Spalding United F.C.

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Spalding United
Official crest
Full name Spalding United Football Club
Nickname(s) The Tulips
Founded 1921
Ground Sir Halley Stewart Field, Spalding
Ground Capacity 3,500 (1,000 seated)
Chairman Andy Gay
Manager Chris Rawlinson
League Northern Premier League Division One East
2017–18 Northern Premier League Division One South, 13th of 22
Website Club website

Spalding United F.C. is an English football club based in Spalding, Lincolnshire. The club are currently members of Division One South of the Northern Premier League and play at the Sir Halley Stewart Field.


The club was established in 1921 when Spalding Town (who had played in the Peterborough & District League until then) was reformed.[1] The new club continued to play in the Peterborough & District League, which they won in 1930–31. They then stepped up to the Northamptonshire League, which became the United Counties League in 1934.

After World War II they won the Lincolnshire Senior B Cup in 1950–51 and the Senior A Cup in 1952–53. In 1954 they applied to join the Eastern Counties League, but were rejected after a vote. However, the following season they won the UCL for the first time, also winning the League Cup and were accepted into the ECL. In 1960 they switched to the Central Alliance, before joining the Midland League the following season. After finishing bottom in 1967–68 they returned to the UCL. During this period they twice reached the first round of the FA Cup, losing 3–1 at Durham City in 1957–58 and 5–3 at Newport County in 1964–65.[2]

They won the UCL in 1974–75 and after several successive top-four finishes, rejoined the Midland League in 1978. They finished fourth in 1981–82, so were placed in the Premier Division of the Northern Counties East League when it was formed by a merger of the Midland League and the Yorkshire League in 1982. They won the first ever NCEL title with a 1–0 win on the final day of the season. After internal disputes within the NCEL related to the miners' strike, Spalding rejoined the UCL in 1986 and were champions in 1987–88, resulting in promotion to the Midland Division of the Southern League. After finishing bottom in 1990–91 they returned to the UCL.[2]

After a narrow escape from liquidation in the early 1990s the club won the UCL Cup in 1994–95 and the Premier Division in 1998–99.[1] They were promoted back to the Southern League, but again struggled. Despite finishing bottom in 2000–01 the club avoided relegation as other clubs resigned. However, they finished second from bottom in 2002–03 and were relegated again. After a fifth UCL title in 2003–04 they were promoted to Division One of the Northern Premier League. They were transferred to the Midland Division of the Southern League in 2006 but moved back to the NPL a year later to join Division One South. In 2009–10 they finished in the relegation places but avoided demotion due to clubs transferring between leagues. However, they finished bottom of the following season and were relegated back to the UCL.

The club started the 2013–14 season Premier Division season by winning seventeen games in a row, a league record. The run ended on 14 December 2013 when they lost at home to AFC Rushden & Diamonds. The club went on to win the league, earning promotion to First Division South of the Northern Premier League.

In their inaugural season back at Step 4 of the non-league pyramid in 2014–15, the Tulips finished 7th, a slump in form toward the end of the season killing off any hopes they might have had of reaching the end-of-season play-offs. Halfway through the 2015–16 campaign, the club parted ways with its manager of four years, Pat Rayment, though his former assistant, Marcus Ebdon, and coach, Danny Hussey, agreed to pick up the reins in a joint-management role. Mixed form throughout the season saw the team finish 11th. Shortly after the final league game of the season it was announced that both Ebdon and Hussey would be standing down. In early May 2016 former Lincoln United manager David Frecklington agreed a three-year contract and will be joined by his former assistant manager Chris Rawlinson.


Spalding have played at the Sir Halley Stewart Field since their establishment. It was originally known as the Black Swan Ground, until being renamed after Halley Stewart, a local MP, in 1954. After World War II the club spent a season playing at a temporary ground in nearby Low Fulney.[1] The record attendance of 6,972 was set in 1952 for an FA Cup qualifying match against Peterborough United.


  • Northern Counties East League
    • Premier Division champions 1982–83
  • United Counties League
    • Premier Division champions 1954–55, 1974–75, 1987–88, 1998–99, 2003–04, 2013–14
    • League Cup winners 1954–55, 1994–95
  • Peterborough & District League
    • Champions 1930–31
  • Lincolnshire Senior A Cup
    • Winners 1952–53
  • Lincolnshire Senior B Cup
    • Winners 1950–51

Club records[edit]

  • Best league performance: 6th in Southern League Midlands Division, 1989–90
  • Best FA Cup performance: First round proper, 1957–58, 1964–65
  • Best FA Trophy performance: Third round, 1999–2000
  • Best FA Vase performance: Quarter-finals, 1989–90, 1996–97


  1. ^ a b c Blakeman, M (2010) The Official History of the Eastern Counties Football League 1935–2010, Volume II ISBN 978-1-908037-02-2
  2. ^ a b Spalding United at the Football Club History Database

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°47′24.047″N 0°9′9.126″W / 52.79001306°N 0.15253500°W / 52.79001306; -0.15253500