For a number of years a group of dads had taken their sons to play football on New City Road Playing Fields each Sunday morning. One of the parents, the late Paul Mallon, recognised that there was a lack of opportunity for playing organised football in the Boothstown area and that the young players were moving out of the area to play the game.
The regular Sunday morning sessions continued and gradually more and more players arrived to join in, one particular week Paul was approached by another parent whose son was playing elsewhere in Salford, but was unhappy with the way the club was run, this parent was our President David Lord.
Over a period of time David & Paul conceived the idea of a local youth football team for Boothstown and in 1995, after placing an advert for players in a local paper they formed Boothstown Lads Football Club. The advert was an amazing success and they were inundated with players from all different age groups, forming a number of teams which played mostly in the Salford Youth League.
David became the first club Chairman, Paul became his Vice-Chairman and many other parents came forward to form the rest of the Committee and become managers, coaches etc.
The Early Years
Initially the Club fielded teams at various age groups in 11-a-side football in the Salford Junior Football League.
At that time the club had no firm base and no particular home venue with our teams playing their matches at various local pitches such as Cleveleys Playing Fields in Winton and other closer venues like City Road and Ellesmere Street in Astley, both of which we still use at present.
The Development Years
Over the next few years the club began to grow in size and was also beginning to gain recognition with our Local County Football Associations. With the introduction of small sided football by The FA the Club began to attract a younger children who wanted to play and a number of younger teams were formed.
During this period it was realised that the club name was beginning to sound dated and it was agreed it should be changed to Boothstown Junior Football Club. This changed also allowed the club to reflect the all inclusive ethos that it wanted to eventually achieve and would also be the catalyst to allow the club to make a move towards attaining the prestigious FA Charter Standard status with the Manchester FA.
In order to gain this award the club was required to put in place the policies which allowed us to achieve and maintain certain standards laid down by The FA.
Finding a Home
One of standards which the Club were required to fulfil was to source and set up a permanent home venue for the club.
In 1999, eventually, after much head scratching, an opportunity arose in conjunction with Salford Council when a piece of land at Amberhill Way, Boothstown was designated as a recreation ground.
After many meetings it was decided that this area, would be ideal as a base for the club, a failed lottery bid for financial assistance followed, but the timely intervention of Sport England and the Football Foundation eventually sourced the financial resources required to secure the site and construct our superb pavilion at Bridgewater Park.
With the home ground in place the Club continued to thrive with teams at age groups from under-7’s through to under 18’s sometimes with more than one team at each age. The Club further extended its age groups with the introduction of our Academy, where 5-6 year olds get their initial coaching in football skills. The Academy currently also supplies the Club with two under-7’s teams at the start of each season.
With football thriving at our new home, and various other pitches, the Club Committee work hard to put in place all of the requirements of The FA and in 2002 Boothstown JFC gained FA Charter Standard status from the Manchester FA
At this point it was realised that in order to achieve the next level of recognition The Club would need to also encompass youth and adult footballers and another name change would be required, so Boothstown Junior FC became simply Boothstown FC. At this point we also fielded our first open age team, Boothstown Ladies.
During this time the hard work behind the scenes was also continuing and in 2009 we took this to the next stage and Boothstown FC became a Charter Standard Development Club.
Following the loss of the open age ladies team at the start of the 2010-2011 season, it was decided that for the 2011-2012 season we should again try and break through into adult football and a team was entered into the highly rated Lancashire & Cheshire Amateur Football League. The team, managed by long time Boothstown Manager, Pete Byram, and made up of many ex-Boothstown players, took Division Three of the league by storm, eventually finishing as Champions and gaining promotion in their first season. This result has also given the Club the drive to put out a reserve team in the same league for the 2012-2013 season.
To be continued………