The season anew, our first results askew, the League Cup, well, adieu; but let’s not fret. We have much time to sort it out; nine months if you’re keeping count. For now, however, let’s hit the ol’ pause button and cast those minds back to easier times. Oh yes, that rather awkward, grating link must mean it’s time for another outburst from our Remember Them series. And who will we see behind the door this week? Why, tickle us pink and call us a salmon. It’s Bromsgrove Rovers, innit. Or, indeed, the artists formerly known as…
Bromsgrove Rovers: Who Are They?
The Rovers (or the Greens) came to be in 1885, a seriously long time ago in anyone’s books. The fledgling club, at first, did their thing in the Studley & District League and called at least four places their pad. By the time the Victoria Ground became their enduring home in 1910, they had passed in and out of the Birmingham & District League (1898), joining the Birmingham Combination in 1908. There wasn’t a change in scene after that ’til the mid-1950s, when the competition was absorbed by the Birmingham & District League.
The Birmingham & District League became the West Midlands (Regional) League in 1962, but it’s neither here nor there for the purpose of this tale. In 1972, Bromsgrove Rovers joined the Southern League and built up a head of steam over the next two decades from the Midland Division into the Premier. And the reward for that upward progress? In 1993, the club were crowned Southern League champions and, with it, came the prize of Conference football. Their first term was impressive enough, finishing second behind champions Wycombe.
A difficult second season for Rovers saw them finish four points clear of the drop, although not before an FA Cup Third Round appearance captured the attention and a narrow defeat at home to Barnsley.
Bromsgrove Rovers: Us And Them…
In keeping their heads above water, it meant a first ever meeting between us and them had been assured. Up we came, and up we went against ’em less than a month into our debut Conference campaign. It didn’t go well for us. After the opening fixture, Boro’ wouldn’t win again for quite some time. Bromsgrove Rovers were one of the beneficiaries, winning 2-1 at the Victoria Ground in early September. By December and the return leg, however, our fortunes had improved and we’d got the hang of the whole Conference malarkey.
In 1995-6, Rovers did something that few (if any other) Conference clubs managed. Thanks to the 1-1 draw at their place and the 3-3 thriller at ours, the Midlands club refused to bow down before us and the might of our majestic side; a side that would go on to win the league that term. It might have served as motivation for the following campaign, mind. For the first time, it was our turn to go first with the home game. We ran out 3-0 winners, before the return – as was nothing out of the ordinary – ended as a 1-1 draw.
A little footnote: In each of those three seasons, not once did we meet during the second half of the season; our home and away obligations fulfilled before Christmas every time. Oh, the quirk of the fixture computer!
Bromsgrove Rovers: And Then What?
And those three seasons were all we got. Bromsgrove Rovers were relegated in 1997, back into the Southern League. The club’s decline was, as Wikipedia says, “almost constant”. Just four years after being a Conference club, Rovers dropped into the Midland Football Alliance in 2001. That low point lasted just one season; back to the Southern League they went at the first attempt. In 2007, they made it back up to the Premier Division too. But that was the last highlight. Relegation after one season was followed by dissolution after another two.
Bromsgrove Rovers: Boro’s Record
P6 W2 D3 L1 F10 A7 – League Points: 9, Cup Meetings: 0, Win Rate: 33%
BoroGuide’s Bromsgrove Rovers club profile – for old time’s sake…