Website last updated: 5 Mar, 2015 @ 22:40
a website in support of formby football club to bring news, views and snippets from the past as part of a media studies project,
Formby F.C -A brief history
Formby Football Club was founded at the end of the Great War in 1919, although football in Formby can be traced back to the turn of the century. The club spent their first year playing on a ground between Ravenmeols Lane and Phillips Lane before moving to Brows Lane in 1920. Following the move to Brows Lane the club dropped the “United” from their title. The club remained at Brows Lane for 82 years before moving to their current ground at Altcar Road.
In the beginning they joined the Liverpool and District League before moving into the Liverpool League, the I Zingari Football League and then the Liverpool County Combination in 1938. Despite being known as one of the top sides in the “County Comb.” they only won the Championship once, in 1948/49. However they did enjoy regular cup successes, winning the Liverpool Amateur Cup in 1930, 1948 and 1949, the Lancashire Amateur Cup in 1935, the Liverpool Challenge Cup in 1953 and 1964 and the George Mahon Cup in 1965.
Following the formation of the Northern Premier League in 1968 the Lancashire Combination lost a lot of its “glamour” clubs and Formby FC made a successful application to join the NPL. In their first season they finished a creditable 9th and also won the Liverpool Challenge Cup for the third time. In 1970/71 Formby finished 5th in the Lancashire Combination and moved on to the Cheshire League for the following season.
They performed admirably in that League considering that they had been playing in the Liverpool County combination only three years earlier. In 1977/78 they became the first non-league club to win the Liverpool Senior Cup when they defeated a strong Tranmere Rovers side 1-0 at Brows Lane.
Formby hit the national headlines in 1973 when they reached the 1st Round proper of the F.A Cup only to lose 2-0 at home to Oldham Athletic who were top of the old Football League 3rd Division at the time.
In 1982 the Lancashire Combination and the Cheshire League merged to form the North West Counties Football League. Formby were placed in Division 1 of the new league but found life difficult, regularly ending up at the wrong end of the table.
Their best season in Division 1 was 1984/85 when they reached the F.A Cup 4th Qualifying round, losing 2-3 to Penrith after extra time. Penrith went on to meet Burnley at Turf Moor in the next round. Formby also reached the final of the Liverpool Senior Cup that season but lost out to local rivals Marine.
The Squirrels were eventually relegated to Division 2 of the NWCFL in 1986/87 only to make a return to the top flight the following season, lasting two seasons before relegation struck again.
The club ended a seventeen year run without winning any silverware when they lifted the Lamot Pils trophy in 1995, defeating Flixton, that season’s league champions, in a 2-1 thriller at Victoria Park, Burscough.
Formby completed a unique double in 2000 when they became the first side to win both of the North West Counties League’s Cup competitions. They were the first Division 2 side since 1987 to lift the Worthington Challenge Trophy (League Challenge Cup) when they defeated 1st Division Curzon Ashton at Bury’s Gigg Lane Ground, winning on penalties after extra time ended with the score at 1-1.
Following years of speculation the club left their Brows Lane ground in the summer of 2002, moving to a purpose built ground at Altcar Lane near the Formby by-pass. The move was somewhat problematic with Formby being thrown out of the North West Counties Football League as the new ground hadn’t been completed by the required deadline. Formby were therefore forced to enter the Liverpool County Combination which they had last played in 34 years previously.
Formby’s enforced exile only lasted one season with the club being re-elected to the NWCFL 2nd Division the following season. Formby finished that season in third place and were promoted to the 1st Division as part of the non-league restructure.
The first season back in the top flight proved to be a test of character for the Squirrels who suffered an unbelievable catalogue of setbacks on the field and only avoided relegation thanks to a series of good wins in their final games.’ 2005/06 season and 2006/07 season saw the club reprieved twice from relegation, new ownership and development plans give real hope for some seasons of success ahead. 2007/08 has seen mid table respectability
FORMBY F.C FACTFILE
YEAR FORMED 1919
GROUND Altcar Road, Formby, L37 8DL
Telephone 01704 833505
PREVIOUS NAMES Formby United
PREVIOUS GROUND Brows Lane (1920-2002)
RECORD ATTENDANCE AT 2500 v Oldham Athletic
BROWS LANE 24th November 1973
RECORD ATTENDANCE AT 602 v Southport
ALTCAR ROAD 6th January 2004
BEST IN F.A CUP 1st Round Proper
v Oldham Athletic 1973/74
BEST IN F.A TROPHY 1st Round proper
v Stalybridge Celtic 1973/74
BEST IN F.A VASE 2nd Round proper
v Tetley Walker 1996/97
RECORD WIN 11-1 v Earle (H) 18/10/1952
RECORD DEFEAT 0-10 v Irlam Town (H) 18/1/1986
RECORD SCORER IN A Tommy Cain 52 goals 1952/53
FLOODLIGHTS Yes (230 lux)
NICKNAME The Squirrels
COUNTY AFFILIATION Liverpool County FA
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