Football has been played in the Arnold area for over a hundred years and the Eagles can trace their proud history back to its beginnings. The current club, formed in 1989, was born out of the merger between the old established Arnold FC (who began life as Arnold St Mary’s in 1928) and near neighbours Arnold Kingswell.
Initially the newly formed club competed in the Central Midlands League (Supreme Division) and then moved into the NCEL Division One and then swiftly to the NCEL Premier after two successive Championship seasons in 92/93 and 93/94. On a roll, the Eagles almost made it three in a row but ended 94/95 as runners up in the NCEL Premier. Since those heady days, however, the Club’s best ever league finish has been 5th (05/06). Season 2010-2011 sees Arnold compete for the 17th successive season in the NCEL Premier Division.
Throughout that time the Club has grown and developed into what it is today. The Eagles have long aspired to play at the highest level possible and aspire to enter the Unibond League at the first opportunity and over the years has succeeded on a variety of fronts. The Eagles have managed to lift the prestigious Notts Senior Cup trophy no less than five times since 1989 and have been runners up once. The most recent success came in 2005 when spectacular long range effort from Scott Huckerby was enough to give the Eagles a 1-0 victory over Eastwood Town in front of a crowd of more than 650 at Notts. County’s Meadow Lane ground.
A number of fine runs in the FA Cup and FA Vase have also been achieved over the years. In 2002 the Eagles had their best run in the FA Cup since reforming when they reached the 4th Qualifying Round before narrowly going out to Scarborough in front of 900 at Gedling Road. During the 05/06 season the Club equalled their best FA Vase performance by reaching the 5th Round where they lost out by a single goal to Crook Town , again at Gedling Road, in front of 560 spectators. They had earlier reached the same stage in 01/02 going out 1-3 at Wroxham.
The 2007-08 season saw the curtain finally come down at the Club’s Gedling Road ground which had been their home for over fifty years. The move to their new ground – Eagle valley – was the result of huge amounts of hard work, negotiations, planning and fund raising by Club officials, supporters, the local community and friends. It fulfilled a long held dream for the club to provide the best facilities for the local area and community and be a facility that would meet the Club’s aspirations for football at the highest level. The Eagles finally moved into their new £2 million home in January 2009.
A real strength for the Club has been the strong fan base and the support provided by the Supporters Club (now in their 20th year). This helps to ensure a very commendable away following, a firm home gate and much financial support helping the Club to maintain its position in the football pyramid and fulfil the Club’s desire for continual improvement.
The Club has consistently maintained links with the professional game. Chris Freestone (Middlesbrough - 1994) Tristram Whitman (Doncaster Rovers - 2000) and most recently (2006) Ben Hutchinson (Middlesbrough) all moved from the Arnold team into the professional ranks. Chris Freestone returned to us in 2005/06 and now at 100 goals for the club has just equalled the all time record goal scorer Peter Fletcher who notched up exactly 100 goals for Arnold Town between October 1992 and October 1996. Freestone, together with Martin Carruthers, took over the management reigns midway through season 2009-2010. League background and experience has also been a factor in Arnold management. Former Eagles managers include Ray O’Brien (Notts. County & Rep. of Ireland) and Iain McCullough (Notts. County), Bill Brindley (Notts. County and Forest) and Phil Starbuck (Forest).
The Club are now well established at their new home. The complex, officially opened by Sven Goran Eriksson in Oct. 2009, provides playing, coaching and social facilities for upwards of 40 teams from the Arnold area. As well as three senior sides there are also numerous junior teams (girls and boys) plus ladies and veteran sides. The first class facilities continue to provide the springboard for Arnold to fulfil their long held ambition to climb the non league pyramid but equally importantly to be an asset to the sporting community and young people of the wider Arnold area.