Esquires Football Club
A brief history
Esquires Football Club was formed in 1998 and with the support of its sponsor, Esquires Nightclub Bedford, the club joined the Bedford & District Sunday League for the 1998/99 season. Unfortunately, beginners luck was not with Esquires and the club spent most of the 1998/99 season languishing near the foot of the 5th division. Although not an ideal start to life in the Sunday Football League this was still an encouraging year for Esquires with superb team spirit and some excellent performances.
The following 1999/00 season saw a dramatic change in form and fortune with victory over Silsoe Park Rangers in the final of the Centenary County Cup and a third place finish in the league, gaining promotion to division 4.
Esquires gained promotion to division 3 for the start of the 2002/03 season, and managed a creditable mid table finish.
The 2004/05 season saw the return of some old Esquires faces and combined with an influx of new blood resulted in a very successful season for Esquires. The club reached the 1/4 final of the Sunday Lower Junior Cup losing a hard-fought game 2-1 to Toddington FC. Esquires also reached the final of The Brian Craddock Jubilee Cup, losing 2-1 in extra time to a very strong Sandy (Sunday) team. Esquires were finally successful winning the Lee & Son roofing third division title, over turning a deficit of 5 points, by winning our last nine league games.
2005-2006 was another successful season for Esquires as we reaped the benefits of a settled side with few injuries. The 2nd division title was won with a game to spare having scored 103 goals and only conceding 27.
After the rapid success achieved in the past couple of seasons, life in the 1st division for the 2006-2007 season was expected to be more difficult. This proved to be the case with Esquires ultimately finishing in 5th position, and with limited success in the cup competitions. However, in a year blighted by many player injuries, we have managed to maintain the core of the established squad and are looking forward to improving on this years result next season (which will be our 10th year in the Bedford & District Sunday League).
Dropping crucial points in key matches meant the 1st Division title was out of Esquires grasp for the 2007-2008 Season. Whilst a third-place finish was an improvement on the previous season, this was scant consolation for a Season that had initially promised so much. The Season did, however, finish on a high note with a fantastic 2-1 win over Silsoe Park Rangers in the Beds F.A. Sunday Junior Cup. A dominant performance from the entire team meant that Esquires would finish the year with silverware in their second win over the Silsoe side in as many County Cup Finals.
Both the 2008-2009 and the 2009-2010 seasons were, as they say, “seasons of two-halves”.
Whilst finishing in second place in the 1st Division for the 2008-2009 would seem a very creditable result, the weather played a big part in deciding the eventual league champions. The numerous cancelled games throughout the season left Esquires with 11 games to play in April, which despite heroic efforts all round, was just a game too many. The consolation was the prospect of playing in the Premier Division next season and, of course, overcoming a number of Premier sides on the way to winning the Britannia Harrison & Rowley League Cup!
For the 2009-2010 season, changes in personnel had a significant impact on early performances. None more so that the retirement [finally!] of the ever present Andy McLaughlin. The team struggled to record only 4 points before Christmas which left them well adrift at the bottom of the Division. However, the New Year brought with it the integration of some new faces and a resurgence in form from some old faces and Esquires were rewarded with 10 points from February onwards. This ultimately secured a place in the Premier Division for another year with a 7th place finish.