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Non League Football Under The Microscope

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Eastbourne Borough fans celebrate - August Bank Holiday Monday 2003                                Photograph by Sam Hicks

St. Neots Town FC

Rowley Park, Cambridge Road, St. Neots, Cambs
Telephone: 01480 470012
Nickname: The Saints
United Counties League

Note Originally formed in 1879 as St. Neots FC, the club was renamed St. Neots & District FC in the mid-1920s, before settling on its current identity some thirty years later, at which time it was able to employ a full-time Manager and Secretary, plus twenty contracted players. Those halcyon days were not to last however and in 1987 the club disbanded after its ground – “Shortlands” – was sold for housing. Shortlands had been home to St. Neots since 1899 and had originally been the lawn of the home of a Mr McNish (a Director of Paine & Co. Ltd.) who had offered its use to the football club.

By the time of its sale by Paines (who, ironically had originally paid for much of its early development) the ground boasted two stands on opposite sides of the pitch, dating from 1933 and 1960.

Without a home the Town reformed in 1989 and played local junior football in the Huntingdonshire and District Football League, using a pitch in Priory Park. During April 1992 a 40 year lease was signed on a 4.5 acre site to the east of the town and with tireless fund raising by the new committee, the development of Rowley Park began. The ground was named after Mr Peter Rowley, the benefactor who has rented the ground to the club at a peppercorn rent. The 'Cambridge Road' stand was officially opened by the town crier, when Town played Leicester City on 22 October 2002.

Rowley Park has been developed into a neat and well-appointed venue if somewhat bland. However, at the end of season 2006/07 the club will once more be on the move. With the current site earmarked for housing development, the club will be relocated to a new site further north. DB