How Soccer Ended Up At Packham Road
From the 1950s to the mid-1990s the premier soccer field in Stratford was located at FAG Bearings, now Schaeffler Canada, on Ontario Street. Originally it was one full sized field for the Stratford City Team andlater in the 70’s used by the Men’s Industrial League. Over time several additional smaller fields were added to accommodate youth players of various ages.
In the early 1990s an adult re-training program was approached to see if they wanted a project that being the construction of a 50′ x 24′ structure to house change rooms, equipment storage and washrooms at FAG bearings. In order to finance the project, Stratford Youth Soccer (SYS) requested assistance from the City of Stratford in the amount of $30,000, to be paid back interest free over 10 years. This was paid back in full as per the agreement.
In the mid-1990s the property was sold to Zehrs and the users of the field were notified that they had to move. SYS received cheques from Zehrs and FAG bearings in the amount of $50,000 each which would be used to relocate to other areas and to move the newly constructed building.
Through a contact at the Standard Products plant located on Erie Street at Packham Road, soccer was offered the use of 11 acres of land surrounding the Standard Products plant. Previously, this land had been rented out to a local farmer for growing crops.