DRONFIELD TOWN FOOTBALL CLUB
Following discussions with local historians George Platts and Dennis Clareborough it is thought that football as we know it was played in Dronfield from as early as beginning of 1860's and indeed we have documented proof that the Wednesday played Dronfield in December 1867 on Bagguelys Field which is an area on the corner of Gosforth Lane and Manor Crescent. The seasons then started in October and Dronfield will have played other teams but we don't know against whom.
Between this period and the start of the 1st World War Dronfield played on the Coach and Horses ground which was also a running and cycling track. The landlords of the Coach and Horses at that time found it more lucrative to have running and cycling (they could gamble on races) they had more spectators so more money was spent in the pub. The football team moved its headquarters to the Horse and Jockey, which was in the vicinity of Ayeshas. Here they could change and walk up Green Lane to the grammar school playing fields (crip crop), which were fields in the area of Greendale shopping and Ash Tree pub.
The first evidence of a club calling themselves Dronfield Town is in mid 1890's as travel became much easier with the introduction of railways. This club continued until around about the start of the Great War. Started again in mid 1920's but petered out quite quickly. Next evidence of a team was in the early 50's but quickly folded due to financial reasons.
In more recent times, 1973 one Brian Gould was asked to put a side together to take to Sindelfingen. The following season Brian entered a team called Dronfield Town in Sheffield Sunday league made up mainly of the lads that went to Sindelfingen some of whom went on to play for Dronfield Town for many years. Names such as Brian Hemstalk,Tony Bland, Richard Bannister, Brian Turner, John (Killer) Bennett and his younger brother Ian (Nipper) Bennett were the foundations for Brian to run a very successful team until 1996.Sadly through lack of interest the team folded at the end of that season.
In 1998 Dronfield Sports JFC moved from the Masons Arms to the Pioneer Club and changed its name to Dronfield Town. At that time there were 7 under 16's football teams. The club now boasts 13 junior boys sides ranging from Under 9’s to Under 18’s, playing in three different leagues, Sheffield & District Junior Sunday League, Rowsley Youth League and the Sheffield & District DB Sports Under 18 League.
In the summer of 2004 the club broadened its community appeal by forming four junior girls teams. One Under 10’s, two Under 12’s and an Under 14’s team which competed in the Sheffield & Hallamshire Girls County League.
Now the club has 110 girls playing the game and teams from U9's to U16's.
The adult football section reappeared when dads who used to play football together started to bring their kids to play for the junior football teams, decided to reform and have an Indian summer plying their skills in the Hope Valley League. Initially they were called Dronfield Cavaliers but when their bodies shouted enough is enough they added some young blood and changed their name to Dronfield Town in season 2000/1. Playing in the Hope Valley League they have had a very successful time and are now looking to move into a higher standard to continue the advancement of a very ambitious football club. Apart from the two teams playing in the Hope Valley League Town have two Sunday league teams, one plays in the Blades Super Draw League and one in the Chesterfield & District Sunday League.
The old timers were not to be out done by the young upstarts, and in 2003 Dronfield Town Over 35’s team took to the field for the first time in The Wragg League.
As a boy/man you can now play for the club from the age of eight until you really cannot kick a ball anymore! For the girls the club has only just begun, but who knows where it will end up.
We would like to thank George Platts and Dennis Clareborough for all their help and also ask anyone who may have any information about local football especially Dronfield Town to contact the Club Secretary.