Fun Fact: Basford is pronounced as “Base-fud”, and the “e” disappeared from the spelling sometime around the fifteenth century!
Promoted to the Northern Premier League, Premier Division in 2018, Basford United Football Club have been on a meteoric rise in recent history.
Having achieved five promotions in the last ten years, United appointed Nottingham Forest legend Steve Chettle as first team manager back in 2019 and the former defender is also the club’s Head of Football, overseeing their now reputable Educational Academy.
One of Nottingham’s oldest established football clubs, with a history stretching back to the turn of the 20th century, Basford have had a very established existence.
Chairman and Owner Chris Munroe initially joined the club in 2007 as manager for three years as the club entered the National League Pyramid for the first time, before handing the reigns over to Darren Saunders as he headed upstairs to his current position.
In winning the Central Midlands League at Step Seven under Saunders, as well as the Floodlit Cup, United became the first side to achieve that league and cup double and gained promotion to the East Midlands Counties League for the 2012-13 season.
During that season, the club entered the FA Vase for the first time in their history but lost 5-3 to the re-formed AFC Rushden & Diamonds in front of a then-record crowd of 600 at Greenwich Avenue.
Competing at Step Five in the Northern Counties League, Premier Division East, United’s first season saw them finish fifth and return to the FA Cup under former Stoke City and Scunthorpe United striker Martin Carruthers, who was appointed manager earlier that campaign.
A year later, they moved laterally to the newly created Midland Football League, Premier Division and went on to become champions at their first attempt in 2015.
In as many seasons, they began playing in their sixth new league, competing in the Northern Premier League, South Division for the first time and finished fourth.
Facing Coalville Town in the play-offs, they lost out to the eventual winners but did secure the Nottinghamshire FA Senior Cup for a second year in a row, beating Clipstone Welfare at Eastwood Town’s Coronation Park.
United missed out on the play-offs by a single point the following season, before achieving promotion to the Northern Premier League, Premier Division as league champions in the 2017-18 season with a record 100 points and over 100 goals scored.
After a successful first season at their current level under now manager Chettle, finishing sixth in their debut season, United’s time since has been impacted by two Coronavirus hit campaigns, but finished both seasons in a play-off berth before respective curtailments.
Under the leadership of Munroe, the club’s Greenwich Avenue home has been transformed into a state-of-the-art facility after a £3 million investment, offering room for further expansion.
In 2016, a £750,000 investment was backed by a £500,000 Football Foundation Stadia Improvement Grant that allowed for a complete re-design of the existing facilities, including the installation and re-levelling of an artificial 3G pitch.
With a new playing surface and infrastructure in place, United formed their Football Education Academy which has become a huge success, as they won the National League Under 19, Midland Division and made it to the national final a year later, narrowly losing to South Shields on penalties.
Only last season, under the management of former Motherwell, Alfreton Town and York City midfielder Josh Law, they reached the Third Round Proper of the FA Youth Cup for the first time and were the lowest rank side left in the competition when they faced West Bromwich Albion in March 2020.
In a campaign that started in August, United scored wins over Alfreton Town, Mickleover, Lutterworth Athletic, Lincoln United, as well as Football League’s Port Vale and Grimsby Town, before magnanimously losing 4-0 to Premier League Albion.
Basford United now have reachable targets of achieving National League Football in the next five years and are collectively working towards their objective of Step One football by the 2023-24 campaign and the Football League by 2026, ambitiously backed by Munroe.
Former Basford players who have gone on to play professionally include Bert Bowery (Nottingham Forest), Chris Freestone (Middlesbrough, Northampton Town, Hartlepool United), Will Hoskins (Brighton & Hove Albion), Shaun Derry (Notts County, Sheffield Utd, Leeds United, QPR) and Paul Cox (Notts County). Kirmari Smith (Sheffield United), Colby Bishop (Accrington Stanley) and Kole Lambert (Norwich City), have all graduated from the club’s Education Academy.