FROM meeting in a pub and getting changed in a village hall, football in Bartestree has come a long way from its origins with work on and off the pitch pushing them forwards.

The club started off in 1959 on a pitch behind the New Inn, accessible by a lane beside the old Village Hall, where players would change.

The pitch was on parkland owned by Wilcroft Hall, and although now a housing estate, the old oak that was once pitch-side still remains.

The on-field formation and tactics at that time was typical of that used throughout England.

Five forwards, three half-backs, two full-backs and one goalkeeper meant attacking football and plenty of goals – for example in September 1963 Bartestree shared 16 goals with Saunders Valve.

Some of the players were members of the SAS, and used fake names (Jack Frost, Bronco Lane) to prevent their regiment from finding out that they were taking part.

However, their suntans from serving in Borneo were described as a 'dead give-away'.

Local derbies against Mordiford, saw hundreds of spectators at matches behind the New Inn.

The club folded in 1966, just as the rest of England went football-mad in the wake of the World Cup.

The new club was born in September 1992, when Lugwardine Primary School stopped offering after-school football.

Two of the dads – Nigel Shore and Sean Powell – stepped in and started organising football on Saturday mornings in the school grounds.

At around this time the club badge was designed, with the acorn and oak leaf being a nod to the oak tree logo of Lugwardine Primary School.

Saturday football moved to the new fields behind the newly built Bartestree Village Hall and with increased numbers the first junior teams were entered into leagues in September 1998.

The name was changed to Bartestree Football Club and a new era began.

Five years after the foundation of Bartestree FC as a junior football club, some of the original juniors were looking for senior football, so chairman Keith Locke took the decision to enter a senior team into the fourth division of the Herefordshire Football League.

That first season (97/98) the boys took some hammerings, including a club-record 13-0 defeat at Burghill with 118 goals conceded in 20 league games.

Paul Harriman played for Holme Lacy, but made the move to Bartestree to be joint player-manager (with Dave Price) from the start of 98/99.

He oversaw promotion to Division 3, and in his third and final season (00/01) ‘Harry’ raised the HFL Peterson Cup with a 2-1 victory over Skenfrith at Bulmer’s Sports Ground.

Phil Andrews came to play for Bartestree at the start of the 00/01 season before taking over as player-manager, he managed the club for 10 successful seasons, taking the club from Division 2 up to the Herefordshire Premier.

At the end of season 10/11, Andrews invited Dave Cadwallader (who was at Lads Club) to get involved with the latter taking first team management.

Cadwallader's drive saw the club rise above Herefordshire League football for the first time into the Midland League while off-field improvements to their ground continued.

Following Cadwallader's departure last year the club have moved back to competing in the Herefordshire Premier.