Loughborough Dynamo FC is a member of the Northern Premier League, playing in Division One South/East. The club plays at the ADT Stadium in Watermead Lane, Loughborough, Leicestershire.
Dynamo was formed in 1955 by pupils of Loughborough Grammar School. A few years after World War II the school switched from football to rugby. Several pupils wanted to play organised football, so the club was formed in what might say was a secretive manner, including unauthorised meetings in the school library!
The club’s name comes from FC Dynamo Moscow, which had played in the United Kingdom in friendly matches on tours in both 1945 and 1955. The club colours of gold and black come from Wolverhampton Wanderers, who played against Dynamo Moscow at Molineux on 09 November 1955.
After two seasons of leading a nomadic existence playing away friendly matches, the club ventured into league football in 1957 and found its first home, the old Shelthorpe playing fields in Loughborough (now an 18-hole par 3 golf course). The league was the Loughborough Alliance League. Dynamo entered in Division 3 and quickly rose through the divisions, eventually winning the League. However, Dynamo was prevented from moving into the Leicestershire Senior League due to lack of facilities.
The club switched to the Leicester and District League in 1966, by which time Dynamo had moved across Loughborough to Bottleacre and the old ground of Morris Sports. Dynamo played in this league for five years, moving into the East Midlands League in 1971. However, Dynamo underperformed at this level and saw relegation to the Central Alliance League and almost immediately back to the Leicester and District League.
During this period Dynamo experienced two further moves of ground, enforced by Morris Sports sale of the Bottleacre ground for use as industrial premises. First was back to Shelthorpe, this time to Shelthorpe Primary School, then on to the club’s current home of the Nanpantan Sports Ground (NSG), renamed The ADT Stadium in the Summer of 2018, ADT Taxis being the club’s new ground sponsor. On the Charnwood Forest side of the town and on the edge of Loughborough, the ground had recently been bought by Charnwood District Council from the Brush manufacturing company of Loughborough. The Council own it to this day.
It was at its current home that the club was playing in the Leicestershire Senior League Division 1, but the facilities were not good enough to enable promotion the Premier Division. The specific requirement was floodlights. It was then that discussions took place between the club and Loughborough University, the education facility was looking to integrate into the local community, and the offer was to develop, with Dynamo, the facilities at the NSG. Also, James Ellis came on board as manager. All this occurred in the early 2000s and enabled the club to gain promotion to the Premier Division and start its development to where it is today.
The period of James Ellis’s management saw the club stabilise in the Premier Division and then go on a period of success in Leicestershire football circles. The club won the Premier League title, won the Leicestershire Senior Cup and retained it the following season, and also won the League Cup and President’s Cup. Promotion was then achieved to the Midland Football Alliance (MFA). This promotion was also thanks to the massive effort from volunteers to enable the NSG to be ready to stage football at MFA level.
Dynamo stabilised in the MFA, and then came the memorable season of 2007/08 when under the management of Adam Beazeley, assisted by John Folwell and Simon Tebbutt (James Ellis having moved on), the club achieved promotion to the Northern Premier League Division One South.
2010 saw Dynamo lift the Westerby Challenge Cup, the main knockout cup for Leicestershire sides, at the Walkers Stadium, the home of Leicester City. The club had a joint managerial team at this point of Ian Blyth and Scott Clamp, Barwell being the defeated opponents.
Two years later, with the Walkers Stadium now renamed the King Power Stadium and with Scott Clamp as sole manager, Dynamo won the trophy for a second time, defeating Hinckley United from two leagues higher in the non-league pyramid.
Tom Brookbanks became Manager in May 2013, and by the start of the 2014/15 season had built an entertaining side, and in September of that season Dynamo topped the division, the highest position in the club’s history. But off fields matters came to a head the following month and the management team and squad was suddenly ripped apart, and the club slid down the table.
The following two seasons were not easy on the pitch, finishing twentieth in both the 2015/16 and 2016/17 campaigns, one place above the relegation positions. In the latter season the experienced Peter Ward took over as Dynamo’s Manager just after Christmas 2016 and steered the club to its own ‘Great Escape’, winning the last four matches of the season (the first three of those matches being away, two to the other clubs involved in the relegation battle) to finish four points clear of the relegation places.
Under Peter’s Management Dynamo finished the 2017/18 season fifteen points and six places better than a year previously, as well as reaching the Leicestershire Challenge Cup, going down 7-6 on penalties to Premier Division Coalville Town, after the game finished 2-2. Peter felt this was the best time to move on with Peter’s Assistant, former Dynamo player Lee Attenborough, stepping up into the Manager’s post. Lee has previous managerial experience at Leicestershire Senior League Sileby Town and East Midlands Counties League side Ashby Ivanhoe.
Lee’s first season in charge had its ups and downs but a strong finish, in which Dynamo won all of their final six games resulted in Dynamo finishing eighth in the league, only six points off a Play-off place. Last season, although cut short and declared null and void due to COVID 19 resulted in the team getting a solid, mid table finish, ending the with a seven game unbeaten run.
Lee will be looking to improve on the previous two seasons and has targeted at least a Play-off spot.