The Club was founded in the 1975/76 season by Bill and Norah Pratt., then named “ Rhodes Youth F.C” Bill’s vision was to provide football for boys and girls of all abilities and to develop their skills in a safe and enjoyable environment.
Their vision is still the ethos of the Club to this day.
The Club was founded in the 1975/76 season by Bill and Norah Pratt., then named “ Rhodes Youth F.C” Bill’s vision was to provide football for boys and girls of all abilities and to develop their skills in a safe and enjoyable environment. Their vision is still the ethos of the Club to this day.
The Club’s original name was taken from Rhodes Avenue, a senior team with which Bill was involved. Also many of the original players lived in or around Rhodes Avenue in Bishop’s Stortford.
The Club played in the Bishop’s Stortford and District Youth League until that was disbanded at the end of the 1992/1993 season. The original home ground was at Pearse House in Bishop’s Stortford, the playing kit acquired after several hours searching market stalls and sports shops by Bill and Norah for suitable T-Shirts.
Over the next few years, the Club grew to five teams, mostly managed alone by Bill and during the 1980/81 season the first Management Committee was formed under the Chairmanship of Barry Warren.
It was at that point that Barry proposed that the Club should have a unified kit and it was decided that yellow shirts, green shorts and yellow socks would be the standard. The major reason for this choice was that no other Club in the League played in these colours, thus saving the expense of a second away kit (how things have changed!).
During the summer months, the Club used to organise cricket competitions and it was during one of these that Brian Hockley, M.B.E. met Bill and Norah. He became the unofficial scout for the Club, introducing players from Dunmow and the surrounding villages, which provided the Dunmow connection.
The Club has never had a headquarters and perhaps should have been called Rhodes Wanderers or even Nomads! Home grounds have included pitches at Quendon, Aythorpe Roding, Takeley and Great Sailing. Dunmow Recreation Ground was acquired as our home ground approximately 25 years ago and Little Dunmow just prior to the 1994/95 season.
At the end of the 1994/95 season, the Club’s Management Committee proposed that we change our name from Rhodes Youth F.C. to Dunmow Rhodes Youth F.C. and this was unanimously agreed at the A.G.M. in July 1995.
The Club could now be associated with a specific area and the foundation was laid for a more permanent base.
During the 1998/99 season a “design-a-badge” competition was organised amongst the teams, and the Club badge was born. The Boar on a woolsack from the Dunmow Town Crest signifies Dunmow’s prosperity from the wool trade (Tenterfields), Barley from historical brewing (Maltings) and bacon industries from the Dunmow Flitch.
The Club has organised several overseas tours for the players, including Belgium, Switzerland and latterly two trips to Dunmow’s Twin town of Dourdan in France. A return visit to the U.K. was organised for April 2000 but unfortunately had to be cancelled at the 11th hour due to logistical problems.
Former Club Chairmen
June 2020 - Name change to Dunmow Rovers
In June 2020, In the light of protests and demonstrations in Bishops Stortford and around the UK.
With the feelings in mind within the local and surrounding community, the clubs committee discussed the issue of the name “Rhodes” connection with the club. We understood the name “Rhodes” commemorates the birthplace of businessman, politician and imperialist Cecil Rhodes, founder of the former Rhodesia in southern Africa, who was reviled as a white supremacist.
The committee actively engaged in an ongoing process with the town council and studying online petitions and surveys on this matter that had enabled the committee to make a decision and rename the club.
This was decided unanimously by the committee and was chosen to truly reflect the wishes of our local community and diverse society we live in today.
On 1st July 2020 the club was renamed “Dunmow Rovers Youth Football Club“.
The committee decided that just taking the name “Rhodes” away was enough change and adding a name or changing colours was not necessary, keeping as much tradition and history of the club as possible.
The club’s committee believe that such a move would be very welcomed by all and would better reflect our society and our modern, inclusive values as a club today.