The club was established in the late 1870s and competed in the Central Alliance and the Midland Counties League before reaching the Northern Premier League.
In the 1974–75 season, the club won the FA Trophy which caused a major celebration in the town. Their manager was Peter Swan, and the brothers Mick, Nick and Tom Fenoughty all played in the final. The coach and physiotherapist on that day was Harry Peck, who had played for Chesterfield as a professional.
In the 1976–77 season, managed by Tom Fenoughty, Matlock reached the 3rd round of the FA Cup, their best performance in the competition. They beat Division Three leaders Mansfield Town and were featured in a book “Tividale to Wembley” during this cup run.
In 1978 they won the Northern Premier League Cup for the first time and subsequently played in the Anglo-Italian Cup in the 1978–79 season.
For the 2009–10 season, they were a member of the Northern Premier League Premier Division.
During the 2010–11 season, on 16 October, in an FA Trophy match with Bedworth, Matlock scored 10 goals to progress through to the 2nd Qualifying Round. Ross Hannah scored 7 of the 10 goals in Matlock’s biggest ever competitive home win. The result equalled the club’s biggest ever competitive win, 10–0 away to Lancaster City in 1975.
Matlock Town F.C. was featured in the memoir The Long Road Out of Town by Greg Watts, who supported the club in the 1970s.
After new manager Mark Hume took over in early 2015, Matlock went onto to win the Derbyshire Senior Cup for the ninth time, but he was sacked after a bad run at the end of the 2015–16 season.
In the summer of 2016, Craig Hopkins and Glenn Kirkwood, formerly of local Derbyshire rivals Mickleover Sports F.C. took charge. They took Matlock to the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup for the first time in 27 years, where they were defeated 3-1 away by Altrincham F.C. This was not Matlock’s only good cup run, as they went onto the FA Trophy 2nd round proper, where after leading 2-0 with goals from Marcus Dinanga, were defeated 3-2 by a high flying in the National League Barrow A.F.C. team. Matlock’s cup successes didn’t end there, as they went onto the Derbyshire Senior Cup Final. After beating Alfreton Town 5-4 on penalties after a 3-3 draw in 90 minutes, where again Dinanga was star player hitting a hat trick, Matlock were to face Gresley FC in the DSC final. They had played them two seasons previous, and beat them 7-0. This season was no different as Matlock picked up a 5-0 victory and their tenth Derbyshire Senior Cup. They also finished ninth in the EVO-STIK NPL, their highest position in several seasons.
The Reserves side spent 3 years in the Central Midlands Football League – Reserves division – winning the league and successfully gaining promotion to the – step 7 – CMFL – South Division. The last 2 seasons has seen a steady progression within the South Division developing the young Gladiators talent in Open age Football.