History of Leighton United FC 1 of 2

1. Leighton United FC: A Brief History

The club was originally established in 1985 by a group of local parents when one team was formed at the under 12 age group level. At that time the club was called the BR Foxes FC (BR standing for Brooklands Residents - a suburb of Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire).

The original blue and white colours and the use of the word "Foxes' in the club name came about as a result of the founders visiting Leicester City and a subsequent desire to model the club on the friendly, family atmosphere experienced at Leicester. In those early days a day out at Leicester City was a regular feature of the season for Foxes players.

In 1989 the club changed its name to become Leighton Foxes FC. By then the club had expanded from one to six youth teams, had set up a nursery section offering coaching to under 9's, appointed a club coach, ran a senior team (and even had a netball section).

A year later in 1990 the club purchased 3.0 hectares of farmland near the village of Tilsworth (approximately 4.5 kilometres from Leighton Buzzard) and established four football pitches. The main sources of finance were a bank mortgage (for which some of the founders were personally liable), personal loans from three trustees and extensive fund raising activities.

In subsequent years an un-metalled roadway, car park and temporary buildings were installed. Final payment on the money borrowed was made in 1995. All this was achieved by volunteers without any form of outside financial assistance.

In the mid 1990's the club changed its name again to become Leighton United FC and adopted a policy of "Investing in Youth'. Football Association Charter Standard Community status was initially awarded in 2002 and renewed for a further three years in November 2005.

In 2006 the club was awarded the Charter Standard Community Club of the Year accolade by the Bedfordshire Football Association. Club playing colours changed to Royal Blue and Golden Yellow to reflect the new ambitions of the club and the desire to distinguish from a number of other local clubs who also used blue and white for their colours.

A major landmark in the club's history was the opening of a state of the art clubhouse in October 2007 for which substantial funding was received from the Football Foundation. Investment in pitch improvement work was also made (again with generous financial assistance from the Football Foundation) to provide playing surfaces that are now amongst the best in the area.

Leighton United is now a totally self-funding voluntary organisation. Club property is vested in custodians and the club is managed by a Management Committee elected at the annual general meeting. An open membership policy is implemented to encourage participation.

The club typically provides opportunities for over 400+ youngsters - both boys and girls - between the ages of 6 and 18 to enjoy playing football in a safe environment and on good quality pitch surfaces. All coaches are at least qualified to FA Level 1 (some to Levels 2 and 3). These investments have been reflected in notable successes both on and off the pitch.