Football in Stevenage had been going a long time before Stevenage Borough were formed in 1976 - almost an entire century, in fact. You'll probably already know how the current team came to life, but what about the teams that went before? Stevenage Town, Stevenage Athletic or even the original "Stevenage FC"? It's just as well you're here...
1884 is the year in which the original Stevenage team was set up, representing little more than a simple village. With the help of Lloyd Briscoe and Chris Day, we're told that "Stevenage Town" arrived in 1894, became Wanderers one year later and soon merged with Rovers to become Town again. And to presumably catch their breath.
The early years - particularly pre-WWI - were spent in the North Herts League, with Town moving into the South Midlands and Spartan Leagues during the 1930s. The club picked up after WWII in the Spartan and Delphian Leagues, though Stevenage Rangers had now arrived with the advent of the New Town.
It was decided that one big club would better serve Stevenage than two small ones, with Town and Rangers combining in 1956 under the name Stevenage. Not that "Town" was long in returning, brought back in 1960. And in 1963, the club decided to turn semi-pro and join the Southern League. It proved to be a significant gamble.
After winning promotion to the Premier Division, the financial cost of running a team became too great and Stevenage Town met its demise. Stevenage Athletic formed in its place, replacing Town's reserve side in the Metropolitan League. With Athletic proving a success at that level and attendances high, the Southern League was the next stop.
Stevenage Athletic had followed in Stevenage Town's footsteps to that point, but the Premier Division remained a step too far. The club found life tough in Division One, then Division One North - seventh being the highest finish achieved. And, after finishing rock bottom in 1975-6, the club resigned from the Southern League and was dissolved.
We've tried to make sure our records are right, but there are gaps in our knowledge despite our best efforts. We'll add in new information we receive it - and please feel free to get in touch if you know something we don't. After all, they didn't have Google back in 1899 and that's part of the reason we're struggling...