Lancaster City F.C.

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Lancaster City F.C.
Club logo
Full name Lancaster City Football Club
Nickname(s) The Dolly Blues, City
Founded Original Club Formed 1911 as Lancaster Town F.C.
Ground Giant Axe, Lancaster
Ground Capacity 3,500 (513 seated)
Manager Philip John Brown
League Northern Premier League Premier Division
2016–17 Northern Premier League Division One North, 1/22 (promoted)

Lancaster City Football Club is an English football club based in Lancaster, Lancashire. The club are currently members of Northern Premier League Division One North and play at Giant Axe.


Following the folding of two Lancaster-based teams, Skerton F.C. and Lancaster Athletic F.C., Lancaster Town F.C. was founded in 1911.[1] They joined Division Two of the Lancashire Combination at the start of the 1911–12 season.[1]

After World War I the Combination was reduced to a single division. The club finished as runners-up in 1919–20, and the following season the club applied to join the new Third Division North of the Football League, but were unsuccessful. However, they won the Combination for the first time in 1921–22. In 1928–29 the club reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, but lost 3–1 at home to Lincoln City. The following year they won the Combination for a second time and reached the FA Cup first round again, losing 4–1 at New Brighton. The first round was reached again in 1930–31, 1931–32 and 1933–34, but the club lost on each occasion. Back-to-back league titles were won in 1934–35 and 1935–36,[2] and in 1937 the club adopted its current name, Lancaster City F.C., after the town was given city status as part of King George VI's coronation celebrations.[1]

The club continued in the Combination until 1970 with varying degrees of success but by the end of the 1960s it was decided that a change was needed so for the 1970–71 season the club left the Combination to join the newly established Northern Premier League, a league that had been formed just two years earlier. After finishing seventeenth in 1981–82 the club resigned from the Northern Premier League and dropped into Division One of the North West Counties League when financial difficulties led them to fold and reform. Two years later they were relegated to Division Two after finishing second from bottom of the league. However, despite only finishing thirteenth in 1987–88, the club were accepted into the new Division One of the Northern Premier League thanks to in no small part to ground standard and support.

In 1995–96, and under the stewardship of former Preston North End and Bury player Alan Tinsley, Lancaster finished as champions of Division One and were promoted to the Premier Division. After finishing eighth in 2003–04, under Tony Hesketh, the club were placed in the newly established Conference North. This proved to be a hugely successful period for Lancaster with the club enjoying healthy league positions, several cup successes as well as reaching the FA Cup first round proper on four occasions. However financial problems led to the club folding at the end of the 2006–07 season, in which they suffered a 10-point deduction for going into administration, and finished bottom of the league with one point. During the summer, the club reformed and were accepted into Division One of the Northern Premier League.

The 2008–09 season was the last one for ex player and fans favourite Barrie Stimpson. He was replaced by Tony Hesketh, towards the end of the season, returning for a second spell. Lancaster lost the 2009–10 play-off final 1–0 at home to Colwyn Bay but unfortunately, the pair couldn't guide the squad to a play-off position (2nd to 5th), finishing 7th in 2010–11 and 6th in 2011–12. Hesketh was relieved of his duties early into the 2012–13 season. Mick Hoyle once again taking the helm until a new manager was appointed. The former Sunderland, Darlington and Morecambe player Neil Wainwright and local non-league stalwart Michael Stringfellow were appointed as joint managers. Both Wainwright and Stringfellow left in February 2013 due to budget cuts, leaving the club without a first team manager. On 21 April 2013 Lancaster City appointed former Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers and Queens Park Rangers defender Darren Peacock as their new manager. The Dolly Blues then appointed Peacock's former team mate and ex Blackpool, Queens Park Rangers, West Ham United, Manchester City and England winger Trevor Sinclair as Peacock's assistant for the start of the 2014–15 season. Both Peacock and Sinclair left the club at the end of September 2015 after a disappointing start to the season being replaced by former player and assistant manager Phil Brown. In his first full season as manager Brown lead the team to the 2016–17 Northern Premier League Division One league title.


Main Stand at Giant Axe

The club play at Giant Axe, located close to Lancaster railway station and both Lancaster Castle and Lancaster Priory Church. It has been their home ground since the formation of the original club 1905, although the club played its first two home games at nearby Quay Meadow, located behind the buildings on St George's Quay by the River Lune. Giant Axe was given its name as it was the centrepiece of a sports club, the exterior wall of which was, when viewed from above, the same shape as an axe head. In those early years, tennis was also played at the ground along with a bowling green, and the football pitch was at the centre of a huge circle of grass called 'the sixpence', which also featured four cricket pitches. The ground has been the club's home since the early days, but was renovated in the 1970s when the original main grandstand was destroyed by fire and a new main stand was built. The ground was again modernised in the 1990s with the new West Road terrace being built and new modern plastic seating installed in the main stand.

The Giant Axe layout consists of the 513-seat Main Stand, named the John Bagguley Stand after the club's late president. Alongside the main stand are the players and officials changing facilities, supporters' bar and social club, toilets, club shop and Dolly's Diner refreshments bar. The open West Road Terrace is situated behind one goal and a covered terracing called The Shed at the other. Opposite the Main Stand is the Railway Side, an open terrace which also plays host to the directors lounge, a raised sponsors hospitality box and the dugouts. The club offices are now placed in the club car park behind the West Road Terrace.

Lancaster City's former social club the Dolly Blue Tavern was previously located outside the ground, adjacent to the car park, but within the club entrance and played host to the club offices. However the social club closed in August 2012 and has since been redeveloped into sheltered accommodation.

Current squad[edit]

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 Mike Hale
England GK Mark Thornley
England DF Jacob Davis
England DF Glen Steele
England DF Danny Gregson
England DF Ben Hudson
England DF Dave McCann
England DF Ricky Mercer (captain)
England DF Gavin Clark
England DF Adam Sumner
England DF Josh Westwood
England DF Rob Henry
No. Position Player
England MF Billy Akrigg
England MF Craig Carney
England MF Oliver Crolla
England MF Daniel Shearwood
England FW Paul Jarvis
England FW Terry Cummings
England FW Bobby Langford
England FW Charlie Waters
England MF Tom Kilifin
England FW Jordan Connerton
England FW Louis Mayers

Reserves, Ladies and Youth teams[edit]

Lancaster City also have several other teams starting with Lancaster City Reserves who play in the Lancashire League West Division, winning the 2011–12 title in a league that includes several other non-league reserve teams from the North West of England. The clubs under 18s team currently play in the North West Youth Alliance and are run from Lancaster and Morecambe College and from whom several first team players have progressed. Lancaster City Juniors FC teams ranging from under 7s to under 17s play in the Lancaster and Morecambe Service to Youth League.

Coaching staff[edit]

Coaching and Medical Staff

  • 1st XI Manager: Phil Brown
  • 1st XI Coach: Rob Henry
  • Physio: Joanna Snook
  • Kit Manager: Michael McGahon


Club records[edit]


Lancaster City's average crowd has declined over the last few years with the 2012–13 average gate of 171 being its lowest for nearly 30 years. During the 1930s it has been reported that crowds regularly reached 3,000 and by the 1950s gates of 4,500 have been recorded. In fact during the 1960s Lancaster were still attracting around 1,500 for home games. However, during the 1970s and 1980s gates dropped to a modest 250. During the mid to late '90s through to the mid-2000s, due to success on the field, the average gate rose a steady 300–400 however after the club was demoted two leagues in 2007 it has steadily declined. There have however been games when the crowds soared once again at Giant Axe. None more so than when neighbours Morecambe visited and for the various cup matches played in recent years with crowds getting as high as 2,500 for the FA Cup 4th qualifying round tie in 1996. Gates were also up more recently when City entertained such well supported clubs such as Chester and Halifax Town and United of Manchester with gates pushing upwards of four figures and therefore keeping the average gate at around 250. The United of Manchester game alone in fact attracted a gate of over 2,200 in 2007.


Past averages:

  • 2015–16 : 219
  • 2014–15 : 236
  • 2013–14 : 232
  • 2012–13 : 171
  • 2011–12 : 232
  • 2010–11 : 218
  • 2009–10 : 240
  • 2008–09 : 225
  • 2007–08 : 318
  • 2006–07 : 253
  • 2005–06 : 319
  • 2004–05 : 316

Source: English football site

Managerial history[edit]

Permanent managers listed in order from 1966–67:
Name From To
Joe Hayes 1966 1968
Barrie Betts 1968 1971
Peter Gilmour 1971 1973
Derek Armstrong 1973 1974
Sean Gallagher 1974 1980
Keith Dyson 1980 1982
Dickie Danson 1982 1991
Russ Perkins 1991 1991
John Smith 1991 1992
Keith Brindle 1992 1994
Alan Tinsley 1994 November 1996[3]
Gordon Raynor December 1996[4] 1998
Alan Tinsley 1998 March 1999[5]
Tony Hesketh 1999 May 2003[6]
Phil Wilson May 2003[7] December 2005[8]
Peter Ward December 2005[9] May 2006[10]
Gary Finley July 2006[11] October 2006[12]
Dave Bell 2006[12] 2006
Derek Bull 2006[12] 2006
Barrie Stimpson November 2006[13] March 2009[14]
Tony Hesketh April 2009 Sept 2012
Neil Wainwright & Michael Stringfellow Oct 2012 Feb 2013
Darren Peacock April 2013 Sept 2015
Phil Brown Sept 2015


  1. ^ a b c "Information – Lancaster City FC Official Website". Retrieved 2015-07-24. 
  2. ^ a b c d Lancaster Town at the Football Club History Database
  3. ^ Colin Dyer (1996-11-28). "On the ball with Colin Dyer". Lancashire Evening Telegraph. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  4. ^ Rupert Metcalf (1996-12-20). "Football:Harriers set to pull the crowds". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  5. ^ "Tinlsey gives refs the red card". Lancashire Evening Telegraph. 1999-03-12. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  6. ^ "Hesketh quits City". Lancashire Evening Telegraph. 2003-05-08. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  7. ^ "Wilson back in business at Lancaster". NonLeagueDaily. 2003-05-22. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  8. ^ "... While Wilson steps in at Barrow". NonLeagueDaily. 2005-12-12. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  9. ^ "Ward and Finley take over at Lancaster". NonLeagueDaily. 2005-12-23. Archived from the original on 27 September 2012. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  10. ^ "Shock as Ward quits City for 'Grove". NonLeagueDaily. 2006-05-03. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  11. ^ "Gary's promoted". Doncaster Rovers F.C. 2006-07-24. Retrieved 2010-02-09. 
  12. ^ a b c "Revolving door continues spinning at Lancaster". 2006-11-06. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  13. ^ Matt Donlan (2006-11-29). "Stimmo is the new Blue". Lancaster and Morecambe Citizen. Retrieved 2010-02-09. 
  14. ^ "Stimpson goes at Lancaster". Lancaster Guardian. 2009-03-11. Retrieved 2010-02-09. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 54°3′3.8″N 2°48′39.5″W / 54.051056°N 2.810972°W / 54.051056; -2.810972