Ramsbottom United F.C.
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|Full name||Ramsbottom United Football Club|
|Ground||The Harry Williams Riverside Stadium, Acrebottom, Ramsbottom|
|Manager||Anthony Johnson & Bernard Morley|
|League||Northern Premier League
|2013–14||Northern Premier League Division One North,
5th (promoted via play-offs)
Ramsbottom United F.C. are an English football club based in Ramsbottom, Greater Manchester. They play in the Northern Premier League Premier Division, having been promoted from the Northern Premier League Division One North in the 2013-14 season. Their home stadium is the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium, Acrebottom, Ramsbottom and their nickname is The Rams. They are full members of the Lancashire County Football Association.
The club was founded in 1966 by present chairman Harry Williams. They first played in the Bury Amateur League.
In 1967 Ramsbottom moved leagues to the Bolton Combination, where they spent the next eighteen years before a move in 1987 to the Manchester League, playing in Division One. In 1989–90 they finished in third place, and the following season were Division One champions, earning promotion to the Premier Division, where they spent the next four seasons. At the end of the 1994–95 season, the club applied to the North West Counties Football League and following substantial ground improvements, were admitted into the league's Second Division in June 1995.
In the Rams first season they finished 12th, and also won the Second Division Trophy with a 2–1 victory over Cheadle Town at Darwen's Anchor Ground. The following season they were crowned Second Division champions, pipping local rivals Haslingden on goal difference on the last day of the season. On 9 November 1996 they beat Stantondale 9–0, setting a club record winning margin and they also won all of their first 17 home fixtures. The club also entered the FA Vase for the first time, losing in the first qualifying round 0–1 at home to Tetley Walker.
The 1998–99 season saw the Rams finish in 11th place and also enter the FA Cup for the first time. They beat Maine Road 2–1 in a replay in the preliminary round, then won 3–0 at home to Shildon in the first qualifying round. In the second qualifying round they beat Billingham Town 3–0 before losing 0–5 at home to Conference National club Southport in the third qualifying round. 829 visitors turned out, easily breaking the previous record attendance of 464.
The 1999–2000 season saw a third place finish, on 79 points. Russell Brierley became the club's top scorer in any one season with 38 league goals. In the 2000–01 season they finished third again, tis time on 88 points and the following season they finished in 15th. Further mid-table finishes continued in the early 2000s, with a fifth-place in 2004–05, which also included a league double over eventual champions Fleetwood Town.
The Rams won the Bolton Hospitals Cup in the 2005–06 season with a 2–1 victory over Eagley at the Reebok Stadium, Bolton. In the league they finished in 18th place. The following season they finished 8th and won the Bolton Hospitals Cup again. And in 2007–08 they completed a third successive Bolton Hospitals Cup win, while finishing in 16th place in the league. The following season was once again seen as a disappointment, a 14th placed finish and unable to retain the Hospital's cup led to both manager and caretaker manager losing their jobs.
The 2009–10 season saw two former players return as joint managers. Twenty-six-year-old Anthony Johnson and twenty-five-year-old Bernard Morley were given the job which was seen of something as a massive gamble. However, it proved to be a masterstroke by the clubs chairman Harry Williams as in their first season the team finished in 4th place with a new club record of fourteen away victories. The following season (2010–11) was even better as the team once again broke plenty of club records including its highest ever finish in the clubs history by taking the runners-up trophy.
The 2011–12 season saw the club take the Premier Division title, gaining not only promotion to the Northern Premier League Division One North but also giving the club its highest-ever finish. The side broke many club records - 31 league wins, 16 away league wins, 108 league goals scored, and 96 points amassed, were just a few of the season's highlights, as well as numerous 'Player of the Month' awards being won. At the North West Counties AGM dinner in Blackpool, joint managers Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley were awarded with the Managers Of The Year award.
The 2012-13 season saw the club play in the Northern Premier League for the first time. The team once again surpassed all expectations by missing out on a play off place with the last kick of the season. Needing just a point for a play-off place, after 81 minutes the team were 1–0 up, before division champions Skelmersdale United scored two late goals to end the Rams' season with heartbreak. Nonetheless a 6th place finish was an unbelievable effort for the club's first season at such a high level. Two of the players (Lee Gaskell and Gary Stopforth) were named in the leagues 'Team Of The Year' to cap off another memorable season.
2013-14 proved to be Ramsbottom's best season to date. Despite being deducted three points towards the end of the season, they managed to take fifth place and the last play-off spot. They proceeded to defeat Darlington 1883 in the semi-finals, before passing Bamber Bridge 3-2 after extra time in the final, reaching the Northern Premier League Premier Division, the seventh tier of English football, for the first time in their history.
Ramsbottom play their home games at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium, which is situation near to the town centre, next to the East Lancashire Railway line and Ramsbottom Cricket Club. The ground is fully enclosed and behind one goal is a long covered stand (The Jack Wolfenden Stand, named after the hard working stalwart of Ramsbottom United Football Club, who can still be seen on the ground selling programmes on match days). One side of the pitch has two smaller covered stands named the Ellis Timlin stand (which contains 3 rows of seats) and the Main stand (which contains five rows of seating) which are situated at both sides of the halfway line. Floodlights were installed in the 1996–97 season, acquired from Oldham Athletic's Boundary Park stadium. In late 2009, the Main stand was extended to house more fans. Seats recovered from Manchester City's old Maine Road stadium when it was demolished were used in the extension. For the 2010–11 season the ground was renamed, 'The Harry Williams Riverside Stadium', after the club's long serving chairman.
Ground developments during the summer of 2013 saw the addition of a large sponsors lounge, acquired from Oldham Athletic's Boundary Park and the building of a cover for existing terracing behind the Railway End goal.
- As of 17th August 2014.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
|Anthony Johnson||Joint First-team manager|
|Bernard Morley||Joint First-team manager|
Notable former players
- North West Counties Football League Premier Division
- North West Counties Football League Division Two
- Champions: 1996–97
- Manchester Football League Division One
- Champions: 1990–91
- North West Counties Football League Second Division Trophy
- Winners: 1995–96
- Bolton Hospitals Cup
- Winners: 2005–06, 2006–07, 2007–08
- Largest attendance: 1,653 vs FC United of Manchester, North West Counties Football League Division One, 7 April 2007
At the end of the 2013-14 season, the average league-game attendance at the Riverside Ground for the 2013-14 season was 262.
Past averages (league only):
- 2013–14: 262
- 2012–13: 233 (231 in all competitions)
- 2011–12: 197 (202 in all competitions)
- 2010–11: 151
- 2009–10: 135
- 2008–09: 115
- 2007–08: 123
- 2006–07: 214
- 2005–06: 141
- 2004–05: 159
- 2003–04: 133
Source: English football site
- "Ramsbottom United". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 2009-02-24.
- "Club Details". Ramsbottom United Unofficial website. 12 December 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-24.
- "Ramsbottom Are Champions". NonLeagueDaily.com. Retrieved 29 April 2012.
- "Riverside Ground". Ramsbottom United Unofficial website. Retrieved 2009-02-24.
- Bevan, Chris; Jonathan Stevenson (2 January 2008). "Were you there ... ?". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-02-23.