Solent Stars

The Solent Stars were a basketball club from Southampton, who were one of the founder members of the British Basketball League, where they competed from 1987 to 1990. For the rest of their existence, the club competed in the English Basketball League and its forerunner the National Basketball League, and the club were members of Division 1 at the time of the club's demise.[1]

Solent Stars
LeagueEBL Division 1
(At time of closing)
ArenaFleming Park Leisure Centre
Team coloursBlue, White, Yellow
Head coachKerry Kirby
Mick Byrne
(Assistant Coach)
Ownership Bob Paulley

Club history

The Stars first joined the National League in 1980, having been formed the year before by a merger of the Portsmouth Pirates and Southampton Sharks from the Southern League. Success initially came easily to the fledgling club, winning the Division Two title and the National Trophy in their first season, and claiming immediate promotion to Division One. A first Division One title followed in the 1983/1984 season, and at the end of the 1986/1987 season the club were among those who broke away from the National Basketball League to form the British Basketball League.[2]

After three years of solid if unspectacular mid-table finishes, the club struggled to find the financial backing to continue in the professional league, and after a lengthy search for more sponsors the club were forced to drop out of the top flight and return to the bottom of the English basketball structure, entering a team in Division Three (South) to keep the Stars' name alive. Despite the setback, the club were able to claim two subsequent promotions, as they took the Division Three and Division Two titles back-to-back to return to the top flight of the English game in the quickest time possible, only one step away from a return to the British league.[3]

The club finished bottom of Division One in 1996/1997 with a 0-26 record, and was relegated back to Division Two, but this only served as a springboard for further success, as they won Division Two at the first attempt and then followed this up with the Division One title in 1998/1999. For the next several years, the club continued to compete in Division One, continuing through the league's reformatting into the English Basketball League. However, on 31 August 2007, the club announced that they would no longer be fielding a senior men's team in the National League due to a dispute with their home venue, Fleming Park Leisure Centre in Eastleigh. Although owner Bob Paulley was keen to stress this was not the end for the club, they never returned to active competition.[4]

Season-by-Season Records

Season[5] Division Played Won Lost Points League Playoffs National Cup National Trophy
Solent Stars
1980-81NBL Division 216151301stN/AQuarter-finalWinners
1981-82NBL Division 122193382ndWinners
1982-83NBL Division 124168325thWinners
1983-84NBL Division 136324641stWinnersWinners
1984-85NBL Division 126179344th
1985-86NBL Division 12812162410th
1986-87NBL Division 1247171411th
1990-91NBL Division 4 (South)12111221st
1991-92NBL Division 322202401st
1992-93NBL Division 2225171010th
1993-94NBL Division 118711148th
1994-95NBL Division 1227151410th
1995-96NBL Division 12231961st
1996-97NBL Division 1260262614th
1997-98NBL Division 224231461stWinners
1998-99NBL Division 126215421st
1999-2000NBL Division 124186363rd
2000-01NBL Conference21516107th
2001-02NBL Conference18117223rd
2002-03NBL Conference22715149th
2003-04EBL Division 122418810th
2004-05EBL Division 1225171010th
2005-06EBL Division 126422812th
2006-07EBL Division 122715148th


  • In 1996-1997 teams were awarded one point for a defeat.
  • From 2000-2003 the NBL Conference operated as the second tier league, ahead of Division One.
  • In 2003 the NBL was replaced by the EBL, which reinstated Division One as the second tier.


  1. "Solent Stars Club Information". Archived from the original on 26 April 2005.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  2. "Solent Stars 1980/1981 Season".
  3. "Solent Stars - League Tables".
  4. "The End of an Era". Solent Stars Club Statement. Archived from the original on 25 February 2008.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  5. "Solent Stars - League Tables".
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