|Full name||Stocksbridge Park Steels Football Club|
|Capacity||3,500 (450 seated)|
|League||Northern Premier League Division One East|
|2020–21||Northern Premier League Division One South East (season curtailed)|
Stocksbridge Park Steels Football Club is an English association football club based in Stocksbridge, South Yorkshire. They currently compete in the Northern Premier League Division One East. The club was formed in 1986 after a merger between two clubs, and uses a yellow and blue home kit. They play at the Bracken Moor ground. Former England internationals Chris Waddle and Jamie Vardy and Republic of Ireland international Scott Hogan have all played for the team.
They initially played in the Northern Counties East League and progressed through the NCEL's divisions before winning promotion to Division One of the Northern Premier League (NPL) in 1996. They reached the Premier Division of the NPL in 2009, but were relegated back to Division One South in 2014.
Steels have participated in the FA Cup every year since 1992, reaching the 4th qualifying round in 2003, and first entered the FA Trophy in 1996 after previously participating in the FA Vase.
Stocksbridge Park Steels F.C. was formed in 1986 as the result of the merger of Stocksbridge Works, the works team of the local British Steel Corporation plant, and another local club, Oxley Park Sports. The new club was immediately admitted to the Northern Counties East League Division Two, the works club having previously played in Division Three of the same league.
The Steels spent five seasons in Division Two before being placed in Division One when the lower division was discontinued upon league re-organisation in 1991. In the same year Mick Horne was appointed as the club's manager, and he led the team to the championship of Division One in the 1991–92 season.
In Stocksbridge's first season in the Premier Division the team finished near the bottom of the table, but in the 1993–94 season the Steels became Northern Counties East League champions. The club failed to gain promotion to the Northern Premier League, however, as their stadium did not meet the required standard. The club finished second in the division two seasons later, losing the championship on goal difference to Hatfield Main, and on this occasion were admitted to the Northern Premier League Division One.
Stocksbridge finished in the top half of the table in the club's first five seasons at the higher level, with a best finish of fourth place in the 2000–01 season, but the following season the Steels finished only two places from the bottom of the league. Shortly before the end of this season, manager Mick Horne tendered his resignation after 11 years in charge and was replaced by his assistant, former Norwich City player Wayne Biggins.
Under Biggins' management, the Steels had their best ever runs in both the FA Cup and FA Trophy and set a club record with a 17–1 defeat of Oldham Town in the FA Cup preliminary round in August 2002, but remained near the bottom of the league table. After the Steels were defeated 6–0 by Shildon in the final qualifying round of the 2003–04 FA Cup, Biggins attempted to resign but the board of directors persuaded him to continue in his job. However, he left in November 2003, with the club again fighting a battle against relegation.
Former assistant manager of local rivals Worksop Town Peter Rinkcavage was appointed as Stocksbridge's new manager, and in the 2005–06 season he led the team to a sixth-place finish, sufficient to qualify for the play-offs for promotion to the Northern Premier League Premier Division. After holding Kendal Town to a 1–1 draw in the semi-final, the Steels lost a penalty shoot-out, ending their hopes of promotion.
The following season Stocksbridge again finished in sixth place, although with only two teams promoted, it was not high enough to qualify for the play-offs. Stocksbridge did, however, defeat Worksop Town to win the Sheffield and Hallamshire Senior Cup. Following this win manager Rinkcavage resigned in order to return to his former club, Worksop, as manager, with Gary Marrow replacing him for the 2007–08 season, for which the club was placed in the Southern section of the now-regionalised Division One. Stocksbridge again qualified for the play-offs, but lost to Sheffield. In the 2008–09 season, the Steels again qualified for the play-offs and defeated Belper Town in the final to gain promotion to the Northern Premier League Premier Division for the first time. During the following season, Marrow resigned as manager and was replaced by Simon Collins. The Steels spent five years in the Premier Division, never finishing out of the bottom half of the table, and were relegated at the end of the 2013–14 season.
In 2017, Stocksbridge qualified for the end of season play-offs in their bid to return to the Premier Division, but were beaten in the semi-finals by Spalding United. Geographical re-organisation of the NPL saw them play in Division One East in 2018–19, and Division One South East in 2019–20.
|Season||Division||Level||Position||FA Cup||FA Trophy||FA Vase||Notes|
|1986–87||Northern Counties East League Division 2||-||7th/18||-||-||-|
|1987–88||Northern Counties East League Division 2||-||8th/15||-||-||-|
|1988–89||Northern Counties East League Division 2||-||9th/14||-||-||-|
|1989–90||Northern Counties East League Division 2||-||7th/14||-||-||-|
|1990–91||Northern Counties East League Division 2||-||7th/13||-||-||PR||Promoted|
|1991–92||Northern Counties East League Division 1||-||1st/16||-||-||1R||Promoted|
|1992–93||Northern Counties East League Premier Division||-||16th/20||1QR||-||2R|
|1993–94||Northern Counties East League Premier Division||-||1st/20||PR||-||1R|
|1994–95||Northern Counties East League Premier Division||-||3rd/20||PR||-||4R|
|1995–96||Northern Counties East League Premier Division||-||2nd/20||PR||-||1R||Promoted|
|1996–97||Northern Premier League Division 1||-||6th/22||2QR||3QR||-|
|1997–98||Northern Premier League Division 1||-||11th/22||1QR||1QR||-|
|1998–99||Northern Premier League Division 1||-||10th/22||2QR||1R||-|
|1999–2000||Northern Premier League Division 1||-||9th/22||1QR||3R||-|
|2000–01||Northern Premier League Division 1||-||4th/22||2QR||1R||-|
|2001–02||Northern Premier League Division 1||-||20th/22||3QR||1R||-|
|2002–03||Northern Premier League Division 1||-||17th/22||2QR||1R||-|
|2003–04||Northern Premier League Division 1||-||19th/22||4QR||2R||-|
|2004–05||Northern Premier League Division 1||8||14th/22||PR||1R||-|
|2005–06||Northern Premier League Division 1||8||6th/22[a]||1QR||1QR||-|
|2006–07||Northern Premier League Division 1||8||6th/24||PR||PR||-|
|2007–08||Northern Premier League Division 1 South||8||5th/18[a]||2QR||2QR||-|
|2008–09||Northern Premier League Division 1 South||8||3rd/20[b]||2QR||2QR||-||Promoted|
|2009–10||Northern Premier League Premier Division||7||11th/20||2QR||1QR||-|
|2010–11||Northern Premier League Premier Division||7||13th/22||2QR||3QR||-|
|2011–12||Northern Premier League Premier Division||7||18th/22||3QR||1QR||-|
|2012–13||Northern Premier League Premier Division||7||20th/22||1QR||1QR||-|
|2013–14||Northern Premier League Premier Division||7||23rd/24||1QR||1QR||-||Relegated|
|2014–15||Northern Premier League Division 1 South||8||17th/22||PR||PR||-|
|2015–16||Northern Premier League Division 1 South||8||7th/22||PR||1R||-|
|2016–17||Northern Premier League Division 1 South||8||4th/22[a]||PR||1R||-|
|2017–18||Northern Premier League Division 1 South||8||11th/22||PR||PR||-|
|2018–19||Northern Premier League Division 1 East||8||13th/22||PR||PR||-|
|2019–20||Northern Premier League Division 1 South East||8||-||PR||PR||-||Season abandoned due to COVID-19 pandemic|
|2020–21||Northern Premier League Division 1 South East||8||TBC||TBC||TBC|
|Season||Division||Level||Position||FA Cup||FA Trophy||FA Vase||Notes|
|Source: Football Club History Database|
The Steels have generally worn a kit of yellow shirts with varying amounts of blue trim, blue shorts, and yellow stockings during their short history. The club badge is predominantly yellow and blue to reflect this, and features a representation of a clock tower located on Nanny Hill, near the club's stadium. The alternative crest was in use by the supporters club from 2006 to 2011 but was never adopted by the club. The official crest was redesigned in 2011 and is still in use (see top of page). The club is unusual in having an alternate crest for its away shirts with the colours reversed. The team's nickname is "Steels" or "The Steels".
The Steels have always played their games at Bracken Moor, the former home of Stocksbridge Works. In 2006 it was announced that the stadium was to be sponsored by local newspaper Look Local for a term of five years, resulting in its official name being changed to the Look Local Stadium, a deal which was later extended to 2013. This was changed to the Eco-Power Stadium in the summer of 2020 when Eco Power Enviromental became the club's biggest sponsor The stadium has a maximum capacity of 3,500, with 450 seats.
The ground was a cricket pitch until shortly after the Second World War, when it was purchased by a local steelmaking company and converted into a football stadium. Stone-built changing rooms were erected in the mid-1960s, replacing a small hut, as was a seated stand and terracing. The main stand has a distinctive angled awning which extends from the fascia and seats which came from Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough Stadium. Floodlights were installed at the stadium in 1990 and the terracing partially covered four years later.
As one side of the ground directly adjoins a cricket pitch, the club was required to erect a dividing fence in order to gain entry to the Northern Premier League. The fence was temporary in nature and was removed during the cricket season, however when the cricket club merged with another local side the cricket pitch stopped being used and the fence became a permanent fixture. It was partially funded by money raised from friendlies against Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United.
The average attendance at the Look Local Stadium was 180 in the 2008–09 season, the ninth highest of twenty teams in the Northern Premier League Division One South, with the largest attendance being 451 for the visit of Sheffield. The average figure was a decrease of 3 compared to the previous season. The highest attendance in the club's history was 2,000, for a friendly match against Sheffield Wednesday to mark the inauguration of the ground's floodlights in October 1991.
The club has a Supporters' Club which was set up in the mid-1990s. The Supporters' Club organises events to raise funds for the football club, and operates the club shop at the Look Local Stadium.
Frickley Athletic and Worksop Town are considered to be local rivals to the Steels. Stocksbridge's highest ever league attendance against their rivals is 610 for a match against Worksop.
Further information: Category:Stocksbridge Park Steels F.C. players
|Northern Counties East League
Premier Division champions
|Northern Counties East League
Division One champions
|Northern Counties East League
League Cup winners
|Sheffield and Hallamshire Senior Cup
|1992–93, 1995–96, 1998–99, 2006–07, 2008–09|
|Northern Premier League
Challenge Cup finalists
|Northern Premier League Division One South
Stocksbridge's best league finish was a fourth-place finish in the Northern Premier League Division One, which at the time sat at the seventh level in the overall English football league system, in the 2000–01 season. The largest number of points the team has registered in a season was 76 in the 2006–07 season, but that was only enough to secure a sixth-place finish.
The club's best performance in the FA Cup was an appearance in the fourth and final qualifying round in the 2003–04 season. After winning four matches to progress from the preliminary round, the Steels lost 6–0 away to Shildon. In the same season the club achieved its best performance in the FA Trophy, reaching the second round proper only to lose 4–2 away to Blyth Spartans.
The club's record victory was a 17–1 win over Oldham Town in the FA Cup in 2002. Striker Paul Jackson scored ten of the goals, equalling the 55-year-old record for the most goals scored by a single player in an FA Cup match. Ted McDougall's nine goals for AFC Bournemouth against Margate in 1971 remains the record in the FA Cup proper, whereas Jackson's ten is the record for the qualifying rounds. The Steels' record defeat was a 7–2 loss to Witton Albion in the 2001–02 season.
The record for the most appearances for the club is held by Gary Hurlestone with 254. The club's all-time record goalscorer is Trevor Jones, who scored 145 times for the Steels. The largest transfer fee paid for a Stocksbridge player is £15,000, paid by Wolverhampton Wanderers for Lee Mills in December 1992.
But the team finished the season on a high note beating local rivals Worksop Town in the Sheffield Senior cup final at Hillsborough.
Billy Heath has decided to resign from his position following Saturday's FA Cup defeat to local rivals Stocksbridge Park Steels.