Sad News

We’re sorry to have to share the news that Ron Kemp passed away yesterday of Covid Pneumonia. Ron was a universally popular fellow and well known to Town followers as the father of Andy Kemp our promotion winning goalkeeper. Even after Andy hung up his gloves Ron was still a regular visitor to the Arden Garage’s Stadium and remained a member of the supporters association. Our condolences go out to Tracey, Andy, Chloe and the rest of the Kemp family at this very sad time.

Ron Kemp.

We’re also sad to share news of the recent passing of supporter John Clarke due to Covid. John was a regular supporter at the Arden Garage’s stadium over the last few seasons and a friend of STISA committee member Martin Brookes for over 50 years. Our condolences go out to his family.

60 years ago – Back through the mists of time.

Martin Kenny takes us back 60 years to a weather hit cup clash.

January 1961 was a momentous month for English football with the abolition of the maximum wage of £20 a week and the town winning preliminary games to reach the First Round of the FA Amateur Cup.

This competition was an early version of the FA Trophy where the non-league finalists would play regularly in front of crowds of 100,000 at Wembley. Interest in the Town’s exploits meant that the Supporters club laid on transport for the long journey to South Yorkshire.

Town supporters about to embark for Sheffield.

Town had been drawn away against the highly rated Sheffield Hallam and it was to prove to be a frustrating afternoon as the game was abandoned after just 35 minutes. The town were leading the game when it was abandoned after Hillman “beat three men in a solo run and his swinging right foot shot from 25 yards skidded into the net”.

In fact it was amazing the game kicked off at all as the swirling fog was so bad that the linesman had to run several yards in inside the touch lines as it was not possible to see across the width of the pitch. The Herald reporter took the best advantage point from behind the goal!

The following week the town achieved a respectable draw to bring Sheffield Hallam back to Mason’s Road. However back at Mason’s Road the towns players underperformed perhaps under the pressure of playing in front of the largest crowd of the season and crashed out the cup.

The Town front line came in for criticism with fans suggesting that Gordon Hillman needed more support.  As the clubs all time record ever goalscorer he would regularly clock up 40 goals a season but would have scored more if he had used his strong physique to challenge goalkeepers.

Trevor Ford  of Cardiff City was a well known exponent of the shoulder charge which was highly effective in this era. Incidentally young town goalkeeper Mick Stowe would go onto sign professional terms for Cardiff and face Ford in training but unfortunately never played for the first team in the Football League.

Town’s 1961 squad for the Hallam tie featuring current club President Sid Keenan.

Sheffield Hallam are known today simply as Hallam and play at the oldest football ground in the world Sandygates which hosted its first match on Boxing Day 1860. Hallam now play in the Northern Counties East League at level 10 in the football pyramid. They are the second oldest football club in the world.

Hallam’s Sandygate today- the oldest football ground in the world.

Join the Supporters Association Today

One thing we all seem to have at the moment is a bit of extra time on our hands and of course a big STFC shaped hole in our lives and calendars. Now is therefore a great time to consider spending a few minutes filling in an application form to join the Supporters Association.

Joining the Supporters Association costs only £10 per annum (collected by standing order) with membership for under 16’s just £2. All this money goes back in to projects decided on by the members in collaboration with the football club, and to the upkeep of this website, but for your money you get a voice and hopefully the feeling of involvement and putting something back in to a club and community of which we are all so proud.

Forms can be downloaded by visiting https://stratfordtownisa.com/first-team/home/join-stisa/ and clicking on the link to the form. Completed forms can then be submitted to stratfordtownISA@gmail.com

Les in Action

Everyone connected with Stratford Town FC was saddened to hear of the recent passing of long time club volunteer and former player Les Windsor. STISA committee member and our very own historian/archivist Martin Kenny has kindly provided this photograph of the great man in action. The photopgraph is form February 1979 with Les in colours of Alveston in a fixture with Henley Forest.

Long time Town supporter and STISA committee member Martin Brookes also shared his memories of Les’s playing career. “I remember playing in goal for Wellesborne against Recs (Recreation Rovers) at Masons Road late 60s or early 70’s in a Stratford League cup final. Les, and Denis, were imperious and we lost 4-0.”

Les Windsor

It is with deep regret we announce that club stalwart Les Windsor has sadly passed away.

Les loved our football club and gave unstinting loyal support for 50 years both as a player and volunteer.

Les joined the club along with his brother Dennis and the Collett twins from Rec Rovers in the 1971/72 season and made a goalscoring debut 30th August 1971 at Masons Road scoring our first goal in a 3-1 win over Evesham United.

A quick, agile and prolific goal poacher Les was the clubs leading goal scorer in 4 out of 5 seasons from 1971/72 to 1975/76 and went on to score 66 goals in over 200 appearances for the club.

After his playing days ended Les remained with the club as a passionate, positive and committed volunteer and was looking after our match officials at half time always with a smile right up to his illness.

Our sincere condolences go to Dianne and all of the family at this difficult time.

Street Arts Project Christmas Donations.

Stratford charity Street Arts Project are asking for Christmas gift donations for homeless, isolated and vulnerable people in the Stratford area. They are requesting Christmas food treats, toiletries and new toys for children. Donations can be dropped into their ‘Street Arts Project Santa Box’ at the HR Cafe, in Windsor Street up to 2.30pm every day from Saturday 21st November up to Christmas Eve.

The guys at Street Arts Project would like to thank you in advance for your kindness.

You can find more information on Street Arts Project and their vital work at

https://www.streetartsproject.com/