Forest Green Rovers Supporters Club – A short History
The Building of the Foundations of Forest Green Rovers 1947-1982
In 1947 an official Supporters Club was formed from the Forest Green Welcome Home Committee, that had raised cash for soldiers after WWII. The Supporters Club (FGRSC) became the driving force behind the rise of the Club. Between 1949 and 1966 FGRSC built and funded various improvements to the ground including new changing rooms, tannoy, levelling of the playing surface, and a new grandstand. The opening of the grandstand got FGR on to the TV when FGRSC were interviewed on BBC Points West in 1961. In 1966 FGRSC raised a £5000 mortgage and built the new Forest Green Rovers Sports and Social Club and by 1970 it had tripled the Club’s income. The ground had all the components necessary to play a much higher level of football.
By 1972 FGR’s running costs had risen to £3000 a year with FGRSC donating £1500 a year and by 1976, running costs had doubled with entry into the Hellenic League. In 1979 The Goldliner lottery offered £1000 prizes, with a large take-up around the area. FGR earned £21826 that year from it, income unheard of previously. The Social Club was extended and Southern League status applied for in 1981-82. New floodlights were installed in 1981. The sterling work of FGRSC helped FGR into the Southern League and win the FA Vase, playing at the premier Non-League ground in the County.
Helping the name “Forest Green Rovers” Survive 1983-1992
In the 1980s FGR struggled at the higher level and by 1987, for the first time in their history, FGR were in debt, with crowds below 200 and no support or sponsorship from the town of Nailsworth.
A drastic decision was made in 1989 to change the name of the club to “Stroud FC”. Supporters followed the lead of FGRSC and stayed away, FGRSC directed its funds into sponsorship of local cup competitions. By the end of 1992, Stroud FC was in debt to the tune of £100,000.
Reinvigorated “Forest Green Rovers” 1992-2010
The name-change to Stroud FC ended in 1992 and FGRSC returned to FGR to run a new club shop and supporters away travel coaches. FGRSC continued to play a pivotal role as FGR rose to play National League football, contributing funds direct to the club to assist with its meteoric rise. With the move to The New Lawn in 2006, supporters painted the stadium from top to bottom.
Two parallel supporters’ organisations 2008-2015 Supporters Club and Supporters Trust
In 2002 a company limited by shares was mooted for FGR with a minimum shareholding of £1000 proposed, beyond the reach of many supporters. A Supporters Trust was formed in 2008, alongside the Supporters Club, and in November 2009 FGRST invested £8000 in shares into FGR.
By 2010 FGR were in dire financial straights with debts of £1.5million. In the period between February and May 2010, both the Supporters Trust and the Supporters Club did their level best to raise funds for the “Keep the Green Alive” campaign.
The Current Supporters Club
Since Summer 2010, the Club’s situation stabilised with substantial investment from Ecotricity.
From a common sense point of view FGR was too small to have 2 Supporters Groups representing it and the two supporters’ groups merged in October 2015
The current organization retains the legal name of Forest Green Rovers Supporters Society Ltd, with popular name of Forest Green Rovers Supporters Club, and is constituted as an Industrial and Provident Society. We continue to invest in FGR and remain an important focal point for supporters to demonstrate their support for Forest Green Rovers Football Club.