FC Halifax Town
|Full name||FC Halifax Town|
|Capacity||14,061 (5,830 seated)|
|2019–20||National League, 6th of 24|
FC Halifax Town is a professional association football club based in Halifax, West Yorkshire, England. They currently compete in the National League, the fifth tier of English football, and play at the Shay. They replaced Halifax Town A.F.C., which went into administration in the 2007–08 season.
Huge tax debts buried Halifax Town A.F.C. after almost 100 years as a football club. In May 2008, it was revealed that Halifax owed over £814,000 to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs. It was originally thought the club owed the taxman around £500,000, which might have left scope for a deal. At a meeting of the FA, discussing the makeup of the football pyramid for the 2008–09 season, it was decided that FC Halifax Town would be placed in the Northern Premier League Division One North (the eighth tier of English football) despite various appeals.
Northern Premier League (2008–2011)
The club's first game under the new name FC Halifax Town was a friendly defeat against Tamworth on 19 July 2008. The Shaymen's first competitive match came in a 3–0 loss to Bamber Bridge. FC Halifax's first ever season was filled with inconsistency: ending outside the play-off positions in 8th place.
In April 2009, Neil Aspin was appointed as the new manager, which would prove to be an excellent appointment. His first season in charge was a successful one; winning the league with 100 points (scoring 108 goals in the process). Halifax reached the FA Cup 4th qualifying round that season: eventually losing to Wrexham in front of a record crowd of 2,843. The title was sealed with a 2–2 home draw against Clitheroe.
Halifax started the 2010–11 season in the Northern Premier League, (the 7th tier of English football). New-signing Jamie Vardy (who would later play for Leicester City and the England National Team) helped fire Halifax to back-to-back promotions to the Conference North as top scorer with 22 goals. Once again, Halifax would lose in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup to a fifth tier side; this time it would be a narrow defeat to Mansfield Town. On New Year's Day 2011, Town beat FC United of Manchester 4–1 at the Shay which attracted a crowd of 4,023, an attendance that at the time held the record crowd for the Northern Premier League. They finally won the title after winning 2–0 at Retford United and gained automatic promotion to the Conference North.
Conference North Years (2011–2013)
During pre-season, star-striker Jamie Vardy signed for Fleetwood Town. Vardy was replaced as Halifax's main striker by Lee Gregory (who would later play for Millwall and Stoke City in the EFL Championship). Halifax had a sluggish start to their first ever season in the 6th tier. For the first ever time, Halifax reached the 1st round of the FA Cup: a televised home tie against League 1 leaders Charlton Athletic. The result was a 4–0 defeat in front of 4,601 supporters.The club rose from 13th at the start of the match to 3rd by the end of the season. Halifax lost in the play-offs to Gainsborough Trinity (3–2 on aggregate).
The 2012–13 season was the club's second consecutive season in the 6th tier. The season was defined by successful cup-runs and another promotion. In the FA Cup, Halifax took Conference Premier side Lincoln City to a replay in the 4th qualifying round. In the FA Trophy Halifax reached the quarter-finals of the tournament, eventually losing out to 5th tier side Dartford. Due to Town's cup-runs and postponements from poor weather caused a huge back-log in fixtures. By February, Halifax had ten games in hand on certain teams. Halifax had a difficult run at the end of the season (despite playing 12 games in 27 days), reaching the play-offs in 5th. In the play-off semi-final, Halifax won 3–1 (on aggregate) against local side Guiseley. The play-off final was won 1–0 against Brackley Town with a solitary goal by Lee Gregory.
National League Years (2013–)
The National League (5th tier) was the highest level that the newly formed FC Halifax Town side had played at since formation. Neil Aspin started the 2013–14 season by signing a two-year contract. Their first season in the 5th tier started with a disappointing 5–1 defeat to Cambridge United. Town's first win in the 5th tier was against Wrexham. From March onwards, the Shaymen won 9 of 10 matches (keeping 7 clean-sheets) Halifax finished their first season in the Conference play-off positions (the highest placed semi-professional team in the country). Halifax lost 2–1 to Cambridge United in the play-off semi-final, rounding off a sensational first season in the 5th tier.
During pre-season, Lee Gregory was sold for £250,000 to Millwall after being Halifax's top scorer for three consecutive seasons (scoring 18, 20 and 29 goals respectively). Halifax started the new season with five consecutive wins, placing the Shaymen at the top of the league. In the 1st round of the FA Cup, Halifax were drawn against old rivals Bradford City. The televised match attracted 8,042 spectators (FC Halifax Town's record attendance): which Town lost 2–1. Eventually, form dropped off in the league with too many draws (15), leaving Halifax Town in 9th place at the end of the season.
The Shaymen's third season in the National League was a poor one, culminating in relegation back to the 6th tier. Neil Aspin was sacked and replaced by Darren Kelly. Kelly oversaw disastrous results against Grimsby Town (7–0), Cheltenham Town (7–1) and Braintree Town (6–3). The Braintree defeat forced the hand of the board who sacked him after less than two months in charge. Jim Harvey became caretaker manager, he turned the club's fortunes around but couldn't prevent Halifax's relegation back to the National League North following a draw against Macclesfield Town. Meanwhile, Halifax reached the 2016 FA Trophy Final, defeating Grimsby Town 1–0 at Wembley Stadium.
Harvey was replaced by North Ferriby United manager Billy Heath. Town made an immediate return to the National League, finishing in 3rd place. Halifax met Salford City in the play-off semi-final, drawing 1–1 (winning 3–0 on penalties). In the play-off final, Halifax beat Chorley 2–1 after extra time in front of nearly 8000 fans.
Halifax's return to the National League was largely uneventful. Despite mid-season doubts, Halifax were never in serious danger of relegation. Billy Heath was replaced by Jamie Fullarton mid-season who guided them to 16th place.
For the second consecutive season, Halifax finished the season in 16th place. Halifax were top of the league at the end of August having just switched to a hybrid full-time model. The highlight of the season was an impressive win against League Two side Morecambe.
During pre-season, Jamie Fullarton was replaced with Pete Wild. This time though, the positive start to the season didn't end like in previous seasons. By March, the COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the season. The final league position was decided on a points per game decision, meaning Halifax would end up in the play-off positions. However, the Shaymen lost 2–1 in the play-offs to Boreham Wood.
|Period||Kit Manufacturer||Home Shirt Sponsor||Away Shirt Sponsor|
|2008–2009||Vandanel||Grand Union Railway||Halton Group|
|2009–2010||Doodson Broking Group|
|2015–2016||MBi Consulting||Integro Doodson|
|2016–2017||Northern Powerhouse Developments||GB Architectural Cladding Products|
Halifax Town's traditional colours are blue and white. The club doesn't have any particular, identifiable style and as such there can be quite a change of style season upon season. For the majority of Halifax Town's existence the club has opted for blue shirts, blue shorts and blue socks with various different styles on the shirt. This rhythm was interrupted between 2011 and 2014 as in the 2011–12 season the kit was blue with black trim as opposed to white, between 2012 and 2014 the club wore blue shirts, white shorts and blue socks and in the 2019-20 season the kit was blue with golden trim. As Halifax Town (AFC) the kit was also variable, including full blue, blue with white shorts, blue and white stripes and in the 1970s the kit included orange and even full white kits with orange.
Rivals and local games
|Bradford City||L 2–1||2014–15|
|York City||D 2–2||2007–08|
|Huddersfield Town||D 0–0||2001–02|
According to a survey conducted in 2003, Halifax's three main rivals are Burnley, Rochdale and Huddersfield Town. The rivalry with Burnley began in the 1980s when Burnley dropped into the Fourth Division and a number of intense affairs between the two clubs when the teams played sparked a rivalry. Despite not having met since and rarely beforehand, Halifax fans still view Burnley as being the club's biggest rival and make reference to it in several chants. Halifax have met Rochdale well over 100 times in the Football League and like the Burnley rivalry has formed due to the Yorkshire-Lancashire connection and being one of the nearest towns to Halifax, albeit over the Pennines. Rochdale are the club's oldest traditional rival and many of the older generation of supporters still see them as the primary rival. The Huddersfield rivalry comes from the proximity between the two towns, being just 8 miles apart. Like Burnley, the two clubs have rarely met due to Huddersfield usually being in a higher division but the fans still see there as being a rivalry.
Other rivals include Bradford City and York City. Despite Bradford being a similar distance away from Halifax as Huddersfield is and having met each other far more times, isn't considered as fierce a rivalry. York, although around 35 miles away, have a competitive rivalry with Halifax, particularly as the two were the only Yorkshire representatives when playing in the Conference Premier in the mid-2000s. Barnsley and Oldham Athletic were both considered rivals in the past; neither have played Halifax in a league fixture since the 1970s.
When Halifax were demoted to the regional leagues some of the smaller local clubs tried to form competitive rivalries but none of them really took off. The biggest of these rivalries was arguably with Guiseley as the clubs met several times and during Halifax's time in the Conference North the two clubs were both pushing for the play-offs. The rivalry has since declined and has become more of a friendly one as several ex-Halifax players now play and manage there. A small rivalry formed with Chester during their season in the Conference North as the two clubs were the two big, ex-league clubs and had gone through an almost identical fate, having been liquidated and demoted three leagues. Smaller rivalries were also formed with Bradford Park Avenue and Harrogate Town.
- As of 29 March 2021
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
- Club officials
- Chairman: David Bosomworth
- Directors: Bobby Ham, Stuart Peacock
- Associate Directors: Pete Hemingway, Pete Stajic
- Club Secretary: Mike Sharman
- President: Robert Holmes
- Vice President: Geoff Cope & Lester
- Honorary Vice Presidents: Kemp & Queenie
- First team staff
- Manager: Pete Wild
- Assistant Manager: Chris Millington
- Goalkeeping Coach: Paul Oakes
- Physiothreapist: Alan Jackson
- As of 6 September 2020
All competitions except West Riding County Cup
|Jim Vince||2 July 2008||9 April 2009||46||22||10||14||47.83|
|Nigel Jemson (Caretaker)||9 April 2009||25 April 2009||4||0||3||1||0.00|
|Neil Aspin||28 April 2009||17 September 2015||332||178||78||76||53.61|
|Gareth McClelland (Caretaker)||17 September 2015||1 October 2015||3||0||2||1||0.00|
|Darren Kelly||1 October 2015||17 November 2015||10||2||1||7||20.00|
|Jim Harvey (Caretaker)||17 November 2015||22 December 2015||5||3||2||0||60.00|
|Jim Harvey||22 December 2015||24 May 2016||29||12||9||8||41.38|
|Billy Heath||24 May 2016||31 January 2018||88||38||23||27||43.18|
|Neil Young (Caretaker)||31 January 2018||20 February 2018||3||1||1||1||33.33|
|Jamie Fullarton||20 February 2018||15 July 2019||65||20||27||18||30.80|
|Steve Nichol and Nathan Clarke (Co-Caretakers)||15 July 2019||24 July 2019||0||0||0||0||0.00|
|Pete Wild||24 July 2019||Present||41||19||7||15||46.34|
|Year||League||Tier||Pld||W||D||L||F||A||GD||Pts||Position||League top scorer||FA Cup||FA Trophy||Average league attendance||Additional Notes|
|2008–09||Northern Premier League
Division One North
|8||40||17||12||11||71||52||+19||63||8/21||Ashley Stott (15)||QR2||PR||1,165|
|2009–10||Northern Premier League
Division One North
|James Dean (27)||QR4||QR3||1,432||Promotion|
|2010–11||Northern Premier League
|Jamie Vardy (22)||QR4||QR2||1,630||Second successive promotion|
|2011–12||Conference North||6||42||21||11||10||80||59||+21||74||3/22||Lee Gregory (18)||R1||QR3||1,422||Lost in the play-offs to Gainsborough Trinity|
|Lee Gregory (20)||QR4||QF||1,222||Promoted via the play-offs, beating Brackley Town 1–0 in the play-off final|
|2013–14||Conference Premier||5||46||22||11||13||85||58||+27||77||5/24||Lee Gregory (29)||R1||R1||1,600||Lost in the play-offs to Cambridge United|
|2014–15||Conference Premier||5||46||17||15||14||60||54||+6||66||9/24||Lois Maynard (11)||R1||QF||1,472|
|Jordan Burrow (14)||R1||W||1,546||FC Halifax were relegated|
|2016–17||National League North||6||42||24||8||10||81||43||+38||80||3/22
|Tom Denton (16)||R2||QR3||1,810||Promoted via the play-offs against Chorley|
|2017–18||National League||5||46||13||16||17||48||58||−10||55||16/24||Tom Denton/Matty Kosylo (10)||QR4||R2||1,726|
|2018–19||National League||5||46||13||20||13||44||43||+1||59||16/24||Devante Rodney (7)||R2||R2||1,553|
|2019–20||National League||5||37||17||7||13||50||49||+1||58||6/24||Liam McAlinden (10)||QR4||R3||2,141||Lost in the play-offs against Boreham Wood|
|2008–09||2nd qualifying round||Lost 1–4 to Nantwich Town|
|2009–10||4th qualifying round||Lost 0–1 to Wrexham|
|2010–11||4th qualifying round||Lost 0–1 to Mansfield Town|
|2011–12||1st round||Lost 0–4 to Charlton Athletic|
|2012–13||4th qualifying round||Lost replay 0–2 to Lincoln City|
|2013–14||1st round||Lost 1–4 to MK Dons|
|2014–15||1st round||Lost 1–2 to Bradford City|
|2015–16||1st round||Lost 0–4 to Wycombe Wanderers|
|2016–17||2nd round||Lost replay 0–2 to Eastleigh|
|2017–18||4th qualifying round||Lost 1–3 to Tranmere Rovers|
|2018–19||2nd round||Lost 1–3 to AFC Wimbledon|
|2019–20||4th qualifying round||Lost 1–2 to Harrogate Town|
|2020–21||4th qualifying round||Lost 0–2 to South Shields|
|2008–09||Preliminary||Lost 1–2 to Harrogate Railway Athletic|
|2009–10||3rd qualifying round||Lost 1–3 to Guiseley|
|2010–11||2nd qualifying round||Lost 1–2 to Curzon Ashton|
|2011–12||3rd qualifying round||Lost replay 1–2 to Colwyn Bay|
|2012–13||Quarter-finals||Lost replay 2–3 to Dartford|
|2013–14||1st round||Lost 0–1 to Guiseley|
|2014–15||Quarter-finals||Lost 0–1 to Wrexham|
|2015–16||Final||Winners 1–0 against Grimsby Town|
|2016–17||3rd qualifying round||Lost replay 2–3 to Matlock Town|
|2017–18||2nd round||Lost 1–4 to Maidenhead United|
|2018–19||2nd round||Lost replay 0–1 to Solihull Moors|
|2019–20||3rd round||Lost 0–1 to Halesowen Town|
- National League North:
- FA Trophy:
- Winners: 2015–16
- Northern Premier League Premier Division:
- Winners: 2010–11
- Northern Premier League Division One North:
- Winners: 2009–10
- West Riding County Cup:
- Winners: 2012–13
- As of 6 September 2020
- Most league goals in a season – 29: Lee Gregory, (2013–14)
- Most league goals in total – 89: Lee Gregory, (2010–2014)
- Most goals in a season – 40: James Dean, (2009–10)
- Most goals in total – 102: Lee Gregory, (2010–2014)
- Most goals scored in a single game by one player – 4: Lee Gregory, v Gloucester City (15 September 2012), v Worcester City (2 March 2013)
- Most league appearances – 250, Scott McManus (2011–2018)
- Most appearances – 290, Scott McManus (2011–2018)
- Fastest goal – 25 seconds, Jon Worthington, v Gloucester City (15 September 2012)
- Oldest player – Nigel Jemson, aged 39 years and 258 days v Chorley (25 April 2009)
- Youngest player – Andrew Villerman, aged 17 years and 179 days v Newcastle Blue Star (21 March 2009)
- Oldest goalscorer – Nigel Jemson, aged 39 years and 251 days v Trafford (18 April 2009)
- Youngest goalscorer – David Brooks, aged 18 years and 59 days v Aldershot Town (5 September 2015)
Most league appearances and goals
- As of 28 April 2018
The following table shows players who have made 75 league appearances or more for the club (including substitutions) in descending order:
|2011–2018||Scott McManus||250||2014–2017||Richard Peniket||92|
|2009–2014||Danny Lowe||169||2015–||Sam Johnson||91|
|2012–2016||Matt Glennon||157||2013–2015||Marc Roberts||91|
|2008–2012||Tom Baker||145||2011–2014||Ryan Toulson||89|
|2010–2014||Lee Gregory||145||2013–2015||Lois Maynard||85|
|2010–2013||Liam Hogan||111||2008–2011||Scott Phelan||83|
|2014–2017||Kevin Roberts||106||2013–2015||Adam Smith||82|
|2013–2015||Matty Pearson||105||2015–||Matty Brown||79|
|2009–2012||James Dean||101||2016–2018||Josh Wilde||79|
|2013–2016||James Bolton||100||2009–2011||Jonathan Hedge||77|
|2009–2012||Aaron Hardy||99||2013–2018||Jake Hibbs||76|
|2015–2020||Josh MacDonald||96||2010–2012||Simon Garner||75|
The following table shows players who have scored 15 league goals or more for the club (including penalties) in descending order:
|2010–2014||Lee Gregory||94||2008–2012||Tom Baker||22|
|2009–2012||James Dean||53||2009–2012||Nick Gray||20|
|2010–2012||Danny Holland||27||2013–2015||Lois Maynard||19|
|2016–2018||Tom Denton||27||2016–2019||Matty Kosylo||18|
|2010–2011||Jamie Vardy||25||2012–2014||Dan Gardner||16|
|2009–2011||Richard Marshall||24||2008–2009||Ashley Stott||15|
As of 6 September 2020
- Highest attendance – 8,042, v Bradford City, FA Cup 1st round, 9 November 2014
- Highest league attendance – 4,023, v FC United of Manchester, Northern Premier League Premier Division, 1 January 2011
- Lowest attendance – 295, v Retford United, Northern Premier League President's Cup, 16 December 2008
- Lowest league attendance – 778, v Warrington Town, Northern Premier League Division One North, 16 September 2008
- Highest average attendance – 2,141, 2019–20 season
- Highest league win – 8–1, v Ossett Town, 18 January 2011. 7–0, v Hinckley United, 5 March 2013
- Worst league defeat – 0–7, v Grimsby Town, 13 October 2015
- Most goals in a game – 9, v Ossett Town, 18 January 2011, v Braintree Town, 14 November 2015, v Ossett Albion, 8 November 2016
- Longest league unbeaten run – 19, 2 March 2010 – 24 August 2010
- Most league games won in a row – 10, 18 September 2010 – 16 November 2011
- Most league games without winning – 12, 3 April 2015 – 29 August 2015
- Most league games lost in a row – 8, 11 April 2015 – 18 August 2015
- Most league games drawn in a row – 6, 7 March 2015 – 24 March 2015
- Most consecutive league clean sheets – 7, 15 March 2014 – 15 April 2014
- Most clean sheets in a season – 18, 2009–10
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- "Tables - The Vanarama National League Table". Retrieved 14 September 2020.
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- "Coronavirus:National League cancel remaining matches in 2019/20 season amid COVID-19 pandemic". Talksport. 22 April 2020. Retrieved 7 September 2020.
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- Kit classics Halifax, "http://www.kitclassics.co.uk/kits/halifax.png"
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