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Early Days

Early Days

Arlesey Town Football Club celebrated their centenary in 1991, having been formed by a group of local people before the turn of the last century. Before the Second World War, Soccer was played on a localised basis, and in common with many clubs in the area, Arlesey competed in the flourishing Biggleswade & District League and entered the Biggleswade Knock-out Cup. 

During the 1920's, the club joined the Bedfordshire County League - which was later to become the South Midlands League. Arlesey originally played at 'The Bury' before moving to their former home, 'Lamb Meadow.' The ground took it's name from 'The Lamb,' a former Public House situated near the site which, for many years acted as the club's headquarters and changing rooms.

The birth of the modern era is owed to the foresight of officials of the late 1940's and early 1950's. They purchased the premises and became landlords for the princely sum of just £500 in 1948. Four years later, in 1952, an adjoining area was bought and this is where the clubhouse used to stand. The story goes that two Committee members missed their train to Kings Cross and with time to kill, saw a notice in a local Estate Agent's window for a forthcoming auction of the land. They returned the following week and purchased the said land for the clubhouse. The area lay unused for a number of years until the arrival of 'Biggs Wall' who negotiated with the club to build temporary offices and canteen facilities - which the Football Club then bought back, turning them into what was then, the clubhouse. The first competitive match under floodlights was played in January 1981 against the now defunct ‘Pirton FC’ and two months later the Blues played host to Luton Town for the official opening in front of over 1,000 spectators.

Playing fortunes have fluctuated since the war and season 1950-51 saw the Blues finish as runners-up to Bletchley Town in the S.M.L. Premier Division. The following season the 1st XI lifted the championship crown and the second string were crowned S.M.L. Division Two champions with the Youth team winning three trophies. The 1952-53 season began North Beds Charity Cup final win over Biggleswade Town (the match was held over from the previous season), and ended with a second successive championship win, Arlesey amassing S.M.L. record 52 points.

In February 1954, the developing Arlesey Town Colts, local players, reached the 4th round of the F.A. Youth Cup and were drawn away to Portsmouth. The 1950's had seen the Blues compete in the South Midlands and Parthenon Leagues. Season 1968-69 saw one of Arlesey's favourite sons in charge of team affairs; Roland Legate, (who played football professionally for Luton Town) took the helm as player-manager and during his four-year spell, he took the Blues to a league runners-up spot. The start of the 1975-76 season saw Legate return as manager and the trophies came with him, 3 Hinchingbrooke Cup successes, one Beds Senior Cup, the Biggleswade K.O Cup twice and the South Midlands League Challenge Trophy once. Supporting the Executive Committee's wish to cross the pyramid to the United Counties League. With two indifferent terms in the U.C.L., Arlesey lifted the Premier Division crown in season 1984-85