Warrington Town
Warrington Town F.C. logo.png
Full nameWarrington Town Football Club
Nickname(s)The Wire, The Yellows, The Town
Founded1949 (as Stockton Heath)
GroundCantilever Park, Warrington
Capacity2,550
ChairmanToby Macormac
ManagerMark Beesley[1]
LeagueNorthern Premier League Premier Division
2020–21Northern Premier League Premier Division (season curtailed)
WebsiteClub website

Warrington Town Football Club is an association football club based in Warrington, Cheshire. They were established in 1949 under the name of Stockton Heath, adopting their current name in 1961. They currently compete in the Northern Premier League Premier Division, the seventh tier of English football, and play at Cantilever Park.

Club history

First 50 years

Formed in 1949 by Jimmy Drinkwater, the club was initially named Stockton Heath Albion and competed in the Warrington and District League until 1953, when they moved to the Mid Cheshire League. Freddie Worrall became manager at the same time, and during a 13-year spell in charge, the club won the league in 1959–60 plus the League Cup in three consecutive seasons during the 1950s. During his thirteen years at the helm, Heath were one of the most feared sides in Cheshire football, winning a string of honours including the Mid Cheshire League Championship in 1959–60, the League Cup in 1953–54, 1954–55, 1955–56 and made several appearances in the Cheshire Amateur Cup Final. Several players from this successful period went on to join Football League clubs, including Ian Weir, John Green, Alan Foster and Roger Hunt, later a World Cup winner with England in 1966.

At the club's 1961 AGM, it was decided to change the name to Warrington Town. In 1978 the club were founder members of Division Two of the Cheshire County League.[2] When it merged into the North West Counties Football League in 1982, the club were founder members of Division Three. They finished as runners-up in the first season, earning promotion to Division Two. In 1985–86 Warrington reached the semi-finals of the FA Vase, losing 6–3 to Halesowen Town in a replay. After finishing as runners-up in Division Two in 1986–87, the club were promoted to Division One.[2] In the same season they reached the FA Vase final, where they lost 3–2 to local rivals St Helens Town

In 1989–90 Warrington Town won Division One, and were promoted to the Northern Premier League. In 1992–93 they reached the quarter-finals of the FA Trophy, eventually losing 2–1 at Sutton United, and also became the first Division One club to reach the final of the League Cup, losing on penalties to Winsford United. The season also saw the club sell Neil Whalley to Football League Third Division side Preston North End for a £25,000, equalling the record fee paid for a Northern Premier League player. A few weeks later Warrington also sold Liam Watson to Preston for a record £60,000.

After finishing second bottom of the league in 1996–97, the club were relegated back to Division One of the North West Counties League. The following season they were demoted, failing ground grading.[2] In the 1998–99 season, teenage striker Damien Whitehead set a new club record of 52 goals in just 42 appearances, before signing for Football League Division Three side Macclesfield Town at the end of the season.

21st century

The 1999–2000 season saw Town win the Second Division Trophy beating Tetley Walker 2–0 at Prescot Cables, with two goals from Neal Holden. The following season they won Division Two and were promoted back to Division One. They finished fifth in 2003–04, and were moved to Division One of the Northern Premier League as part of the restructuring that led to the creation of the Conference North and Conference South. When Division One was split into northern and southern sections in 2007, the club were placed in the southern division, but were moved to the northern section the following season.[2]

In 2013–14 the club finished third in Division One North, qualifying for the promotion play-offs, where, they lost 1–0 at home to Bamber Bridge in the semi-finals. Former Director of Football, Toby Macormac, became the new club Chairman. The club reached the first round proper of the FA Cup for the first time in their history in 2014–15 , where they beat League Two club Exeter City 1–0 with a 7th-minute header from Craig Robinson, in a giant-killing at Cantilever Park shown live on BBC Two.[3] In the second round they lost 0–2 at Gateshead,[4] televised live on BT Sport. Later in the season the club lifted its first trophy in 14 years by defeating Farsley Celtic on penalties in the final of the Northern Premier League Challenge Cup, held at Edgeley Park.

During the 2015–16 season the club set many new club records including scoring over 100 league goals and also winning over 30 league games in one season. Attendances at the club increased with a seasons average of 418 per game, including two crowds of over 1,000 for the games against Northwich Victoria and Prescot Cables. The Club Chairman decided to part company with manager Shaun Reid by mutual consent in February 2016, replacing him with Stuart Mellish and Lee Smith. Mellish and Smith led Town to the league title, finishing 15 points clear and setting division records of 106 points and 121 goals scored, and gaining promotion to Northern Premier League Premier Division. Team captain Ciaran Kilheeney was the top scorer in all 3 NPL divisions with 37 league goals, and he, James McCarten and goalkeeper Karl Wills were named in the NPL Division One North team of the season.

NPL Premier Division

At level seven in the English football league system, the Northern Premier League Premier Division was the highest level that Warrington had ever reached. After 16 games of the 2016-17 season. while sixth in the table, management duo of Stuart Mellish and Lee Smith left by mutual consent and were replaced by Paul Carden. Carden lead the team to a tenth place finish in their first season in the division. In the 2017–18 Northern Premier League season Warrington improved on the previous campaign and ended up with a highest ever finish of third in the NPL Premier Division qualifying them for the play-offs, where they lost in a home semi-final against Grantham Town. They followed this up in 2018-19 with another third placed finish, in a season made more complicated by the expulsion of North Ferriby United who went out of business partway through the campaign. In the play-offs Warrington beat Nantwich Town 4-1 in a home semi-final, and then won 2-1 against South Shields in the final. Normally this would have resulted in promotion to National League North. However, as a one-off for the 2018-19 season, Town had to play a "super playoff" game against the playoff winners of the newly-formed Southern League Premier Central Division. In this game Warrington lost 3-2 to King's Lynn Town after extra time, and they remained in the Northern Premier League Premier Division for the 2019–20 season. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2019-20 season was formally abandoned in March 2020, with all results from the season being expunged.

Current squad

As of 24 March 2022

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
GK England ENG Daniel Atherton
GK England ENG Josh Ollerenshaw
DF England ENG James Baillie
DF England ENG Eddie Clarke
DF Scotland SCO Lewis Coulton (on loan from Preston North End)
DF England ENG Evan Gumbs
DF England ENG Matty Regan
DF England ENG Mark Roberts (Captain)
MF England ENG Bohan Dixon
MF England ENG Mitch Duggan
MF England ENG Luke Duffy
No. Pos. Nation Player
MF England ENG Jay Harris
MF England ENG Ben Hough
MF England ENG Jack Mackreth
MF Spain ESP Stefan Mols
MF England ENG Sean Williams
FW England ENG Josh Amis
FW England ENG Jordan Buckley
FW England ENG Michael Howard
FW England ENG Matt Grivosti
FW England ENG Dom Reid
FW England ENG Isaac Buckley-Ricketts (on loan from Southport)

Ground

The club played firstly at Stockton Lane in Stockton Heath in 1949, arriving at London Road in 1950, then moving to its first ground on Loushers lane (the Cheshire Police Ground) in 1953, returning to further down Stockton Lane in Grappenhall in 1955. The following year, the club moved to Cantilever Park, which had a capacity of 2,500 as of November 2014. It takes its name from the Cantilever Bridge, a high-level road bridge on Ackers Road over the Manchester Ship Canal that towers over the ground to the east. The ground itself is on the northern bank of the canal. The ground consists of three stands, one of which is seated.

Honours

Records

League history

Season Division Position Significant Events
1977–78 Mid Cheshire League Division One 5th
1978–79 Cheshire League Division Two 14th
1979–80 Cheshire League Division Two 15th
1980–81 Cheshire League Division Two 13th
1981–82 Cheshire League Division Two 8th Promoted
1982–83 North West Counties League Division Three 2nd Promoted
1983–84 North West Counties League Division Two 4th
1984–85 North West Counties League Division Two 3rd
1985–86 North West Counties League Division Two 4th
1986–87 North West Counties League Division Two 2nd Promoted
1987–88 North West Counties League Division One 8th
1988–89 North West Counties League Division One 6th
1989–90 North West Counties League Division One 1st Champions
1990–91 Northern Premier League Division One 7th
1991–92 Northern Premier League Division One 7th
1992–93 Northern Premier League Division One 5th
1993–94 Northern Premier League Division One 7th
1994–95 Northern Premier League Division One 3rd
1995–96 Northern Premier League Division One 13th
1996–97 Northern Premier League Division One 21st Relegated
1997–98 North West Counties League Division One 19th Relegated
1998–99 North West Counties League Division Two 4th
1999–2000 North West Counties League Division Two 9th
2000–01 North West Counties League Division Two 1st Champions
2001–02 North West Counties League Division One 11th
2002–03 North West Counties League Division One 16th
2003–04 North West Counties League Division One 5th Promoted
2004–05 Northern Premier League Division One 20th
2005–06 Northern Premier League Division One 19th
2006–07 Northern Premier League Division One 21st
2007–08 Northern Premier League Division One South 13th
2008–09 Northern Premier League Division One North 19th
2009–10 Northern Premier League Division One North 9th
2010–11 Northern Premier League Division One North 9th
2011–12 Northern Premier League Division One North 11th
2012–13 Northern Premier League Division One North 10th
2013–14 Northern Premier League Division One North 3rd Qualified for Play-offs
2014–15 Northern Premier League Division One North 9th Northern Premier League Challenge Cup Winners
2015–16 Northern Premier League Division One North 1st Champions
2016–17 Northern Premier League Premier Division 10th
2017–18 Northern Premier League Premier Division 3rd Qualified for Play-offs
2018-19 Northern Premier League Premier Division 3rd Play Off Winners
2019–20 Northern Premier League Premier Division 3rd Season declared void with 10 games to play

References

  1. ^ Gordon, James. "Beesley Steps Up For Yellows". Northern Premier League. Retrieved 2 December 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Warrington Town at the Football Club History Database
  3. ^ "Warrington Town 1–0 Exeter". BBC Sport. 7 November 2014. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  4. ^ "Gateshead 2–0 Warrington". BBC Sport. 7 December 2014. Retrieved 7 December 2014.

Coordinates: 53°22′37.290″N 2°34′11.741″W / 53.37702500°N 2.56992806°W / 53.37702500; -2.56992806