Heaton Norris Rovers FC was created in McLaughlin’s Café on Wellington Road South in 1883 by several young men of the Wycliffe Congregational Chapel. The Rovers played at a very minor level at the Heaton Norris Recreation Ground and before the end of their first sesaon they moved to the Heaton Norris Wanderers Cricket Ground. The football and cricket formed a close bond and they eventually combined. During the summer of 1885 another association club was formed, Heaton Norris FC. This club only survived for one year until they threw their lot in with the Rovers. But now let’s move on to Chorlton’s Farm just as the Rovers did in 1885. Once again their stay at a new venue only lasted for one year and Chorlton’s Farm was vacated in favour of the Ash Inn Ground for another temporary stay of just one season. Their next home, Wilkes Field, presumably suited the club, for they stayed their for a whole two seasons! Meanwhile, the Rovers became known as plain Heaton Norris FC.
During the summer of 1889 Heaton Norris were ready to switch to a more permanent ground, called the Nursery Inn, and the players themselves transformed this open field off Green Lane into a compact arena. After Stockport became a County Borough in 1889 Heaton Norris changed their name to Stockport County during the 1890/91 season, while still residing at the Nursery Inn. The club’s nomadic existence was brought to an end in 1902, when County moved in with the local rugby club at Edgeley Park, and there Stockport County have stayed ever since. Not of course without note when in the early Seventies the club attempted to charge admission of 10/- (50p), double what was the norm at neighbouring top Division teams.
By the Thirties County were sporting plain blue shirts but in the Fifties the Hatters changed their outlook completely to white shirts with black shorts, a kit worn for nearly a decade. Worthy of comment perhaps is that the other “Hatters” in the Football League, Luton, wore the same kit at that time.
In the late Sixties County changed back to a more interesting design of white shirts with a blue band, with blue shorts. Orange tops to the white socks provided a unique touch of individuality.
The club have since sported a variety of blue and white kits, and following the success of Argentina in the 1978 World Cup County adopted sky-blue and white striped shirts up until the Falklands war caused them to rethink, and even ask the Football League if they could change their registered colours part way through the season. The League, not surprisingly when faced with a request out of the ordinary, refused, but County since have worn variations of the all-blue shirt theme, including one regrettable episode of blue shirts flecked with white and red, reminiscent of an unhappy encounter with a rather ill seagull.
The first badge, used in the 1920’s, disappearing from the scene only to return in the 1950s and 1960s, was in fact based on the Borough of Stockport’s arms and features a blue shield and a golden border, the shield containing three gold lozenges (diamonds) and nine designs called in heraldic circles cross-crosslets which belonged to the De Stokeport family. The three double-headed eagles on the border refer to the old local family D’Eton and the wheatsheaves stand for the Earldom of Chester. Above the arms is a golden crown formed like a wall, on which is a green mound supporting the medieval castle which has long since disappeared.
At the turn of the Eighties this whole affair was reduced to one cross-crosslet only, encircled by the club’s name and used for almost two decades. Then, at the turn of the Nineties, came a football, replacing the cross-crosslet, but still encircled. Eventually this design was replaced in 1991 in favour of the present arms, the football being incorporated in the shield, now supported by two lions rampant, who were granted in 1960.