Paget Rangers Club History
The club was established in 1938 by pupils of Paget Road School in Erdington, Birmingham and was accepted into the Intermediate Division of the Birmingham Juvenile Organisation Committee. In their first two seasons Paget enjoyed instant success, winning the league title on both occasions; however the outbreak of the 2nd World War brought a halt to progress. Following the outbreak of peace, Paget joined the Birmingham Youth and Old Boys AFA, before moving to the Central Amateur League in 1949 and then the Worcestershire Combination (now Midland Combination) in 1950.
In 1951 Paget Rangers purchased a site on Springfield Road in Walmley for a cost of £550. Springfield Road was to be Paget’s home for the next 42 years. The 1950s was a decade of consolidation for The Bears, before experiencing their first major success in 1960 when a unique quadruple was achieved. Paget won the Midland Combination League Title, The Midland Combination League Cup, The Birmingham Junior Cup and the Sutton Coldfield Charity Cup. Paget went on to retain the league title again in 1961. Further success followed in 1967 when Paget Rangers defeated Alvechurch to win the Midland Combination League cup (Alvechurch had beaten Paget in the previous year’s final). In 1970 Paget won the Midland Combination Premier Division for the third time, following that success with a second-place finish in 1971.
In 1971 the club erected floodlights at Springfield Road, becoming the first Midland Combination club to have floodlights in the process. The switching on of the lights was marked by a visit of Aston Villa to Springfield Road, drawing a crowd in excess of 2000.
Paget Rangers won their 4th Midland Combination League Cup in 1983 and a 5th success soon followed in 1986, earning Paget Rangers a place in the Southern League for the first time. Unfortunately a mass exodus of players following the departure of manager Eddie Caulfield to local rivals Sutton Coldfield Town undermined the club’s progress and after one season in the Southern League the club was relegated to the West Midlands (Regional) League.
Paget adapted to live in the West Midlands (Regional) League and achieved a top half finish in all but one season between 1988 and 1994. The highest place achieved during this period was a second-place finish in 1992, when Gresley Rovers won the title. Success was achieved in the League Cup however in 1992, when Paget Rangers defeated Gresley Rovers in a thrilling final. The club also reached the final of the League Cup in both 1993 and 1994, but finished as runners-up on both occasions.
In 1993 Paget Rangers sold their Springfield Road ground for housing development for a fee believed to be in excess of £1.4million. Whilst a site for a new home was sought Paget Rangers began a groundshare agreement with local rivals Sutton Coldfield Town.
In 1994, following league restructuring, Paget were elected as founder members of the new Midland Football Alliance. Paget won the inaugural championship in 1994/95 by a twelve-point margin from Hinckley Athletic to once again achieve 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. 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 and midfielder David Campbell to Leicester United undermined any hopes of a second successive promotion.
After 5 seasons ground sharing with Sutton Coldfield Town, Paget moved to their new home at Vale Stadium, Castle Vale, for the start of the 1998/99 season. This moved proved to be a disaster. The expected increase in attendances didn’t materialise, the new pitch was prone to flooding and boardroom disagreements due to the inheritance of £1.4m caused the team to struggle both on and off the pitch.
The Club continued to battle on valiantly in the Southern League Western Division for two more seasons before the seemingly inevitable relegation occurred at the end of the 2000–01 season. As the season was drawing to a close, a mass exodus of players due to the withdrawal of any financial support saw several youth team players see action. Their spirit and effort was not enough to help Paget avoid relegation to the Midland Alliance, but four wins from their final six games meant Paget avoided 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. Paget achieved a solid mid-table position in their first season back in the Midland Alliance, however, the club resigned at the end of the season and subsequently folded. The club’s final game was at home to Barwell on 23 April 2002. Paget won the game 3–1.
In 2011 lifelong Paget Rangers supporter Matthew Dainty set about reforming the club. After 18 months of planning Paget’s application to the Midland Combination for the 2012/13 season was rejected, thus meaning the Bears had to join the Birmingham AFA where they were placed in Division 2. Again, much like the original club Paget enjoyed instant success winning the Birmingham & District AFA Senior Cup at the first attempt, Paget defeating Athletic Sparkhill in a thrilling final 6–5. In total three Premier Division clubs were defeated in the competition. Paget also came top of their league, pipping second-place Aston Reserves by a few points, to secure the AFA Division 2 title, and a double haul in their first season back.
For the 2013/14 season, Paget's application to the Midland Combination was successful and the club was placed in Division 3. Despite establishing a twelve-point lead by Christmas, the Bears were eventually caught and overtaken by eventual champions Kenilworth Town and runners-up Coventry United. 3rd place however, was sufficient to see the club promoted to the Midland Football League 2nd Division for the 2014/15 season. Paget also reached the final of the Smedley Crooke Memorial Cup in 2013/14, going down by 4 goals 1 against Bromsgrove Sporting at their Victoria Road ground in front of a crowd of 408.
After consolidating during the 2014/15 season, Paget enjoyed a more successful season in 2015/16, securing a 4th place finish in the Midland Football League Second Division, which included a 15 game unbeaten run in the latter part of the season.
2016/17 Season Paget enjoyed a more successful season after gaining promotion as champions of Division 2. This was followed by winning the Les James Challenge Cup at the home of Walsall FC, against Redditch Borough.
After three seasons of consolidation in the Midlands Football League First Division, Matthew Dainty took the decision to step down as Chairman. Matthew’s legacy at Paget Rangers is assured having resurrected the Club and overseen the Club’s rise to Step 6 of the Non League pyramid.
And so it was that just prior to the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020, a consortium led by James Parker took over the Club. Parker was already Chairman of Birmingham St Georges Junior Football Club, with teams from U8 – U18. In fact, following the takeover, all of those Junior Teams re-branded and so from the beginning of the 2020/21 season Paget Rangers had teams competing at every age group from u8 through to the First Team.
The 2020/21 season, like the season before, was heavily disrupted by the Covid pandemic and brought to an early finish but not before Paget had enjoyed some success in the FA Vase, with victory over Wolverhampton Casuals and a stunning away victory at Chelmsley Town, before their Wembley dream was ended by Radford.
In May 2021 and in anticipation of the 2021/22 season Paget announced the appointment of Steve Walker as their new First Team Manager, something of a coup for Paget. Walker who has spent the previous 8 years working at Step 3, with both Coalville and Stratford Town brings a wealth of coaching experience and a backroom team determined to continue Paget’s upwards journey.
Following the departure of Steve Walker towards the end of the 2021/22 season, James Parker and Kevin Smith took over the reigns as joint Managers, for the final 8 games of the season. The Managerial duo who have both been involved with the Club for many years, will be looking to oversee the continual development of our younger players from the Paget Juniors into the First Team as we head into the 2022/23 season.
Midland Football Alliance Champions: 1994–95
Midland Football Combination Champions: 1959–60, 1960–61, 1969–70, 1970–71
Midland Football League Division Two Champion 2016-17
West Midlands (Regional) League Runners-up: 1991–92
B.Y.C. Intermediate League Champions: 1938–39, 1940–41
Midland Youth Floodlit League Champions: 1999–2000
Birmingham & District AFA Division 2 Champions: 2012-13
Birmingham AFA Senior Cup Winners: 2013
West Midland League Cup - Winners: 1992, Runners-up: 1993, 1994
Midland Football Combination Cup Winners: 1960, 1967, 1971, 1983, 1986
Birmingham Senior Cup Semi Finalist: 1994
Birmingham Junior Cup Winners: 1960, 1970
Lord Mayor of Birmingham Charity Cup Winners: 1995
Walsall Senior Cup Winners: 1986
Staffordshire Senior Cup Runners-up: 1995, Semi Finalist 1994
Tony Alden Memorial cup Winners: 1971, 1973, 1984, 1987
Sutton Coldfield Charity Cup Winners: 1958, 1960, 1966, 1968, 1999
Smedley Crooke Memorial Cup Runners-up: 2014
Les James Challenge Cup Winners 2017