A youth football team was operating in the village in the late 1950's and early 1960's but was disbanded due to lack of support.
In 1971 Cub Scout leader Bob Mersh, together with Peter Randall, organised and coached a team in the Cub Scout league. The team ran until 1976 when the Scout Organisation decided to discontinue the league. This resulted in no organised football for the young people of the village other than at school.
In the spring of 1977 Peter and Bob, together with two local firemen Dave Lander and Denis Regan, decided to reform the Youth Football Club. The players were mainly the old Cub Scouts, who were to form the new 12-14 year old team in the Chiltern Youth League.
The summer was spent raising funds to buy kit, and to pay for the running of the club for the 1977-78 season. In anticipation of the new season the team trained over the summer, benefitting from coaching sessions held by professional footballers Pat Howard (Arsenal) and John Faulkner (Luton Town). The boys much appreciated their help. Our first game took place on 4th September 1977, beating local rivals Harlington 6-3.
The club continued to grow and by the 1981-82 season we were running four teams covering the 10-18 age groups.
At Easter 1980 the club were invited to take part in an International tournament in Luton for under 18's. We fielded the youngest team in the tournament, and after beating a mixture of British and foreign teams reached the final against the powerful Limbury Boys Club, whose team featured many future top professional players including Mitchell Thomas(Tottenham) and Ray Daniel(Luton). We lost the final and accepted defeat with dignity, but with much pride on our achievement.
Our reputation as a well organised and sporting club was rewarded when we were invited by the South Beds Council to represent them in a tour to Porz in Germany at Easter 1981. The money was raised by the club and the football kit, tracksuits and travel bags were donated by Roger Jarman of Crest Cars and Sir Neville Bowman-Shaw of Toddington Manor. A party of 16 boys and 4 adults went for the week-long tour which was a tremendous success.
The following year, in a return visit, we hosted the Porz club with equal success. In addition to the success on the pitch, the club contributed extensively to other organisations in the village. Each year the club helped with the Summer Church fete, using one complete side of the village green for stalls, games, competitions and entertainment. We would raise sufficient money at the event to finance the club for a season and in addition contribute generously to the Church funds.
Another event the Youth Football Club orgainsed, together with the village Recreation Association, was a Carnival and Fete on August Bank holiday in 1979. An impressive collection of a dozen floats, representing various organisations, paraded around the village finishing on the Recreation Ground where numerous events took place.
The Youth Football Club float represented 100 years of football - the boys all dressed in kit to show the changes over 100 years. We won the competition for the best float !!
Football pitches were becoming a problem, and when we started the 10-12 team we needed a smaller-sized pitch. Peter approached Sir Neville Bowman-Shaw, who donated to the village what is now the Poplars ground. Sir Neville also provided the heavy machinery necessary to ensure that we had a good flat playing surface. The club also widened the pitch beside the old road to bring it up to league standards.
In 1982 Bedfordshire County Council gave to the village land at the Glebe to develop in to sporting facilities. Money to proceed with the project was raised by the Youth Football Club and the Recreation Association, and the amount was doubled by a kind donation, once again, by Sir Neville.
The Youth FC and Recreation Association then orgainsed for the ground to be levelled and drained and a large building was obtained from Vauxhall Motors with a view to developing it in to a pavillion with changing rooms and other facilities.
Unfortuntely the project came to a standstill when more money for the next phase was required. Without support from the senior Football Club and the Parish Council the Youth FC and Recreation Association could not continue on their own and the project had to be shelved.
Over the first five years the Club were very fortunate to have a very supportive collection of players, parents, helpers and friends, and in that time we always tried to uphold the good name and reputation as a very sporting club who would play to win, but not at all costs.