Nigel Clough’s Burton Park Wanderers, right? No. You’re wrong. You’re thinking of the other Burton in our life; the Albion lot who are struggling to keep their head above water in the Championship. And Nige’s stock would have take a right ol’bashing if he were to find himself working the lower rungs of the pyramid yet. We mean no offence to the Wanderers, but it’s a long way from level two of English football to level 10 in anyone’s book.
Burton Park Wanderers Who Are They?
In the words of the Black Eyed Peas, then, let’s get it started. Burton Park Wanderers formed in 1961, albeit in Kettering and not Burton Latimer. So it can’t come as much of a shock if we told you that, back then, they were going under the name Kettering Park Wanderers. In 1968, the club joined the United Counties League (Division Two) and began an unbroken association with the competition that lasts until this very day.
Div Two became Div One in 1972, but that’s incidental. A year later, however, the Wanderers were a-wandering; upping sticks from Kettering and moving to Latimer Park in, well, Burton Latimer. It’s at this point the club took on the name by which Boro’ has always known it, if you hadn’t already made the leap. Yet, their league position started to take a slide; from 8th in Div One in 1974 to 19th and relegated to Div Two in 1978.
Us And Them…
It was only two years before Burton Park Wanderers were back in Div One, but not through promotion. The 15-team Div Two was disbanded, you see; the Wanderers one of 17 teams forming a new-look Div One in time for the 1980-1 campaign. Another one of those sides happened to be a newcomer to the United Counties League: Stevenage Borough. Hello. That’s us. And the side from Burton Latimer were fifth up in our first senior season.
On 30 August, the Wanderers came to Broadhall Way. And they were utterly blown away; Jim Daintree bagging a brace as Boro’ ran out 6-0 winners. It was quite a statement from a side making the step up to this level, even in the context of four straight wins we’d already picked up at the start of that term. And it wasn’t to be the last time the Wanderers felt our ferocious heat either; the return fixture at Latimer Park proving just as bruising.
You can, of course, look at it another way. On 29 November, Nigel Roberts and Trevor Metcalfe both found the net twice as we thrashed them 5-2 at their place. In doing so, we took our goal tally against Wanderers to 11 in just two games. It could’ve been worse for ’em. One week on from that, we put 11 past British Timken Athletic in our biggest ever win. So, swings and roundabouts. There’s always someone else having a worse day, eh?
And Then What?
Burton Park Wanderers weren’t alone that season. Boro’ handed out drubbings all over the shop on the way to a dominant title win. Div One was left well behind. For the Wanderers, meanwhile, coming second in 1989 saw ’em go up to the Premier Division for the first time. Two terms later, however, it was back to Div One. It’s here they’ve been ever since, finishing rock bottom nine times – including the last two seasons on the spin. Ouch!
This season is going slightly better, mind. And they now share their home with Kettering Town.
Burton Park Wanderers: Boro’s Record
P2 W2 D0 L0 F11 A2 – League Points: 6, Cup Meetings: 0, Win Rate: 100%
• BoroGuide’s Burton Park Wanderers club profile – for old time’s sake…