Newport Pagnell celebrates 50 years of football

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From a group of lads eager to set up the first football club in the town, to the hundreds of players wearing the green and white today, Newport Pagnell Town FC has come a long way in 50 years.

This year marks the Swans’ 50th anniversary, and they have become arguably the largest amateur team in the area.

They came from humble beginnings. With no football club to represent the town of Newport Pagnell, a group of players paid a visit to the Town Clerk, Frank Hall, in a bid to get some backing to start a team of their own. The only other team in the area at the time was Aston Martin.

Given the full backing from Mr Hall to go and establish a committee for the club, the players duly did and formed Newport Pagnell Wanderers in 1963.

Under that name the club played their home matches at Bury Field Common, with hundreds of people turning out to support them.

A year later in 1964, they joined a league for the first time. Their first campaign in the North Bucks & District League was very successful as they carried off the Division Three shield at the first time of asking.

From there, the accolades kept on coming. After Aston Martin folded, Wanderers were able to strengthen their squad and became the team to beat in the region as they saw off all comers.

They quickly went on to win the North Bucks Division Two and Division One titles in successive seasons and for three years were as good as unbeatable as North Bucks champions.

One of the main stars of the team was Alan Higgins, who between 1964 and 1969 scored an incredible 142 goals.

The club rapidly outgrew their Bury Field home, and as they progressed to the South Midlands League level, they relocated to the youth club at Willen Road in 1972.

And their opening game there against Bletchley Town was also the first time the team would become known as Newport Pagnell Town.

Just a year later, the Swans entered the United Counties League in which they remain today. Arguably the club’s most successful season in the modern era was in 2009-10 when the first team lifted the Berks & Bucks Senior Trophy, and were runners-up in the United Counties League Cup, while challenging near the top of the Premier Division table under boss Terry Shrieves.

With teams in every age range from U7s, a successful ladies set up and promising youngsters on the brink of the first team, Newport Pagnell have come a long way since their beginnings in 1963 and are renowned for their never say die spirit.

Now managed by Darren Lynch, the challenge will be to try to push on and one day play at a higher level.