Crest of Stafford Rangers Football Club

Stafford Rangers

The Rangers

Stafford Rangers Football Club, nicknamed “The Rangers,” is a non-league football club based in Stafford, Staffordshire.

Established in 1876, they currently compete in the Pitching In Northern Premier League Premier Division, which is part of the seventh tier of English football. The team calls Marston Road their home ground.

The club, whose exact formation date is unclear due to lost records, is recognized as being founded in 1876, though some suggest 1877. The club initially played cup games and friendlies, reaching the FA Cup First Round in the mid-1880s. They played in various leagues including the Shropshire League, Birmingham League, and North Staffordshire League, and moved to Marston Road in 1896. During the early 20th century, Rangers experienced both successes, like winning the Birmingham League in 1926–27, and struggles, particularly financial difficulties in the 1930s. They participated in the Birmingham League during WWII and disbanded afterward.

Post-WWII, the club reformed, joining the Birmingham Combination and then the Cheshire County Football League. The 1960s marked the beginning of a turnaround, starting with the appointment of Colin Hutchinson as manager in 1965. The 1970s were a golden era under manager Roy Chapman, achieving a Northern Premier League Championship, an FA Trophy, and a Staffordshire Senior Cup treble in 1971–72. However, they missed the chance to join the Football League. The club reached the FA Cup Fourth Round in 1974 and won the FA Trophy again in 1979. After becoming founder members of the Alliance Premier League, they faced relegation and managerial changes, but saw some success under Dennis Booth in the early 1990s.

In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, Stafford Rangers experienced fluctuating fortunes. They were relegated to the Northern Premier League and then to the Southern League Premier Division in the mid-1990s. A revival came under Ian Painter and Phil Robinson, with Robinson leading them to the Conference North. They briefly returned to the fifth tier of English football in 2006 but were soon relegated.

The club faced managerial instability and financial challenges, resulting in further relegations. Despite this, they won the Staffordshire Senior Cup and experienced a surge in support. In the 2010s, they continued to struggle, although the club’s management underwent significant changes, and they narrowly missed playoffs in the mid-2010s. By the 2021–22 season, former player Matty Hill took over as manager, indicating potential for a brighter future.

Stafford Rangers Football Club Limited is a registered company in England and Wales under company number 00168812 .