Fairford Youth Football Club was formed in 1976 by Vince Saunders and Ricky Tailford. Their sons were have to travel to Faringdon to play youth football and they decided the town needed its own club to satisfy the needs of the local youth. Two teams, an Unders 12s and Under 14s, were duly formed and entered into the Cirencester and District Youth League.
The Under 12s wore a Leeds United kit as Ricky’s son Mark was a Leeds fan, while the Under 14s wore the red of Manchester United, as this was the team that Quentin, Ricky’s eldest son supported the Red Devils.
The Club’s first match was an Under 12s match, played on Saturday 4th September 1976, with Fairford YFC beating Ashton Keynes in a comfortable 5-0 victory. The Under 14s would kick off their campaign with an even more comprehensive victory, demolishing Crudwell 8-1 on Sunday 5th September 1976.
The Under 12s would play their games on Saturday, with the Under 14s competing on Sunday.
That first season would be a successful one for the newly-formed Club – the Under 12s would go on to win their league, while the Under 14s would enjoy a league and cup double.
As Ruud Gullit and Marco Van Basten led Holland to European glory in Euro ’88, the Club adopted a similarly striking orange kit. The orange kit last for a good few years until the switch was made to red and white.
During the late 90s, the Club adopted a simple crest of an orange and black football, with Concorde flying across it, to signify Concorde’s historic flight into RAF Fairford in 1969. Later on, the Club added ‘Town’ to its name, in symetry with the adult football Club and adopted a broadly similar crest to the men’s team.
Much has happened in the Club’s near-40 year history – too much to detail here, however the enjoyment of football has always been at the heart of the Club, and will remain so.
In 2015, the Club took the decision to offer youth football to young boys and girls not only in Fairford, but also in Lechlade and the name of the Club became Fairford and Lechlade Youth Football Club.
A new badge, based upon the Republic of Ireland badge, but in the Club’s colours of red and white, was adopted.
The Club enjoyed much success with a League Cup win for the U18s, followed by league wins for the U15 and U13 sides, as well as League Cup with for the U13s and a Cup win for the U11s.
One thing was clear though, children enjoyed the Club from a huge number of local towns and villages, Fairford, Lechlade, Down Ampney, Hatherop, Kempsford, Bibury – all across the local area. With this in mind, the Club’s committee elected to simplify the name and honour the Club’s history and revert to the original name of Fairford Youth Football Club.
A new crest was also adopted, featuring St Mary’s Church, the Town’s crest and in a move to reflect the Club’s old crest and the aviation history of Fairford, Concorde returns to the badge.
The new crest was officially adopted in 2019 and will gradually replace the previous Fairford and Lechlade badge.
Whatever the Club’s name, the Club’s ideals remain the same. To allow children of all ages and abilities to get involved in sport, makes friends and most importantly, have fun.