Football originated in Rogestone when a group of Iron Workers who moved south to the area from Shropshire to work in the newly opened Nettlefolds Iron Works. This was some time prior to 1889 when our first record of Rogerstone is to be found in the minutes of a South Wales Football Association meeting, Rogerstone to pay Cardiff Corinthians the sum of 1.1s. We do not know why the fine was imposed but we hope it was a minor offence that had been committed.
The names of the players from Shropshire who made such an impact on the football front are still held in high esteem by their descendants in Rogerstone today. The famous names include Archers, Beddows, Clayton, Deakin, Evans, Fletchers, Hamptons, Hollands, Littlehales, Osments, Pickens, Podmores, Poveys, Rays, Rodens, & Wildes.
The earliest photograph of the Rogerstone AFC. side was in 1892/3 season when it is believed they were winners of a cup competition. The photograph, in our photo gallery section, is almost certainly the oldest known soccer photograph in South Wales. It is of note that on the cross band of the shirt of the player in the front row, extreme right, there is a castle tower emblem. This was the Nettlefolds emblem and was nothing to do with the works being built next to the old Rogerstone castle site or the fact that the works was called Castle works. The original castle tower (actually a windmill) was in Hadley, Shropshire, where the works was also named Castle Works.
Rogerstone's first records of playing football can be found playing in the South Wales League. A report in the South Wales Daily News of 1892 listed the prominent clubs in South Wales and mentions Rogerstone. In 1893, Rogerstone was a founder of the South Wales and Monmouthshire Football Association along with clubs such as Brecon, Cardiff, Neath, Swansea, New Tredegar and Cefn Excelsiors to name a few. It is believed the team played in maroon and white shirts.
A second eleven was started in 1896 and we believe played in the reserve division of the South Wales League and even finished runners-up in 1899/90.
Rogerstone won the South Wales FA Cup in 1897 at the Cardiff Arms Park in front of a crowd of 3,000. It took a last minute goal to secure a 1-0 victory over Swansea. In 1900 the club were beaten finalists to Aberystwyth, 1-0, in the South Wales and Monmouthshire Cup held at Aberdare in front of 2,000 spectators.
Rogerstone also successfully won the South Wales Junior Cup in 1894 and 1900.
In 1898-99 season a trial match was held to select players for the South Wales team to play North Wales and several Rogerstone players were selected for the South Wales squad. They were; G. Jones at inside left, J.L. Bowness at left back, R. S. Archer at outside right and Moses Picken at center-half. This once again confirms that there were a lot of talented players at Rogerstone during those early years.
During the 1906 season the team decided to play in two leagues, as did their rivals Treharris. Rogerstone finished runners-up to Treharris in the South Wales League. The other league the team competed in was the Rhymney Valley & District League which Rogerstone won, after a dispute, with Treharris finishing second. They entered both leagues because they were not sure which league would become the main league leading into the Welsh League. Eventually in 1911 the South Wales League disbanded and the Rhymney Valley & District League changed its name to Glamorgan and became the league which would eventually become the Welsh League.
Unfortunately, 1906 saw the break up of this current crop of talented footballers and Rogerstone AFC disbanded.
Rogerstones existence until 1906 saw many famous faces pull on the Rogerstone jersey. Around 1902 saw Joshua Pettican, a centre forward who hailed from Berkshire and played in the first Division of the Southern League for Swindon signed for Rogerstone. He moved to Barry for one season and then played two seasons at Rogerstone. The press carried a report saying that Rogerstone had signed the ''Gwyn Nicholls'' of soccer.
It is understood that William J Jones, who was a centre half and born in Penrhiwceiber, signed for Rogerstone from Aberamon in 1904. William, or Bill to his team mates, played for West Ham United during the 1901-02 season and was the first ever West Ham player to represent Wales at International Level.
Harry Hampton, better known as "Happy" Harry Hampton or "The Wellington Whirlwind", played for Rogerstone after a glittering career playing professional for Aston Villa from 1904 to 1920 and scored 215 goals. He scored two goals for Villa when they beat Newcastle United in the 1905 FA Cup Final.
Another Rogerstone star was Joe Littlehales who played and captained the side for several seasons between 1900 and 1904. He was also successful and good enough to play for Aston Villa. When he was first called up for a trial at Villa, he arrived with no football shorts and played in his trousers. From then on he was nicknamed trousers.
It is not really known why the famous Rogerstone side disbanded in 1906. It may be that the Newport and District League, now some 5 years old and with much reduced travelling became attractive. We shall probably never know why the club disbanded and this appears to be lost in history.
However in the same season that the great Rogerstone Club disbanded, a second team from Rogerstone, the Cefn, were formed and played in the Newport and District League. In the 1906-07 season the Cefn also entered a second eleven in the league. This is perhaps significant because this was the first season after the Rogerstone team disbanded. The teams name then changed from Cefn AFC to High Cross Stars in the 1907/08 season. High Cross where a highly successful football team and enjoyed five years of successful wining titles such as the Newport & District Division One Title and the Woodcock Cup.
Also in the same season a side called Rogerstone Ivanhoes appeared in the Newport and District League for the first time. Little is known about the Ivanhoes apart from the fact that they continued playing until at least 1911/12 season, when they finished 7th out of 10 in their league, and probably until the first world war in 1914. Yet another Rogerstone side, Rogerstone United are recorded as playing in the Newport and District League for the first time in 1911/12 season.
After winning the South Wales Junior Cup in 1910 when the trophy was shared with High Cross, and many season entering the Welsh Cup, Rogerstone entered the famous FA Cup. In 1920/21 the club was drawn against Ton Pentre at home and unfortunately lost 10-0 (25th September 1920). The following season (1921/22) bought a little more success as Risca Stars were defeated 4-1 at home in a replay (after a 1-1 in the first game), at the extra preliminary round stage. In the preliminary round Rogerstone were knocked out 9-1 away to Abertillery (24th September 1921).
One of Rogerstone's most successful seasons came in 1922/23 when the team reached the Woodcock Cup Final (now known as the Senior Challenge Bowl) and successfully defeated local rivals Pontymister Works Athletic. The team also finished the season undefeated and marched onto win the Newport and District 1st Division League title.
Over the course of the next fifty years, it seems there were many teams competing in Rogerstone area and this ensured success in the village continued. In the 1926/27 season Rogerstone Villa won the Newport & District Division Two Section A League, with Rogerstone Juniors finishing runners-up.
Rogerstone Welfare reached the Newport & District Junior Cup Final in 1937/38 and unfortunately lost. A season later Rogerstone Rangers done the double taking the Newport & District Division Three title and the Junior Cup.
The period after the Second World War saw one of the most successful periods of football in Rogerstone. Rogerstone Boys Club picked up the Newport & District Division Three League title and were runners-up in the Division Three Cup Final (1948/49). The following season the team again won the Newport & District Division, winning promotion, and this time won the Division Three Cup (1949/50). The club then won the Newport & District Division Two West the following season (1950/51). The Boys Club then went through two quiet seasons before reaching Newport & District Division Three Cup Final only to be beaten.
The 1954/55 season saw Rogerstone Rangers play some fantastic football. They successfully took the Newport & District Division Two West title, but again got beat in the Junior Cup Final. However that season saw the team play 22 league matches and scored an overwhelming 140 goals.
Entering the 60s, Rogerstone AFC, the team which it is thought the current set-up originated from, narrowly missed out two seasons running finishing runners-up in the 1959/60 in the Newport & District Division Three, and in 1960/61 the Newport & District Division Two West. However, the team did win the Division Three Cup in 1959/60 when they beat St Julian Dynamos 5-1 at Caerleon under the management of Reg Watkins. The team that won the cup was C.Jones (GK), Tommy Evans (Right Back), Malcom Wakely (Left Back), Leighton Hurley (Centre Half), Brian Curley (Right Half), Terry Howells (Left Half), Freddy Webster (Right Wing (Capt)), David John (Insight Right), Gerry Melinship (Inside Left), Tommy Vaughan (Centre Forward), D.Bunock (Left Wing).
Another major asuccess came when Rogerstone AFC won the Newport & District Senior Challenge Bowl in 1967/68 with the leadership of Captain Lyn Hall.
In the late seventies and early eighties Rogerstone AFC enjoyed more league success with the team finishing runners-up twice in the Newport & District Premier Y in 1977/98 behind winners Albion Rovers, and in 1983/84 behind champions Caerleon.
The village of Rogerstone enjoyed its Centenary celebrations back at the beginning of the 1990-1991 Season with two special matches which were held at the Rogerstone Welfare Grounds in front of enthusiastic crowds.
The first game was played on Saturday 28th July 1990 against local County giants Newport AFC, and unfortunately Rogerstone lost 5-2 in an entertaining fixture with Lyndon Ricci scoring first for Rogerstone.
The second game saw Rogerstone welcome Plymouth Argyle Football Club to South Wales on Tuesday 31st July 1990 for an evening kick-off. At the time Plymouth were playing in the Second Division of English Football alongside the likes of Newcastle United and West Ham United. Argyle won the match 3-0 with two goals from Paul Adcock and one from Martin Barlow. The Plymouth squad included Bull, Smith, Davies, Smith, Maxwell (now the club's physio), Balsdon, Summerfield, Barlow, Garner, Allen, Adcock, Cooper, Piper, Tyson, Evans and Straub. Apart from Kevin Summerfield and Leigh Cooper, all the players were apprentices and trialists. Mickey Evans, Martin Barlow and Darren Garner all went on to have long League careers, and Garner played "down the road" at Newport County in 2006.
The following season in 1991-92, Rogerstone AFC finished top of the Newport & District Division 2A ahead of St Julians Club with James Blackborow at the managerial helm.
In May of 1998, Manager James Blackborow took his side to the prestigious Newport & District Senior Challenge Bowl Cup Final which was held in Caerleon. A last minute goal from teenager Craig Cowland in extra time gave Rogerstone a 2-1 victory against Barrett Builders.
In 2003/04 the 1st team was unfortunately relegated from the Gwent County Division Two after winning only four matches. That summer saw a change of Manager with Phil Beasant leaving the club after many years of service and dedication, and was replaced by Bobby Anderson, a former Newport YMCA player and coach. The change of Manager paid off as Rogerstone AFC won the Gwent County Division Three and regained their place in Division Two. That season also saw the 2nd team finish runners-up in the Newport & District Premier Y under the management of former centre-half Lyndon Beard.
In 2007 the Club set-up an Under 18's team to help attract youngsters to secure the Club's long term future. This was an instant success with the team finishing in the top half of the table in their first two seasons together and helping to produce the likes of Josh Clayton, Rhys Parry and Daniel Whittaker who would all go on to play senior football for the Club.
The Club reached the final of the Gwent County FA Amatuer Cup for the first time in May 2009, defeating strong teams such as Undy Athletic, Govilon and Albion Rovers to reach the final. Unfortunatley the 1st Team, under the management of Trevor Keen and Kevin Davies were defeated 2-0 in the final by Abertillery Bluebirds at Abergavenny.
Today the Club continues to raise three senior teams, with over 60 players signed on for the club, one of only a handful of clubs who can claim this in South Wales. The 1st team still play in the Gwent County League. The other two teams play in the Newport and District League set-up and provide an excellent feed of players for the 1st team. The Under 18's are still going stong competing in the Gwent Youth League.
Newport & District Division Three Runners-Up 1959/60
Newport & District Division Three Cup Winners 1959/60
Newport & District Division Two Runners-Up 1960/61
Newport & District Senior Challenge Bowl Cup Winners 1967/68
Newport & District Premier Y Runners-up 1977/98
Newport & District Premier Y Runners-up 1983/84
Newport & District Division 2A Winners 1991/92
Newport & District Senior Challenge Bowl Cup Winners 1997/98
Gwent County Division Two Winners 2004/05
Newport & District Premier Division 'Y' Runners-Up 2004/05
Gwent FA Amateur Cup Runners-up 2008/09
This feature is currently in development but will be available soon.