Marine F.C.

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Marine F.C.logo.png
Full name Marine Football Club
Nickname(s) The Mariners, The Lilywhites
Founded 1894; 124 years ago (1894)
Ground Rossett Park, Crosby
Capacity 3,185 (389 seated)
Chairman Paul Leary
Manager Neil Young
League Northern Premier League Premier Division
2017–18 Northern Premier League Premier Division, 19th of 24
Website Club website
Marine (yellow shirts) playing away against Leek Town in 2006

Marine Football Club is an English football club 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 Northern Premier League

Marine is notable for having the longest serving manager in post-war English football. Roly Howard occupied the post from 1972 to 2005 and a total of 1,975 games. His final match, in May 2005, was a 1–0 defeat against Everton in the Liverpool Senior Cup final.[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.[citation needed] Marine moved to its present ground, the Arriva Stadium (formerly known as Rossett Park), in 1903.[2]

Marine quickly made an impression on local football, winning numerous 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 F.A. Amateur Cup Final appearance in 1931–32, when they lost 7–1 to Dulwich Hamlet in front of a 22,000 crowd at Upton Park.

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 and completed 1,975 competitive games over a 33-year period before he retired 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 its most successful period, winning some 30 trophies.

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

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.

In 1999, the magazine Fourfourtwo did a monthly feature on the club sending Michael Hann to follow them for an entire season.

Under the new management team of Alvin McDonald and assistant Peter Carroll, Marine twice 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 finished seventh and won the Liverpool Senior Cup. McDonald left the club partway through the 2008–09 season following a poor run of form,[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 FC,[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]

Former Vauxhall Motors boss 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 continues 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 had a less turbulent ending to the league campaign culminating in a 15th-place finish. Trusting in many of the players that ensured the clubs survival the previous season, the club started the campaign well but with the weather leading to many postponements the winter saw not only a disjointed fixture list, but also a run of poor performances. Marine gained more stability in the latter stages of the season and this in particular led to 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.

Under new management and with relegation all but sealed, Colwyn Bay struggled in the game and 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. Marine struggled in the match with Hessey dropping himself to the bench in place of defender Liam Willis who became captain in place of the unavailable Andy Nicholas. Going 0–1 down in the 58th minute, it wasn't until the player-manager subbed himself on for Willis in the 80th minute that Marine looked dangerous. The defender taking a free-kick which was headed in by Warren Bellew in the 87th minute. At 1–1, the game looking destined for penalties, was turned on its head in the fourth minute of added time as that seasons 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 have won the league cup, a record for this competition.[11]

Towards the end of a dismal 2016–2017 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 2017-2018 season was once again a disappointment with Marine unable to improve on the previous campaign and ended up finishing in 19th place in the table. Very poor home form once again saw the Mariners win only 6 of their 23 league games at the Marine Travel Arena. However the team did do well in the cups reaching the final of the Liverpool Senior Cup. Home advantage at Marine didn't help and 750 fans saw them well and truly beaten 4-0 by Prescot Cables. They also went on a decent 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 unlucky to lose 3-4 against the Conference National team.

The 2018-2019 season saw manager Tommy Lawson introduce a raft of new signings to the squad whilst other players left for pastures new. However, with only five games of the season played Marine found themselves second from bottom of the league. A 2-0 defeat at home to Grantham Town on 1st September proved to be a turning point with manager Tommy Lawson resigning the following day. His assistant Ian Johnson was given temporary charge of team affairs 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 who was appointed assistant manager on 21 September 2018.[14] Young started his tenure with a 1-0 defeat at Warrington Town on 15 September 2018.[15]

FA Cup[edit]

The club's best performance in the FA Cup was reaching the 3rd Round in 1992–93 when they lost 3–1 to Crewe Alexandra. Marine have also achieved ten first and two second round appearances in the FA Cup and have beaten two Football League clubs (Barnsley and Halifax Town) in the competition.

FA Trophy[edit]

Marine have twice reached the semi-finals of the FA Trophy in 1983–84 and 1991–92.

Both times playing teams from Northwich. They played both first legs away managing creditable draws 1–1 and 2–2, but were unable to finish the job off 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 FC

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 F C

Winners 2015–16 2–1 vs Scarborough Athletic

Marine have also been winners of 13 senior county cups.


The club plays 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 has played at the ground since 1903, when it moved from its previous ground at Waterloo Park, Crosby. The ground's current capacity is 3,185, of which 389 are seated, but in 1949, Marine played host to Nigeria at Rossett Park, and the crowd on that day was officially given as 4,000 but some observers considered 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 4 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 plans to build a 130-seat covered stand at the Crosender Road end of the ground. The total cost of all the improvements is estimated at £150,000.[16]

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 2016–17 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.[17]


The club has a supporters association known as the M.S.A (Marine Supporters Association), which has managed to raise substantial funds for the club over the years, since it was formed in the late 1980's. It also arranges away coach travel to many games and runs the club shop. It works closely with the club to promote the good name of Marine and attract fans to the game. Marine is in particular a family club and a great place to bring children to get their first taste of live football.

The Crosender Way[18] is an independent supporters group for Marine FC named after the "Crosender Road" area of the stadium. Formed in January 2017, the group actively promotes the football club via social media[19] and its online fans forum. The groups' main objective is to attract and support fans at the club and to organise away travel for all supporters, so they can enjoy a pint.

Notable former players[edit]

Ian Nolan

Adriano Rigoglioso

Paul Cook current manager of Wigan Athletic

Karl Robinson current manager of Oxford United

Jason McAteer

Richard Norris

John Lacy

Chris Camden

Paul Edwards

Eddie Murray

Liam Watson

Chris Lightfoot

Adam Farley

Stuart Rimmer

Craig Lindfield

Billy Stewart

Tony Ward

Sean Lundon

Lee Trundle

Lee McEvilly

John Coleman current manager of Accrington Stanley

Neil Sang

Paul Beesley

Terry McPhillips current manager of Blackpool

Current squad[edit]

As of 17 August 2018

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

No. Position Player
Guinea-Bissau GK Germano Mendes
England GK Martin Fearon

England DF James Short
England DF Danny Shaw
England DF Chris Doyle
England DF James Joyce

No. Position Player
England MF Kenny Strickland
Republic of Ireland MF Gerrard Kinsella
England MF Tony Donaldson
England MF Craig Carney
England MF Caleb Jones
England MF Liam Hynes
England MF Steven Irwin

England FW Danny Mitchley
England FW James Murray
England FW Dominic Reid
England FW Dave Webb
England FW Connor Ready
England FW Josh Hine (on loan from Chorley)

Backroom staff[edit]

Manager England Neil Young
Assistant Manager England Alan Morgan
Coach England Ian Johnson
Physio England Louisa Thornhill
Youth Team Manager England Available
Kit Manager England Tony Mawdesley
Chief Scout England Phil Jarvis
Scout England Sid Herbert

Shirt sponsors and manufacturers[edit]

Period Kit Manufacturer Shirt Sponsor
2009–2015 Adidas Marine Travel
2015– Macron

Committee, directors and club officials[edit]

  • President – Dave Thompson
  • PatronKenny Dalglish MBE
  • Chairman – Paul Leary
  • Vice Chairman – Dave McMillan
  • Club Secretary – Richard Cross
  • Hon. Treasurers – Maurice Broderick, Mark Prescott
  • Management Committee – Peter McCormack, Brian Lawlor, Beckie Eustace, Paul Eustace, Ryan McMahon, David Thompson, Sam D'Auvin, James Leary
  • Media Officer – Ste Carson
  • Programme Editor – Daniel Moxton
  • Match Day Public Announcer - Graham Cowperthwaite
  • Home Match Day Reporter - Ste Carson


  • 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
  • The Derby Fiveys Tournament
    • Winners: 1978–79
  • 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
  • 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, 2002–03 and 2015–16



  1. ^ "Longest Serving Football Club Manager". The Guinness World Records.
  2. ^ "The History of Marine F.C." Marine F.C.
  3. ^
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  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Marine 2–1 Farsley Celtic". Marine F.C.
  12. ^ Cross, Richard (2 September 2018). "TOMMY LAWSON - CLUB STATEMENT". Marine Football Club. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  13. ^ "Marine appoint Neil Young as manager". The Non-League Football Paper. 14 September 2018. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  14. ^ McMillan, Dave (21 September 2018). "ALAN MORGAN APPOINTED ASSISTANT MANAGER". Marine Football Club. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  15. ^ "Warrington Town 1 - 0 Marine - Match Report & Highlights". Sky Sports. 15 September 2018. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  16. ^ "Marine F.C News". The Official Marine F.C. Website.
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Marine F.C. Honours". The Official Marine F.C. Website.

External links[edit]

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