Club History

The Club was founded by Paul Bartlett in 1941, as Stratford Rangers, changing its name to Stratford Town in 1949.

Stratford competed in local leagues until 1947 when they joined the Birmingham Alliance (which became the Warwickshire & West Midland Alliance). Following league and cup successes, Stratford joined the Worcestershire Combination (which became the Midland Combination) in 1954.

Over the following years Stratford played in various leagues including the Birmingham & District League and the Hellenic League, until 1994 when they became founder members of the Midland Football Alliance.

Alan Hawkins - Town's Mr Stato has unearthed previously undocumented history of STFC.

A Brief Outline of the Club prior to joining the Worcestershire Combination in 1954/1955

Although being first registered with the Birmingham County FA in 1944, the Club was formed under the name of Stratford Rangers in 1943 by Paul Bartlett with the original intention to give local serving players on leave during the Second World War the opportunity of a game as there was no organised football. From initially playing "friendly" games at a number of locations (including the Recreation Ground and a field off the Birmingham Road) to playing competitive football after the war, the team achieved rapid progress and became a successful junior club in it's formative years.

The team won 24 and lost 6 of their 35 games in season 1945/1946. After winning the Alcester Nursing Home Cup and finishing Division 1 runners-up of the Stratford-upon-Avon & District League in 1946/1947 a suggested merger with champions and the longer established Stratford Men's SC did not materialise but both clubs left the Stratford League for the 1947/1948 season, MSC joined the Leamington & District League while Stratford Rangers joined the Birmingham Alliance. During their seven seasons of membership in the senior division of this league, the Club won many trophies and by the late 1940's were playing on the Alcester Road Ground (which was adjacent to the present site) with the pitch being moved on at least one occasion. Off the field a strong committee was complemented by a thriving supporters club.

In their first season outside local football, 1947/1948, Stratford Rangers finished in a good position in the league with the Club's record victory being achieved in an away game at Terrys Athletic, 19-0 ! The team also competed in the Birmingham Junior Cup while membership of the Stratford League was retained when the Club ran a Reserve side which replaced the first XI in Division 1.

In 1948/1949, with the help of trainer Harry Shaw, the team finished 8th, entered the FA Amateur Cup and reached the semi-final of the Birmingham Junior Cup. Over 1,000 supporters travelled to Villa Park to see the team narrowly lose to Castle Rovers in the Aston Villa Cup Final. At the end of the season the Club, with approval from the town's Council, changed name to the present title of Stratford Town, inheriting the town's crest for it's badge and colours.

In their first season as Stratford Town, 1949/1950, the team finished 7th in the league and became the first winners of the RAFA Cup.

The 1950/1951 season saw the team finish runners-up under the guidance of manager Vic Manley. The highest scoring victory under the name of Stratford Town was achieved when Walsall Colts were beaten 14-1 in a home league game. The Town also became joint-holders of the League Cup (Alliance Senior Cup) after two drawn Finals against Coventry Amateurs. The Final of the Aston Villa Cup was again reached but The Town lost to Hall Green Amateurs.

However, in 1951/1952 The Town gained revenge by beating Hall Green Amateurs in the League Cup Final which was played at Lockheed Leamington FC. The team finished 4th in the league.

By the 1952/1953 season the West Midland Alliance as it had become known (which incorporated the Birmingham Alliance in which The Town's Reserve team were members) had changed title to the Warwickshire & West Midland Alliance and Stratford Town finished runners-up under player-manager Len Livingstone who older supporters remembered as the best centre half to play for the Club. The Aston Villa Cup was won for the first and only time as was the Presidents Cup. A massive 164 goals were scored in all competitions of the campaign.

A prolific goal-scorer for The Town during their membership of the Alliance was Gordon Hillman and his 50 goals scored in the 1953/1954 season contributed to the Club becoming league champions, the title being secured when Dudley Town Reserves were beaten 6-2 in front of a "record crowd". Stratford Town again lost to Castle Rovers in the Aston Villa Cup Final and Birmingham City Colts beat them in the League Cup Final which was played at St Andrews. A friendly against Pegasus attracted over 2,000 spectators at the Rugby Club and an end of season friendly against Evesham United attracted 1,000.The Reserves finished in a high position while Stratford Town Colts held their own scoring 126 goals in their inaugural season.

With further building development of what was becoming an industrial use area ongoing (the fire station had only opened in 1953), the pitch was moved northwards and enclosed to it's present position with the installation of changing rooms and a stand. The Ground, which initially had only a short lease, has changed very little since.

With improved facilities the Club were accepted into the Midland Combination (then known as the Worcestershire Combination) for the 1954/1955 season, replacing Kingswinford & Wallheath FC, although the original intention appears to have been joining the stronger semi-professional Birmingham Combination which had ceased at the end of the 1953/1954 season. A new manager was also appointed, Allan Sands.