Winsford United F.C.
|Full name||Winsford United Football Club|
|Founded||1883 (as Over Wanderers)|
St. Luke's Barton Stadium,|
|Capacity||3,000 (200 seated)|
|League||North West Counties League Premier Division|
|2017–18||North West Counties League Premier Division, 14th of 23|
Winsford United Football Club are a semi-professional football club based in Winsford, Cheshire, England. The club was founded in 1883 and are nicknamed The Blues. The club is currently a member of the North West Counties League Premier Division, with home matches played at St. Luke's Barton Stadium.
Winsford United were founded in 1883, as Over Wanderers and played football in the Welsh Combination Football League. They changed their name and moved to their current ground, the Barton Stadium (then called the Bean Latham Playing Field), a few years later. However, after excessive spending, the club soon folded.
They re-formed just before the outbreak of the First World War, and re-grouped after this had finished under a committee led by Mr. R. G. Barton, becoming a founder member of the Cheshire League. From then until the late 1970s, Winsford United played football locally in Cheshire. Highlights of this period included one FA Cup first round appearance, against Peterborough United, and Cheshire league wins in 1920–21 and 1976–77. During this period, in the late 1970s, the club also reached the quarter finals of the FA Trophy and featured future Welsh international goalkeeper Neville Southall.
The Cheshire League merged with other regional divisions to become the North West Counties Football League in 1982, with Winsford doing sufficiently well to enter the Northern Premier League Division One upon its formation in 1987. They were promoted from that in 1992, and enjoyed their highest ever finish as runners up of the Northern Premier League Premier Division in 1992–93. They also reached the FA Cup First Round for a second time, losing to Wrexham, and won the Northern Premier League Challenge Cup.
The successful team was broken up, however, when manager Mike McKenzie moved on to local rivals Witton Albion. After a few more seasons in the bottom half of the Northern Premier League Premier Division, and another local derby in the FA Cup first round – this time against Chester City – the club were relegated three times in four seasons. At the start of the 2003–04 season, they found themselves in the North West Counties Division Two.
They were finally promoted, on 24 April 2007, to the North West Counties Football League Division One and secured the Division 2 title on 28 April 2007. Manager Joe Gibiliru left in the Summer of 2009 and Terry Murphy, former Middlewich Town F.C. manager, was brought in as replacement. Although at the back end of August 2009 Murphy left the club due to family reasons and his assistant, Mike Alcock, was promoted to Manager.
Alcock did not, however, last long as at the beginning of September 2009 he was forced to resign due to ill health and coach Tony Ledwards was promoted to manager. In March 2010, Ledwards stepped down as manager after a poor run of results and the club was taken over by a co-management team of Mike Alcock and Dave Twite, who effectively saved the team from relegation. At the end of the 2009–10 season, Alcock and Twite decided not to continue as managers and became involved in coaching and scouting roles instead.
Chris Willcock was announced as the new manager and later named Ian Street as his assistant, it was to be Willcock's second spell in charge of the club after leading them to promotion from North West Counties Division Two in 2007, Chris Willcock resigned as the Blues manager in early 2011 and assistant Ian Street was appointed as the new boss.
Street was to remain in charge of the team in for the rest of the season and under his management, Winsford won the North West Counties Football League Challenge Cup, defeating New Mills F.C. in the final.
Street managed the team for the whole of the 2011–12 season, guiding them to 7th place. However, in June 2012 it was announced Street had left the club to take over as manager of Ashton Athletic F.C. On 17 June, it was announced that Lloyd Morrison had joined the club as the new manager, he had been at Flixton F.C. for the past two seasons. Kevin Bircumshaw decided to stay on as assistant manager. Winsford have boasted many local talents over the years such as Lee Duckworth, Joe Roberts, Les Miranda, Steve Warburton and Lee Jones
Winsford finished 5th in the North West Counties Premier Division in Morrison's first year in charge, just five points off league winners Padiham F.C.. Despite missing out on promotion in 2012–13, the club did win the Mid-Cheshire Senior Cup for the fifth time in their history, beating Northwich Victoria F.C. 2–1 after extra time in the final.
Two weeks prior to the start of the 2013–14 season, Eddie Haslam was appointed as manager following Lloyd Morrison's departure for Mossley, but after a series of poor results in the autumn, he was replaced by Rob Byrne in December 2013. In 2015 the club introduced their new Under 21s side managed by Chris Appleton.
The club play at the St. Luke's Barton Stadium, which is located off Kingsway in the Wharton area of Winsford town. The stadium formerly had a greyhound track. It was formerly known as the Great Western Playing Field, but was renamed in honour of R.G. Barton, who led the committee to re-establish Winsford United after the First World War. The stadium also plays host to 1874 Northwich F.C., who, like Winsford, also compete in the North-West Counties League.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
- Lee Duckworth
- Assistant Manager:
- Danny Tickle
- Steve Foden
- Daniel Osbourne
First Team Coach
- Kevin Bircumshaw
- Cheshire League
- Winners: 1920–21, 1976–77
- Cheshire Senior Cup
- Winners: 1958–59, 1979–80, 1992–93
- Mid-Cheshire Senior Cup
- Winners: 1991–92, 1992–93, 1994–95, 2007–08, 2012–13, 2013–14
- Northern Premier League Challenge Cup
- Winners: 1992–93
- Northern Premier League President's Cup
- Winners: 1992–93
- North West Counties Football League Division One
- Winners: 2006–07
- North West Counties Football League Challenge Cup
- Winners: 2010–11