Article by Andrew Poole, courtesy Bloxwich United AFC
The principal Bloxwich football club was Bloxwich Strollers, who were in existence by 1893. They were playing on a ground in Little Bloxwich Lane by 1895 and six years later had moved to a field behind the Red Lion in Leamore, which was to be the club’s headquarters from 1910.
This ground was taken over by Bloxwich Football Club in 1933 and the following year the Strollers disbanded.
Bloxwich Strollers FC were back flying the flag for the town after World War II when they joined the Birmingham & District League in 1952/53. After a couple of seasons struggle in the lower reaches of the table, their record was expunged during the course of 1955/56. Blakenall FC meanwhile emerged on the local scene, becoming members of the Worcestershire Combination, which was later renamed as the Midland Combination.
The 1970s began with a number of up-and-down campaigns for Blakenall FC before the Midland Combination Championship was secured, on goal average, in 1976/77. Another successful season followed as the club just missed out on the runners-up spot before they were given a place in the West Midlands (Regional) League Premier Division in 1979/80.
At the same time as Blakenall FC were coming to terms with the added demands of life at a higher level, Bloxwich FC were formed and accepted into the Midland Combination in readiness for the 1983/4 campaign. Bloxwich Strollers were also back, initially as Little Bloxwich Strollers in 1985/86, before reverting to their original title as they were promoted into the Midland Combination Division One at the end of the 1986/87 season. Bloxwich FC were also promoted, despite an 11th-place finish in 1984/85, as they became members of the Midland Combination Premier Division. Over at Blakenall FC, their steady progression culminated in them lifting the West Midlands (Regional) League Premier Division title in 1988/89, the same season that Bloxwich FC were crowned as Midland Combination Division One champions.
The 1990s started with Bloxwich Strollers moving across into the West Midlands (Regional) League Division Two, where they were to stay until promotion into Division One in 1993/94. They moved into the Premier League a year later, where they were to stay until their sad demise in 1998. It was a different story at The Red Lion Ground, where Blakenall’s second-place finish in 1994/95 gave them a place in the recently-formed Midland Alliance. Their stay lasted just two seasons, but was highly successful, as they were runners-up in their first season and went one better the following year to earn Southern League status.
Changes were also afoot at Bloxwich, who added Town to their name, but it didn’t bring them instant success as they endured several seasons of struggle in the Midland Combination Premier Division before finishing runners-up and then Champions in 1995/96 to earn them a place in the Midland Alliance. Their first campaign at that level saw them alongside Blakenall as they claimed a respectable mid-table berth before going on to secure promotion themselves into the Southern League Midland Divisioon in 1998/99.
As Blakenall held their own, Bloxwich Town found the step-up too much and and mustered only five points on their way to relegation back into the Midland Alliance after just one season. In 2001 plans were announced to merge Blakenall and Bloxwich Town to form Bloxwich United FC. The team were to play at Blakenall’s Red Lion Ground whilst redevelopment work took place at Abbey Park, home of Bloxwich Town. Sadly, just 19 games into their Southern League Western Division season, the plug was pulled on the club.
Bloxwich Town managed to bounce back and were reformed in readiness for the start of 2002/03, playing in the Midland Combination Division One. By 2004/05 they were in the Premier Division and challenging hard for a place back in the Midland Alliance. After finishing fourth and progressing well both on and off the field, the club rather surprising folded in May 2005.
For the past three years (as of 2008), the town of Bloxwich has been without senior non-League football. However, the emergence of Bloxwich United AFC (with their first match played against a Walsall XI at The Old Red Lion Ground on 11 July 2008) will put the town firmly back on the footballing map and create plenty of local interest.
One of the main objectives of the new club is to reach out into the local community and give local people a team that they can associate with and be proud of. By working together we can help to raise the profile and kudos of Bloxwich.
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Article by Andrew Poole, courtesy Bloxwich United AFC
The club was formed as Birchills United by Michael Moseley, Steve Hinks, Jason Moseley and Ian Mason in 2006.
Starting life as members of the Wolverhampton Combination, we swept all before us in our first season, winning all 20 League games as well as the Baker Cup and Oakley Cup.
Agreeing a deal to play at The Old Red Lion Ground in Somerfield Road, Bloxwich in the summer of 2007, we were accepted into the Sport Italia West Midlands (Regional) League.
Getting a place in the first division because of our facilities, we made a bright start to life at the higher level and went on to claim the Division One title – scoring over 100 goals in the process – as well as reaching the semi-final of the League Cup.
Changing our name to Bloxwich United AFC in May 2008 as we prepared for life at a higher level, Franklyn Duffus was appointed as Chairman with Andrew Poole given the title of President. Alan Jones also joined the committee.
We hope to embrace our local community and stimulate a sense of pride in the area as we move forward.
BACK ROW (left to right): Franklyn Duffus (Chairman), Daniel Battison, Peter
Clarke, Lee Holliday, Joey Bent, Mitchell Tolley, Jamie Vaughan, James
Moseley, Richard Joyce, Michael Moseley (Player-Manager).
FRONT ROW (left to right): Lee Arnold, Adam Wall, Jamie Simkiss, Craig
Welsh, Carl Morris, Craig Bannister, Aaran Archer, David Marriott, Michael
Team photo courtesy Bloxwich United AFC