Crest of Barton Rovers Football Club

Barton Rovers

The Rovers

A photo of Barton Rovers Football Club
© grassrootsgroundswell, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Barton Rovers Football Club, nicknamed “The Rovers,” is a non-league football club based in Barton-le-Clay, Bedfordshire.

Established in 1898, they currently compete in the Pitching In Southern Football League Division One Central, which is part of the eighth tier of English football. The team calls Sharpenhoe Road their home ground.

Barton Rovers, based in Barton-le-Clay near Luton, was formed in 1898. Initially playing inter-village football, the club joined the Luton & District League in 1946 and progressed to the South Midlands League in 1954. A significant turning point came in 1964 with the appointment of Barry Reed as manager, leading to a dominant period where the club won the league title eight times in nine seasons.

The club’s foray into the FA Vase in 1976 saw them reach the quarterfinals, improving to a semifinal the following year, and culminating in a Wembley final appearance in 1978, where they narrowly lost to Blue Star of Newcastle. In 1979, Barton Rovers joined the Isthmian League, consistently finishing in strong positions, including a high of third under Reed’s management.

The 1980s and 1990s saw the club experience mid-table performances, managerial changes, and cup successes. In the mid-90s, despite financial challenges, the club achieved a remarkable promotion to the Isthmian League First Division, securing a place in the FA Trophy. The club also enjoyed success in county cups during this period.

Entering the 2000s, Barton Rovers continued to compete in various leagues, with fluctuating success and managerial rotations. The club’s journey included periods of rebuilding, integrating youth players, and maintaining a competitive presence in their league. The 2016/17 season saw another playoff final, but the team fell short of promotion.

More recently, after a challenging start to the 2022/23 season, joint managers Leon Cashman and Jermaine Hall were appointed, achieving stability with an inter-step playoff victory. Jermaine Hall continues to lead the team, guiding Barton Rovers in its ongoing journey in non-league football.