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The Club was founded in the 1975/76 season by Bill and Norah Pratt. Bill's vision was to provide football for boys and girls of all abilities and to develop their skills in a competitive environment. Their vision is still the ethos of Dunmow Rhodes Youth Football Club to this day.

The Club's name was taken from Rhodes Avenue, a senior team with which Bill was involved. Also many of the original players lived in or around Rhodes Avenue in Bishop's Stortford. The Club played in the Bishop's Stortford and District Youth League until that was disbanded at the end of the 1992/1993 season. The original home ground was at Pearse House in Bishop's Stortford, the playing kit acquired after several hours searching market stalls and sports shops by Bill and Norah for suitable T-Shirts.

Over the next few years, the Club grew to five teams, mostly managed alone by Bill and during the 1980/81 season the first Management Committee was formed under the Chairmanship of Barry Warren. It was at that point that Barry proposed that the Club should have a unified kit and it was decided that yellow shirts, green shorts and yellow socks would be the standard. The major reason for this choice was that no other Club in the League played in these colours, thus saving the expense of a second away kit (how things have changed!).

During the summer months, the Club used to organise cricket competitions and it was during one of these that Brian Hockley, M.B.E. met Bill and Norah. He became the unofficial scout for the Club, introducing players from Dunmow and the surrounding villages, which provided the Dunmow connection. The Club has never had a headquarters and perhaps should have been called Rhodes Wanderers or even Nomads! Home grounds have included pitches at Quendon, Aythorpe Roding, Takeley and Great Sailing. Dunmow Recreation Ground was acquired approximately 15 years ago and Little Dunmow just prior to the 1994/95 season.

The Club has organised several overseas tours for the boys, including Belgium, Switzerland and latterly two trips to Dunmow's Twin town of Dourdan. A return visit to the U.K. was organised for April 2000, but unfortunately had to be cancelled at the 11th hour due to logistical problems. At the end of the 1994/95 season, the Club's Management Committee proposed that we change our name from Rhodes Youth F.C. to Dunmow Rhodes Youth F.C. and this was unanimously agreed at the A.G.M. in July 1995.

The Club could now be associated with a specific area and the foundation was laid for a more permanent base. During the 1998/99 season a "design-a-badge" competition was organised amongst the teams, and the Club badge was born. The Boar on a woolsack from the Dunmow Town Crest signifies Dunmow's prosperity from the wool trade (Tenterfields), Barley from historical brewing (Maltings) and bacon industries from the Dunmow Flitch. Today Rhodes caters for all ages and abilities providing a safe place to play football in Dunmow.


If anyone has any old team photos, please get in touch and maybe we can create a gallery of teams from the past.
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