The name ‘Thrapston Venturas’ could easily be that of a mid-2010s indie band, don’t you think? But they’re actually someone we’ve played against! No foolin’! Of course, you would’ve needed to have been around during the very early times of Stevenage Borough Football Club to know it. To be honest, we’re not even sure that we could point to Thrapston on a map either. So, you can consider this as much a learning experience for us as it is for you…
Who are Thrapston Venturas Football Club?
Formed in 1960, the Thrapo made their debut in the Kettering Amateur League and – within 10 years – were running away with the thing. On five separate occasions in eight seasons, the club topped the pile. And such success called for a well-earned promotion. So, that came in 1978; a place in the United Counties League Division Two opening up for them.
Why do we know the Thrapo?
The Thrapo took to their new surroundings rather nicely; coming third in only their second time out. It was enough to secure promotion to Division One. But how much of a promotion was it? A reorganisation of the league structure meant there was no Division Two anymore. In addition to the nine sides that had seen Division One football in 1979-80, the Thrapo were one of eight new additions. And another one of them was a fledgling Stevenage Borough.
What is our record against them?
The Thrapo were game number eight for us as a senior team. But we’d already proved that none of the old guard were going to keep us down. This lot from Thrapston were no different. Not that they made it easy, however. Peter Gittings and sub Ashley Palmer scored the goals in our 2-1 win at Broadhall Way in September 1980. That stubbornness would reappear in our away fixture too; Boro’ forced to settle for a 1-1 draw on Valentine’s Day 1981.
Two league fixtures wasn’t the extent of things that season, you realise? Both us and them went all the way to the end-of-season showpiece that was the United Counties League Cup final. Fresh from being crowned Div One champions, Boro’ were in no mood for silly stuff. Tim Jolly, Malcolm Ward, and Trevor Metcalfe all scored as we ran out 3-0 winners. There was actually meant to be a second leg – but it never happened and, in all likelihood, wouldn’t have changed much.
Thrapston Venturas: Boro’s Record
Our head-to-head: P 3 — W 2 — D 1 — L 0 — F 6 — A 2— Pts 4 — WR 67%
Our last tango: Stevenage Borough 3-0 Thrapston Venturas, 04 May 1981
What happened to them?
Boro’ went up into the Premier Division for the 1981-2 campaign, while the Thrapo slumped into mid-table. And, but for one season, that’s where they stayed until 2019. More often than not, you would’ve caught them floating around mid-table; occasionally breaking through into the top few spots. Not even changing their name to Thrapston Town could push them over the line and up to the Premier Division; second in 2000 as good as it got.
Except, wait! It did happen. After finishing second again in 2011, the Thrapo got to the top table of UCL football. It was short-lived joy, mind you. Winning just FOUR of their 40 Premier Division games in the 2011-2 campaign saw them sent straight back to Division One, letting in the mere 118 goals in the process. Again, they floated around mid-table in Division One for the next few seasons. That was until a calamitous 2018-9 season left them rock bottom of the table.
The Thrapo quit the UCL that year and now play in the Northamptonshire Combination League.
• WANT TO KNOW MORE? – Thrapston Venturas club profile