A.F.C. Blackpool

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Not to be confused with Blackpool F.C..
A.F.C. Blackpool
Afc-blackpool-logo.png
Full name Association Football Club Blackpool
Nickname(s) The Mechanics
Founded 1947 (as Blackpool Metal Mechanics)
Ground The Mechanics, Jepson Way, Blackpool
Ground Capacity 2,000 (250 seated)[1]
Chairman Tommy Baldwin
Manager Stuart Parker
League North West Counties League Division One
2015–16 North West Counties League Premier Division, 22nd (relegated)

A.F.C. Blackpool are a football club based in Blackpool, Lancashire, England. The club currently play in the North West Counties League Division One. Based at Jepson Way, they are nicknamed The Mechanics or The Mechs, and are full members of the Lancashire County Football Association.

History[edit]

Blackpool Mechanics club crest

The club was founded as Blackpool Metal Mechanics in 1947 before changing their name to Blackpool Mechanics. They initially played in local leagues on the Fylde coast. They won the Fylde District League Division Two title in the 1950–51 season and were promoted to Division One, where between 1953–54 and 1957–58 they were champions twice and runners-up three times in five consecutive seasons. They also won a number of local cup competitions, including the Lancashire FA Amateur Shield in 1957–58.[2]

In 1959 the club took the decision move up the leagues and joined the West Lancashire League. In their first season, 1959–60, they were runners-up. In 1960–61 they were champions and also won the Lancashire FA Amateur Shield again. The following season they were again West Lancashire League champions.[2] In 1962 they joined the Lancashire Combination Division Two. The division was disbanded in 1968, with the league becoming a single division. The 1971-72 season saw a third-place finish. In the 1972–73 season they won the Lancashire Combination Bridge Shield and in 1974–75 finished as runners-up in the league, just one point behind champions Darwen.

With the formation of the North West Counties Football League, they were placed in Division Three, finishing sixth in their first season in the new League. They were promoted as champions to Division Two in 1985–86. They were briefly promoted to Division One in 1991–92 before being relegated back to Division Two, renamed Division One in 2006.[2]

In May 2005 Lytham St. Annes FC, who had just won the West Lancashire League Division One title, merged into the Mechanics after resigning from the West Lancashire league.[3] In May 2008 the Mechanics merged with Squires Gate Junior FC, with the club renamed AFC Blackpool.[2] The name change depended upon Blackpool giving it their full approval, and in July 2008 they confirmed to the Lancashire Football Association that they had no objections and that they were keen to help the club.[4]

As champions of Division One in 2010–11, they were promoted to the Premier Division. On 21 March 2015 some Blackpool FC fans boycotting their match with Leeds in protest at chairman Karl Oyston's management of the club decided to attend AFC Blackpool's match against Bootle.[5] The game saw an attendance of 503 compared with an average of 35 that season; some Leeds fans also attended the match as part of a combined general protest "against the Football League."[6][7]

The club were relegated to the North West Counties League First Division at the end of the 2015–16 season, in which they finished bottom of the table.

Season-by-season record[edit]

Ground[edit]

The club play at The Mechanics, Jepson Way having originally played at Stanley Park Arena.

In December 2007, the club announced plans for a £60,000 refurbishment programme, including improvements to the pitch, as well as new crowd barrier fencing and concreting the spectators area right round the pitch. Drainage work began on the pitch in April 2008, as well as levelling and reseeding the pitch. Following the club's name change in May 2008 they leased a further piece of land next to the ground to accommodate the enlarged club. Also investment to improve the facilities was begun. It was also decided that the ground would take the name The Mechanics to maintain the link with the past.[2]

In February 2006 the club had to switch their match against F.C. United of Manchester to Blackpool's Bloomfield Road ground due to the anticipated large crowd.[8] Around 4,300 spectators saw Mechanics lose the game 4–2, bringing in £10,000 for the club.

The ground has four stands. On the east side is the main stand which contains the dressing rooms, club offices and clubhouse with two rows of spectator seating. On the West side is a 100 capacity seated stand with the dugouts either side. There are small terraced stands behind each goal.

Current squad[edit]

As of 15 January 2017.[9]

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

No. Position Player
England GK Callum Kirkland
England DF Martin Baird
England DF Stephen Betteridge
England DF James Corbett
England DF Carl Duffy
England DF Alex Footman
England DF Robert Hanslip
England DF Dean Ing
England DF Declan Shaw
England DF Marc Taylor (captain)
England MF Ryan Charnley
No. Position Player
England MF Benjamin Duffield
England MF Stephen Higgins
England MF James McCulloch
England MF Matthew Muscroft
England MF Jamie Parker
England MF Matthew Richardson
England FW Aaron Fleming
United States FW Christopher Thomas
England FW Richard Tomlinson
England FW Jack Williams

Non-playing staff[edit]

As of 15 January 2017
Name Role
Tommy Baldwin Chairman
Billy Singleton Club Secretary
Stuart Parker Manager
Alex Williams Assistant Manager
Simon Hurst First-Team Coach
Lloyd Balasz Physiotherapist
Ben McInerney Fitness Coach
Marc Summer Under-18s Coach
Graeme Summerfield Under-18s Coach
Daniel Scott Under-14s Coach
Mark Stanley Under-14s Coach
Matt Smith Under-14s Coach
Sam Steele Under-11s Coach
Jordan Wood Under-11s Coach
Justin Singleton Under-9s Coach
John Westhead Under-8s (Knights) Coach
Paul Williams Under-8s (Knights) Coach
Robby Bentham Under-8s (Warriors) Coach
Kham Moreau Under-8s (Warriors) Coach
Cam Baxter Under-8s (Seagulls) Coach
Dean Baxter Under-8s (Seagulls) Coach
Ben Morris Under-7s Coach

Honours[edit]

Records[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mike Williams & Tony Williams (2012) Non-League Club Directory 2013, p646 ISBN 978-1-869833-77-0
  2. ^ a b c d e "History". A.F.C. Blackpool. Archived from the original on 28 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-18. 
  3. ^ "Mechanics in merger with LSA". Blackpool Gazette. 12 March 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-29. 
  4. ^ "AFC Blackpool is born". Blackpool Gazette. 20 February 2006. Retrieved 2007-09-29. 
  5. ^ "Blackpool 1-1 Leeds United". BBC. Retrieved 2015-10-10. 
  6. ^ "Blackpool fans to watch AFC Blackpool". BBC. Retrieved 2015-10-10. 
  7. ^ "Blackpool fans boycott Leeds game". BBC. Retrieved 2015-10-10. 
  8. ^ "Mechs talk to Pool about big match switch". Blackpool Gazette. 20 October 2005. Retrieved 2007-09-29. 
  9. ^ "squad". North West Counties Football League. Retrieved 15 January 2017. 
  10. ^ a b Blackpool Mechanics at the Football Club History Database
  11. ^ a b AFC Blackpool at the Football Club History Database
  12. ^ "Blackpool Mech 2 FC United 4". Manchester Evening News. 20 February 2006. Retrieved 18 January 2017. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°46′42.77″N 3°01′13.79″W / 53.7785472°N 3.0204972°W / 53.7785472; -3.0204972