Kettering Town Football Club is an English football club originating in Kettering, Northamptonshire but currently based in the town of Burton Latimer. The club participates in the Southern League Division One Central, the eighth tier of English football.
Kettering Town were originally formed in 1872, turning professional in 1891. The club graduated through twelve different leagues from 1892 until they became founding members of the Alliance Premier League in 1979. The club maintained its status in the top flight of semi-professional football until the 2000–01 season.
Many honours have found their way to Rockingham Road, winning the Midland Football League title in 1896 and 1900. The Southern League Championship was won on three occasions by the club, in 1928 and 1957 under Tommy Lawton and in 1973 under the guidance of Ron Atkinson. In the 1930s the club won the East Midlands League and in 1948 the Poppies became Birmingham League Champions.
During the 1970s, Kettering Town sought election to the Football League, coming five votes short of election in 1974.
In a Southern League game against Bath City on 24 January 1976, Kettering became the first British club to play with a sponsor's name printed on their shirts after signing a deal with local firm Kettering Tyres. The deal was brokered by chief executive and manager Derek Dougan. Four days later, The Football Association ordered the club to remove the slogan, but Dougan changed the words on the shirts to "Kettering T", and claimed that the T stood for "Town". Nonetheless, the FA ordered the club to remove the words, which the club did due to the threat of a £1,000 fine. Shirt sponsorship was eventually legalised within the English game in 1977. Kettering are also the first ever British team to have their initials on their ground's floodlights.
Season 2005–06 was to be one of massive change at Rockingham Road. In October 2005 it was announced that long-serving chairman Peter Mallinger was to hand over the reins to a consortium consisting of Imraan Ladak, Mick Leech and England legend Paul Gascoigne. Gascoigne was installed as manager, replacing Kevin Wilson, and ex-Arsenal stalwart Paul Davis was recruited as assistant manager.