Skelmersdale United F.C.

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Skelmersdale United
Club logo
Full nameSkelmersdale United Football Club
Nickname(s)The Skem / Skem
Founded1882
GroundWest Lancashire College Stadium, Skelmersdale
(capacity: 2,500)
ChairmanEngland Paul Griffiths
ManagerEngland Tommy Lawson
LeagueNorthern Premier League
Premier Division
2012–13Northern Premier League
Division One North, 1st (promoted)
Home colours
Away colours
 
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Skelmersdale United
Club logo
Full nameSkelmersdale United Football Club
Nickname(s)The Skem / Skem
Founded1882
GroundWest Lancashire College Stadium, Skelmersdale
(capacity: 2,500)
ChairmanEngland Paul Griffiths
ManagerEngland Tommy Lawson
LeagueNorthern Premier League
Premier Division
2012–13Northern Premier League
Division One North, 1st (promoted)
Home colours
Away colours

Skelmersdale United F.C. are a football club from Skelmersdale, Lancashire competing in the Northern Premier League Premier Division. The club is a member of both the Liverpool F.A. and the Lancashire County Football Association.

History[edit]

The first 75 years[edit]

When United were founded in 1882, Skelmersdale was a small coal-mining town. In 1891 the club was a founder member of Lancashire Combination (the premier league for non-league football in the north-west of England until the creation of the Northern Premier League in 1968), although by 1893 the club had left. They rejoined in 1903 as founder members of new Division 2 although, again, they had left by 1907. For most of the next 50 years United competed in the Liverpool County Football Combination. The club had finally found their comfort zone. They were crowned champions on 10 occasions, Liverpool County FA Challenge Cup winners on 8 occasions and winners 5 times.

United transferred into the 2nd Division of the Lancashire Combination in 1955–56, and in their first season they won the Championship.

A new team for a new town[edit]

Skelmersdale became a designated new town in 1961 and ushered in a whole new era for the area. Coincidentally, around the same time, in August 1961, Wesley Bridge was made Secretary/Manager of United and began the radical restructuring the club. In 1966–67 the changes began to pay dividends on the pitch. The FA Amateur Cup quarter final victory against Slough Town was a record gate for Whitemoss Park (Sandy Lane) – 7,500 – in March 1967. That year United won their way to the FA Amateur Cup Final at Wembley in front of 75,000 spectators (which, at the time, was the biggest Wembley attendance for any game other than an FA Cup Final, League Cup or International game). A nil-nil draw with Enfield resulted in a replay at Maine Road, Manchester. Whilst United lost 3–0, the whole experience was the basis of an extraordinarily successful period in their history. The following season United lost away to football league club Scunthorpe United in the first round proper of the FA Cup. In 1968–69 United again qualified for the FA Cup first round only to lose away to football league club Chesterfield. The same season, after transferring from the down-graded Lancs Combination to the Cheshire County League, United won the league championship, a feat they would repeat the following year. The club also got through to the semi finals of the FA Amateur Cup, another feat that they would repeat the next year. In 1970–71 United finally won the FA Amateur Cup in a 4–1 thrashing of Dagenham at Wembley. Despite only finishing third in the Cheshire County League, United also secured promotion to the Northern Premier League, the highest level the club had ever played at. In 1971–72 United qualified again for the first round proper of the FA Cup where they were beaten at home by football league club Tranmere Rovers. They finished in the top half of the Northern Premier League, which arguably has proved to be their highest position in non-league football 'pyramid' (see the National League System).

Decline and revival[edit]

By 1976 United had dropped into the Lancashire Combination. In 1982, when the Combination was amalgamated with the Cheshire County League to form the North West Counties League (NWCL), United found themselves in Division Two of the NWCL. The club reached the inaugural League Challenge Cup Final, only losing in a replay to Darwen. In 1987 the NWCL was restructured when a large number of clubs left to join the Northern Premier. This restructuring saw the club move up to the NWCL First Division. United struggled for three seasons before being relegated.

West Lancashire College Stadium, home of Skelmersdale United since 2004.

Towards the end of 1996–96 the club itself was restructured with a new Manager, Russ Perkins. Perkins led the club to promotion in his first season. In May 2000 United won the League Challenge Trophy. Perkins was replaced as Manager by the club's Assistant Manager, Paul Gallagher, towards the end of the 2001–02 season, and the following season United finished a very respectable fifth in NWCL. The 2003–2004 season was spent at Victoria Park, home of Burscough, whilst a new stadium was being prepared. In 2004–2005 United moved into their new home, the Westgate Interactive Stadium, and finished runners up in the NWCL League Cup. The following season, 2005–2006, the club finished runners-up in the NWCL First Division and were promoted to the Northern Premier League First Division. Also a change of Club sponsor led to a stadium name change (to the Ashley Travel Stadium). In 2007, Skelmersdale United finished third in the inaugural season of the Northern Premier League Division One North.

August 2008 saw the announcement of a new one year sponsorship deal with Skelmersdale & Ormskirk College that also saw the stadium renamed to The Skelmersdale & Ormskirk College Stadium, a boost to both sport and education in the area. The sponsorship deal was renewed for the 2009/2010 & 2010/2011 seasons respectively.

On 5 March 2011, Skelmersdale entertained Chester in an Northern Premier League Division One North fixture and broke the attendance record for The Skelmersdale & Ormskirk College Stadium when 1,171 attended, it had previously been 1,002 for an FA Cup tie in 2004 against Burscough.

In light with the club main sponsor's change of name, on 1 August 2011, Skelmersdale's stadium was renamed accordingly to the West Lancashire College Stadium.

[1]

Players[edit]

Current Squad[edit]

As of 10 September 2011.

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

No.PositionPlayer
EnglandGKSam Ashton
EnglandGKTom Brocklehurst
EnglandGKAndy Paxton
EnglandDFMichael Burke (Captain)
South AfricaDFPaul Byrne
EnglandDFLouis Corrigan
EnglandDFMichael Duffy
EnglandDFTom Hardwick
EnglandDFRob McIntosh
EnglandDFGareth Peet
EnglandDFTony Rendell
EnglandDFZac Riley
YemenDFMike Simpson
EnglandDFKen Strickland
EnglandMFLewis Field
EnglandMFSteve Hussey
EnglandMFPhil Mooney
EnglandMFLee Parle
EnglandMFDan Smith
EnglandMFPaul Woolcott
EnglandFWAllan Collins
EnglandFWTerry Fearns
EnglandFWMark Houghton
EnglandFWKarl O’Donnell
EnglandFWShaun Tuck
EnglandFWPaul Woolcott
ScotlandFWGary Burnett
EnglandFWAlex Stoddern

Non-playing staff[edit]

PositionName
ManagerEngland Tommy Lawson
Assistant ManagerEngland Bryan Richardson
First Team CoachChina Jacob Holden
PhysioEngland Michelle Scott
Football SecretaryEngland Bryn Jones

Former players[edit]

Players who left the club directly for league clubs include:

Those who played for the club and progressed into league football after leaving the club include:

References[edit]

  1. ^ Acknowledgement – all historical data from the 'Football Club History Database' (non copyrighted)

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°33′26″N 2°48′06″W / 53.55725°N 2.80169°W / 53.55725; -2.80169