|STANWAY ROVERS||Website||Affiliated County – Essex|
|Chairman||Roy Brett||22 Winstree Road, Stanway, Colchester, Essex CO3 0PZ|
|01206 545622 (home)||01376 584132 (business)||07860 413861 (mobile)|
|Secretary||Michael Pulford||38 Gratian Close, Highwoods, Colchester, Essex CO4 9EZ|
|01206 854944 (home)||07736 045007 (mobile)|
|Fixtures Secretary||As Secretary|
|Programme Editor||Steve Parker|
|Ground||Hawthorns||52 New Farm Road, Stanway, Colchester, Essex CO3 0PG|
|01206 578187 (ground)|
|Colours||Amber and Black Shirts||Black Shorts||Black Socks|
|Change Colours||White and Red Shirts||Red Shorts||Red Socks|
|Floodlights||127 lux inspected 26.07.14|
|Manager||Angelo Harrop||Appointed October 2013|
|07989 173744 (mobile)|
Records show that the current Stanway Rovers FC reformed on Tuesday 10th July 1956. However local newspaper cuttings tell us that there was a football club operating in the Stanway area in the early 1900′s.
The Club minute book shows that the first member meeting was held at St. Albright’s Hall, Stanway, the meeting being chaired by the late Jack Poole of the Essex County FA. In these early years the Rovers played their matches on the King George 5th playing field Clairmont Road, Lexden, which is only a short footballs kick from their current Hawthorns home. They were accepted into Div 2 of the Colchester & East Essex League, and by 1960 they had gained promotions to the Premier Division. A Reserve Team was formed starting in Division Five. The records then show that in 1961 the Club moved its home to Stanway Secondary School, again just around the corner from the Hawthorns. The Headmaster at that time Mr Gardham became Club President, an office that all Headmasters at the School held over the 18years or so that the Club stayed there.
The facilities at the School were second to none, the Club having use of the gymnasium/ sports hall and the Schools soccer pitches from 1964 onwards. In 1967/68 the Rovers won the Colchester & East Essex League, and the 1973-74 season saw Stanway Rovers enjoying their most successful season to date when they won the League title, all the other competitions trophies, defeated a League Representative side, and went on to the quarter finals of the Essex Junior Cup.
In 1974-75, the Club reached the Final of the Essex Junior Cup losing 1-0 to Takely, the match being played at Grays Athletic FC.
1975-76 season saw the first team join the Essex & Suffolk Border League playing in Division 1. At the start of the 1978-79 season, the Rovers were placed into the new Division Two of the Border League finishing in 3rd position and gaining promotion to Division One. The Reserve Team had at this time also joined the Border League.
In 1979, the ‘home’ of the Rovers was subject of discussion with the Local Authority, who agreed to lease the Club 4.6 acres of land in New Farm Road for a 99 year period.
Stanway Rovers finally had its own home – and the first wooden Clubhouse was opened on 18th November 1982, carrying the name of the Hawthorns after the shrub which grew prolifically in the area at the time.
Pushing on, in 1989-90 and 1990-91 the Club reached the Final of the Essex Intermediate Cup two years running, unfortunately losing both games 3-1. However, in the following 1991-92 season Stanway finished runners up in the Premier Division and their application to join the then Jewson League was duly accepted. Having been granted Senior Status the Clubs first game in the Jewson League Div 1 was a 2-2 draw at Swaffham Town on 22nd August 1992.
Despite failing to receive a Lottery grant, the Club finished the rebuilding of its current Headquarters at the Hawthorns – the Members Bar, Committee/Board Room and the Hawthorn suite of function rooms being officially opened on 28th March 2001 by Colchester MP Bob Russell.
In November 2003 Jim McIntyre was appointed Manager with Ian ‘Dan’ Daly joining him as assistant a few months later – they set about assembling a good squad of players and after 14 seasons in Division One, in 2006 the Rovers were crowned Div 1 Champions and were also finalists in the First Division Knockout Cup. 2007/08 saw the first season under the joint management of young managers Rob Bate and Paul Symes which proved to be another successful campaign, during which Rovers beat Colchester United 2-1 at the old Layer Road stadium in the 3rd round of the Essex Senior Cup, reached a Club best 5th round in the F.A.Vase, and a very respectable 7th position finish in the League. 2008/09 saw the Club further consolidate itself in the Ridgeons Premier Division with a superb 9th position finish, along the way being the only Ridgeons team to beat run away champions Lowestoft at the Crown Meadow, F.A Vase 4th round, and winning the League Cup 4 – 2 on penalties against Leiston FC. Following the departure of Bate and Symes at the end of the season, 2009/10 saw the Rovers under the new Management of Steve Downey, who played for the Rovers for 3 seasons from 1996.
In his first season as Manager with Stanway, Steve took them to their highest ever finish in the football pyramid with a 5th place finish in the Ridgeons Premier Division.
In January 2011 Rovers parted company with Steve and immediately appointed ‘old boy’ Wayne Bond as caretaker manager to the end of the season. Bondy’s playing career has included Wimbledon FC (Crazy Gang era), Colchester United, Wycombe Wanderers, German side Hessen Kassel and finally Stanway Rovers where he also commenced his managerial career with the Reserves, before leaving to Manage Heybridge Swifts Reserves who he took to two consecutive league titles in the Essex & Herts Boarder League. In 2008 Wayne was appointed as first team manager at Heybridge Swifts in difficult times for the Club, and narrowly failed to keep them in the Ryman Premier league, and the Div 1 playoffs the next year.
In July 2011 due to new work commitments, Wayne felt he was no longer able to give the time to the Rovers which they deserved, and resigned his Managers role. The Rovers moved quickly to secure the services of vastly experienced Steve Pitt from FC Clacton, and teamed him together with prolific ex-Rover striker Ray Turner.
In his first season in charge Pitt took the Rovers to their best ever finish in Step 5, with a 5th place finish in the Premier League, and in the last game of the campaign winning the League Challenge Cup 1 – 2 against Norwich United FC at Diss Town FC. The history books will show that Stanway Rovers FC were the last Club to win Ridgeons League honours, as we move into the Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties League era.
After a couple of turbulent seasons which saw the departure of Pitt and his successor Barry Lakin, current manager Angelo Harrop took over the side at the wrong end of the table in October 2013. Harrop successfully guided the team to safety and an eventual 13th place finish. Harrop led Rovers to their most successful ever season in 2014-15 with a 3rd place finish in the Thurlow Nunn League as well as reaching the 5th round of the FA Vase. Rovers 1-0 victory over Saffron Walden Town in the 4th round of the Vase also saw a record attendance of 575 at The Hawthorns.
Season 2015-16 was another record season and again Rovers finished 3rd in the Thurlow Nunn Premier League, this time with a record 90 points with 30 wins 4 draws and only 4 defeats and staying unbeaten in the league from October to the seasons end.
Eastern Counties League
Division One Winners : 2005-06,
League Cup Winners : 2008-09 v Leiston 4-2 on Pens
League Cup Winners : 2011-12 v Norwich United 2-1
Essex & Suffolk Border League
Division One champions 1986–87
Division Two champions 1981–82, 1985–86
Colchester & East Essex League
Premier Division champions 1973–74
Best FA Cup performance: 2nd qualifying round Replay 2008–09 v Hitchin Town 0-2 (after 0-0 away)
Best FA Vase performance: 5th round, 2007–08 and 2014-15
Highest Attendance: 575 v Saffron Walden Town
FA Vase 4th round 17th January 2015