Argyle Football Club was founded in 1886, when two
friends decided the town needed a football team for
local people to play in and support.
The team's first game was on 16th October 1886, when
they lost 2-0 against Cornish side Caxton, but they
didn’t have to wait long for a win; that came
a week later against Plymouth College.
Argyle's first home pitch was in the Mount Gould area
of town, while they also played at Marsh Mills before
moving to their current ground Home Park [map] in 1901.
In 1903 The Pilgrims, as they are affectionately
known, became a professional football club and were
accepted into the Southern League for the 1903/04
The club’s first professional game was a great
success as they beat West Ham United 1-0 away in the
Western League. Their first home game was also
a glorious day for the 4,500 fans who turned out at
Home Park to see their team beat Northampton Town 2-0.
Argyle did well in the Southern League, winning the
championship in 1912/13 and being runners up on two
But in 1920, Plymouth Argyle joined the Football League
Division Three (South), finishing 11th in their first
season under the management of Bob Jack.
The 1920s were a frustrating decade for the club as
they finished runners up six times in a row.
Thankfully their luck changed in the 1929/30 season
when they topped the table and won promotion to Division
Argyle stayed in this league for 20 years before being
relegated back down to Division Three at the end of
the 1949/50 season. However, they didn’t stay
down for long after winning the Division Three (South)
title for the second time in 1951/2.
In the mid 1950s the club was once again relegated to
the third division, and it’s fair to say the 1960s
were pretty disappointing for fans too, the only highlight
being in 1965 when they reached the League Cup semi-final
but lost against Leicester City.
Nine years later the team was back in the League Cup
semi-final, but lost to Manchester City in the replay
at Main Road after holding them to a 1-1 draw at Home
Plymouth Argyle's best ever FA Cup run was in
1983/4, when they reached the semi-final against Watford
at Villa Park. However the team lost the match in front
of a 43,858 crowd.
With Dave Smith at the helm, Argyle secured a place
back in Division Two in 1985/6 and goals by the legendary Tommy Tynan kept the fans coming to Home Park
in the hope of promotion to the top flight. However,
they never quite managed it.
In the 1990s, businessman Dan McCauley took over
as chairman and he was quick to appoint former England
player Peter Shilton as manager in the 1991/2
season. Unfortunately, Argyle was relegated to Division
Three (which became Division Two the following season
with the creation of the Premiership) at the end of
Things got a lot worse for Argyle in 1994/5 when they
were relegated to the bottom league, Division Three.
But new boss Neil Warnock brought fresh hope
to the club, which secured promotion back into Division
Two the following season.
Argyle went down again at the end of the 1997/8 season,
and finished 13th in the bottom division the following
year – the club’s worst season ever.
However, a new board of directors was established in
2001 and work started on rebuilding the Home Park
stadium. It seems this development did the team
the world of good as they were promoted to Division
Two at the end of the 2001/2 season, with a massive
Things got even better in 2003/4 when The Pilgrims were
crowned Division Two Champions at the end of
the season, winning promotion to the newly created Coca