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Lea Sports PSG Football Club

Contact: secretary@leasports.com

In 1995 Lea Sports Football Club moved to Pirton from its former base in University premises in Stopsley, Luton. Since that time the Club has represented the village at age groups from Under Sevens to Veterans, but the Club's roots go back much further.

Lea Sports Football Club was founded in 1973 by a group of Junior School Teachers in Luton and for many years relied heavily for its players on the teaching profession. In those days a new influx of teachers could be expected in the town each year and each season saw new blood join the team. Despite this, the yellow and black stripes which identified the club in the seventies occupied nothing more than a moderate position in Division 4 of the North Home Counties Sunday League. As more players joined the Club, second and third XI's were started, the Reserves joining the League Division 7 and the Thirds playing friendlies against local Round Tables and the like.

This was pretty much the case until the 1988-89 season, when the Thirds joined the South Beds league and the Fourth XI made its first appearance. The following season saw the Club's first foreign tour - a trip to Paris. I can still see the look on the players' faces when they turned up to play their first friendly on foreign soil, only to find that they were playing in a 2,000-seater stadium against a side who had reached the third round of the French cup! Needless to say, we only just managed to come second, losing a not very close encounter 10-2! I remember speaking to one of the French club officials after the match and asking him if they had played English opposition before. "Oh yes!", he said, "Last year we beat - how do you call them - Nottingham Forest!". We didn't feel quite so bad after that.

By the time the 1990's came round, the Club had risen to the dizzy heights of Division 2 of the North Home Counties League with further tours to Dusseldorf and again to Paris. The 1992-93 season saw an amalgamation with Stopsley Boys Club, which took the Club from four to eight teams and introduced youth football to Lea Sports. A successful netball team was also in operation, which won the Division 2 and Division 1 Championships of the Luton & Dunstable Netball Alliance in successive seasons.

By 1994-95 the Club had decided to try its hand (or should that be its foot?) at Ladies football also. Lea Sports Ladies travelled on Sunday afternoons to such far-flung outposts of football as Clacton and Gorleston on the Norfolk coast. The Ladies' only real claim to fame was that they played a friendly against Sheffield Wednesday (although we did lose 16-0). Unfortunately, the pennant which proved that the match took place has subsequently been stolen from the Sports and Social Club.

That season the Club played a total of 233 matches, winning 139 and losing 69. The Reserves won the Division 5 Championship and reached the final of the Bedfordshire Centenary Cup, which they lost on sudden-death penalties after a 0-0 draw with the Rising Sun from Potton. A Saturday side was also in operation by this time and won promotion to the Premier Division of the Luton and District League.

Everything seemed rosy, but the Club was playing on sub-standard pitches in Luton and was disenchanted with the management of the Luton Teachers Social and Sports Club, which still provided the club with its base. The Club took what was regarded as a risky decision to move operations to Pirton. Apart from the fact that most players didn't know where Pirton was, there was a danger that players would be lost to rival Luton teams.

Since that time, the Club has focused on youth football for the local community, although it still runs three adult teams in strong positions in the North Home Counties and Bedfordshire County Leagues.

The youth teams now reflect the Club's geographical position, with most players coming from Pirton or the surrounding area. In the last few years we have had much success at youth level, including an Under 11 League Cup win and championships at Under 14 and Under 17 age groups.  This is one area we would love to expand, so if there's anyone out there with kids who want to play football, get in touch.

The move to Pirton saw the demise of the Saturday team, which was made up mainly of Luton University students, who found the vast distance from Luton to Pirton just too much. Since then, a new Saturday team for adults has been formed, which in 2010-11 did the double of Division 2 Champions and Bedfordshire County Cup Winners.  

The Club has always been proud of its reputation for fair play and good behaviour and has won a number of awards in this area. These include the Luton District and South Bedfordshire League Chairman's Fair Play Award (1995), North Home Counties' Fair Play award (1990, 1999) and Luton Sunday League awards in 1991, 1993 and 1996.

The Club's long history of success and sportsmanship makes it one of the most respected clubs in the North Home Counties and its current Management Committee is dedicated to promoting the Club to an ever-wider audience. Regular social activities supplement the Club's playing strength and help to attract and keep good players, as well as assisting with the fund-raising efforts. To run over ten teams takes a good deal of expense and the Club welcomes serious sponsors who wish to promote their goods and services on Club kit and at social events, in return for a modest financial outlay.

Over 1,500 players have now appeared for the Club in almost 5,000 matches. A dozen players have made over 400 appearances for the Club No less than 60 players are in the '200 Club' of those making 200 or more appearances and record goalscorer Phil Thompson, forced by injury to retire in 2012, scored 677 goals in 665 games.

New players of any age are always welcome. If you're interested come along to the Recreation Ground any Sunday morning and speak to one of the Club Officials.


Lea Sports PSG Football Club

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