Stevenage Athletic were formed in 1968. They were reincarnated (after bankruptcy) as Stevenage Borough in 1976. When they came into the Football League for the first time in 2010, the ‘Borough’ was dropped and they are now Stevenage F.C.
Stevenage became the first ‘New Town’ in the UK in 1946. It’s in Hertfordshire, about 30 miles north of London. It grew up as a staging post on the Great North Road (the A.1) which runs from Smithfield Market, London to Edinburgh.
Stevenage itself isn’t much of a tourist hot-spot (unless you like roundabouts – the town has more than its fair share) but you may have seen Robbie Williams, The Rolling Stones, Oasis, Manic Street Preachers, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd or the Chemical Brothers at nearby Knebworth House.
The football club were promoted from the National League (the Conference as it was) in 1996 but were denied promotion to the EFL because of inadequate ground facilities. It would take another 14 years before Stevenage came into the EFL for the first time in 2010 . Their first EFL season was very successful and they won promotion to League 1 (beating Torquay Utd in the play-offs). Their first season in League 1 in 2011/12 was also successful, seeing the club beaten by Sheffield Utd in the play-off semi-final. Since then the club were relegated back to League 2 in 2014. In 2020, Stevenage were relegated from League 2, only to be reprieved when Macclesfield had points deducted to be relegated in their place.
Stevenage have had one or two famous managers. Teddy Sheringham was in charge for 9 months in 2015/16.
England caretaker manager (for one match) Peter Taylor managed the club for 6 months in 2007/08.
But the club’s ‘go-to’ manager between 2002 and 2020 has been Graham Westley. Westley has had four spells managing Stevenage in this time.
One of the Stevenage players will be very familiar to FGR fans. Jack Aitchison played for us last season before returning to his parent club, Celtic. He was sold to Barnsley on a 3 year deal on the 5th October 2020 and, the day after, was sent on loan to Stevenage.