The History of Stourport Swifts 

In the year 1882 the first recorded club was established in the town, the members meeting for practice in a field near the Station Hotel (now the Brindley Arms). The name of 'SWIFTS' was given to the team by the promoters, the colours being dark blue jerseys with a white swift on the chest and white knickerbockers. After practicing for a considerable time near the Station Hotel, the club moved to Bewdley Road near the New Inn, where the first matches were played.

The Swifts changed their ground several times, before in 1906 moving to Olive Grove. The 1912-13 season saw the team capture their first honours, winning both the Worcester and Bromsgrove Charity Cups. Just before the outbreak of the First World War the Swifts reached their first County Cup Final, but were beaten 3-1 by the then powerful Badsey Rangers. After the war the Swifts came back with a vengeance and between 1925 and 1927 produced a historic hat-trick of County Cup wins. Twenty years passed before the Swifts lifted the trophy again, and another 35 years until 1982 when they reached the final again, but lost 2-0 to Metal Box. During this time Swifts moved to their present ground at the Walshes Meadow. The 1970-71 season saw the return of Stourport Swifts to the First Division of the Worcester League after an absence of many years.

In 1979, after eight seasons in the Worcester League, the Swifts were elected to Division Two of the West Midlands (Regional) League. After consolidating their position for half a dozen seasons, they gained promotion to Division One in 1986, after finishing fourth in the league.

The Swifts first year in Division One saw them finishing last but one, just avoiding relegation, but the following campaign saw them finish runners-up to Rocester and earn promotion to the Premier Division. After a struggle in the initial season, the Swifts gradually improved each year, and in the 1991-92 season they finished 3rd after heading the division for most of the season.

Following this in 1992-93, they won the Premier Division Cup and the Worcester Senior Urn.

The 1993-94 season was another successful season which saw the club finish runners-up in the Premier Division and pull off another cup double, again winning the Worcester Senior Urn as well as the Worcester Infirmary Cup, beating Bromsgrove Rovers on both occasions.

Despite finishing runners-up in the Premier Division, they failed to be elected to the newly formed Midland Football Alliance.

In 1994-95 Swifts finished in 3rd place and successfully defended the Worcester Senior Urn for the 3rd year running and the Worcester Infirmary Cup for the 2nd year running.

1995-96 saw them finish in 5th place in the league and retain the Worcester Infirmary Cup.

In 1996-97 they again finished runners-up in the West Midlands League Premier Division but a year later after finishing runners-up for the 3rd time, they were promoted to the Midland Football Alliance and also added the Worcester Senior Urn and Worcester Infirmary Cup.

 In 2001, with Rod Brown in charge, the Swifts took and incredible 34 points from their last 12 matches of the season to pip Rushall Olympic to the Midland Football Alliance title by ONE GOAL. 

This won the Swifts promotion to their highest ever level in the Southern League. Their best ever finish has been 8th in their first campaign and have since finished 17th, 18th, 14th, 20th, 22nd, 17th, 16th, 17th and 17th over the following ten years.

STOURPORT SWIFTS – a recent history

In 1965 John McDonald became secretary of Stourport Swifts and the Club you see today began to take shape.

In the last 50 years, the Swifts, founded in 1882, and the oldest Club in the County, have progressed steadily to the Midland Football League Premier Division, which is Step 5 on the Football League pyramid.

In 1970, the changing rooms were in an old outbuilding, now owned by Walshes Farm Caravan Park, some 100 yards away from the pitch, and over time these were renovated, with showers, toilet facilities and electricity installed.

The pitch, although a decent size, was heavily populated with weeds, and before each game the players would have to remove, on some occasions, some 200 molehills before the matches could begin.

Several professional experts were called in to discuss the mole problem, but none felt they could do anything to solve it. Groundsman at the time, Duncan Pinnegar, set to with his trusty traps, and over a period of 4 years, eventually secured a mole free zone.

No fence was in place around the ground, and no conifers in place to prevent the loss of many balls in the River Severn. Kindly fishermen and boatmen from Worcester returned many footballs with the Stourport Swifts name on them, often several weeks after they were lost.

The old stand, now replaced by the modern 250 seat version you see today, was made of wood and corrugated iron which leaked heavily over the years when it rained.

Several attempts were made to bring the changing facilities next to the pitch, but each time these were vandalised, and twice burned to the ground.

The Swifts progressed from the Worcester League into the West Midland League, where there were some notable successes in both League and County Cup form.

Ron Bradley, former WBA player and also former coach to the national team in Libya, was a manager to note in the 70’s, followed by former player Richard Leach, who can still be seen on most match days .

Former Mayor of Stourport, Roy Crowe, became chairman at that time. Roy remained Life President of the club until he passed away at the age of 88 on December 3rd 2016.

 The pitch was fenced in, a requirement for progression through the higher levels of non league football, and work began on the Clubhouse you see today in the 1980’s, with players and officials digging out foundations by hand.

The bar in the Clubhouse was salvaged from the Wheatsheaf pub in Stourport town centre when it went through some extensive refurbishment, and the Club was decorated in the current style by decorator and committee man Dave Watts, who is sadly no longer with us.

Pat Lynch and Kidderminster Harriers legend Phil Mullen, became the management team in the late 80’s and early 90’s and the Swifts progressed to the Premier Division of the West Midlands League, and won the Worcestershire Senior Urn three times during their spell in charge.

Chris Reynolds took over as Chairman in 1992 and John McDonald secured funding for the building of the new stand in the same year. Despite the team finishing runners up in the Premier Division in 1994, they failed to gain promotion to the new Midland Football Alliance.

That promotion came 4 years later, in 1998, and in 2001, with Rod Brown in charge, Stourport Swifts took and incredible 66 points from their last 26 matches of the season (W20 D6) to pip Rushall Olympic to the Midland Football Alliance title by ONE GOAL. Lee Booth scored 40 goals that season, and Rod Brown was voted Manager of the Year.

Midland Alliance - Final League Table 2000-2001

 Pos  Name                            Pld    W    D    L   GF   GA  Pts
   1  Stourport Swifts                 42   28    9    5  109   38   93
   2  Rushall Olympic                  42   28    9    5   98   28   93
   3  Barwell                          42   26   11    5   74   35   89
   4  Oadby Town                       42   26    7    9   89   45   82  *
   5  Stourbridge                      42   23   10    9   93   52   79
   6  Stratford Town                   42   20   10   12   96   58   70
   7  Boldmere St Michaels             42   19   13   10   73   49   70
   8  Willenhall Town                  42   19    8   15   76   62   65
   9  Bridgnorth Town                  42   17    8   17   79   66   59
  10  Chasetown                        42   15   10   17   55   78   55
  11  Oldbury United                   42   14   11   17   70   71   53
  12  Cradley Town                     42   15    4   23   52   80   49
  13  Stafford Town                    42   12   12   18   68   83   48
  14  Bloxwich Town                    42   14    6   22   54   80   48
  15  Wednesfield                      42   14    6   22   60   91   48
  16  Shifnal Town                     42   12   11   19   56   75   47
  17  Halesowen Harriers               42   13    7   22   55   73   46
  18  Stapenhill                       42   12    8   22   58   91   44
  19  Pelsall Villa                    42   12    6   24   60   90   42
  20  Knypersley Victoria              42   10   10   22   64  100   37  *
  21  West Midlands Police             42    9    7   26   67  112   34
  22  Sandwell Borough                 42    9    7   26   62  111   34

The Swifts were promoted as Champions to the Southern League and enjoyed their highest level of football over the next ten years in this Division.

The Non League Pyramid  was re organised in 2014 and the Swifts secured a place in the Midland League Premier Division, which significantly reduced travelling on match days. A year later, Hereford, after being declared bankrupt for the second time, were denied entrance into the Southern League, and placed in the Midland Premier Division.

On the 11th of August 2015, a record crowd of 1,321 saw the Swifts win 2-0 at Walshes Meadow to become the first team to beat their illustrious neighbours in the Midland League.

Chris Reynolds passed away on Saturday 23rd July 2016, after a brave battle against cancer. Chris had been with the club some 45 years as player, manager, committee member and chairman, and he will be sorely missed by all the great friends he made in that time.

The Club then lost John McDonald on 17th October the same year, also after a long battle against cancer. Mac was honoured by the Football Association in 2015 for 50 years of service to Stourport Swifts, and had been the heartbeat of the Swifts for the past 50 years. He will be remembered as the the man who built the Club, and this is a pair of shoes we will never fill.

The Clubhouse was extended in 2020 to double its size, with a new bar area and toilets, and the Swifts were successful in securing grant aid from the Football Foundation to replace the old perimeter fence, and today's new dugouts.

Recent Honours:

Worcestershire Senior Cup Winners: 2022-2023

 West Midlands League: Division Two-Cup Runners Up 1982-83, Division One Runners Up 1987-88, Premier Division Runners Up 1993-94, 96-97, 97-98, Cup Winners 1992-93

Worcester Senior Urn Winners: 92-93, 93-94, 94-95, 97-98

Worcester Infirmary Cup Winners: 93-94, 94-95, 95-96, 97-98, 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19

Midland Football Alliance Winners: 2000-2001


Other Historical Links

Stourport Swifts Football Club History Database (FCHD)