Paget Rangers F.C - The Bears

Paget Rangers F.C - The Bears
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The original Paget Rangers Football Club was formed in 1938 by pupils of Paget Road School in Erdington, Birmingham.

To begin with the club was accepted as members of the Intermediate Division in the Birmingham Juvenile Organisation Committee.

Paget enjoyed instant success by winning the league title at the first attempt and repeating the feat the following year.

Unfortunately, the War caused a temporary halt to the club's progress but once football was resumed, Paget 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 Mr 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 giant leap forward by purchasing their own ground in Springfield Road, Walmley, for the sum of £550. They set up home for the next 42 years.

Throughout the 1950s, Paget enjoyed a period of consolidation before experiencing their first major success in 1960 when they completed a quadruple by lifting the Midland Combination League Cup, League Cup, Birmingham Junior Cup and Sutton Coldfield Charity Cup. The following season saw the club capture the league title once again, however, further success eluded the club until 1967 when they again won the Midland Combination League Cup beating Alvechurchwho 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.

In 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 Rangers were obliged to wait a further ten years before being able to celebrate additional success when they won another Midland Combination title in 1983 and 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 adapted well to 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 club also reached the League Cup Final in 1993 and 1994 but unfortunately finished runners-up on both occasions.

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, winning the title by 12 points from Hinckley, thus gaining promotion to the Southern League Midland Division.

The 1994-95season 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, Birmingham. The first season in the Southern League was an instant success, with a 5th place finish, including memorable victories over both Tamworth and run-away leaders Nuneaton Borough. In fact Paget Rangers were top at Christmas, but the sale of star striker Ian Bennett to Leicester United undermined any hopes of a second successive promotion.

Paget moved to Vale Stadium for the start of the 1998/99 season, but plans soon started to unravel. The pitch was prone to flooding when the weather turned damp and disagreements over the inheritance of £1.25m caused the team to struggle both on and off the pitch.

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.

Paget's 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 that has been written and said the only undisputable 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 against Barwell. Paget won the game 3-1.

The spirit of the club from its most loyal supporters never diminished and in 2011 it was finally decided to try and reform the once great Paget Rangers Football Club. The club is now actively seeking sponsorship ahead of re-entering senior football for the 2012-13 season. A ceremony to commemorate the rebirth of Paget Rangers is planned for 23rd April 2012, exactly 10 years since Paget Rangers' last senior game.

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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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