Halifax Town A.F.C.

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Halifax Town
HalifaxTownAFC.png
Full name Halifax Town Association Football Club
Nickname(s) The Shaymen
Founded 1911
Dissolved 2008
Ground The Shay
Halifax
Ground Capacity 14,000
2007–08 Conference National, 20th

Halifax Town Association Football Club was an English football club, which played in the Football League from 1921-1993 and 1998-2002.

The club went into Administration on 14 March 2008 and then later entered Compulsory Liquidation on 6 March 2009. The club reformed in July 2008 under the name of F.C. Halifax Town.[1]

The club's home was The Shay ground in Halifax, West Yorkshire.

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

The club was formed on 24 May 1911 at the Saddle Hotel.[2] It initially played in the Yorkshire Combination and the Midland League. It was one of the founder members of Football League Third Division North in 1921, and remained in that division until restructuring in 1958, when it became a member of the Football League Third Division. Its highest league position prior to World War II was second in 1934–35.[3]

1960s-1990s[edit]

The club's fortunes were turned around in 1967 when Alan Ball Sr. took over as manager of the club. He achieved promotion with the club in 1969. Ball left soon after, although the club enjoyed some success in the Football League Third Division in the early seventies, finishing one place short of promotion in 1971. Also in 1971 the club beat the former European champions Manchester United 2–1 in the pre-season Watney Cup competition. However, Halifax were relegated back to the fourth division in 1976.[citation needed]

In 1993 they were relegated to the Football Conference.[citation needed]

Conference[edit]

The club found the Conference no easier than the fourth division. After several poor seasons with severe financial constraints, the club was demoralised as there seemed to be no way out. However, previous manager George Mulhall returned towards the end of the 1996–97 and avoided relegation from the Conference. The next season Mulhall and Kieran O'Regan made a number of additions to the squad including Jamie Paterson, Mark Bradshaw and Lee Martin to put together a title-winning team. The Shaymen were crowned champions of the Conference and thus regained Football League status. Free scoring Geoff Horsfield was also the top scorer in the Conference that season, scoring 30 goals.[4]

Back In the Football League[edit]

Previous Club Badge

At the start of the 1998–99 season, manager George Mulhall chose to retire and O'Regan was promoted to manager. Striker and top scorer Geoff Horsfield only played ten games before he was sold to Fulham for £300,000 in October 1998.[5] Halifax made a strong start to their league campaign and were amongst the leaders until December, after which their results started to drop off and they slipped into mid-table. Although only three points off playoff positions, O'Regan was sacked as manager by Chairman Jim Bown after a 0 - 0 draw with Rochdale in April 1999.[6]

For the next three seasons, Town had three different managers. Town became the first team to be relegated to the Conference twice, in 2001–02.[citation needed]

Return to Conference[edit]

Chris Wilder was appointed Halifax manager in July 2002.[7] In their first season back in the Conference the Shaymen finished in eighth position.[8]

In 2005–06 the Shaymen reached the play-off final, against Hereford United at Leicester's Walkers Stadium on 20 May 2006. Goals from Lewis Killeen and John Grant put Halifax 2–1 ahead but Guy Ipoua levelled the score for Hereford in the 80th minute and the game went into extra time. Ryan Green scored the winner for Hereford in the 109th minute and Halifax missed out on a return to the Football League.[9]

With continuing financial problems off the pitch Halifax struggled to maintain this form in the 2006–07 season and only avoided relegation from the Conference on the last day of the season.[citation needed]

Financial Failure and Dissolution[edit]

In 2007, the club was placed into administration by a local consortium trying to buy the club.[10][11] In spite of being docked 10 points for entering administration, the club again survived relegation on the last day of the season. However, the club failed to get a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) to bring the club out of administration.,[12][13] and was demoted by three divisions to the Northern Premier League Division One North as a result.

Though the club appealed against the decision to remove it from the Football Conference,[14] the appeal was unsuccessful and the club was wound up.[15]

In May 2008 it had been revealed that following a major error, the club owed over £800,000 to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, making the club more than £2 million in the red.[13]

The Supporters' Trust prepared a back-up plan to form a new club should it be required. However,the club was re-formed by the same directors of the previous legal entity under the name F.C. Halifax Town and was accepted to play in the Northern Premier League Division One North in the 2008/09 season.[16]

Stadiums[edit]

The club moved to The Shay in 1921 (hence the team's nickname "The Shaymen") and remained there until they folded.

From the mid-1990s on The Shay underwent substantial development, and Halifax RLFC moved in and shared the venue. The Football Trust assisted in providing funds for the redevelopment.[17]

Players and managers[edit]

Notable players[edit]

For a list of notable Halifax Town players in sortable-list format see List of Halifax Town A.F.C. players; for all Halifax Town players with a Wikipedia article see Category:Halifax Town A.F.C. players.

Managerial history[edit]

Sources:[7][20]

Honours and club records[edit]

  • FA Cup
    • Fifth Round - 1932–33, 1952–53
  • FA Trophy
    • Fifth Round - 2002–03, 2003–04
  • Most goals scored[21]
    • Ernie Dixon, 132 goals (127 league, 5 cup) from 1922 to 1930 (other source[22] indicates 128 League goals and that he played for the club in two separate spells)
  • Most league goals in a season (club)[21]
    • 83 in Division Three North (1957–58)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "New club name revealed". Evening Courier (Halifax). 2008-07-09. Retrieved 2008-07-12. 
  2. ^ Halifax Town at The FSF Ground Guide[dead link]
  3. ^ "Halifax Town : History 1918 to 1945". Statto. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  4. ^ Johnny Meynell, Halifax Town from Ball to Lillis, 1999 p145
  5. ^ Johnny Meynell, Halifax Town from Ball to Lillis, 1999, p148
  6. ^ Johnny Meynell, Halifax Town from Ball to Lillis, 1999, p161
  7. ^ a b Halifax Town managers - official site
  8. ^ "Halifax Town". Playing record by season and cup results. Football Club History Database. Retrieved 27 August 2011. 
  9. ^ "Halifax 2-3 Hereford (aet)". BBC News. 2006-05-20. Retrieved 12 January 2013. 
  10. ^ "Halifax apply for administration". BBC News. 2008-03-14. Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  11. ^ "Halifax apply for administration". BBC Sport. 2008-03-14. Retrieved 2008-07-12. 
  12. ^ "Halifax fail with demotion appeal". BBC Sport. 2008-06-12. Retrieved 2008-07-12. 
  13. ^ a b "Halifax on the brink of collapse". BBC News. 2008-05-09. Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  14. ^ BlueSq Premier | North | South | Latest news on the new Blue Square Premier, North and South season | Conference AGM news
  15. ^ "Halifax fail with demotion appeal". BBC News. 2008-06-12. Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  16. ^ HTST Advise Town Accepted Into Unibond | Halifax Town | Fans | Supporters Trust | Supporters Trust[dead link]
  17. ^ Keith Butterick (November 2000). "Shay stadium". When Saturday Comes. Retrieved 18 February 2011. 
  18. ^ The Definitive Halifax AFC by Johnny Meynell
  19. ^ Taylor was the Halifax Chairman at the time and Booth was a club director - The Definitive Halifax AFC by Johnny Meynell
  20. ^ Halifax managers at mehstg.com
  21. ^ a b c d e "Halifax Town History". 16 August 2008. Retrieved 4 April 2010. 
  22. ^ Joyce, Michael (2004). Football League Players' Records 1888 to 1939. Soccerdata. ISBN 1-899468-67-6. 
  23. ^ a b Halifax Town facts at mehstg.com

External links[edit]