Clevedon Town celebrate Bristol City connections

Saikou Janneh in action for Clevedon Town, as Clayton Fortune looks on

Saikou Jannah in action for Clevedon Town, as Clayton Fortune looks on - Credit:

Clevedon Town have enjoyed a close connection with Football League outfit Bristol City down the years.

A recent TV report mentioned players like Gerry Sweeney and Brian Drysdale, who played first-team football at City and went on to play for Town.

And in 1985/6, Geoff Merrick made it a hat-trick of City players from the old City Division One team at Clevedon. 

There are many more, not least current Seasiders manager Micky Bell who played over 300 games for City and has been in charge of over 450 Clevedon games.

Also with over 300 City games under his belt is local player Andy Llewellyn who only played a handful of games for Town but appeared many more times for Clevedon United as player and manager in their spell in the Western League.

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Two very experienced ex-City players have made a big impression at Clevedon in recent years as Alex Russell completed over 500 league games and then made over 50 appearances for Town in both the Southern and Western Leagues, scoring five times.

Alex Russell in action for Clevedon Town

Alex Russell in action for Clevedon Town - Credit:

Another with over 500 professional games to his credit, including over 350 at City, is Scott Murray who had an outstanding season at Clevedon in 2012/13 scoring 12 goals in 14 games and adding another two in seven appearances the following season. 

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And the Murray name lives on at the Seasiders with son Jay knocking the goals in for Town most recently.

The much-travelled Clayton Fortune, who started his professional career at City, was always a great favourite at the Everyone Active, such that he clocked up over 80 games in four spells. 

Clayton Fortune in action for Clevedon Town

Clayton Fortune in action for Clevedon Town - Credit:

Jason Eaton, who is now general manager at Cadbury House, is another local man with City and Clevedon connections and completed a hat-trick by also appearing for Bristol Rovers.

That feat is not unusual, though, as goalkeepers Ray Cashley and Steve Phillips, plus Trevor Jacobs, Peter Beadle, and Mike Wyatt also played for all three clubs.

In the old amateur days Dick Steel made five appearances for City before arriving at Clevedon, to where he was followed by son Greg, who himself played in the league for Newport County.

Today the connection between Clevedon Town and City players remains, but it is now more about Clevedon giving the opportunity for City youngsters to gain work experience in men’s football in short spells.

Recently Town have benefitted from and helped progress the careers of two City strikers, including Sam Bell, Micky’s son, who scored three goals in four appearances for Town and is now part of City’s first-team squad, and raw Gambian teenager Saikou Janneh.

Gambian teenager Saikou Janneh in action for Clevedon Town

Gambian teenager Saikou Janneh in action for Clevedon Town - Credit:

In 2017-18, Janneh scored eight goals in 12 Town appearances and went on to have successful spells at Torquay and Newport before returning to Ashton Gate as part of the Under-23 set-up.

Then in 2018/19, exciting young City full back Vincent Harper had a short spell at Clevedon and is currently on loan at Gloucester City.

Others who have played for both clubs include Gary Marshall, Ricky Chandler and Danny Wring, but if any readers know of others who made first-team appearances for Clevedon and City, the club would love to hear from them through their website

*With thanks to Paul Davis for research on this article.

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