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Marine A.F.C.

Coordinates: 53°29′07″N 3°02′01″W / 53.485157°N 3.03363°W / 53.485157; -3.03363
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Full nameMarine Association Football Club
Nickname(s)The Mariners, The Lilywhites
Founded1894 (1894)
GroundRossett Park, Crosby
ChairmanPaul Leary
ManagerNeil Young
LeagueNational League North
2023–24Northern Premier League Premier Division, 3rd of 21 (promoted via play-offs)
WebsiteClub website

Marine Association Football Club is an English football club based in Crosby, Merseyside. The club, which was founded in 1894, is a member of both the Liverpool County and Lancashire County Football Associations, and currently plays in the National League North, the sixth tier of the English football league system.

Marine is notable for having the longest-serving manager in postwar English football. Roly Howard occupied the post from 1972 to 2005 and oversaw a total of 1,975 games.[1]


The club was formed in 1894 by a group of local businessmen and former college students. Marine takes its name from a hotel on the River Mersey sea front at Waterloo, seven miles to the north of Liverpool city centre, where the founders of the club met. Marine moved to its present ground, Rossett Park, in 1903.[2]

Marine quickly won multiple titles in the I Zingari League and the Liverpool Combination. The club's greatest success as an amateur team in this period culminated in an FA Amateur Cup Final appearance in 1931–32, where they lost 7–1 to Dulwich Hamlet in front of a crowd of 22,000 fans at the Boleyn Ground.

In 1935–36 the club moved to the all-professional Lancashire Combination and enjoyed limited success before moving to the Cheshire County League in 1969–70.

In 1972, Roly Howard was appointed first team manager. Over a 33-year period he completed 1,975 competitive games, before retiring at the end of the 2004–05 season. He was recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the longest serving manager in world football as Marine enjoyed their most successful period, winning 30 trophies.

The club relinquished its amateur status and became professional in 1974. Following this, three Cheshire League Championships were won in five seasons before Marine progressed to the Northern Premier League in 1979–80. They were Champions twice in the 1993–94 and 1994–95 seasons as well as finishing as runners-up on two occasions. Marine have also won the League Challenge Cup on four occasions in 1984–85, 1991–92, 2002–03 and 2015–16.

In 1999, the magazine FourFourTwo included a monthly feature on the club, sending Michael Hann to follow them for an entire season. In 2001, Marine were the subject of a six-part television series for Granada TV, titled Marine Lives. The series included footage of former player Jason McAteer returning to visit the club.

Marine (yellow shirts) playing away against Leek Town in 2006

Under the new management team of Alvin McDonald and assistant Peter Carroll, Marine qualified for the Northern Premier Division play-offs twice in succession (2005–06 and 2006–07), losing to the eventual winners each time. In the 2007–08 season, the club won the Liverpool Senior Cup. McDonald left the club partway through the 2008–09 season [3] with players Kevin Lynch and Phil Brazier being appointed caretakers. At the end of the season, Lynch was appointed permanent manager with Brazier as his assistant.[4]

Lynch departed the club at the end of the 2012–13 season to become first team coach at Chesterfield,[5] and was replaced by Brazier. However, Brazier was sacked at the end of the following season with the club having narrowly avoided relegation.[6]

Carl Macauley took over at the beginning of the 2014–15 season,[7] but a poor run of form saw the club in the relegation zone, 11 points from safety, and he was sacked.[8] Defender Sean Hessey was placed in temporary charge until the end of the season, and guided the club to a remarkable escape from relegation, with only one defeat in their final twelve games. The club were reprieved from relegation despite finishing in 21st place, due to having the highest average points per game of clubs in the highest relegation spots across the three equivalent divisions. This meant that the club continued to hold their record as the longest-serving members of the Northern Premier League.[9] Hessey was confirmed as the club's permanent manager prior to the end of the 2014–15 season.[10]

In the 2015–16 season, Marine secured a 15th-place finish. There was a strong performance in the league cup, beating Glossop North End, Ramsbottom United and Workington to progress to the quarter-finals. A home draw saw Ossett Town narrowly beaten 1–0 before Colwyn Bay were drawn to visit Rossett Park in the semi-finals. Colwyn Bay were defeated 4–1 with Alan Burton, Andy Owens, James Foley and player-manager Sean Hessey getting on the score-sheet. This set up a final against Scarborough Athletic to be held at Throstle Nest, home of Farsley Celtic. Going 0–1 down in the 58th minute, it wasn't until Hessey subbed himself on for Willis in the 80th minute that Marine looked dangerous, and Warren Bellew scored in the 87th minute. At 1–1, in the fourth minute of added time, that season's highest club goalscorer Danny Mitchley curled in an effort from the edge of the box to win the game for Marine. This was the fourth time that Marine FC won the league cup, a record for this competition.[11]

Towards the end of a dismal 2016–17 season. Hessey left the club and was replaced by Tommy Lawson. A mass walk-out of players didn't help Lawson but he managed to assemble a squad at short notice. He then guided the club away from the relegation zone after 5 wins in 11 games. Marine finished in 18th place in the table.

The 2017–18 season was once again a disappointment with Marine finishing in 19th place in the table. However, the team reached the final of the Liverpool Senior Cup where 750 fans saw them beaten 4–0 at home to Prescot Cables. They also went on a good run in the FA Trophy beating Whitby Town and Atherton Collieries. They then saw off teams from the division above in FC United and Chorley before a first ever visit to Dover Athletic saw them lose 3–4 against the Conference National team.

In the 2018–19 season, after only five games Marine found themselves second from bottom of the league. A 2–0 defeat at home to Grantham Town on 1 September saw manager Tommy Lawson resign the following day. His assistant Ian Johnson was given temporary charge whilst the club looked for a replacement.[12] On 13 September 2018, Marine announced the appointment of former Chester manager Neil Young.[13] He was joined by Alan Morgan as assistant manager on 21 September 2018.[14] Young started his tenure with a 1–0 defeat at Warrington Town on 15 September 2018.[15] In 2019, Marine were relegated to the Northern Premier League Division One North West. It was the first relegation in their history, and followed 40 consecutive seasons at the highest level of the Northern Premier League.[16]

In 2021, Marine reached the third round of the FA Cup, which they lost 5–0 to Tottenham Hotspur. With Marine 161 places below Tottenham, the gap between the two teams was the biggest in FA Cup history.[17][18] The match raised over £300,000 for the club from the selling of 32,202 "virtual tickets" to fans of Tottenham and other clubs who wished to support Marine but were unable to attend the match due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[19][20] After the FA Cup run in the 2020/21 season, Marine opened the 1894 Bar and Bistro at their ground.

Marine finished 5th in the 2021/22 season. They played Workington in the playoff semi final which they won 3–2 after extra time and a Neil Kengni hat-trick. They then won the playoffs after coming from behind to beat Runcorn Linnets which earned them promotion to the Northern Premier League Premier Division. In the 2022/23 season Marine won the Liverpool Senior Cup beating Runcorn Linnets in the final at the DCBL Stadium 4–2 on penalties. The following year, Marine repeated their success in the Liverpool Senior Cup, and earned a second promotion in three years; being promoted to the National League North following a 2–1 victory away to Macclesfield F.C..

FA Cup[edit]

The club have twice reached the third round of the FA Cup.

In 1992–93 they lost 3–1 to Crewe Alexandra, and in 2020–21 they lost 5–0 to Tottenham Hotspur.[21]

Marine have beaten three Football League clubs (Barnsley, Halifax Town and Colchester United) in the competition.[22][23]

FA Trophy[edit]

Marine have twice reached the semi-finals of the FA Trophy, in 1983–84 and 1991–92. Both times, they played a team from the Northwich area. On both occasions they drew away, 1–1 and 2–2 respectively, before losing at home.

In 1983–84 they lost 1–3 on aggregate to Northwich Victoria.

In 1991–92 they lost 3–6 on aggregate to Witton Albion.

Northern Premier League Cup[edit]

Marine have appeared in six finals, winning the cup a record four times.

Runners Up 1980–81, 3–4 vs Runcorn

Winners 1984–85 3–2, vs Goole Town

Runners Up 1985–86, 0–1 Hyde United

Winners 1991–92, 1–0 Frickley Athletic

Winners 2002–03, 3–0 (on aggregate) vs Gateshead

Winners 2015–16, 2–1 vs Scarborough Athletic

Marine have also been winners of 13 senior county cups.[citation needed]


The club play at Rossett Park, located on College Road in Crosby. It is believed that the ground has been in use since at least 1884 when rugby union was played there. Marine have played at the ground since 1903, when they moved from their previous ground at Waterloo Park, Crosby. In 1949, Marine played host to Nigeria at Rossett Park - all but one of whom played without boots - with the visitors winning 5–2.[24] The crowd was officially given as 4,000 with some considering it to be 6,000.

Between 2006 and 2015, the ground was known as the Arriva Stadium due to a sponsorship deal.

On 24 January 2011, the club announced plans to develop the Arriva Stadium. The outdated floodlights were replaced in the summer of 2012 with a new eco friendly four corner system. The 20m high masts have a total of 28 lamps and these generate in excess of 350 lux, which was the Football League lighting requirement at the time of installation. Further to these plans, the club planned to build a 130-seat covered stand at the Crosender Road end of the ground. The total cost of all the improvements was estimated at £150,000.[25]

On 25 January 2014, the club announced a two-year ground share agreement with North West Counties Premier Division side A.F.C. Liverpool. This has now extended to the 2021–22 season.

In August 2015, Rossett Park was renamed the Marine Travel Arena as a result of a sponsorship deal with the club's existing shirt sponsors, Marine Travel. The deal will continue until 2024.[26]

On 3 May 2022, the club began to dig up the pitch to install a new 4G pitch, after delaying it from the previous summer. This again was funded with the income from the FA Cup run in the 20–21 season. This project was finalised on 12 July.

Colours and badge[edit]

Marine's traditional home colours are white shirts with black trim, worn with black shorts and socks.

The club badge is a black and white coat of arms similar to that of the town they are based in, Crosby


The club had a supporters association known as the MSA (Marine Supporters Association) that was formed in the late 1980s. The supporters association raises funds for the club, arranges away coach travel to many games, and operates the club's merchandise shop. The MSA was disbanded in November 2021.

The Crosender Way[27] is an independent supporters group for Marine, named after the Crosender Road area of the stadium. Formed in January 2017, the group actively promotes the football club via social media. The group's main objective is to attract and support fans at the club and to organise away travel for all supporters.

Current squad[edit]

As of 13 July 2024

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

Pos. Nation Player
GK England ENG Luke Hutchinson (on loan from Bolton Wanderers)
DF England ENG James Butler
DF Wales WAL Scott Butler
DF England ENG Chris Doyle
DF England ENG Alex McNally
DF England ENG Matty Waters
MF England ENG Charley Doyle
MF England ENG Jack Dunn
MF England ENG Harvey Gregson
Pos. Nation Player
MF England ENG Jordan Lussey
MF England ENG Owen Robinson
MF Republic of Ireland IRL Leigh Whelan
FW England ENG Jack Goodwin
FW England ENG Bobby Grant
FW Republic of Ireland IRL Kallan Murphy
FW England ENG Finlay Sinclair-Smith
FW England ENG Adam Thomas

Backroom staff[edit]

Manager Neil Young
Assistant manager Gary Jones
1st Team coach Fraser Ablett
Physio Alex Whittle
Manager 1st Women Yvonne Parker-Sheridan
Assistant Manager 1st Women Sam D'Auvin
Assistant Coach Joe Ormesher
PDC Goalkeeper Coach Laura Dye
Kit manager Tony Mawdesley

Shirt sponsors and manufacturers[edit]

Period Kit Manufacturer Shirt Sponsor
2009–2015 Adidas Marine Travel
2015–2021 Macron
2021–2022 Puma Cancer Research UK
2022–2023 Focus Travel
2023–2024 Marine Travel
2024–2025 Malooka

Committee, directors and club officials[edit]

  • President – David Thompson
  • PatronSir Kenny Dalglish
  • Chairman – Paul Leary
  • Vice Chairman – Dave McMillan
  • Club Secretary – Richard Cross
  • Hon. Treasurers – Maurice Broderick, Mark Prescott
  • Management Committee – Beckie Eustace, Paul Eustace, Giles Horton, Brian Lawlor, James Leary, Peter McCormack, Ralph Rands
  • Head of Media – Ralph Rands
  • Media Team – Tom Clarke, Adam Yates
  • Programme editor / PA Announcer– Stuart Wilkes Hogg
  • Welfare Officer – Jude Moizer
  • Safety Officer – Peter McCormack
  • Head Steward – Rob Wells
  • Stewards - Neil, Jude, Peter, Martin, Colin, Chloe, Issac, Emma, Bernard, Aaron
  • Clubrooms Manager – Jon Hoy
  • Programme Covers – Neil McAdam
  • Club Shop Manager – Jo Cross
  • Club Historian – David Wotherspoon
  • Boardroom Host – Margaret Leary


  • FA Amateur Cup
    • Runners-up: 1931–32
  • I Zingari League
    • First Division champions: 1902–03, 1903–04, 1909–10, 1919–20, 1920–21, 1922–23
    • Second Division champions: 1901–02
    • League Cup winners: 1919–20, 1920–21, 1922–23
    • Combination Cup winners: 1919–20, 1920–21, 1921–22
  • Liverpool Amateur Cup
    • Winners: 1909–10, 1919–20, 1922–23, 1926–27, 1927–28, 1928–29, 1930–31, 1952–53, 1970–71
  • Liverpool County Combination
    • First Division champions: 1927–28, 1930–31, 1933–34, 1934–35, 1943–44
  • Liverpool County Medal Competition
    • Winners: 1920–21
  • Liverpool Challenge Cup
    • Winners: 1942–43, 1944–45, 1971–72
  • Lancashire Amateur Cup
    • Winners: 1921–22, 1925–26, 1930–31, 1931–32, 1932–33, 1933–34
  • George Mahon Cup
    • Winners: 1930–31, 1943–44, 1944–45
  • Lancashire Combination
    • Cup winners: 1946–47
    • League Cup winners: 1963–64, 1968–69
  • Liverpool Senior Non-league Cup
    • Winners: 1968–69, 1975–76, 1976–77
  • Cheshire County League
    • Champions: 1973–74, 1975–76, 1977–78
    • League Shield winners: 1974–75, 1975–76
  • Lancashire Junior Cup / Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy
    • Winners: 1978–79, 1987–88, 1990–91, 1999–2000
  • Liverpool Senior Cup
    • Winners: 1978–79, 1984–85, 1987–88, 1989–90, 1993–94, 1999–2000, 2007–08, 2022–23, 2023–24
  • Northern Premier League
    • Premier Division champions: 1993–94, 1994–95
    • Northern Premier League Challenge Shield winners: 1994–95, 1995–96
    • Challenge Cup winners: 1984–85, 1991–92, 2003–04 and 2015–16.



  1. ^ "Longest serving football (soccer) club manager". Guinness World Records. Archived from the original on 29 March 2022. Retrieved 29 March 2022.
  2. ^ "The History of Marine F.C." Marine F.C. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 16 January 2011.
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  4. ^ "Marine Agree 2 Year Contract with Manager Kevin Lynch". Pitchero.com. Archived from the original on 10 July 2021. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  5. ^ Echo, Liverpool (1 May 2013). "Kevin Lynch leaves – and the search hots up for Marine FC's new manager". Liverpool Echo. Archived from the original on 10 July 2021. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  6. ^ "MARINE IN SEARCH FOR NEW MANAGER AS PHIL BRAZIER DEPARTS". Pitchero.com. Archived from the original on 10 July 2021. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  7. ^ Kirkbride, Phil (13 May 2014). "Carl Macauley is new Marine manager". Liverpool Echo. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  8. ^ "SAD DAY FOR MARINE AS CARL MACAULEY DEPARTS". Pitchero.com. Archived from the original on 10 July 2021. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  9. ^ "NEWS RELEASE: IT'S OFFICIAL-FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION CONFIRM REPRIEVE FOR MARINE". Pitchero.com. Archived from the original on 10 July 2021. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  10. ^ "MARINE APPOINT SEAN HESSEY AS MANAGER". Pitchero.com. Archived from the original on 10 July 2021. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  11. ^ "Marine 2–1 Farsley Celtic". Marine F.C. Archived from the original on 8 October 2016. Retrieved 7 October 2016.
  12. ^ Cross, Richard (2 September 2018). "TOMMY LAWSON – CLUB STATEMENT". Marine Football Club. Archived from the original on 21 October 2018. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  13. ^ "Marine appoint Neil Young as manager". The Non-League Football Paper. 14 September 2018. Archived from the original on 21 October 2018. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  14. ^ McMillan, Dave (21 September 2018). "ALAN MORGAN APPOINTED ASSISTANT MANAGER". Marine Football Club. Archived from the original on 21 October 2018. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  15. ^ "Warrington Town 1 – 0 Marine – Match Report & Highlights". Sky Sports. 15 September 2018. Archived from the original on 21 October 2018. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  16. ^ "History of Marine FC". Football Club History Database. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  17. ^ Johnston, Neil. "Vinicius treble as Spurs end Marine's run". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 10 January 2021. Retrieved 10 January 2021.
  18. ^ Bascombe, Chris; Tyers, Alan (10 January 2021). "Alfie Devine, Tottenham's youngest-ever player, among scorers as Marine's FA Cup adventure ends". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 12 January 2021. Retrieved 11 January 2021.
  19. ^ Ouzia, Malik (10 January 2021). "Marine boss Neil Young thanks 'incredible' Tottenham fans after 30,000 virtual tickets sold for FA Cup tie". Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 12 January 2021. Retrieved 12 January 2021.
  20. ^ Bacon, Jake (11 January 2021). "Marine vs Tottenham virtual tickets raised over £300,000 and have 'set non-league club up for next TWENTY years', striker Niall Cummins tells talkSPORT". talkSport. Archived from the original on 12 January 2021. Retrieved 12 January 2021.
  21. ^ "FA Cup third-round: Non-league Marine land Tottenham". BBC Sport. 30 November 2020. Archived from the original on 1 December 2020. Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  22. ^ "From Barnoldswick Town to Tottenham Hotspur – The Magic of the FA Cup". It's Round and It's White. Archived from the original on 1 February 2021. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  23. ^ "Marine – Football Club History Database". Football Club History Database. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021. Retrieved 21 December 2021.
  24. ^ "Match of the Day tomorrow pits Merseyside v Manchester in FA Cup". 19 October 2018.
  25. ^ "Marine F.C News". The Official Marine F.C. Website. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 17 February 2011.
  26. ^ ""WELCOME TO...THE MARINE TRAVEL ARENA"". Pitchero.com. Archived from the original on 10 July 2021. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  27. ^ "双色球论坛众家谈|双色球论坛资料|双色球买复式还是单式好". Archived from the original on 1 November 2020. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  28. ^ "Marine F.C. Honours". The Official Marine F.C. Website. Archived from the original on 27 June 2011. Retrieved 16 January 2011.

External links[edit]

53°29′07″N 3°02′01″W / 53.485157°N 3.03363°W / 53.485157; -3.03363