Saturday 12th March.
With a friends special Birthday party there was no football today although I would have liked to have been at Loughborough Students FA Vase Quarter Final.
My mind wandered onto football as it often does and I thought of the many teams I have seen since I started this blog now in its 5th year.
What I was thinking of was how some were formed.
Obviously Loughborough Students were started as and still are a University team.
More recently I have noticed the word Community being incorporated in team names or used as an expression of the clubs ethos. Recently visited Eastwood Community is one of these where some grant money has been used to change to a synthetic pitch enabling greater use of the pitch for more junior and youth teams for both men and women. The club houses that have always been there for fans are now promoted locally for Weddings, Parties, Meetings, Community Groups etc. This has brought about a wider local involvement and an increased income stream.
Talking of community there are still many ex Mining communities with teams that have Colliery, Main, Miners Welfare etc. in their name, showing that community involvement in sport has always been strong e.g. Rossington Main, Staveley Miners Welfare and Pontefract Collieries . Staveley Miners Welfare have kept their traditional name but have successfully morphed into a ‘community’ club in the current sense.
Esh Winning and Selston found their way into the Pyramid system through Sunday football, the former when they reformed in the Durham Sunday League. Collingham came via Sunday League football but after being a successful youth team. Whilst the current Emley AFC grew out of the reserve team of the seniors who moved to Wakefield.
Often a new team has been born out of the embers of an old one or in Spennymoor Town’s case, two, Evenwood Town and Spennymoor United. The recent match I watched between Poole Town and Swindon Supermarine were two teams both started through long ago mergers, Poole Town (Poole Rovers and Poole Hornets) and Swindon Supermarine – (Swindon Athletic and Supermarine).
Looking further back some of our most senior teams were the result of church teams that were created by members of the congregation to cater for the physical wellbeing of their parishioners Of these I have visited Aston Villa, created in 1874 by members of Villa Cross Wesleyan Chapel and Everton whose roots were in the Methodist Church and were originally St Domingo FC.
Just earlier than this many teams were established by Cricket Teams who wanted to keep fit in the winter. One such team is Hallam FC where one side of their ground (officially the oldest football ground in the world) is still taken up by a cricket pitch.
Some teams used to be like the colliery teams started by a company for their employees, Newark FC. were originally Worthington Simpsons, most have changed names but one that is close to my heart still has the company name, Vauxhall Motors FC. The team is now no longer part of the company but a stand alone Sports Club.
It’s interesting to see how the change in society has seen a change in the way teams have been formed and are coping with the new paradigm. It seems that we are currently in the age of the ‘The Community Club’ which is hopefully fulfilling its message of being a strong part of the local area.
N.B. Loughborough Students won 2 nil and are in the F.A. Vase Semi-Final.