Stevenage Betting

The history of footballing in Stevenage, Hertfordshire dates back to 1894, when Stevenage F.C. were formed. They adopted the name Stevenage Town F.C. in 1899 and merged with Stevenage Rangers in 1956, ushering in an era of considerable success. The team finished third in Division One of the Southern League in 1966-67, gaining promotion to the League’s Premier Division.

In 1967-68, Stevenage Town finished eighteenth on the Division table, their highest-ever league finish. However, a decision was taken to fold operations at the end of the season, and a new club, Stevenage Athletic F.C., were formed in their place.

As members of the Metropolitan League, Stevenage Athletic finished second in 1969-70 and gained promotion to Division One of the Southern League. For the 1971-72 season, when the league was expanded to three divisions, they were placed in Division One North. A last place finish in 1975-76 was followed by bankruptcy and resignation from the league, leaving the town temporarily without professional football representation.

But even as the demise of Stevenage Athletic was underway, steps were being taken by the Stevenage Borough Council to organise a replacement. They set about buying the abandoned pitch at Broadhall Way and furbishing it with a modern stadium to house a new franchise, which they dubbed Stevenage Borough Football Club.

Although no matches of senior status would be played by the new team until 1980, the Club counts its year of founding as 1976, when games were played in the Chiltern Youth League on a roped-off pitch at the town’s King George V playing fields. Intermediate level games were then played as members of the Wallspan Southern Combination, until Broadhall Way was ready and the “Boro” joined the United Counties Football League in 1980.

Success arrived almost instantaneously. The Club won the United Counties League Division One championship and the United Counties League Cup in their very first season. As members of the Isthmian League from 1984 onward, they quickly moved up the ranks with three promotions and eventually claimed the Premier Division title in 1993-94, gaining entry to the Football Conference.

Two seasons later, the Boro became the Conference National Champions of 1995-96. Promotion to the Football League should have been automatic, but application was denied on the basis of Stevenage’s “insufficient ground facilities.” Undaunted, the Club progressed all the way to the third round of the FA Cup in 1996–97 season. Temporary stands were built to satisfy FA requirements for participation.

Still feeling the need to prove themselves worthy of the national stage, the Boro stormed through their match-ups in the FA Trophy competition of 2001-02, making it to the final for the first time in Club history. Victory was denied, however, by a stalwart Yeovil Town side, who claimed the honour 2-0 at Villa Park.

Even hungrier now for silverware, Stevenage Borough made the FA Trophy their “holy grail.” In 2006-07 they beat Kidderminster Harriers 3-2 at Wembley Stadium to win it for the first time, and then the returned in 2008-09 to defeat York City 2-0 in the final. Their 2009-10 campaign saw them narrowly miss completing the hat trick, losing in the 107th minute when Barrow scored to win, 2-1.

In 2008-09, the Boro took home their first Herts Senior Cup. In 2009, the Lamex Food Group agreed to six-figure sponsorship of “The Lamex Stadium” at Broadhall Way. Then, in 2009-10, the team won the Conference National Championship for a second time, and this time they were promoted to the Football League without question.

As a way of celebrating and commemorating the team’s new life in League Two, Chairman Phil Wallace made a major announcement; the club would dropping the word “Borough” from its name and become Stevenage F.C. History had come full circle.

Now Stevenage are looking to write a new chapter. It has already begun with a brilliant play-off victory in 2010-11 to gain promotion to League One. Can eventual access to the Premiership be far behind? That’s a proposition that few fans of the Boro would ever bet against.

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