FC Lakeside was founded in 1975 by 2 or 3 keen dads from Up Hatherley. Their sons were keen footballers and were desperate for their dads to start some football training sessions for them.
The idea spread and before they knew it more and more young children aged 8 and 9 joined in the training sessions. The sessions grew which meant better training facilities were required. They gained permission from Lakeside junior school on Hatherley road to use the school field free of charge for their football coaching. This proved a great success and weekly sessions were held. Eventually the youngsters persuaded their dads to enter a team into, what was then, the Cheltenham junior league.
Why was the club named FC Lakeside? One evening after watching FC Bruge in the European cup, the dads decided the idea of having FC in front of Lakeside gave the team a degree of uniqueness and the name was born.
FC Lakeside continued to add further teams and soon competed in the Cheltenham minor football league. This league catered for the over 12 age groups. Nowadays the Cheltenham Youth football league covers both the junior and minor leagues.
FC Lakeside soon grew to become one of the strongest local clubs and has amassed a number of accolades, winning league titles, domestic and county cups. However arguably their finest achievement has been that the club, over the years, has provided hundreds of children with the opportunity to further their passion for football in a fun and structured environment.
Once a predominately Hatherley based organisation, FC Lakeside has grown in size and now caters for young players from all over Cheltenham. Club Chairman Rob Griffiths commented “it is fantastic that we can keep such a long established football club like ours running. We believe the club to be as big now as we have ever been. FC Lakeside in recent years have formed a club academy which means that little brothers and sisters from as young as 4 and 5 can enjoy fun coaching and benefit from FC Lakeside’s knowledge in looking after and coaching young talents.”
FC Lakeside enter teams into the Cheltenham youth league at under 9 level, competing right through to the under 16’s. Currently we have 17 teams playing in the Cheltenham youth league.
FC Lakeside, in recent years has also moved teams through to the North Bristol league at U17 and U18
level, thus giving our youngsters a chance to carry on playing and enjoying football, before moving onto men’s football.
In recent years FC Lakeside have put together a men’s team who play in the Cheltenham Saturday men’s football league. Currently gaining promotion each year, we are swiftly solidifying our reputation as being one of the top local teams. This undoubtedly also gives our young talent something to aim for later on in their football careers.
As a club we are very proud of our European connections. For the past 30 years FC Lakeside have built a strong friendship with Dutch football club VV Oude Maas. This wonderful club from Holland are based in a small village called Poortugaal very near to Rotterdam and the River Maas. Many of the clubs players, over the years have had the opportunity from the age of 12 through to 16 to play in Holland where the football facilities are second to none. VV Oude Maas also visit FC Lakeside and Cheltenham and play in tournaments organised by our dedicated coaches.
During the 1986 visit, VV Oude Maas were treated to a visit to the Mayor’s parlour in the Municipal offices and given a formal welcome to the town by the Mayor himself. FC Lakeside are hoping that one day they can have their own facilities and clubhouse that meet the high standards set by our Dutch friends VV Oude Maas.
Finally, the club is continuing to move forward and is developing at a steady and productive level thanks to the dedication and support of the fathers who put a lot of personal time and effort into making this club into what it is today.