Founded in 1976 following the demise of the town's former club, they joined the United Counties League in 1980 and enjoyed instant success; winning the United Counties League Division One and the United Counties League Cup in the club's first year of formation. Following three promotions in four seasons in the early 1990s, the club were promoted to the Conference National in 1994. Despite winning the league in the 1995–96 season, the club were denied promotion to the Football League due to insufficient ground facilities. Stevenage were finally promoted to the Football League after winning the Conference National in the 2009–10 season. On securing Football League status, the club dropped the word 'Borough' from its title. Stevenage earned back-to-back promotions when they beat Torquay United 1–0 at Old Trafford in the 2010–11 play-off final.
The club has also enjoyed success in national cup competitions in recent years, becoming the first team to win a competitive final at the new Wembley Stadium in 2007, beating Kidderminster Harriers 3–2 to lift the FA Trophy in front of a competition record crowd of 53,262. The club won the competition again in 2009, beating York City 2–0 in the final.