Our first-ever season in senior football was a belter. But why did we put out a programme for the final league match if it was an away fixture? Oh, as if we’d keep you waiting on the answer. The fact is that we switched this “away” match at Ford Sports to Broadhall Way – with their permission of course. The proper home game took place much earlier on during the 1980-1 campaign; Boro’ going down to a shock 3-2 defeat.
So, why did we switch this return fixture? It’s not as if we were looking for a repeat result. Well, it’s obvious that we’ll give you the answer if you read on. Isn’t it? It should be…
The Programme: Stevenage Borough v Ford Sports, 02 May 1981
For a fledgling Boro’, this match and season finale is just the end of the beginning. As this unattributed welcome points out, “much remains to be done and a great deal of work will be necessary to further improve the facilities of the Club“. It’s a path we continue to tread even today, as the new North Stand shows.
A note of commercial thanks…
Not sure if this is a typo or a hangover from the previous season, but Boro’ were keen to thank local businesses for their valued help in the early days. Here are some retro logos and old household names; with the obvious exception of the big brands (and BHS), how many of these are still going strong today?
Team talk from the gaffer
Now for the reason why this ‘away’ game was played indoors! To let the Boro’ fans watch the 1980-1 United Counties League Division One trophy being presented, our opponents said “yes” to switching the match. How awfully nice of them! But that’s not all boss Derek Montgomery had to say. First, there’s an update that our shot at a league and cup double would be decided on Monday at 6.30pm. It was meant to be the second leg of the final – but the first leg was canned due to Thrapston‘s waterlogged pitch.
Elsewhere, awards were handed out to Trevor Metcalfe, Jim Daintree and Martin Allinson at the club’s annual dinner dance. Ray Wilcox and Jackie Berners were also recognised – but the issue of top goalscorer between Metcalfe (27) and Danny Dance (25) has to wait. With two games to go including this one, can Dance overtake Metcalfe on the line?
Teams and Junior Supporters’ Club
So, what can we take from this spread? For us, there are two key things. One, the league table is still quite uneven in terms of games played. It looks like runners-up British Timken Duston are already done for the season? Others, meanwhile, still have two to play.
The second thing to note is that anyone who still wishes to buy programmes from games that season can still do so. Go find Dave at the old Tea Bar at half-time and you can pick up the programmes you need at 12p(!) a pop. Speaking of which, do you have any in the attic at home? We’re still missing a number of line-ups from that season.
Ads of the Early 1980s
Good use of the word ‘goal’ in the Equity & Law advert, who laid on our medical kit for the 1980-1 campaign. And if you’ve got a quid down the back of the sofa, turns out the Halifax will welcome you with open arms. But we’re not sure why space is left for their address as it’s included just above (34/36 Park Place). And no idea what that big C stands for either.
The men taking Boro’ forward into a brave new era of football in Stevenage are all found here. From Mr George Clark at the top, through the executive committee and names still very familiar today, and onto the club management. If you were in any doubt, by the way, Boro’s club colours are red and white.
(Boro’ won 5-0, by the way…)