Worksop Town F.C.
|Full name||Worksop Town Football Club|
|Capacity||2,500 (200 seats)|
|League||Northern Counties East League Premier Division|
|2015–16||Northern Counties East League Premier Division, 4th|
|Website||Club home page|
Worksop Town Football Club is an English football club based in Worksop, Nottinghamshire. They play in the Premier Division of the Northern Counties East League at level 9 of the English football league system. They are nicknamed the Tigers, and usually sport an amber and black home kit.
The club are currently playing their home games at Handsworth Parramore's Sandy Lane ground – a ground Worksop used to own themselves.
The club claims to have been founded in 1861, which would make it the fourth oldest football club in the world, however the only evidence to back up this claim is from a 1911 newspaper article. The first time football was played in the town was in 1873, when a group of 15 male Worksopians took on 15 from a local church. The first recorded usage of the Worksop Town name came in 1882, when a team using that name played Eckington on 18 February
Worksop rejoined the Midland League in 1900 and would become prominent members of the competition before the First World War. They finished as high as 3rd in the league in 1903, and in 1908 they reached the 1st Round of the FA Cup for the first time, losing 1–9 at Stamford Bridge to Chelsea in front of 18,995 spectators.
After taking a break from football during World War I, Worksop re-joined the Midland League and in 1921 won the competition for the first time. The 1920s prvoided the club with their best spell in the FA Cup, reaching the 1st Round in four out of six seasons from 1921. In 1923 they drew Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane – the Tigers pulled off a shock by holding Spurs to goal-less draw. The Worksop board decided against hosting the replay at Central Avenue, and they were beaten 0–9 in the replay two days after the original tie, again at White Hart Lane. In 1926 they reached the 2nd Round for the first time after beating Coventry City at Central Avenue in the 1st Round – eventually losing by the odd goal in three to Chesterfield in the next round.
A new club was formed soon after, but they initially had to play in the Sheffield Association League and Central Combination before joining the Yorkshire League in 1935.
After the end of World War II they re-joined the Midland League after a 20-year absence from the competition. In 1956 they progressed to the 3rd Round of the FA Cup for the only time in their history, beating Skegness Town and Bradford City before losing out to Swindon Town at the County Ground. Worksop picked up their second Midland League title in 1966 before becoming founder members of the Northern Premier League (NPL) two years later. They would return to the Midland League after just one year however, as the Tigers finished bottom of the pile in the NPL's inaugural season.
They won their third and last Midland League title in 1973, and a year later re-joined the NPL, eventually finding their feet at this higher level. In 1978 they once more reached the 1st Round of the FA Cup, losing 1–5 to Barnsley at Oakwell. In 1989 they were relegated to Division 1 of the NPL, and had to move to play in Gainsborough when they were evicted from their Central Avenue home. They would spend three years in Gainsborough before returning to the newly built Sandy Lane ground in Worksop in 1992.
The Tigers regained NPL Premier Division status in 1998, by which time Chris Waddle was pulling on a Worksop shirt, and in 1999 they finished as runners-up in the NPL, only just missing out on promotion to the Football Conference. In 2004 they were founder members of the Conference North, but they only lasted three years in the division before being relegated back to the Northern Premier League, and it was around this time that the club fell into financial difficulties and lost ownership of their home ground at Sandy Lane, being forced to rent the grounds of Hucknall Town, Ilkeston Town and Retford United for three years.
In 2011 the club finally returned to Sandy Lane, but this time as tenants of Worksop Parramore, who had bought the ground and allowed the Tigers to play there. The 2013–14 season almost saw Worksop clinch promotion back to the Conference North but they were beaten in the league play-off semi-finals. At the end of the season owner Jason Clark revealed he would no longer be funding the club, plunging Worksop into a financial crisis, and shortly afterwards the decision was taken to resign from the Northern Premier League and join the Northern Counties East League (NCEL), entering the NCEL's Premier Division.
The drop to the ninth level of the English football league system also meant a first foray into the FA Vase, having previously competed in the FA Trophy. They have gained considerable success in another cup competition, the prestigious Sheffield & Hallamshire Senior Cup – as of 2014 they had won the competition eleven times.
Notable former players
The following players played in the top flight of English football either before or after joining Worksop Town –
League and cup history
* League play-off final drawn with Parkgate United and title shared
** League play-off semi-finalists
Worksop initially played at two different grounds on Netherton Road, before they, along with the cricket club, moved to Bridge Meadow, also known as Newcastle Avenue in 1891. This had separate Cricket and Football pitches along with a quarter mile track. In 1901 they moved across the River Ryton to Central Avenue, staying there until 1988, when they were forced to move to play in Gainsborough. They returned to their home town in 1992 when a new ground was built on Sandy Lane. They lost ownership of Sandy Lane in 2005 and again had to groundshare elsewhere before returning to Sandy Lane in 2011, this time as tenants of Worksop Parramore.
A series of pictures taken at the Worksop Town vs. Sheffield Wednesday friendly in July 2011.
- Best FA Cup performance: 3rd Round, 1955–56
- Best FA Trophy performance: Quarter-finals, 2000–01, 2005–06
- Best FA Vase performance:
- Nottingham Evening Post 14 May 1931
- Worksop Town Northern Counties East League
- Sheffield Telegraph, 15 March 1873
- Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 20 February 1882
- Nottingham Evening Post 13 January 1908
- Hartlepool Mail, 6 September 1930
- Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, 11 September 1930
- Worksop Town Northern Premier League
- Club Statement Worksop Town
- Worksop Town Non-League Directory
- Worksop Town Manager Evo-stik League
- Simon Clark Worksop Guardian
- Worksop Town appoint Shirebrook boss Shaw Worksop Guardian
- Worksop Town Football Club History Database
- Worksop Town WildStat
- British Newspaper Archive
- Central Combination nonleaguematters