A Short History of Football in Wotton-under-Edge

There has been a history of football being played in Wotton-under-Edge for 125 years. There are reports that a local clergyman was responsible for setting up one of the first football teams in the town.

It was a Wotton Team which inflicted one of the first ever defeats upon Bristol Rovers in 1884 – then known as the Black Arabs. This makes Wotton one of the oldest football clubs in Gloucestershire.

In the 1890’s a team known as Sinwell Star played on the present ground, which at that time, was in the nearby hamlet of Sinwell. A rival team, Wotton AFC, developed and played at a variety of locations in the town. Sinwell Star became known as Sinwell Rovers. In the 1920’s the people of Sinwell, inspired by a local clergyman, Harry George Oliver, changed the spelling of the name of their hamlet to Synwell because it was felt that the older spelling was unsuitable. Consequently, the football team became Synwell Rovers.

Both teams thrived until the Second World War when organised football in the County was suspended although there are records of a Wotton United team playing some games in the mid 1940’s.

In 1959 the current Club, Wotton Rovers, was formed by the amalgamation of Wotton-under-Edge A.F.C. and Synwell Rovers. The Club has thrived over the past 60 years and is now a FA Chartered Standard Community Club; one of the first in the county of Gloucestershire.

Promotion was gained to the Gloucestershire County League in 1983 from the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League, which was won together with the Senior Amateur County Cup to mark a spectacular double success. During 15 seasons in the County League, the best performance came in 1985-1986 finishing in 5th place.

In 1999 the First Team were relegated to the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League but the exile was fairly short-lived as County League status was re-gained after three seasons by winning the Northern Senior League again and the Stroud Charity Cup in the same season. In the second spell in the league the best performance was in 2004 with a 3rd spot and again won the Stroud Charity Cup.

In 2008, the team dropped down to the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League and has had very little to celebrate until recently.

Today Wotton Rovers run two senior and over twenty youth teams, providing sport and recreation for some 30+ men and youths and 300 boys and girls every weekend.

The First Team are currently top of the Stroud League Division 2 and the Reserves are pushing for promotion from Division 7. The Club is thriving a looking forward to a move back up through the football pyramid.