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Research is currently happening here at Stanway Rovers as we try to pinpoint the date of our origin.

We currently state "The modern club was established on 10th July 1956, although records show that another club by the same name had been playing in the early 1900s, including winning Division II B of the Essex & Suffolk Border League in 1927-28."

So, if we were established on 10th July 1956, that means we would be celebrating our 68th anniversary on 10th July 2024.

But what do we mean by "The modern club"? And what do we mean by "Another club by the same name had been playing in the early 1900s"? Surely "an early club" playing by the name Stanway Rovers is the forefather of today's "modern" club playing by the name Stanway Rovers? Surely "early 1900s" puts our origin date as pre 10th July 1956. But when? And when does the "early 1900s" extend to?

Sadly the historian that penned these original words is no longer with us, so we cannot ask them what these mean.

However, we have recently uncovered newspaper articles that mention matches played in 1950, so that would mean we would be celebrating our 75th anniversary this year, in 2024. But does 1950 count as "early 1900s"?

But, wait, hold the press!! This newspaper article has recently come to light that is stating "for the record, the club was formed in 1922 with a Mr Brooks as president". Well, 1922 is certainly "the early 1900s", so is 1922 the definitive date for the origin of Stanway Rovers Football Club?

Sadly there is no date at the top of the clipping, so we don't know when the newspaper article was printed, but the comment "the club was formed in 1922" together with the comment "so Stanway Rovers are 62 years old" indicates the article was published in 1984.

The full text of this article is reproduced below the picture.

The full text reads as:

Monday morning "blues" last week were completely swept away by a letter we received from a Mr. S. Isom, a one-time resident of Stanway and now living in Colchester.

He wrote "I am as an old resident of Stanway, interested in notes in the Essex County Standard. My goodness, how the village has changed from when the water tower stood on the corners of Millers Lane!"

Mr Isom then went on to say how interested he was to read of Stanway Rovers and, for the record, the club was formed in 1922 with a Mr Brooks as president.

Mr Jarman was secretary, and Mr "Fred" Tiggy Nice was on the committee. This latter gentleman was very well known to me personally, he was one of my great-uncles!

Many other names of past and present residents were mentioned by Mr Isom, who then went on to say the matches were played on a field now used by a well-known Stanway rose growers. The club then moved to a pitch in Winstree Road (formerly Stanway Straight Road), everyone carrying their kit from St Andrews Church Hall on the London Road (which was formerly the Mission Room).

Next pitch was on a meadow next to where houses are now built near St Andrews Church Hall.

So Stanway Rovers are 62 years old, and Mr Isom would like to wish them every success, and wishes his regards be given to all who knew him or may be knew of him, as he himself took over the job of secretary from Mr Jarman, until he became a successful referee.

Following receipt of his letter, I went to see Mr Isom and he was able to unearth two photographs of Stanway Rovers of "yesterday" - one very resplendent photo proudly shows the team displaying the Border League Shield!

Unfortunately, Mr Isom has no idea of the exact date of the photographs. So if anyone in the village can help out, we would be only too pleased to hear from them.

Sadly, some of the players mentioned are no longer with us, but I am quite sure their families and friends will be happy and proud to know that their memories still live on. JIC.

This search of "The British Newspaper Archive" (website here The British Newspaper Archive) shows the earliest mention of Stanway Rovers was published in the "Football Notes" section of thee Chelmsford Chronicle on Friday 07th September 1923. Multiple other references to Stanway Rovers appear in the Chelmsford Chronicle after this article.

The following is the part of the article published on Friday 07th September 1923 in the Chelmsford Chronicle. This article is the copyright property of the Chelmsford Chronicle and is permitted to be reproduced here by acknowledging that copyright.

The article mentions Stanway Rovers (presumably the "Junior team) losing 1-0 to Warren Old Boys (presumably on Thursday 6th September 1923) and shows Stanway Rovers (presumably the first team) playing away from home to Copford United in Division 2 of the Kelvedon and District League on Saturday 8th September 1923.

So, to answer the question "How old is Stanway Rovers?" it would appear the earliest reports we can currently find (in the Chelmsford Chronicle, reproduced in the The British Newspaper Archive) show us playing matches at the start of the 1923 - 1924 season, with a reference (from the Essex County Standard in 1984) that we were formed in 1922.

Therefore it would appear we are 102 years old.


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