Scunthorpe United F.C.

Scunthorpe United F.C.

Football club infobox
clubname = Scunthorpe United

fullname = Scunthorpe United Football Club
nickname = The Iron
founded = 1899 [citeweb
title=Highs & Lows
work=Scunthorpe United - Official Website
ground = Glanford Park
capacity = 9,183
chairman = J. Steven Wharton
manager = flagicon|England Nigel Adkins
league = League One
season = 2007-08
position = The Championship, 23rd

Scunthorpe United Football Club are an English association football team based in the town of Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire.

Nicknamed The Iron, they currently play in the Football League One after one season in the Football League Championship, the first time they played at that level in 45 years. They are however presently the highest-placed league club in North Lincolnshire.


Early years

Scunthorpe United, formerly known as Scunthorpe and Lindsey United, among other names, has existed since 1899, but did not join the Football League until 1950 when the league structure was expanded. Their first game was against fellow new entrants Shrewsbury Town.

Scunthorpe were the first club in England to build a cantilever stand, four years before Sheffield Wednesday's at Hillsborough.

Moving home

In 1988 Scunthorpe United became the first English football club in the modern era to move to a new, purpose built stadium: Glanford Park.

When it became apparent that the Old Showground needed significant investment to maintain its fabric and to make it comply with new regulations introduced in the wake of the Bradford Fire Disaster (which the club were unable to make due to financial difficulties) the decision was made to relocate. The ground was sold to the former supermarket chain Safeway and the search was started for a new location.

Land was secured near the village of Gunness in what was then the administrative area of Glanford meaning that the new ground was outside the boundaries of Scunthorpe (although this changed with the re-organisation of local government in 1994 as both Scunthorpe Borough Council and Glanford Borough Council became North Lincolnshire Council).

At this time there were no grants available and the development had to funded with the cash from the sale of the Old Showground, sponsorship, directors' loans and bank loans. This lack of outsider cash means that Glanford Park was built in a rather simplistic, box-like style, with a significantly smaller capacity than the Old Showground.

The ground was so named because it was sponsored by the Glanford Borough Council. The site of the former ground is now home to a Sainsbury's store and can be found at the junction of Doncaster Road and Henderson Avenue. When the store was opened a plaque was laid where the centre-spot was, just in front of the delicatessen counter; the plaque has since been removed.

The ground, though small, offers some of the best views of the pitch in any league due to the simple layout and aforementioned lack of stands.

Ups and downs

In 1992, the club made the third division play-off final, at Wembley, losing out eventually on a penalty shootout to Blackpool (see here).

The club again made the play-off final in 1999, again at Wembley, this time beating Leyton Orient 1–0 after a goal from Alex Calvo-Garcia. They were promoted to the Football League Division Two. They were subsequently relegated at the end of the following season.

They started the 2004-05 season in Football League Two, but gained promotion to Football League One. The Club was nearly relegated to the Conference National the season before. In the 2004/5 season they led Chelsea, the Premiership champions, 1–0, in the FA Cup 3rd Round, but were denied as they eventually went down 3–1.

2005–2006 season

Before that season began, Scunthorpe were predicted to end up among the relegation battlers, having only been promoted to the division the previous season.

Close season signings included ex-Stockport County captain Jim Goodwin and former Celtic striker Tommy Johnson. The Iron also offered permanent deals to utility man Richard Hinds and central midfielder Richie Ryan. Shortly after the season began, Scunthorpe signed teenage striker Billy Sharp from Sheffield United for £100,000. Scunthorpe lost Paul Hayes and Richard Kell to Barnsley during the summer due to the players being out of contract, although due to Hayes' age, a F.A. tribunal set a fee of up to £150,000 for him. Terry Barwick, Wayne Graves and Russell Penn were released by the club.

Scunthorpe United opened the 2005-06 season away at Brentford F.C., where they lost 2–0. However, after this early setback, things picked up for The Iron, who at a couple of points early in the season occupied first place in the division. Their early season good form hit a peak with away victory to League One high-fliers Huddersfield Town by four goals to one. Teenage strike partnership Andy Keogh and Billy Sharp made a name for themselves at this time.

However, subsequently they slid down the league table somewhat, due in part to two 5–2 defeats, away at Blackpool and Barnsley. The club took Peter Till, a winger from Birmingham City and Michael Rose, a left-back from Yeovil Town on loan, though the former has now returned to his club, as well as Neil MacKenzie, originally loaned from Macclesfield Town before the move was made permanent in the January transfer window.

The club reached the third round of the FA Cup, beating Bury and Aldershot Town before losing 3–1 away to the Premiership's Manchester City after being 1–0 ahead.

In the 2005–06 season the club finished 12th in Coca-Cola League 1 with a record of P46 W15 D15 L16 F68 A73 Pts60 GD-5. Billy Sharp finished the season joint top scorer of the season with 23 league goals, sharing the Golden Boot with Southend's Freddy Eastwood.

2006–2007 season

Ins and Outs
*Players signed in the pre-season include goalkeeper Joe Murphy, right-back Dave Mulligan and young striker Ramon Calliste.
*Brian Laws left the manager's job at Scunthorpe to take over at Sheffield Wednesday on 6 November 2006, taking with him assistant boss Russ Wilcox. Nigel Adkins was put in temporary charge and subsequently took over the role permanently.
*Andy Keogh was sold to Wolverhampton Wanderers on 23 January 2007 for a club record £600,000. The deal also includes a further £250,000 to be paid if Wolves achieve promotion to the Premiership whilst Keogh is at Molineux, and a 15% sell-on clause. It is worth noting, however, that Leeds United received 25% of the transfer fee due to a sell-on clause.


Prospects appeared brighter for the club before the start of this season, having remained in League One for a second year. The pre-season friendly results were excellent: unbeaten in four matches, against Brigg Town (4–1), Hull City (1–1), Leeds United (2–1) and Sheffield United (1–0), not to mention winning the San-An Cup and their Lincolnshire Senior Cup semi-final against Boston. However, injuries already started to plague the team, with new signing Ramon Calliste out for up to six months due to an injury against Brigg Town and Andy Butler suffering a shoulder injury against Leeds United.

League One

However the league season itself got off to a poor start, losing 1–0 to Bristol City, and having Steve Torpey sent off for violent conduct in the process. This was followed by 2–2 draws with Swansea City and Crewe Alexandra. Scunthorpe also went down 2–1 to Rotherham United on 19 August, which was followed by a 1–1 draw with Brentford. On 1 September, Scunthorpe gained their first win of the season, 2–0 away to Gillingham. However, Scunthorpe then suffered a 1–0 defeat at the hands of Oldham Athletic. Scunthorpe then won their first home game of the season, beating high flying Port Vale 3–0, quickly followed by a home win over Cheltenham 1–0 after a 90th minute goal from Andy Keogh.

They followed those results with a 1–1 draw at AFC Bournemouth, and an outstanding win against local rivals Doncaster Rovers by 2 goals to nil. Recent games include away wins over Yeovil Town and Carlisle United, and a home draw to Tranmere Rovers. On December 30, the Iron beat Bournemouth 3-2 at home, while rivals Nottingham Forest drew 1-1 with Tranmere. This sent Scunthorpe to the top of the League One table on goal difference. Early new year results saw Scunthorpe move one point clear of the chasing pack, and hopes were high for a promotion to the 2nd tier of English football for only the second time in their history. A series of four successive draws, and wins against Millwall and Bristol City (screened live on Sky TV, the Iron's third televised game of the season) kept the Iron at the top of League One, albeit with most of their rivals having a game in hand. After the win against Bristol City the Iron went on to beat Rotherham 1-0 at home thanks to Jermaine Beckford's first goal for the Iron on his home debut. The Iron then won 2-0 in a midweek fixture at Swansea after goals by Billy Sharp and Jermaine Beckford. The win sent them 3 points clear at the top of the table.

The Iron then beat Gillingham 3-1 at home and followed that by beating Crewe away 3-1 with Billy Sharp scoring 2 of the goals. The Iron then went away to Brentford and won 2-0 which set a new club record with 7 straight wins and sent them 10 points clear. The Iron set a new club record when they achieved a 16 game unbeaten sequence after drawing 1-1 at Brighton on 17th March 2007. This run continued for another 3 games, setting a new club record of 19 games without defeat, until Northampton Town beat The Iron 2-1, bringing the run to an end.

On April 14, 2007, Scunthorpe beat Huddersfield 2-0, after two goals from Billy Sharp, thus ensuring their promotion to the Coca Cola Championship. They also clinched the title on 28 April 2007, despite a 3-1 defeat at Blackpool. Scunthorpe recorded another 3-0 home win and later were crowned champions of League One.

2006-2007 was arguably the Iron's best season to date. The number of points achieved (91) and the number of goals scored by Billy Sharp (30) were greater than those achieved by any other team in the Premiership and the Football League.

Cup Competitions

A 4–3 extra time home win against local rivals Lincoln City in the Carling Cup earned the Iron a big money match against Premiership side Aston Villa, at Glanford Park. The tie was screened live by Sky TV, earning the club a reported £100,000 payday. Aston Villa won the match 2–1, with Juan Pablo Ángel scoring twice, once from the penalty spot and another with a header. Billy Sharp scored the goal for Scunthorpe, with a header from a corner. In the FA Cup, the Iron beat Cheltenham Town 2-0 in a replay, goals from Billy Sharp and Ian Baraclough, after a 0-0 draw in the original tie at Whaddon Road, Nigel Adkins' first game in charge. In the second round they lost to Wrexham 2-0, missing out on the third round for the first time since the 1999/2000 season. The Iron also lost to Port Vale on penalties in the second round of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.

2007-2008 season

Ins and Outs

Scunthorpe started strengthening their squad for the new season in the Championship by signing Kevan Hurst permanently for a club record £200,000 from Sheffield United. The Iron then signed Paul Hayes back from Barnsley F.C. for a fee that was eventually decided (but remained undisclosed) in September 2007, without the need to be decided by a Football League tribunal. Nigel Adkins' third summer signing was defender Izzy Iriekpen from Swansea City on a two year deal, with an option on a third. On a day of frenzied transfer activity, Adkins captured Martin Paterson from Stoke City, with the fee to be decided by tribunal, and Jonathan Forte from Sheffield United. Adkins also signed French defender Kelly Youga on a 6 month loan from Charlton Athletic, young Cameroon midfielder Alex Morfaw on a one year deal, and Chelsea youth team captain Jack Cork on loan until January. However, returning to Bramall Lane was leading marksman Billy Sharp for £2 million. Other departures included Steve Foster to Darlington, Richard Hinds to Sheffield Wednesday, Lee Ridley to Cheltenham Town and veteran Steve Torpey was released and subsequently signed for local rivals Lincoln City. Defender Dave Mulligan was sent on loan to Grimsby Town to gain first team experience, as he had not been figuring in the United starting XI.


Scunthorpe's return to this level began with an away match against newly relegated Charlton Athletic. The first match between these sides in 33 years resulted in a 1-1 draw at The Valley with an attendance of over 23,000.

This was followed a week later with the first home game played by United in the second tier of English football for 43 years with Burnley being the visitors. The game ended 2-0 in Scunthorpe's favour, with Martin Paterson scoring his first goal for the club with a second scored by Jim Goodwin.

On 12 April 2008, the Iron were relegated from the Championship following a 2-0 defeat away at promotion chasing Crystal Palace. They finished second from bottom in the final table with 46 points, drawing their final game of the season 3-3 with bottom-placed Colchester. []

Cup Competitions

Scunthorpe were knocked out of the Carling Cup after a first round 2-1 home defeat to Hartlepool United.

The Iron were also knocked out the FA cup in the 3rd round after a 1-0 defeat away at Preston North End.

2008-2009 season

Ins and Outs

After relegation from the Championship, Scunthorpe released some players, the most notable of which was midfielder Jim Goodwin who had played most of Scunthorpe's games, also leaving were Alexander Morfaw and Dave Mulligan. After much speculation about his future, Andu Butler refused to sign a new contract and instead opted to join League One rivals Huddersfield.Also expected to go was goalkeeper Joe Murphy, who was quoted as wanting to return to the Championship to attempt his dream of playing as the Republic of Irelands number one keeper, he instead decided to see out the last year on his contract but said that if Scunthorpe did not make a swift return to the championship, he would leave.Top scorer Martin Paterson was also subject to much speculation, Scunthorpe rejected a £400,000 bid from Burnley and also rejected a personally handed transfer request from the player.

On Monday 23 June 2008 he signed a four year contract with Burnley FC, completing his move to the clarets, the move being worth £1 Million for Scunthorpe up front and up to £300,000 in addons based on appearances.Marcus Williams was expected to leave, with Barnsley reportedly interested, instead he signed a new 2 year deal with the Iron.

On 27 May 2008, midfielder Garry Thompson was signed on a free transfer after rejecting a new contract from Morecombe, he was brought into replace former right sided midfielder Cleveland Taylor, who left in January to join League One club Carlisle United for a nominal sum (believed to be £85,000).On Friday 4th July, Scunthorpe signed defender Kenny Milne from Falkirk on a free transfer, who was ambitious to play in the English leagues, having played in the Scottish league, mostly with Falkirk, all of his football career.On Monday, 14 July 2008 Scunthorpe completed the siging on Gary Hooper from Southend United for a fee belived to be arouned £175,000.For their pre-season games, Scunthorpe have also brought in some trailistsm the most notable of which is former Macnester United trainee Michael Lea. David Mirfin was signed from League One rivals Huddersfield Town for £150,000 on August 11.


Scunthorpe were drawn at home for their first game of the season, losing 2-1 to Leeds United.They also lost to Walsall and Hartlepool in the League Cup, since then their form has picked up, with wins against Peterborough, Stockport, Brighton and previously unbeaten Carlisle. The picked up more wins agianst Hereford and Yevoil, before a 2 - 2 draw with Leyton Orient prevented a club record 8 wins in a row, they wont their next match agianst Crewe 3 - 0 and are now top of the Coca-Cola League One.The end their campaign at home to Tranmere Rovers

Cup Competition

Scunthorpe were for the second time in a row drawn against Hartlepool (away) in the League Cup, which they lost 3 - 0.In the Footboot League trophy they were drawn home to Notts County which they won 2 - 1, both goals coming in extra time, they were drawn at home to Grimsby in the second round, whom they also beat 2 -1, they were drawn at home agian to Rochdale in the Northern Quarter finals.

Notable former players

*Andy Keogh now at Wolverhampton Wanderers
* Kevin Keegan, former England and Liverpool Legend
* Ray Clemence, England international goalkeeper and Liverpool and spurs Legend
*Peter Beagrie, retired from playing and now works for Sky Television
*Sir Ian Botham, later a successful cricketer
*Billy Sharp now at Sheffield United
*Tony Daws now at Scunthorpe United (academy coach)
*Alex Calvo Garcia now retired
* Andy Dawson now at Hull City
* Matt Elliott league cup winner with Leicester City, now retired
*Tony Ford MBE, retired
* Brian Laws former manager at club, now at Sheffield Wednesday (manager)
* Neil Warnock now at Crystal Palace (manager)
* Kelly Youga now at Charlton Athletic

all information correct on 17/08/08


Current squad

:"As of 23 August 2008."cite web
title = Profiles
url =,,10442,00.html
publisher = Scunthorpe United FC
accessdate = 2008-08-19

Local rivals

The team's local rivals include Grimsby Town, Hull City, Lincoln City and Doncaster Rovers. Matches between Hull and Scunthorpe are often referred to as Humber Derbies, due to the fact that the teams lie either side of the river Humber.



Record Attendance (Old Showground)
*23,935 v Portsmouth F.C. FA Cup 4th rd. 30 January 1954

Record Attendance (Glanford Park)
*8,906 v Nottingham Forest, League One, 10 March 2007


Record Victory
*8–1 v Luton Town, Division 3, 24 April 1965 Team: - Sidebottom, Horstead, Hemstead, Smith, Neale, Lindsey, Bramley (1), Scott, Thomas (5), Mahy (1), Wilson (1).

*8–1 v Torquay United, New Division 3, 28 October 1995 Team: - Samways, Housham, Wilson, Ford (1), Knill (1), Hope (Nicholson), Thornber, Bullimore (Walsh), McFarlane (4) (Young), Eyre (2), Paterson.

Record Defeat
*0–8 v Carlisle United, Division 3 (N) 25 November 1952 Team: - Malan, Hubbard, Brownsword, McGill, Taylor, Bushby, Daley, Haigh, White, Whitfield, Mosby


Highest Fees Paid
# Martin Paterson - £425,000 from Stoke City
# Kevan Hurst - £200,000, from Sheffield United F. C
# Steve Torpey - £175,000, from Bristol City
# Billy Sharp - £100,000, from Sheffield United
# Ian Helliwell - £80,000, from York City Highest Fees Received

# Billy Sharp - £2,000,000+ to Sheffield United
# Martin Paterson - £1,000,000 to Burnley Will raise by £300,000 depending on future appearances
# Andy Keogh - £600,000+, to Wolverhampton Wanderers
# Neil Cox - £400,000, to Aston Villa
# Chris Hope - £250,000, to Gillingham
# Richard Hall - £250,000, to Southampton

Women's football

The women's football club, Scunthorpe United L.F.C., who play in the Northern Combination Women's Football League, is affiliated to Scunthorpe United F.C.


Scunthorpe United's official team mascots are the Scunny Bunny and the Scunny Hunny Bunny,cite web
title = A day in the life..
url =
publisher = BBC
accessdate = 2007-06-02
] cite web
title = Study United Brochure, Page 11
url =
publisher = Study United
accessdate = 2007-06-02
] who wear the same claret and blue kit as the team's players do.


A song associated with Scunthorpe United is Any Old Iron, though it is rarely sung as a chant. More common are songs indicating disdain for Grimsby Town, or suggesting that Joe Murphy ought to be the Republic of Ireland first choice goalkeeper. In 2006, the club's fans began a new football chant "Who needs Mourinho, we've got our physio" after Nigel Adkins, the club's former physio replaced Brian Laws as manager, eventually to lead United to promotion. cite web
title = Who needs Mourinho, we've got the physio!!
url =
publisher = The Mirror
accessdate = 2007-06-02


External links

* [] - official site
* [] - A lopsided look at SUFC
* [] - fan site
* [] - Study United FC, Scunthorpe United's Study Support Centre
* [] - fan site
* [] - Y Griffiny fan site
* [] - Independent Supporters site

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