AFC Telford United

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AFC Telford United
Telford United.png
Full nameAFC Telford United [1]
Nickname(s)The Bucks, Lillywhites, United
Founded27 May 2004;17 years ago (2004-05-27)
Ground New Bucks Head, Telford
Capacity6,380 (2,200 seated) [2]
ChairmanAndy Pryce
Manager Gavin Cowan
League National League North
2020–21 National League North (season curtailed)
Website Club website

AFC Telford United is a football club based in Telford, Shropshire, England. The club was formed in 2004 after the original Telford United, founded in 1872, folded due to financial problems. Currently members of the National League North, the sixth tier of English football, they play home matches at the New Bucks Head in Wellington, part of the new town of Telford. Their colours are white with navy blue and red trim.



Telford United, then playing in the Football Conference, experienced severe financial difficulties towards the end of the 2003–04 season following the collapse of the Miras Contracts business of chairman and sole shareholder Andy Shaw. [3] The club went into administration, and although supporters raised around £50,000 in two months, the club's debts totalled over £4 million, resulting in liquidation on 27 May 2004. [4] On the same day, Telford United Supporters Limited announced that a new club would be formed, [3] which was named AFC Telford United; a new club motto, numquam obliviscere (never forget) was also adopted. In June the new club were placed in Division One of the Northern Premier League by the Football Association. [5] Bernard McNally was appointed as manager and a new squad assembled. [6]

The new club's first season saw them finish third in Division One, [7] qualifying for the promotion play-offs. After beating Eastwood Town 1–0 in the semi-final, they defeated Kendal Town 2–1 in the final to earn promotion to the Premier Division. [8] The attendance of 4,215 for the final was a club record. [9] The following season saw them finish tenth. During the season, McNally was replaced as manager by Rob Smith. [10] In 2006–07 the club finished third, having missed the chance to win the league when they lost 2–1 at home to eventual champions Burscough on the final day; [11] the attendance of 5,710 being a new club record. [12] However, they qualified for the promotion play-offs, and a 2–0 win over Marine in the semi-final, they defeated Witton Albion 3–1 to earn promotion to the Conference North. [13]

Telford finished second in the Conference North in 2007–08, again qualifying for the playoffs, in which they lost 4–0 on aggregate to Barrow. [13] The 2008–09 season resulted in a fourth-place finish and another play-off campaign. After beating Alfreton Town 5–4 on aggregate in the semi-finals (a 2–0 win at home and a 4–3 defeat away), they lost 1–0 to Gateshead. [13] The season also saw them reach the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, where they were drawn at home to Football League club Southend United. Following a 2–2 draw, the club lost 2–0 in the replay. [7] In the FA Trophy they reached the semi-finals, losing 4–2 on aggregate to York City. [7] However, they were victorious in the Conference League Cup, beating Forest Green Rovers 3–0 on penalties after a 0–0 draw. [14]

In 2009–10 Telford finished eleventh in the league, resulting in the sacking of Smith and his replacement with Andy Sinton. [15] Sinton's first season saw them finish as runners-up again. In the play-offs they defeated Nuneaton Town 3–2 on aggregate in the semi-final, [16] before beating Guiseley 3–2 in the final with an injury-time winner by Phil Trainer, [17] earning promotion to the Conference Premier. They also reached the first round of the FA Cup again, losing 3–1 at home to Lincoln City. [7]

The 2011–12 season saw Telford finish twentieth, one place above the relegation zone. Another appearance in the first round of the FA Cup resulted in a 4–0 defeat at Chelmsford City. Sinton left the club mid-way through the following season, [18] and was replaced by Mark Cooper, who remained in charge for only six games, before resigning to take a coaching role at Swindon Town. He was replaced by Graham Hyde, who lasted just two games, resigning after a defeat to Macclesfield Town. John Psaras took over for the remainder of the season, which saw them finish bottom of the division and be relegated to the Conference North. [7] Liam Watson was appointed as manager in May 2013. [19]

In 2013–14 Telford won the Conference North, earning an immediate return to the Conference Premier. However, the following season Watson was sacked in December with the club bottom of the division and replaced by Steve Kittrick. [20] They finished 23rd, resulting in relegation back to the North division. However, the season also saw them reach the second round of the FA Cup for the first time; after beating Basingstoke Town 2–1 in a first round replay, they lost 1–0 at Bristol City. [7] In August 2015 Kittrick was sacked and Rob Smith returned for a second spell as manager. [21] They reached the first round of the FA Cup again in 2017–18 but lost 1–0 at Hereford. [7]

Season-by-season record


The New Bucks Head New Bucks Head - geograph-430684.jpg
The New Bucks Head

Telford play their home games at the New Bucks Head. The ground was renamed following renovation in 2000, having previously been known as the Bucks Head. During the renovations Telford United played with only two terraces in operation, with a small temporary stand situated on what is now the East Terrace and portable cabins in the car park were used for changing rooms. It had previously been home to Wellington Town and Telford United. [22]

The ground has a capacity of 6,380 of which 2,220 is seated and 4,800 covered. [2] The club's record attendance at the ground is 5,710 against Burscough on 28 April 2007, the final day of the 2006–07 season. [12]


Shropshire rivals Shrewsbury Town are traditionally seen as the club's main rival. Matches contested between the two are known as the Shropshire derby. However, due to the league gap between the two clubs, most meetings between the two sides are in the Shropshire Senior Cup. [23]

During United's time in the National League North through the late 2010s, a rivalry developed with near neighbours Kidderminster Harriers, based in North Worcestershire. [24]


Current squad

As of 2 March 2021 [25]

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

GK Flag of England.svg  ENG Ashley Rawlins
GK Flag of England.svg  ENG Russell Griffiths
DF Flag of the Netherlands.svg  NED Jed Abbey
DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Shane Sutton
DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Zak Lilly
DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Theo Streete
DF Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  WAL Ross White
DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Courtney Meppen-Walter
MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Henry Cowans
MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Adam Walker
MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Jack Byrne
FW Flag of England.svg  ENG Brendon Daniels
FW Flag of England.svg  ENG Aaron Williams
FW Flag of England.svg  ENG Jason Oswell

Non-playing staff

Managerial history

20042006 Bernard McNally
20062010Rob Smith
20102013 Andy Sinton
20132013 Mark Cooper (interim)
20132013 Graham Hyde
20132013John Psaras (caretaker)
20132014 Liam Watson
20142015Steve Kittrick
20152017Rob Smith
20172018 Rob Edwards
2018Present Gavin Cowan


Conference North trophy Blue Square North Trophy.JPG
Conference North trophy


See also

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  1. "Club directory". AFC Telford United. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  2. 1 2 Mike Williams & Tony Williams (2016) Non-League Club Directory 2017, Tony Williams Publications, p453 ISBN   978-1869833695
  3. 1 2 Telford lose Conference spot BBC Sport, 27 May 2004
  4. AFC Telford United: The club that lived on Shropshire Star, 25 March 2014
  5. Destination for AFC Telford BBC Sport, 7 June 2004
  6. Bernard McNally recalls amazing AFC Telford season Shropshire Star, 6 December 2013
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A F C Telford United at the Football Club History Database
  8. Kendal Town season review 2004-5 BBC News, 15 June 2005
  9. Mike Williams & Tony Williams (2012) Non-League Club Directory 2013, p21 ISBN   978-1-869833-77-0
  10. Rob Smith: Time right to leave AFC Telford Shropshire Star, 26 September 2013
  11. AFC Telford United 1–2 Burscough BBC Sport, 30 April 2007
  12. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Honours and Records AFC Telford United
  13. 1 2 3 AFC Telford United sack manager Rob Smith BBC Sport, 23 April 2010
  14. Setanta Shield results 2008/09 BBC Sport, 9 April 2009
  15. Andy Sinton is new AFC Telford boss Express & Star, 26 May 2010
  16. Nuneaton manager Kevin Wilkin looks ahead to next year BBC Sport, 9 May 2011
  17. AFC Telford 3–2 Guiseley BBC Sport, 9 May 2011
  18. AFC Telford United Manager Andy Sinton Leaves By Mutual Consent Archived 15 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine Conference League Clubs, 31 January 2013
  19. AFC Telford United: Liam Watson sacked by Conference club BBC Sport, 13 December 2014
  20. AFC Telford United: Steve Kittrick sacked as Bucks manager BBC Sport, 24 August 2015
  21. AFC Telford bring back Smith and Chambers Shropshire Star, 27 August 2015
  22. New Bucks Head AFC Telford United
  23. "Local football Derby for Shropshire and Telford". Signal 107. 3 March 2015. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  24. "AFC Telford United 2 Kidderminster Harriers 0 – Report and pictures". Shropshire Star. 6 August 2019. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
  25. "The Team". AFC Telford United. 23 May 2020. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
  26. FULL TIME COL 1-10 (TEN) TEL AFC Telford United on Twitter