guided us to a 5th place finish in season 2021/22. Whilst also once more guiding us to the BCFA Saturday Vase final, where we lost 4-0 to high-flyers Cadbury Athletic. During the season we also celebrated the 10 year anniversary of the club reaching the first round of the FA Cup, and held a successful celebration game Vs Halesowen Town.

We look forward to another successful and competitive season in the West Midlands (Regional) League Division 1 in 2022/23.

Much of the material contained on this page has been pilfered from Steve Mills’ excellent history of Tipton Town ‘From Tipton to England’ which was published in 2012 and which looks back at the history of the club from its earliest days, often told from the perspectives of those who were there.

The book retails at a bargain £7 and is available from Steve by contacting him on 07751 954179.