Paget Rangers F.C - The Bears

Paget Rangers F.C - The Bears
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Paget Rangers F.C. is a defunct English association football club which was based in Birmingham. The club originally formed in 1938 when a group of former pupils of Paget Road School together with Jack Hughes Snr combined to form a football team.

To begin with the club were accepted as members in the Intermediate Division of the Birmingham Juvenile Organisation Committee.
Paget enjoyed instant success as they won the league title at their first attempt and repeated this the following year.
In the first season a young man by the name of Ron Timmings was an under age reserve for the side in the final of the Birmingham City Cup Final played at St. Andrews. Throughout the War years, "Timmo" continued to play for the club and in 1943 alongside Doug Lishman and Larry Canning signed for the Aston Villa. Larry Canning made the grade but the great Harry Parkes kept "Timmo" out of the Villa side.

After the war

Unfortunately, the War caused a temporary halt to the club’s progress but when they were once again able to pick up the thread, they joined the Birmingham Youths and Old Boys A.FA. In 1949, they moved to the Central Amateur League and a year later, joined the Worcestershire Combination (which later became the Midland Combination).
Ron Timmings never allowed another club to enter his heart and after his national service he became Paget Rangers, serving as Secretary, Treasurer, Manager, Coach and Chairman, alongside the other jobs as Groundsman, Raffle Ticket Seller and every other capacity in which he could serve.
In 1951, the club made a really bold step forward when they purchased the ground in Springfield Road, Walmley, for the sum of £550 and set up home for which they were subsequently to remain for the next 42 years.

Throughout the 1950s, Paget enjoyed a period of consolidation before experiencing their first major success in 1960 when they lifted the Midland Combination League Cup, League Cup, Birmingham Junior Cup and Sutton Coldfield Charity Cup. The following season saw the club again capture the league title, however, further success eluded them until 1967 when they again won the Midland Combination League Cup beating Alvechurch who had beaten them in the previous year’s final. Additional success came in 1970 with yet another Midland Combination league title and a runners-up spot the following season.
1971 - The club took yet another major step forward by erecting floodlights with Aston Villa providing the opposition at the official switching on ceremony.

Paget were obliged to wait a further ten years before being able to celebrate additional success when they won another Midland Combination title in 1983 two players stood out in this season,...Steve Obrien and Mick Duff, unfortunately a serious knee injury to Obrien paid short his promising career and moved on at the end of the season, Duff moved on to play for Highgate United the season after that. Their name was on the trophy yet again in 1986.
In 1987, Paget gained promotion to the Southern League but unfortunately suffered a disastrous season at this level and were relegated to the West Midlands (Regional) League.

Paget enjoyed life in the West Midlands League, finishing in the top half of the league in all but one season. Their best position being runners-up to Gresley Rovers in 1992. The same season saw them capture the League Cup beating Gresley Rovers in a thrilling final, the winning goal, scored by Carlton Miller was one of stunning quality which will always be remembered by those Paget followers fortunate enough to witness it. The club also reached the League Cup Final in 1993 and 1994 but unfortunately finished runners-up on both occasions, however, it was an excellent achievement to have reached three successive finals of the competition.
Paget were elected as founder members of the Midland Football Alliance for the commencement of the 1994/95 season and became the inaugural winners of the League Championship, thus gaining promotion to the Southern League Midland Division.

The 1994-95 season was an outstanding season for Paget as in addition to claiming the Midland Football Alliance Championship, they won the Lord Mayor of Birmingham’s Charity Cup when beating Moor Green in the final, and finished as runners-up in the Staffordshire Senior Cup to Stoke City. The same season saw them reach the semi-final of the Birmingham Senior Cup, thus enjoying their best ever run in the competition which included a 2-1 victory over Coventry City in the quarter final. However, they were beaten by Aston Villa but not before putting on a spirited performance at Villa Park. In all, throughout the 1994/95 season, a total of five Southern League Clubs were beaten in various cup competitions.
Paget won promotion back to the Southern League and having moved from their former Springfield Road headquarters following its sale for a fee in excess of £1.25 million, the club ground shared with Sutton Coldfield Town prior to moving to their new purpose built stadium at Castle Vale,

Paget moved to Vale Stadium for the start of the 1998/99 season and their plans soon started to unravel. On the pitch the team struggled. Off the pitch rancour and disagreement was the order of the day. Both on and off field problems were exacerbated by a pitch prone to flooding every time the weather turned damp.
The Club struggled in the Western Division of the Southern League for two more seasons before finally succumbing to relegation at the end of the 2000-01 season. As the season neared its climax a mass exodus of players meant that seven youth team players saw action in a desperate attempt to avoid relegation. It was not to be, but the spirit and effort meant that Paget won four of their last six games and avoided the bottom spot.

Team folds

Their first season back in the Midland Football Alliance saw further off-field tribulations affect the composition of the team. Once again youth featured prominently as the Bears attempted to stabilise in new surroundings. Despite all the best efforts on the field, off-field problems stemming from their inheritance of £1.3 million has seen the demise of Paget Rangers Football Club.
Despite all that has been written and said, the only indisputable fact is that in less than 10 years, Paget Rangers Football Club went from millionaires to mendicants.
The club played its last senior game at Vale Stadium on Tuesday 23 April 2002. Paget won the game 3-1.

Notable former players

Arthur Atkinson ''Also played for Birmingham City''. Roger Brown ''Also played for Norwich City & Fulham''. Gary Bull (FW) ''Also played for Southampton''. Jon Gittens (DF) ''Also played for Southampton''. Doug Lishman (FW) ''Also played for Arsenal & England''. Vince O'Keefe ''Also played for Birmingham City''. Anthony Robinson (FW) ''Also played for Tamworth'' & ''Barbados''. Gary Smith (FW) ''Also played for Tamworth'' & ''Saint Kitts and Nevis''. Mark Turner (DF) ''Also played for Wolverhampton Wanderers''. Bernie Wright ''Also played for Walsall & Everton''

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St Mary's Hospice Midland » Division 2

1 Kenilworth Town KH 30 69
2 Coventry United 30 68
3 Paget Rangers 30 66
4 Badsey Rangers 30 55
5 Rostance Edwards 30 51
6 Leamington Hibernian 30 49
7 Alcester Town 30 46
8 Barton United 30 43
9 Polesworth 30 42
10 Perrywood 30 40
11 Enville Athletic 30 33
12 Austrey Rangers 30 33
13 Northfield Town 30 33
14 FC Stratford 30 21
15 Burntwood Town 30 19
16 Inkberrow 30 12
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Last updated Monday 14th July, 12:09

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