Halesowen Town F.C.

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Halesowen Town
Halesowen Town FC 2016 Logo.png
Full name Halesowen Town Football Club
Nickname(s) The Yeltz
Founded 1873
Ground The Grove, Halesowen
Ground Capacity 3,150 (525 seated)[1]
Chairman Colin Brookes
Manager John Hill
League Northern Premier League Premier Division
2016–17 Northern Premier League Premier Division, 19/24

Halesowen Town Football Club is a football club based in Halesowen, West Midlands, England. They are currently members of the Northern Premier League Premier Division and play at the Grove.

History[edit]

The club was established in 1873 and joined the Birmingham & District League in 1892, finishing bottom of the league in their first season.[1][2] They finished bottom of the league again in 1904–05 and dropped out of the league, before returning in 1906.[2] After another last-place finish in 1910–11 the club transferred to the Birmingham Combination.[2][3] They finished bottom of the new league for the next two seasons and left after finishing second-from-bottom in 1913–14.[3]

Halesowen rejoined the Birmingham Combination in 1919 and were renamed Halesowen Town in 1926.[4] They finished bottom of the league in 1926–27 but remained members of the competition until 1939.[4] In 1946 they rejoined the Birmingham & District League and won their first-ever league title in 1946–47.[5] In 1954 the league split into Northern and Southern divisions, with Halesowen placed in the Southern section. Further league reorganisation saw them become members of Division One the following season. In 1955–56 the club reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, losing 4–2 at home to Hendon in front of a record crowd of 5,000.[6][1] However, after finishing in the bottom three the following season, they were relegated to Division Two.[5]

A third-place finish in 1957–58 saw Halesowen promoted back to Division One. In 1960 the league reverted to a single division and in 1962 it was renamed the West Midlands (Regional) League.[5][6] The club were runners-up in 1964–65, and when the league gained a second division at the end of the season, they were placed in the Premier Division.[6] In 1982–83 they were Premier Division champions, also reaching the FA Vase final, losing 1–0 to VS Rugby at Wembley. They went on to retain the title for the next three seasons,[6] and reached the final of the FA Vase again in 1985 and 1986, winning on both occasions; in the 1984–85 final they beat Fleetwood Town 3–1 and in 1985–86 they won 3–0 against Southall.[6] The 1985–86 season also saw the club reach the first round of the FA Cup for the second time, eventually losing 3–1 to Frickley Athletic in a replay.[6] After their fourth consecutive title in 1985–86 the club moved up to the Midland Division of the Southern League.

Halesowen made further appearances in the first round of the FA Cup in 1987–88 and again in 1988–89 when they played Football League opposition for the first time, losing 2–0 at Brentford. They won the Midland Division in 1989–90, earning promotion to the Premier Division,[6] with another FA Cup first round appearance ending in a 1–0 defeat at Cardiff City.[6] They went on to meet Tranmere Rovers in the first round in 1990–91, losing 2–1, and Farnborough Town in 1991–92, losing 4–0 in a replay.[6]

Halesowen were Premier Division runners-up in 1995–96, missing out on the title and promotion to the Football Conference by three points. However, the early 2000s saw the club yo-yo between the divisions; in 2000–01 they finished bottom of the Premier Division and were relegated to the Western Division. The following season saw them return to the Premier Division as the first opportunity as they won the Western Division. An immediate relegation back to the Western Division at the end of the 2002–03 season was followed by another immediate promotion back to the Premier Division.[6] In 2004–05 another FA Cup first round appearance ended with a 2–1 defeat at Yeading. In 2007–08 the club finished third in the Premier Division, qualifying for the promotion play-offs; after beating Chippenham Town 2–1 in the semi-finals, they lost 2–1 to Team Bath in the final.

The 2010–11 season saw Halesowen finish bottom of the Premier Division, resulting in relegation to Division One South & West. In 2012 they were transferred to Division One South of the Northern Premier League, which they won in 2013–14, earning promotion to the league's Premier Division.[6]

Ground[edit]

The Grove

The club have played at The Grove since their formation in 1873.[7] The ground was used for cricket pitch and was three-sided for many years. In the 1930s, a small wooden stand was constructed along the perimeter of the James Grove Button Factory (now housing).

During the 1950s, the Old Hawne Lane end was constructed along with changing rooms, built on the site of former tennis courts. During this time players had to change in the Waggon and Horses public house on Stourbridge Road.

In the 1980s, the three sided ground was converted to four with the addition of the uncovered terracing along the Recreation Park side of the ground. In 1987, the 420-seat Harry Rudge Stand was completed on the site of the 1930s vintage wooden cover, whilst at the same time the rest of the ground received a face lift. The stand was extended in 1998 and again in 2000.

The floodlights which the club won in 1983 lasted until 2001 when a new set were installed and officially inaugurated at a friendly match against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Honours[edit]

  • Southern League
    • Midland Division champions 1989–90
    • Western Division champions 2001–02
  • Northern Premier League
    • Division One South champions 2013–14
  • West Midlands (Regional) League
    • Champions 1946–47, 1982–83, 1983–84, 1984–85, 1985–86
  • FA Vase
    • Winners 1984–85, 1985–86
  • Birmingham Senior Cup
    • Winners 1983–84, 1997–98
  • Staffordshire Senior Cup
    • Winners 1988–89
  • Worcestershire Senior Cup
    • Winners 1951–52, 1961–62, 2001–02, 2003–04

Records[edit]

  • Best FA Cup performance: First round, 1955–56, 1985–86, 1986–87, 1987–88, 1988–89, 1898–90, 1990–91, 1991–92, 2004–05[6]
  • Best FA Trophy performance: Third round, 1994–95, 1999–00, 2002–03[6]
  • Best FA Vase performance: Winners, 1984–85, 1985–86[6]
  • Record attendance: 5,000 vs Hendon, FA Cup first round, 1954[1]
  • Biggest win: 13–1 vs Coventry Amateurs, Birmingham Senior Cup, 1956[1]
  • Heaviest defeat: 8–0 vs Bilston, West Midlands (Regional) League, 7 April 1962[1]
  • Most appearances: Paul Johnson, 608[1]
  • Most goals: Paul Johnson, 369[1]
  • Record transfer fee paid: £7,250 to Gresley Rovers for Stuart Evans[1]
  • Record transfer fee received: £40,000 from Rushden & Diamonds for Jim Rodwell[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Mike Williams & Tony Williams (2016) Non-League Club Directory 2017, Tony Williams Publications, p453 ISBN 978-1869833695
  2. ^ a b c Birmingham & District League 1889–1930 Non-League Matters
  3. ^ a b Birmingham Combination 1892–1915 Non-League Matters
  4. ^ a b Birmingham Combination 1919–1954 Non-League Matters
  5. ^ a b c Birmingham & District League 1930–1962 Non-League Matters
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Halesowen Town at the Football Club History Database
  7. ^ Halesowen Town Non-League Club Directory

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°27′13.83″N 2°03′27.76″W / 52.4538417°N 2.0577111°W / 52.4538417; -2.0577111