Borrowash Victoria AFC was founded in the summer of 1911. Like many clubs of
the time Borrowash did not start with a blaze of glory. Popular belief is that the only
illumination for the inaugural meeting was the gas-lights of Elm Street. However this
wasn’t to put the fledgling members off. They secured a pitch, Coffee Joe’s Field,
and changing facilities. Though opposing teams must have wondered at the mile and
a half walk between the two.
From this modest start the club enjoyed a challenging future. Two World Wars halted
play, but on each occasion the club reformed once peace returned. Off-field
challenges saw the club disband and reform on three occasions. Despite all of this the
will of the locals to have a football team represent their village remained unchecked.
Maybe that is what makes the club motto so relevant ‘Palma non sine pulvere” – ‘No
Victory without effort’.
The present club commenced in 1963 when a group led by Tony Beardsley tired of
the restrictions of the youth league. With the support of Albert Anderton and Neville
Hardy the new team started playing in the depths of Section E of the Derby Welfare
League. The new team was christened, Borrowash Victoria Amateur Football Club,
or simply “The Vics” to the locals.
Only three years later, and following early successes in both league and cup, the
popularity of the club lead to the creation of a reserve team. One major difference
back then was that the teams didn’t have a manager and it was not until January 1968
that the first manager was appointed, one Mr Arnold Grace. He led the team to
promotion in his opening season and developed the team’s standing tremendously
until he left the club in 1968 due to ill health. Arnold did not however retire from The
Vics entirely and returned as chairman in 1975.
It is that type of devotion to the club that frequently marks the history of The Vics.
Several names reappear as you look through the archives; players’ who hung up their
boots only to stay on with the club in another capacity.
No doubt it was that spirit that encouraged ex-international Alan Hinton to sign for
the club in 1977, an event that saw the TV cameras at a Vics game for the first and
only time. Incidentally, Alan was spotted by the cameras at the end of the game taking
the nets down. I doubt any of us will see such a turn of events again.
The modern era of sponsorship finally reached Borrowash in time for the 1977/78
season, Mr P Siddall a local building contractor. In exchange for bearing Siddall’s
name on the shirts, Mr Siddall provided funds and a concrete floor in the equipment
hut. Ever practical at The Vics.
The 1977/78 season also provided the club’s first major championship, the East
Midlands Regional League Premier Division. However things looked dicey at the end
of the 1980/81 season with a mass of resignations from the committee. As always
The Vics pulled through and a face from today made his entrance to the stage. Ian
Anderson turned from playing staff to president (and sponsor).