It has to be said – we’re quite fond of the Boro’. If nothing else, they inspire us to keep doing this bleedin’ website; now 20+ years in. Our reasons to support Stevenage Football Club? It’s often a hard one to nail down. We have many reasons; some abstract, others personal. We’re sure it’s the same for you too. But we’re equally sure we all have some common ground. And these are five reasons for supporting Stevenage that we think we can all identify with.
Our top five reasons to support Stevenage Football Club
1. Friendly, progressive, well-run
For anyone who ever visited theconferenceforum.co.uk, these terms were usually meant as a bit of a dig at clubs like us; smaller, historically non-league sides who had dreams of making it to the Football League. Obviously, it was rather ironic that those using the terms were fans from clubs who, well, weren’t. Anyway, we’re happy to embrace that description.
Under 20+ years of Phil Wallace’s custodianship, Boro’ have grown immeasurably. Our home, stature, and finances are all in a far superior position. We came through Covid-19, which was a crisis that could’ve been a real disaster; not just for us, but for others too. Either way, it’s a great thing to support a club that is built on solid foundations and ready to grow further.
2. A close-knit community
One of the biggest reasons to support Stevenage Football Club is the sense of community at the club. It was something that hugely came to the fore during the Covid-19 pandemic. But it didn’t take society to become locked down for that to emerge. Boro’ and our community feel is well-established. And maybe part of that is the size and age of the club.
You see, being a smaller club isn’t such a bad thing. We certainly get the feels when we turn up to a game for the first time in a while and have plenty of people to say “hello” too. That’s something we like; not absorbed into a heavy mass of shadows all shuffling to and from the stands before and after a game. Maybe that’s something you like about the Boro’ too?
It’s a feeling of ‘belonging’ that scales up too. You’re probably never going to be more than six degrees of separation away from someone you know if 5,000 have turned up. And you’ll almost certainly spot someone you know when Boro’ have only taken 25 fans to Carlisle…
3. More bang for your buck
OK, we’re not going to stretch this one out for more than its worth. Ultimately, supporting Boro’ isn’t the most affordable thing you can do with your Saturday afternoon. That’s if we have a home game too. But you can say one of the reasons to support Stevenage Football Club is that you’ll get a little more for your money than if you went down the Arsenal.
Like clubs at all levels, our ticket prices have gone up over the years and now you’re lucky when you get change out of a score for your ticket. Mind you, we reckon it’ll cost you a fair whack more to get in at a Premier League ground. And you won’t be forced to buy six-quid pints or 10-quid burgers on the other side. Equally, you could go watch Hitchin for less.
Nah. Thought not.
Soz about the vulgar language there – but we can’t find a more powerful way of saying it. We get on people’s wick. And that’s one of the more epic reasons to support Stevenage Football Club; to know that defying the odds and mixing things up really winds opposition fans up.
We’ve been doing it more or less since we formed. Heck, we even pissed off the ex-Athletic chairman Javier Revuelta before our senior team even kicked a ball. Next, local neighbours took issue with our rise through the divisions (probably); Hitchin Town, Baldock Town, and Letchworth Garden City at the start. We followed up by getting under the collective skins of Enfield, Barnet, Cambridge United, and the giants that are Luton Town.
And don’t even get us started on Woking.
It’s not just neighbours either. We irritate the self-styled bigger boys, where fans go around with the idea that “more fans = better club”? Not sure where that one first began, to be fair. We probs first came across it when the Conference started being diluted by archaic Football League clubs dropping down and expecting to go straight back up. It’s fair to say this is one charge we’ve faced a lot in the Football League too.
5. A success story
The above leads us onto the final of our five reasons to support Stevenage Football Club. In backing the Boro’, you’re investing (emotionally and financially) in a local success story. The roots of this go way back too. The club first brought senior football back to the town after – well – Town and Athletic went under. And we’ve since gone on to do things that neither side before us could do. Football League status, FA Cup runs, FA Trophy titles… you name it.
Many will marvel at the rise of clubs like AFC Wimbledon and Salford City in recent years. In response, we’d argue they had a leg up in their ascent through the divisions. We don’t mean money, by the way. The Dons have a large fanbase, for example. But, yeah, money. For Boro’, we started from scratch; taking a mere 30 years to go from the UCL to the Football League.
To be fair, we’d have done it sooner – had it not been for those funky Football League rules back in the day. Still, we made it in the end. Not that we stopped there. Up we went as high as the League One playoffs; narrowly missing out at the hands of Sheffield United. We’d bet that no-one at Boro’s first UCL game against ON Chenecks in 1980 would have seen us a) at that level or b) on equal terms with the likes of the Blades. It’s quite a success story, innit.
Our top reasons to support Boro’… what about yours?
We don’t claim this to be anything definitive by any stretch. It’s more our bid to capture the things that make supporting Stevenage FC such a joy. Naturally, we were inspired by maybe some recent comments on our away following to certain northern hinterlands. But it’s good to reflect on these sort of things every now and then.
Boro’ may make or break our weekend with a mere flick or a kick. Highs and lows, we’ve had them all. As has any football fan to be fair. But the above is a taste of what keeps us coming back for more. How about you? Why did you first start supporting Boro’? Why do you still do so? Are we in the right ballpark with our five above? Or did we miss a biggie? Do let us know – we’d love to find out. And don’t forget to remind us Why We Bother…