When the Red Red Robin.

I will try in this article to give you an insight of the club through the years. Dave Webb.

Some snaps of an article written by supporter Bert Earney back in the 1970s:

In the 1920s a rickety old De Dion Bouten bus with a bonnet shaped like a giant cocoa tin would rumble through the North Hants countryside taking the Stockbridge team and supporters to an away match. It seemed that half the village was there to see the team off especially if it was a long trip over the hills to such places such as Vernham Dean, and no one could be quite sure if they would ever make it back to Stockbridge ( A far cry from today when trips to such places such as The Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton are the norm.)

Stockbridge home games were played for most of the time at Little Dean situated at the far end of Old London Road. The pitch was famous for it’s huge slope, described by one reporter as the Atlantic roll of the turf. Next to the pitch on the west side ran the Sprat & Winkle railway line. If the team were desperately hanging on to the lead with a few minutes to go the supporters urged our players to kick the ball over the railway line to waste time.

The team had many successes through the 20s and 30s, and after World war 2 the club got back in action and 1952 saw a big game for the club when they reached the final of the Hants Junior cup, a competition in which hundreds of teams from across the County entered. Imagine my joy as a 12 year old lad at the time when I heard that little old Stockbridge were to play at Fratton Park the home of Portsmouth Football club. What a tremendous day it was for the hundreds that travelled to the game that day, although we narrowly lost. The day lived long in the memory of those that were there.

In the 1950s and through to the 1970s a big event at the end of the season was the Fordingbridge six-a-side tournament. Up to half a dozen Stockbridge teams would compete in this event backed by a large number of supporters. With four or more games going on at the same time it was easy to hear how the Robins teams were getting on – if they were winning the joyous sound of “When the red red robin goes bob bob bobbin along” rang out and if a team was losing the refrain of “For those in peril on the sea” could be heard.

When in 1971 the Club lost it’s ground the real spirit of Stockbridge Football Club showed it’s head. For seven long years the Club became nomads, first of all playing on any pitch they could and then thanks to John Foord at Fairview farm on London Hill where the players changed in a cow shed. This time it was not about winning matches it was about surviving and raising money to get a new home.

After a lot of hard work by many people the new beginning on 27th August 1978 saw the new Recreation Ground opened with a big family event. The day started at 10.15 am with the Manager of the Ex-Saints team officially opening the ground. A football match between the Ex-Saints and Stockbridge followed which was watched by over 500 people, and this became a regular event for the next few years. Throughout the day there was a lad’s six-a-side tournament, children’s fancy dress, races and a tug-o-war competition as well as numerous side shows. From 7.30 pm– midnight the place rocked to the music of local group ‘The Family Affair’ – A great day.

The following years saw the team go from strength to strength rising through the leagues and winning many trophies, and now 40 years later with superb facilities ,which would not have been possible without the tremendous support of the local community. 

Stockbridge Football Club is more than just a Football club it is a local institution and those who run it are it’s custodians and their job is to make sure the Red, red robin keeps bobbin along.

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