Fleetwood Town F.C.

Fleetwood Town F.C.

Football club infobox
clubname = Fleetwood Town

fullname = Fleetwood Town Football Club
nickname = The Fishermen, The Fleet, Cod Army
founded = 1908 as Fleetwood (Reformed in 1997)
ground = Highbury Stadium, Fleetwood
capacity = 3,450
chairman = Andy Pilley
vice chairman = Phil Brown
manager = Micky Mellon
league = Conference North
season = 2007–08
position = Northern Premier League
Premier Division, 1st (promoted)

Fleetwood Town F.C. is an English football club based in Fleetwood, Lancashire. On 26 April 2008, the team won promotion to the Conference North, the sixth tier of the English league system, by winning the Northern Premier League Premier Division Championship. This was the team's third promotion in four seasons.


The current club was officially established in 1997 but, in two previous incarnations, the club's history dates back to 1908. The original club, Fleetwood F.C., were champions of the Lancashire Combination in 1923-24, and registered a hat-trick of Lancashire Combination Cup wins in 1932, 1933, and 1934. Their goalkeeper in the first of those victories was the legendary Frank Swift, then only eighteen years old. After almost sixty years as a Lancashire Combination club, they were made founder members of the Northern Premier League in 1968, finishing in 10th place in their first season, and won the Northern Premier League Cup in 1971. However, the club finished bottom of the table for two successive seasons and folded in 1976 because of financial difficulties.

The club was re-established in 1977 as "Fleetwood Town F.C.", with many of the original personnel. Initially placed in Division One of the Cheshire League, they were moved in 1982 to the North West Counties League Division Two in its inaugural year, and promoted to Division One in 1984. They reached the final of the FA Vase in 1985, losing 3-1 to Halesowen Town in front of a 16,000 crowd at Wembley. The club was placed in Division One (second tier) of the Northern Premier league when the league established a second tier in 1987, becoming the inaugural Division One Champions in 1988. However, by 1996, this second club had also folded.

Re-formed in 1997 as "Fleetwood Wanderers", the club was placed back in Division Two of the North West Counties Football League (now the tenth tier of the English League system) and a sponsorship deal saw the club's name immediately changed to "Fleetwood Freeport F.C." The club was promoted to Division One in 1999 and renamed "Fleetwood Town F.C." in 2002. Tony Greenwood was appointed manager in 2003, and soon afterward, Andy Pilley took over as chairman. Successive promotions as North West Counties Football League champions in 2005 and Northern Premier League First Division runners-up in 2006 saw the club reach the Northern Premier League Premier Division.

In the 2006–07 season Fleetwood Town won the UniBond League Challenge Cup beating Matlock Town 1-0 at Witton Albion's ground on 16 April 2007. They missed out on reaching the play-offs for the Northern Premier League Premier Division by five points, after being two points behind the play-offs with two games left to play only to lose the last two games of the season. They finished the season in 8th place with 67 points.

In 2007–08, the club continued its successful run, and from November to April lay second in the division, trailing only long-time leaders Witton Albion. Two goals in the last three minutes to defeat Ossett Town on 1 March began a series of two draws and eleven victories (including a 3-0 win at Witton) leaving Fleetwood one point ahead of Witton going into the last game of the season. A Northern Premier League Premier Division season record crowdcite web
title = Unibond League Premier Division Maximum Attendances - Home Matches
publisher = footballwebpages.co.uk
date = 2008-04-26
url = http://www.footballwebpages.co.uk/attendances.jsp?comp=14&show=2
accessdate = 2008-07-06
] of 2,666 saw Fleetwood struggle to a 1-1 draw with Frickley Athletic but Witton were defeated at home, thus securing the Championship for Fleetwood. The club gained automatic promotion to the Conference North and the highest position in the club's history since the 1997 re-establishment. The original Fleetwood F.C. had finished 10th in the Northern Premier league in 1968-69, when the NPL was one of several leagues immediately below Division Four of the Football League, and therefore effectively the fifth tier. And in 1990-91 the second incarnation of the club finished 4th in the NPL Premier Division, then effectively the sixth tier.cite web
title = England - Northern Premier League
publisher = Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation
date = 2006-04-02
url = http://www.rsssf.com/tablese/engnorthpremchamp.html
accessdate = 2008-05-23

Fleetwood were by some way the best-supported club in the Premier Division, their average home gate of 721 being 50% higher than that of the next club, Witton Albion.cite web
title = Unibond League Premier Division Average Attendances - Home Matches
publisher = footballwebpages.co.uk
date = 2008-04-26
url = http://www.footballwebpages.co.uk/attendances.jsp?comp=14
accessdate = 2008-04-26

The club had a poor start in the Blue Square North in the 2008-09 season. Their first home match against Tamworth which they lost 2-1, drew a crowd of 1,051, making them one of the better supported teams in the league. However, when they lost to fellow strugglers, Hucknall Town 3-1 on 16 September, 2008, their third successive home defeat, the crowd was down to 521.cite news
title= Fleetwood Town 1, Hucknall Town 3
publisher=Blackpool Gazette
] The following day the club sacked manager Tony Greenwood along with his assistant, Nigel Greenwood and coach Andy Whittaker, stating that "Fleetwood Town wishes to announce manager Tony Greenwood has left the club with immediate effect..... Whilst under Tony's guidance the club has enjoyed tremendous recent success. However, Fleetwood has made a poor start to the current season and it is felt the appointment of a new management team is needed if the club's progress it to be maintained."cite news
last = Young
first = Mike
title= Fleetwood sack boss Greenwood
publisher=Blackpool Gazette
] The club's former physiotherapist Steve Macauley was caretaker-manager for the match at home to Alfreton Town on 20 September. On 23 September the club appointed the Burnley youth team coach and former Blackpool midfielder Micky Mellon, who still lives in Blackpool, as manager with Macauley remaining on the coaching staff. Mellon will divide his time between coaching the Under-15 and Under-16 teams at Burnley and managing Fleetwood, with an assistant manager also due to appointed.cite news
last = Moore
first = Andy
title= Mellon can't wait for Fleetwood challenge
publisher=Blackpool Gazette

Reserves, youth and juniors teams

Fleetwood Town have a resvere team in the Lancashire League as well as a youth and junior teams.

In March 2007 it was announced that the Football Section of Fleetwood Gym would join Fleetwood Town at the end of the 2006-7 season, to create the "Fleetwood Town Football Academy". cite news
last = Young
first = Mike
title= Fleetwood sack boss Greenwood
publisher=Blackpool Gazette
] with teams ranging from Under-7's to Under-18's. Club chairman Andy Pilley said, "I am thrilled to welcome the Fleetwood Gym Football Section to the club. We have long aspired to have our own Academy and we look forward to the day when academy products make the breakthrough to 1st team level."cite news
title = News in full: Major Partnership Announced at Fleetwood Town
publisher = Northern Premier League
date = 2007-03-08
url = http://www.unibondleague.com/news.php?nid=4755
accessdate = 2007-09-14

Highbury Stadium

The original 1908 club played on a pitch next to the North Euston Hotel, where the police station now stands. Apart from two years after World War I when the club played on a temporary ground behind the Queen's Hotel on Poulton Road, they remained at the Euston ground until moving to the present ground next to the Memorial Park in 1934.

In February 2007 the new "Percy Ronson Stand" was opened. A £500,000-plus development the stand is all terracing, and has a capacity of 900 making the ground suitable for the Conference National if they should get promoted in future. In July 2007, further plans for the stadium development were announced which included three new stands. The plans were finalized in December 2007 and in March 2008, planning permission was given for the first phase, construction of the north and west stands. Construction began in May 2008, and the new West Stand, with 550 seats togther with disabled and press facilities and the new North Stand, a terraced stand with a capacity of 2,000 were opened for Fleetwood's first home game of the 2008-09 season, on 22 August, 2008. A new Football League standard floodlight system and perimeter fencing were also installed.

Current squad

:"As of 9 October, 2008." cite web
title = First Team Squad Player Profiles: Season 2007-08:
publisher = Fleetwood Town F.C.
date = 2007-08-19
url = http://www.fleetwoodtownfc.com/B4_2_Profiles.htm
accessdate = 2008-09-17



Fans refer to each other as "Woodies" or "Macs", the latter due to a pun on the famous music group Fleetwood Mac, although in recent years they have become known as the "Cod Army", reflecting the town's history as a fishing port. Fleetwood's Highbury Stadium is not to be confused with the now defunct Arsenal Stadium, which was generally (although incorrectly) referred to as "Highbury". "Woodies" often joke, though, that their Highbury is "The Home of Football" and style themselves as "The Northern Arsenal".Fact|date=September 2008


1997 foundation

*Peter Swales Memorial Shield
**Winners 2008

*Northern Premier League Premier Division
**Champions: 2008

*Northern Premier League Challenge Cup
**Winners: 2007

*Northern Premier League First Division
**Runners-up: 2006 (promoted)

*North West Counties League Division One
**Champions: 2005

*North West Counties League Division Two
**Champions: 1999

*North West Counties Football League Division Two Cup
**Winners: 1999

1976 foundation

*Northern Premier League First Division
**Champions: 1988

*Northern Premier League Challenge Cup
**Runners-up: 1989

*F.A. Challenge Vase
**Runners-up: 1985

*North West Counties Football League Division Two
**Champions: 1984

1908 foundation

*Northern Premier League Challenge Cup
**Winners: 1971

*Lancashire Combination
**Champions: 1924
**Runners-up: 1934, 1935

*Lancashire Combination Cup
**Winners: 1926, 1932, 1933, 1934
**Runners-up: 1953, 1967


*Record Victory "(since re-establishment)"
**13-0 v Oldham Town - 5 December 1998 - North West Counties League Division Two
*Record Defeat "(since re-establishment)"
**0-7 v Billingham Town - 15 September 2001 - FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round, 2001-02
**6,150 v Rochdale - 13 November 1965 - FA Cup 1st Round, 1965-66
**3,112 v F.C. United of Manchester - 15 September 2007 - FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round, 2007-08 (highest since 1997 re-establishment)
**2,666 v Frickley Athletic - 26 April 2008 - Northern Premier League Premier Division (highest league attendance)

**416 - Percy Ronson (1949-64)

Notable former players

*Adrian Alston - Cardiff City striker with 62 caps for Australia. Captained the team during the 1974 World Cup.
*Ken Cooper - goalkeeper with Dallas Tornado in the North American Soccer League (1970-79). Twice selected for the All-Star team..
*Herbert Jones - Blackpool and Blackburn Rovers full-back. Capped six times for England.
*Peter Ollerton - striker with 31 caps for Australia. Played during the 1974 World Cup.
*Frank Swift - Manchester City goalkeeper. Capped nineteen times for England. Died in the Munich Air Disaster on 6 February 1958.
*Frank Haydock - Manchester United defender


External links

* [http://www.fleetwoodtownfc.com Fleetwood Town Official Webite]
* [http://www.footballconference.co.uk The Football Conference]
* [http://www.bluesqnorth.com Blue Square North]

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