The Club began life in 1921 as Stanton FC, the team of Stanton Ironworks, hence their nickname The Ironmen. Football was a favourite activity at the works with inter departmental games in addition to a colts and representative team. From these early days as a works team the club has, in recent years, evolved into a community based organisation with no link to the Stanton works.
At senior level the club fielded teams in a variety of leagues progressing through the Midland Amateur Alliance and Derby Senior League to the Central Alliance. There followed a spell in the Notts Alliance prior to entering the East Midlands Regional League Division One in 1977. Promotion to the Premier Division came the next season and the championship was won in season 1981-2. 1984 brought a move into the Central Midlands Football League and the football pyramid system. Their direct admission into the Premier Division was justified by a fourth place finish in their first season.
This progress was confirmed the very next year by a league and cup winning double. The club were denied promotion on the grounds of facilities but did eventually win promotion to the top division before dropping back into the Premier Division.
In 1991 the club changed its name to Stanton Ilkeston FC to strengthen links to the local community. They continued to play in the Central Midland League with two teams and in 1998 the committee saw the need to expand the club. At senior level the incorporation of Ilkeston Pioneer FC meant that the club now would run two teams in the Long Eaton Sunday League while three junior teams were formed at under-10, 11 and 13 age groups.
Unfortunately at the end of season 2001-2002 the decision was taken to withdraw the senior teams from the Central Midlands League. Several factors brought about this decision: the loss of the team’s base at the ‘Stute and the costs involved in maintaining a commitment in the football pyramid system.
The future of the club now lies developing the younger players and this can be seen in the fact that several of the lads from the under-13 team of 1998 were introduced to senior football in the Long Eaton Sunday League and acquitted themselves most capably. The under-18 team have continued into senior football as the new reserve side on Sunday morning with several lads having been with the inaugural under-10 junior team in 1998. The expansion has continued at junior level to the present day and ultimately the club is aiming to give players the opportunity to join us at nursery level and stay with us until they retire from playing.
From it’s origins as a works side with a single senior team Stanton Ilkeston FC has grown to a membership of over two hundred and fifty players of all ages and is proud to offer as many sections of the local community as possible the opportunity to participate in the game of football.
In 2011 we achieved the highest level of Charter Status as a Community Charter Status Club. This demonstrates that we have all the right things in place to ensure the club goes forward.
Also in 2011 we celebrated 90 years of Stanton football. The history books show that our first ever match as Stanton FC was played on September 10th 1921 and we beat Olympic away 3 1. It’s a fitting tribute to all the players, coaches and volunteers who have helped the Stanton cause over nearly a century of football that today the club is thriving and a key part of the local community.
Our club badge – the famous horse’s head and arrow – is the same as it has always been along with our spirit of fair play and respect for all which makes us stand out.
Up the Ironmen!