It is believed that Stafford Rangers came into existence in 1876. Much of the early history is recorded in a book, ‘The Cinderella Story’ written by former Chairman Paul Butters and published in 1972.
It is known that they reached the First Round of the FA Cup in 1884/85 and again the following season although they found limited success in those early years.
They moved to Marston Road in 1896, changing at the nearby Albion Pub hence the ground became known as the Albion Ground.
1904/05, Rangers enjoyed a memorable run in the FA Cup in 1904/5, reaching the Sixth Qualifying Round before losing out to Second Division Blackpool in a replay
The club won its first League title, the Birmingham Combination in 1912/13, but their first ‘Golden Era’ came in late 1920s as they won the Birmingham League (1926/27) and were runners-up in 1928/29 and 1929/30.
The good times came to an abrupt end. The 1930s proved a constant battle for survival both on and off the pitch and in 1935 only a successful appeal to pay creditors enabled them to continue.
After a break for the Second World War, Rangers resumed action in 1946/47 playing in the Birmingham Combination and then the Cheshire League. The struggles continued for a number of years with one highlight coming in 1958 when Rangers set a club record 11-0 victory over Dudley Town in the FA Cup. Les Box set an individual scoring record with 7 goals.
In the 1960’s the club was saved only by the generosity of Chairman Eric Morgan.
The appointment of Colin Hutchinson as manager in 1966 marked an upturn in the club’s fortunes, as they won Cheshire League Cup in 1968 and promotion to the Northern Premier League (NPL) a year later.
The 1970s brought in the second ‘Golden Era’. Manager Roy Chapman led the club to a historic treble of NPL title, FA Trophy (3-0 v Barnet) and the Staffs Senior Cup and Ray Williams broke Eddie Cameron’s goalscoring record with 48 goals.
In 1974/75 Rangers defeated Stockport, Halifax and Rotherham on their way to the Fourth Round of the FA Cup before going out to Peterborough in front of 31,160 at Stoke’s Victoria Ground. The Third Round tie v Rotherham had attracted a record Marston Road gate of 8,536.
The Centenary was celebrated the following season, but it was a year of near misses as Rangers came runners up in the NPL, the FA Trophy and the Staffs Senior Cup. The club also experienced European football, playing against Monza and Udinese in the Anglo-Italian Tournament.
In 1979, Rangers won the FA Trophy for the second time beating Kettering 2-0, the match setting a record gate for the final (32,000).
In 1993 Rangers were relegated from the newly formed Alliance Premier League. In 1985 Manager Ron Reid led the club to a record 20 games unbeaten and the NPL title in 1985 and followed this with the Bob Lord Trophy the following season.
Rangers achieved their best ever Conference finish (sixth) in 1988 but life was largely a fight against relegation, despite future internationals Stan Collymore (England) and Paul Devlin (Scotland) making their names at Rangers.
Dennis Booth matched the sixth place finish in 1993 and also took the club to the Second Round of the FA Cup with victory over Lincoln City before he left for Bristol Rovers.
Successive relegations followed as Rangers once more struggled.
Rangers bounced back in 1999/2000 as Ian Painter led the club to the Dr Marten’s League Western Division title, with a new club record of 23 unbeaten matches.
In 2002/03 Phil Robinson replaced Painter as manager and the club finished Southern Premier runners-up in his first year as well as winning the Staffs Senior Cup. The club also reached the First Round of the FA Cup for the first time in a decade.
The following season, Rangers finished third and qualified for the newly formed Conference North.
Rangers topped the table for much of the 2005/06 season, eventually finished runners-up and won promotion back to the Conference after a Play-off victory over Droylsden.
Rangers’ stay In the Conference Premier lasted just two seasons before they were relegated back to Conference North, but the financial cost of those two years lingered and once more the future of the club was in doubt.
The appointment of big name managers such as Steve Bull, Tim Flowers and Matt Elliott failed to improve fortunes and Rangers dropped to the NPL for 2011/12.
Two disappointing years followed
Two more disappointing years followed with a succession of managers failing to turn things round.
Neil Kitching took the managerial reins for the start of the 2014/15 season following his move from Rushall Olympic and major changes were also made at Boardroom level.
However the season started badly with the untimely death of Secretary and Director Mike Hughes who had guided the club through difficult times.
Rangers narrowly missed out on the Play-offs but did win the Staffordshire Senior Cup against Leek Town at Vale Park.
The club was now moving forward with new Chairman John Bromley leading the way as he set about renovating the Social Club, a valuable source of revenue for the club.
In 2015/16, Boro’ won the Evo-Stik First Division South title. Gates were again up, and the club had turned the corner both on and off the field of play.
The 2016/17season saw Rangers consolidate their position in the Evo-Stik Norther Premier League with a creditable thirteenth position.
The season was marred by passing of the club’s patron Roly Tonge, who for many years had been instrumental in keeping the club afloat. This followed the demise of President Leon Douglas and Director Cliff Went during the previous 18 months. They had for many years been the backbone of the club.
2017/18 saw Rangers finish in twelfth position and Staffs Senior Cup winners against local rivals Hednesford Town. Off the field the excellent work continued both in the Social Club and in the stadium.
The start of the 2018/19 brought a change in Manager as long time Rangers favourite Steve Burr moved into the hot seat. The FA’s re-structuring of the non-league pyramid forced many changes in the playing squad. Rangers struggled however in the lower end of the table and at the start of 2019, Burr resigned and was replaced by his two assistants Alex Meechan and Andy Fearn as joint managers. The pair worked wonders taking the team away from the relegation positions.
In October 2018 Rangers were saddened by the passing of their President and former Chairman Jon Downing. Jon had suffered for two years from motor neurone disease. Jon had been an inspirational figure at the club for many years.
On 14 December 2018, a fan based project to build a stand at the Town End of the stadium came to fruition. The Shed End opening was celebrated with a 4-1 win over Hednesford Town.
Meechan and Fearn were retained as joint Managers in 2019/20 season and built what was on paper a strong squad. However as the season progressed an unprecedented succession of injuries hampered Rangers progress. In March 2020 football was halted by the Corona Virus Pandemic with Rangers at the foot of the table. However, the Northern Premier League, with The FA made the decision to make the league null and void with no promotions or relegation. A decision which certainly came to Rangers rescue. The Board also decided on a change of management.
Despite the uncertainty of when the club would return to action, the Board appointed Jody Banim to take charge for the 2020/21 season. Andy Fearn joined the Board of Directors in a new role as Director of Football.