Dunkirk FC were founded in 1946 and their nickname is “The Boatmen”.
The first league they joined was the Notts Amateur League, of which they were members until 1975. They won the Premier Division in that season, the clubs first major honour. Accepted into the Notts Alliance League, they got off to a good start, eventually finishing runners up, five years later they were champions.
In 1981/82, Dunkirk reached the semi-final of the Notts F.A Intermediate Cup, a feat they repeated the following season. In the league they led Division One for much of the season.
In 1986/87, the club finished 9th and reached the semi-final of the league losing 2-0 to John Player.
The following season saw the club improve on that semi-final by winning the League Cup, leading scorer that season Mark Frettingham hitting all 3 goals in the final. At the end of the 1988/89 season, followers of the club might have been forgiven for thinking their team might never win the Notts Alliance Senior Division Title. After hitting top spot on 25th October, they led the table for 25 weeks, then dropped 6 points in as many games to finish second behind Hucknall Town by 4 points. The next season saw them runners up again, this time behind John Player by 2 points, in the Notts Senior Cup they reached Quarter-finals before going out to Eastwood Town in a penalty shootout.
Dunkirk again ended as bridesmaids in 1990/91, seven points adrift of Rainworth MW who took the title in a late burst. In the League cup they reached the final with Pelican. Dunkirk lost 2-0 after a replay drawing 2-2 in the first game.
In 1991/92 they slipped to 9th in the league, but improved up to 4th the following season. They also entered the FA Vase for the first time but made a quick exit by losing at home 5-1 to Lincoln United. 12 months later they beat Nettleham 5-3 to win their match in the competition, but the best was yet to come. In 1993/94 they had a magnificent run in the FA Vase reaching the last 16 before bowing out to Tiverton Town. 1995/96 saw the boatmen make their debut in the Central Midlands League, scoring 130 goals as they finished runners up to Kilamarsh Juniors and so gained promotion to the Supreme Division.
In the 1997/98 season they finished in 4th place and won the League Cup beating Clipstone Welfare 2-0 in the final at Hucknall Town.
In 1998/99 season Dunkirk secured runners up spot again snatching it from Goole on the last day of the season with a 2-0 win over South Normanton.
The high expectations for the 1999/2000 season never materialised with the club finishing in 6th position in the league.
The 2000/01 season saw the Boatmen’s worst season in the Supreme Division finishing 10th.
2002/03 saw the Boatmen beat Sutton Town on penalties to win the Floodlit Cup and also reach the league cup final losing though 2-0 to Dinnington Town At Alfreton Towns ground.
Dave Harbottle took over the reins as player/manager and quickly drafted former Dunkirk player Wayne Manners as his Assistant, in which they guided the club to 6th in the league Table.
The 2004/05 season may be the greatest season in history for the Boatmen, winning the Central Midlands Supreme Division for the Very First time and also reaching the Floodlit Cup and the League cup final. They lifted the Floodlit Cup for the second time in three years
with a 2-0 win against Clipstone Welfare. Unfortunately the Boatmen lost in the league cup final, losing 1-0 in a tight game against Sandiacre Town at Alfreton Towns ground. After Dunkirk’s memorable championship season promotion was denied due to the ground not being up to the required standard for the league above. This disappointment led to many players moving on to higher placed clubs in the football pyramid which meant the “Boatmen” needed to regroup. This rebuilding period gave Dunkirk the opportunity to blood many of the clubs under 19 players into the 1st team and after a difficult season they finished in 8th position.
In the 2007/08 season Dunkirk went into the campaign with an optimistic view that silverware may be returning to the club but after a poor start their league title dreams looked to have slipped away from them. Dunkirk now turned to the cup competitions and after a good run in the F.A Vase where they lost narrowly to Oldbury United in the 2nd round after a reply a bit of confidence returned to the side. The 2nd half of the season saw this confidence flourish with the “Boatmen” storming up the table to grab what looked to be an impossible 4th place league finish as well as reaching the league cup final at Alfreton Town’s ground where they defeated Blidworth Welfare 1-0 after extra-time..
The 2008-09 season held fresh optimism for Dunkirk as the were accepted to become founder members of the East Midlands Counties Football League which is a step up in league terms for the club. This step up also has given Dunkirk the opportunity to enter the F.A Cup for the first time in their history.
Our 1st game in the 2008-09 season started with the F.A.Cup as we faced Alvechurch from the Midland Football Alliance (step 5). Alvechurch though proved to be a little too strong for us as they raced into a 4 goal half-time lead. Although we did put in a spirited 2nd half performance the game ended 4-1. In our 1st ever step 6 league campaign we started extremely well and remained unbeaten until the end of October when we crashed to a 3-0 defeat against eventual league winners Kirby Muxloe. For most of the season though we found ourselves just behind the front two but with only 12 games remaining we did top the table. This though was to be the highlight of the season and after this spell at the top we did dwindle away and had to settle for a 5th place finish.This was to be the clubs last game in the Central Midlands League and after a 13 year successful time in which they claimed 1League Title, 2 League Cups as well as 2 Floodlit Cup trophies also claiming 3 League runners up positions and losing in 2 league cup finals they leave the Central Midlands League with many happy memories
The 2008-09 season gave Dunkirk a taste of what life was like in step 6 football and they went into the 2009-10 campaign with huge expectations that silverware would again be returning to Lenton Lane.
The campaign though started with 3 defeats in their opening 6 matches but they then went on a 30 game unbeaten record which pushed them into second place in the table but with leaders Bardon Hill Sports playing 8 games more than “the Boatmen” and with an 18 point lead with 16 games remaining a huge effort from Dunkirk was needed. The expectations that the club set themselves though was met when they saw the season out with 9 straight league wins to take the East Midland Counties title by 6 points over nearest contenders and runners up Gresley F.C. This gave the club the opportunity to gain promotion and they were accepted into the Midland Alliance Football League which is a step 5 league in the football pyramid which will be the clubs first time in this level of football.
As well as league success the club also had good cup runs when they reached the third round of the F.A Vase when they narrowly lost out in a dramatic penalty shootout against Pickering Town after a replay.
They also reached the semi-finals of the Nottinghamshire Senior Cup when the crashed out against Unibond League highflyers Retford United 4-0. In the East Midland Counties League Cup “the Boatmen” who are well known for League Cup success reached the final again when they faced Gedling Town but unfortunately they returned home with runners-up medals as Gedling snatched the tie with an Extra-time 2-1 victory. The 2010/11 season saw Dunkirk ply their trade in step 5 football for the first time in their history and after a very enjoyable season they claimed a creditable 8th place finish although they were only 4 points behind third position in the table. The club also enjoyed cup success as they claimed their first ever win in the F.A Cup with an exciting 4-3 Extra Preliminary Round win over NCEL side Dinnington Town. They also showed their pedigree as they saw off step 4 side Grantham Town 3-2 in extra-time after a replay, before they bowed out of the competition in the 1st Qualifying round against local rivals Carlton Town again after a replay as they went down to a 2-1 home defeat that again went to extra-time. This campaign also saw “the Boatmen” reach the third round proper of the F.A Vase as Northern league side Ashington made the long trip to our ground but again we just fell short as Ashington came from behind to claim a 2-1 win and reached the fourth round of the competition. Again we reached the semi-final of the Nottinghamshire Senior Cup and the draw couldn’t have been any tougher as we were paired against Conference North highflyers Eastwood Town and although we again put in a tremendous performance a last minute Eastwood strike gave them a 1-0 win as they went onto again claim the trophy. During the 2010/11 season the club were left in total shock as they were left to deal with the sudden death of their long standing Chairman Jack Riley. Jack had been an instrumental part of the club for many years as everybody at the club had to pull together which they did as they again looked to push the club forward. They also appointed a new Chairman as former Nottingham Forest favourite David Johnson took on the role.
After an excellent first season in step 5 football Dunkirk had fresh optimism that they could challenge at the top of the table. The 2011/12 season though saw them find themselves in an unfamiliar position as they struggled near the lower reaches of the division, only just avoiding relegation during the last few weeks of the season finally finishing in 18th position. The reserves claimed the Central Midlands League Reserve League Cup with a 2-1 win against Radford Reserves that was played at Long Eaton United’s ground.
The club rebuild again during the 2012/13 season but inconsistency was their main problem throughout the season. They did however finish in a creditable 10th position winning 18 of their 42 matches losing 16 and drawing 8. The reserves side under the guidance of Mark Harbottle claimed silverware for the second season in concession as they won the Central Midlands League Reserve Supreme Division with a very young side. Dunkirk though are once again on the lookout for a new chairman as David Johnson has had to resign from his position due to work commitments. Craig Smith has taken on this role as a temporarily measure but any interested parties who feel they can push the club onto the next level should contact any of the club officials.
The 2013/14 Season was a struggle throughout and in January 2014 long term managers David Harbottle and Ian Upton decided to step away from their position and in came Leigh Grant and Kuki Morley as joint Managers. Although the club continued to struggle they did however manage avoid relegation on the final day of the season claiming a point at home against AFC Wulfrunians.
After a tough start to the 2014-15 season mangers Leigh Grant and Kuki Morley resigned from their positions as joint managers. The club acted quickly and appointed former captain Nick Hawkins as manger.