On the face of it 'The Steelmen' may seem a rather obvious nickname for a football team, not to mention a town, which owed it's very existence to the steel industry. But it took Corby's senior club over ten years to reach that obvious conclusion.
Back in 1935 the town's newspaper correspondent 'Bessemer' had suggested that the newly formed Stewarts and Lloyds (Corby) Football Club should adopt 'The Steelbacks' nickname also carried by the 2 nd Battalion Northamptonshire regiment. The name stuck and may still have been used today by Corby Town, but for two events in 1946.
On the opening day of the 1946-47 season the Saturday night 'Pick-Un' launched a competition to find a suitable caricature to represent Stewarts and Lloyds in it's pages alongside Kettering's 'Friar', Wellingborough's 'Doughboy', Rushden's 'Russian' etc.
A prize of £5/5s was offered to budding artists and among over 400 entries received were 194 knights in shining armour, 120 Walt Disney Plutos (Corby's part in the manufacture of steel for the famous wartime 'Pipeline under The Ocean' was still fresh in people's minds) 58 double jointed steel figures knitted out in football shorts, claymores, Tom O'Shanters and kilts and various animated gasometers, ladles, Bessemer converters and furnaces. One reader even sen in a drawing of a potato lumbering down the wing with the caption 'The Tubers'.
Somewhere amongst all that lot arrived the winning entry of the now familiar sheet steel man submitted by 26-year-old Thomas Chapman of Broughton who was studying at Leicester's College of Art and Technology.
The result was announced in 'The Evening Telegraph' on Monday, September 26 and Mr. Chapman received his reward from club captain Jim Gilchrist before the following Saturday's 3-1 home defeat to Spalding United.
Around the same time letters also appeared in the press stating that it was wrong that the brave men of the 'Steelbacks' regiment should have to share their nickname with something as trivial as a football team. It was decided that the club should adopt a different tag, and baring in mind the club's new emblem , 'The Steelbacks' became 'The Steelmen' shortly afterwards. But what if that entry hadn't been sent in? Would our emblem be a spud and our nickname 'The Tubers'? Thank You Thomas Chapman.
The current club badge was designed in 2008 to celebrate the club's 60 year anniversairy and features the famous Steelman statue from Corby Town centre.