- Burscough F.C.
Football club infobox
clubname = Burscough
fullname = Burscough Football Club
nickname = The Linnets
founded = 1946
ground = Victoria Park
capacity = 2,500
chairman = Chris Lloyd
season = 2007-08
Conference North, 8th
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Burscough F.C. is a football team from
Burscough, Lancashireformed in 1946 and currently playing in the Conference North. They play at Victoria Park which has a capacity of around 2,500. Their nickname is the Linnets.
They won the
FA Trophyin 2003, beating Tamworth 2-1 in the final at Villa Park.
The first Burscough Association Football Club was formed in 1880, playing in Liverpool & District League football before folding in 1900.
In 1905 Burscough Rangers were founded and moved to the present Mart Lane ground in 1908. They established many of the traditions carried on by the current club, playing in green and known as the Linnets. In the 1920s they had tremendous success winning the Liverpool County Combination Championship three times. In 1926 Rangers purchased a grandstand from Everton and erected it on Victoria Park. The following year they joined the
Lancashire Combinationbut never experienced the same level of success and began to run into financial difficulties, finally folding in 1935.
Second World Warthe present Burscough club was founded in 1946, starting life in the Liverpool County Combination and by the end of the decade had made a major impact in the non-league soccer world. In only their second season, 1947/48, they achieved a unique treble, winning the Lancashire Junior Cup, George Mahon Cup and the Liverpool Challenge Cup. Two years later they again claimed the Junior Cup and also won the County Combination title for the first time. In 1952 they won the Liverpool Challenge Cup for a second time.
In 1953/54 they joined the Lancashire Combination winning the Second Division Championship in their first season and scoring 155 goals in the process. 1955/56 saw probably the club's greatest ever achievement as they won the First Division Championship of a league containing giants of the non-league world such as
Wigan Athletic. Another milestone was reached in 1959 when they reached the First Round Proper of the F.A. Cupfor the first time before going down 3-1 to Crewe Alexandrain front of a 4,200 gate at Victoria Park.
Another trophy winning spell commenced in 1966/67 season under manager
Bobby Langton, the former England winger, as the club completed a hat trick of Junior Cup successes against South Liverpool at Wigan. The Lancashire Combination First Division title was regained in 1969/70 season.
In 1970/71 Burscough joined the
Cheshire County League, finishing runners-up to Rossendale United. The following season they won the Liverpool Non-League Senior Cup and in 1974/75 the Cheshire League Cup was lifted. The 'Linnets' also reached the F.A. Cup First Round Proper on three other occasions. In 1977, a 1-0 defeat at Blyth Spartans, in 1979, a 3-0 defeat at Sheffield Unitedin front of 14,000 spectators and in 1980, a 2-1 defeat against Altrincham.
In 1982 the Club became founder members of the
North West Counties Football League, and had the distinction of becoming the League's first ever Champions under Bryan Griffiths. A new grandstand seating 250 was built in 1986 to replace the old wooden stand which had stood for 60 years and no longer met ground safety regulations. In 1989/90 season Burscough suffered the embarrassment of relegation.
The appointment of Russ Perkins as manager in 1991 was to bring about a change in the club's fortunes as Burscough reached the League Cup Final and gained promotion back to Division One. In 1992/93 Burscough lost 2-1 to Conference bound Southport in the Liverpool Senior Cup Final at
Goodison Parkbefore 2,000 spectators. Success was achieved by winning the League Challenge Cup with a 2-1 victory over Nantwich Town. 1993/94 was one of the most eventful seasons in Burscough's history as three players, Gary Martindale, Kevin Formby and Alex Russell, joined Football League clubs for substantial fees. Further covered standing accommodation for 500 spectators was erected at Victoria Park during the close season.
In May 1995, Burscough appointed John Davison as Manager, with Peter King as his assistant. John played with Altrincham for 14 years, including F.A. Cup ties at Everton, Liverpool and Spurs. During his playing career he represented the England Semi-professional side a record 24 times. In his first season Burscough went on to win the League Challenge Cup for the second time, beating League Champions Flixton 1-0 at Bury. Flixton were again beaten as Burscough also won the annual Champions v Cup Winners Challenge Trophy.
In 1996/97 season the club celebrated its Golden Jubilee with a dinner attended by nearly 200 former players and officials and also published a 320 page club history titled 'Green Village Heroes.' Chairman Frank Parr completed an amazing 50 years with the Club and was presented with The
Football Association50 Year Long Service Award.
The following season, after finishing runners-up in the North West Counties League, the club made history by being promoted to the
Unibond League. They also won the League Floodlit Trophy and reached the final of the Liverpool Senior Cup against Liverpool.
The Linnets achieved a creditable seventh position in their first UniBond League season, also reaching the last qualifying round of the F.A. Cup and the final of the Liverpool Senior Cup for the third time in six seasons. In July 1999 nineteen year old striker Michael Yates signed for Scottish Premier League side Dundee for a five-figure transfer fee which was a club record at the time.
1999-2000 saw The Linnets gain an incredible promotion to the UniBond League Premier Division after losing only two games all season and remaining unbeaten away from home, finally finishing in runners-up spot. In their first season in the Premier Division Burscough finished in 15th position, had good runs in the F.A. Cup and
F.A. Trophythen in July 2001 won the Liverpool Senior Cup for the first-ever time with a 1-0 victory over Conference neighbours Southport.
During this period the club had a youth development programme second to none in the non-league game and one graduate, 19 year old
Lee McEvilly, signed for Rochdale in December 2001 for a club record £20,000 fee. Within 116 days of signing McEvilly had won full international honours for Northern Ireland against Spain.
Following the resignation of John Davison the club appointed
Shaun Tealeas player/manager in May 2002 and the ex-Aston Villa defender went on to sensationally lead the club to its greatest ever achievement as Burscough became the smallest club to ever win the FA Trophy following a tremendous 2-1 victory over Tamworth at Villa Park on Sunday 18th May 2003. Played in front of a crowd of 14,296 spectators and televised live on Sky it was the Linnet's twelfth game in an unforgettable cup run that had included one incredible result as the 400-1 outsiders shocked the non-league world by beating runaway Conference winners Yeovil Town 2-0 at Huish Parkin the quarter-finals.
There were incredible scenes as almost 2,000 fans welcomed the team home to Victoria Park that evening but celebrations were dampened less than six weeks later as the club found it necessary to relinquish Teale of his managerial duties. Former Liverpool, Galatasary and
West Ham Unitedmidfielder Mike Marsh was appointed manager but after a poor start to the season Marsh resigned and ex-Southport defender Derek Goulding took over in October 2003.
An incredible end to 2003/04 season saw Burscough finish with a remarkable run of victories that saw them claw their way out of the bottom three into the play-offs for Conference North. Despite playing all their games away from home the Linnets went on to reach the play-off final where they only went down at
Bradford Park Avenuefollowing extra-time. During the summer Frank Parr stepped down after 30 years as chairman with local businessman Chris Lloyd taking over at the helm.
The 2004/05 season ended in controversy as the Linnets were denied a play-off place following a widely ridiculed decision to award three points to other teams for unplayed games against
Spennymoor Unitedwho could not complete their fixtures.
Season 2005/06 was another historic one for Burscough F.C. as they went on to reach the Second Round proper of the F.A. Cup for the first time in their history. In reaching that milestone they defeated League One side Gillingham, 3-2,on a never to be forgotten day at Victoria Park. Further excitement was to follow as a postponed 2nd round tie at
Burton Albionallowed Burscough to appear in the Third round draw. That draw, should they have overcome Burton Albion, would have given the Linnets a home tie against the mighty Manchester United. Sadly that further dream never materialised as Burton Albion overcame the Linnets in the re arranged tie.
Having started the season impressively with Burscough being amongst the favourites for promotion the season unfortunately never quite reached the heights of the F.A. Cup run and long term injuries to key players meant the team finished 7th.
Derek Goulding's tenure as manager ended in June 2006 when he was replaced by former Southport manager, Liam Watson. The 2006/07 season was Burscough F.C's Diamond Jubilee and one of the ways the club marked the event was by playing in a predominantly White kit with a specially designed badge.
At the end of the 2006/07 season Burscough F.C. enjoyed one of their most successful in history when the Linnets won the Unibond Northern Premier Division and the Lancashie CO-OP Trophy, formerly the Lancashire Junior Cup, for the first time in 40 years when neighbours Marine were defeated. The league success was only confirmed after a thriling climax to the season. On the last day of the season the Linnets won at
A.F.C. Telford Unitedin front of nearly 6,000 fans. The victory meant they overhauled the New Bucks Headside at the top of the table and won the title on goal difference by just 1 goal from Witton Albion. Further and final success came when Unibond First Division champions Buxton were defeated 3-1 in the Peter Swailes Memorial Shield. This rounded the season off and confirmed Burscough as Treble Winners.
The club are currently in the middle of a redevelopment plan which would see them move a short distance to a new ground with the development of a sports complex to take some of the strain from the ad-hoc sporting fields and the council-owned sports centre next door. [ [http://www.burscoughfc.co.uk/sections.php?id=39 Burscough FC: New ground plans] ]
During the 2006-07 season, despite having a controversial point deducted, the club won the Unibond League title, it was one of the most closely fought championships in the league's history; at the end of the season Burscough finished level on points with Witton Albion but won, due to having a goal difference of 43, one more than Witton's 42. A single goal would have swayed the championship the other way due to Burscough's inferior goals for record that season.
easons 2007-08 and -09
From the 2007-08 season the club will be competing in the
Conference North. In 2007-08 the Linnets finished mid-table, having found the transition to the higher league tricky. They were defeated at the qualifying stages of the FA Cup by Bamber Bridge.
*Northern Premier League
**Premier Division Champions 2006-07
**Champions 1955-56, 1969-70
**Second Division Champions 1953-54
*North West Counties League
*Liverpool Challenge Cup
** Treble Winners 2006-07Including Northern Premier League"'
* [http://www.Burscoughfc.co.uk Official site]
* [http://www.fchd.btinternet.co.uk/BURSCOUG.HTM Burscough on the Football Club History Database]
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