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CLUB ANNOUNCEMENT - 01.07.2020

In the light of the recent events in Bishops Stortford, around the UK also feelings within our local and surrounding community, we as a committee have been discussing the issue of the name “Rhodes” connection with the club.

The name “Rhodes” was innocently taken from the avenue which our founders Bill and Norah Pratt lived in “Rhodes Avenue” in Bishops Stortford and then later moved and settled in Dunmow, hence the connection.
We are very proud of Bill and Norah’s commitment and hard work to have started our journey as a club.

We understand now this commemorates the birthplace of businessman, politician and imperialist Cecil Rhodes, founder of the former Rhodesia in southern Africa, who is now reviled as a white supremacist.

We have already actively engaged in an ongoing process with the town council and local petitions and surveys on


this matter that has enabled us to make a decision and rename our club.
This has been decided unanimously by the committee and it has been chosen to truly reflect the wishes of our local community and diverse society we live in today.

As from today we will now be known as “Dunmow Rovers Youth Football Club“.
Just taking the name “Rhodes” out is enough change and adding a name or changing colours was not necessary, keeping as much tradition of the club as possible.

We hope that such a move would be very welcomed and would better reflect our society and our modern, inclusive values as a club.

Please all stay safe and well

#weonlydopositive #oneclub

Kind Regards

Jamie Smith
Chairman & Committee Members
Dunmow Rovers Youth F.C

 


The Club was founded in the 1975/76 season by Bill and Norah Pratt. Bill's vision was to provide football for boys and girls of all abilities and to develop their skills in a competitive environment. Their vision is still the ethos of Dunmow Rhodes Youth Football Club to this day.

The Club's 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 approximately 15 years ago and Little Dunmow just prior to the 1994/95 season.

The Club has organised several overseas tours for the boys, including Belgium, Switzerland and latterly two trips to Dunmow's Twin town of Dourdan. 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. 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. Today Rhodes caters for all ages and abilities providing a safe place to play football in Dunmow.

 

If anyone has any old team photos, please get in touch and maybe we can create a gallery of teams from the past.
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