Historic pride in port’s footballing heroes

Fleetwood Town v Rossendale, in 1981. Determined striker Carl Howarth gets in his centre before the Rossendale tackle comes in
Fleetwood Town v Rossendale, in 1981. Determined striker Carl Howarth gets in his centre before the Rossendale tackle comes in

With Fleetwood Town FC being named as one of the biggest sources of pride in the port by local residents, this week’s nostalgia page takes a look back at the history of the club.

There have been many highs and lows for the Cod Army over the years from promotion and cup success to liquidation and reformation.

Fleetwood FC in 1979. Back row from left: Steve 'Docker' Brooks, Stuart Robinson, John Hay, Brian Newman, Kevin Gerrard, Bobby Cuthbertson, Paul Dawson. Front row from left: John Brownwood, Jimmy Moseley (captain), Alan Tinsley (player/ commercial manager), Alan Watson, Dave Barnes, Mel Denning (assistant manager)

Fleetwood FC in 1979. Back row from left: Steve 'Docker' Brooks, Stuart Robinson, John Hay, Brian Newman, Kevin Gerrard, Bobby Cuthbertson, Paul Dawson. Front row from left: John Brownwood, Jimmy Moseley (captain), Alan Tinsley (player/ commercial manager), Alan Watson, Dave Barnes, Mel Denning (assistant manager)

The club was formed in 1908. The team played on a pitch next to the North Euston Hotel, and other than two years after the First World War when the club played on a temporary ground behind the Queen’s Hotel on Poulton Road, they remained there until moving to the present ground, in 1934.

The club colours were originally amber and black, but changed to red and white around 1919, as part of an arrangement with a trawler fleet whose company colours were red and white.

Fleetwood best’s spell probably came in the early 30s when the club won the Combination Cup three years in succession and were league runners up twice.

The club had to be wound up in 1976 after several rocky years, but a year later Fleetwood Town FC was formed. In 1980, the club reached the first round of the FA Cup where they met neighbours Blackpool and were beaten 4-0. On the formation of the North West Counties Football League in 1982, Fleetwood Town was placed in Division Two despite having previously been a member of the top division of the Cheshire League. At their second attempt, Fleetwood were crowned second division champions and earned promotion to the top division.

Fleetwood FC in 1912/13

Fleetwood FC in 1912/13

In 1985, Town reached the final of the FA Vase. The fairytale ended in defeat as Fleetwood lost the Wembley final against Halesowen; Norman Moran scoring Fleetwood’s goal in the 3-1 defeat. Players are pictured here on their way to a heroes’ welcome when they returned. The club folded again in 1996, but a new club was formed in 1997.

For a brief time it was called Fleetwood Wanderers and then Fleetwood Freeport FC.

A welcome home for Fleetwood FC in 1985

A welcome home for Fleetwood FC in 1985