We have come a long way since our humble beginnings back in 1997. Below is some of the significant milestones we have achieved since then.
This is where it all began...
Abbeymead Rovers Football Club was formed in 1997 by a group of local parents who decided to train at on the playing fields off of Lobleys Drive and officially formed Abbeymead Rovers.
The age groups back then consisted of Under 7, Under 8 and Under 9 with about 80 members.
Four years on from it's formation, the club continues to grow.
A significant achievement in 1997 was the first ever end of season presentation event with all our teams together. It's been this way every since.
Abbeymead Rovers FC become an integral part of the community in the Abbeymead/Abbeydale area of Gloucester.
It was 2004 when Abbeymead Rovers established their own mens teams after a local football team then known as Patriots merged to become part of the club.
In another significant milestone, we had our first ever girls team in this year too and the number of girls teams at Abbeymead Rovers continues to grow to this day!
And to top off 2004, the club achieved FA Charter Standard for the first time and we have held this status ever since.
A collaboration between Abbeymead Rovers FC and Abbeydale Community Association (ACA) delivered a successful bid for £0.5 million of funding from the Football Foundation and other funding streams to construct a 3G training pitch and changing rooms at Abbeydale Community Centre (now known as Abbeydale Sports and Community Centre).
This has become the home of the vast majority of Abbeymead Rovers FC teams for their midweek training sessions and is a vital facility for the club.
Four years after our first girls teams were formed, we were able to create our first ever Ladies team who continue to this day.
We also offered community football, allowing those with disabilities to participate and be apart of the club and it still remains as popular as ever.
11 years on from where it all started, the club continues to grow!
Five years after the club were initially awared the FA Charter Standard award, we were awarded FA Charter Community Club - the highest possible classification that can be achieved.
Our mens 1st team won the Stroud & District Football League Divison 1 and secured promotion to the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League where they remain to this day.
A third mens team was added to the adult set-up to accomodate increasing player numbers at the time. They began life in the Stroud & District League Division 8 at the time and continued right the way up until 2019 where a general decline in player numbers in football led to the 3rds withdrawing from the league before reforming again in 2020.
The youth section continues to grow to record numbers and the club won the Gloucestershire FA Community Club of the Year.
It all started from a Barclays advert and our chairman at the time, Stuart Langworthy, jumped upon the oppourtunity to create one of the first walking football teams in the country.
A mens team were entered into the Gloucester & District Sunday League in 2014 where they remained until withdrawing from the league in 2018.
The success of walking football since its formation in 2015 led to the creation of a Super-Vets team.
Youth numbers continue to grow amongst various age groups including increases within the girls and community (disability) section.
The success of the walking football teams were recognised nationally with them being awarded the FA Mars "Just Play" Walking Football Centre of the Year.
It was in 2017 that the club celebrated its 20th anniversary!
From the beginnings in 1997, the club now have teams in youth, adult and walking football age groups catering for all genders and abilities - our ethos is to provide fun and friendly football for all.
The club were awarded the Gloucestershire FA Charter Standard Club of the Year in 2018. A great achievement for the club.
In addition, Abbeymead Rovers were awarded the Community Club of the Year at the Gloucestershire Live 2018 Sports Awards.
Longstanding Chairman, Stuart Langworthy and his wife Judith Langworthty step down from club after 20 brilliant years. They were awarded the honorary positions of President and Vice-President of the club.
Stuart went on to become the England Over 60s Walking Football Manager and continues to promote the sport around the world.
The club now have over 50 teams spanning all age ranges and abilities.
What was supposed to be another fantastic year was marred by the COVID-19 pandemic. All football was halted from March until June that year whilst the nation battled one of the biggest crisis since WW2.
An incredible amount of effort went in to be able to resume football safely in June. It became a stop start season with lockdowns, restarts and then further lockdowns into 2021.
The support the club received from players, parents/guardians and supporters during this time was imperitive and despite some challenges we managed to get some football played during 2020.
To the future
The journey so far since 1997 has been incredible. Thank you to all of your support so far in helping the club develop into what it has become today.
Here is to the next 20 years and beyond!