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Needless to say, Boro’s journey through the 2019/20 campaign has been full of ups and downs and after six years in the English fourth tier, relegation is just around the corner for Stevenage FC. But it also goes without saying that in this day and age, it’s quite difficult to compete if you don’t have the right financial backing. And Stevenage are not among the wealthiest of teams, which will become much clearer once we take a look at their record transfers.
For instance, in 2007/08 they brought in Scott Laird from Plymouth Argyle for a club-record sum of £99,000. And yes, you can immediately see that this fee is far from being a historic one and we’re hardly talking about superstar arrivals here.
Still, some years after that, they also penned a contract with Craig Reid who arrived from Newport County and they paid £95,000 to land the then 25-year-old centre-forward. He is, interestingly, still the club’s second-most expensive signing to this day.
Darius Charles also arrived that same season for £90,000 from Ebbsfleet United and is now their third-most expensive signing ever. However, most of their arrivals since then have actually been free agents and that’s another indication of a clear transfer policy as well as how deep their pockets are. Or aren’t, depending on how you look at it.
Still, Stevenage have been able to sell some players for decent money over the years. Ben Wilmot, for example, left and joined Watford in 2018/19 for £1.5m, making the club quite a profit with a deal that is yet to be eclipsed by anyone.
Lawrie Wilson and Michael Bostwick slot right into second and third spot respectively, the former leaving for £567,000 and the latter for £455,000, both in 2012/13.
No one could really predict that Chris Day, the goalkeeper who was bought in 2008, would end up turning into such an icon of the club, guarding the net for a decade and staking his claim among the supporters. His arrival ended up becoming an incredibly huge piece of business for Stevenage and needless to say, remains popular to this day.
We could also say pretty much the same thing for Ronnie Henry, a former Spurs academy graduate, who joined the team in 2005 and would go on to record over 500 appearances for Boro. And then we have players such as Chris Beardsley or Michael Bostwick, both rising in both influence and popularity over the years.
And, of course, we simply can’t forget John Mousinho and his moment in the sun at Old Trafford in 2011. It goes without saying that despite their rather scarce history of superstar signings, there are still some big arrivals and departures on their books that ended up marking the club forever.