Crest of Stratford Town Football Club

Stratford Town

The Bards

A photo of Stratford Town Football Club
© John Garghan, licensed under CC BY NC-ND 2.0

Stratford Town Football Club, nicknamed “The Bards,” is a non-league football club based in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire.

Established in 1941, they currently compete in the Pitching In Southern Football League Premier Central, which is part of the seventh tier of English football. The team calls Knights Lane their home ground.

Founded in 1941 as Stratford Rangers by Paul Bartlett, the club changed its name to Stratford Town in 1949. Initially formed to provide football for local servicemen during WWII, the club rapidly progressed in local leagues, joining the Birmingham Alliance in 1947. By the late 1940s, Stratford was competing successfully in regional leagues and cup competitions.

In the 1950s, the club joined the Midland Combination, achieving notable successes including a league title in 1957 and the Birmingham Senior Cup in 1963. After fluctuating fortunes across various leagues, Stratford became a founding member of the Midland Football Alliance in 1994. Despite financial challenges in the late 1990s, the club continued to compete effectively, securing the MFA title in the 2012/2013 season and achieving promotion to the Southern League Div 1 South & West.

The club’s progress continued, culminating in promotion to the Evostik Southern Premier League in 2014/15 after a successful playoff campaign. The 2018/19 season was particularly successful, with a Southern League Cup victory and a 5th place league finish. However, subsequent seasons were marked by managerial changes and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the 2021/22 season, Stratford reached the first round of the Emirates FA Cup but finished 13th in the league. The 2022/23 season saw the appointment of a new management team, Dean Holdsworth and Gavin Hurren.

Stratford Town Football Club C.I.C. is a registered company in England and Wales under company number 05560465 .

As a Community Interest Company (CIC), it operates to provide benefits to the community and is regulated by the Community Interest Company Regulator.