FC Halifax Town

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FC Halifax Town
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Full nameFC Halifax Town
Nickname(s)The Shaymen
Founded2008;13 years ago (2008)
Ground The Shay
Capacity14,061 (5,830 seated)
ChairmanDavid Bosomworth
Manager Pete Wild
League National League
2020–21 National League, 10th of 22
Website Club website
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FC Halifax Town is a professional [1] association football club based in Halifax, West Yorkshire, England. They currently compete in the National League , the fifth tier of English football, and play at the Shay. They replaced Halifax Town A.F.C., which went into administration in the 2007–08 season.

Contents

History

Formation

The Shay, the home ground of Halifax Town The Shay.jpg
The Shay, the home ground of Halifax Town

Huge tax debts buried Halifax Town A.F.C. after almost 100 years as a football club. In May 2008, it was revealed that Halifax owed over £814,000 to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs. [2] It was originally thought the club owed the taxman around £500,000, which might have left scope for a deal. [3] At a meeting of the FA, discussing the makeup of the football pyramid for the 2008–09 season, it was decided that FC Halifax Town would be placed in the Northern Premier League Division One North (the eighth tier of English football) despite various appeals. [4]

Northern Premier League (2008–2011)

The club's first game under the new name FC Halifax Town was a friendly defeat against Tamworth on 19 July 2008. [5] The Shaymen's first competitive match came in a 3–0 loss to Bamber Bridge. [6] FC Halifax's first ever season was filled with inconsistency: ending outside the play-off positions in 8th place.[ citation needed ]

In April 2009, Neil Aspin was appointed as the new manager, which would prove to be an excellent appointment. [7] His first season in charge was a successful one; winning the league with 100 points (scoring 108 goals in the process). Halifax reached the FA Cup 4th qualifying round that season: eventually losing to Wrexham in front of a record crowd of 2,843. [8] The title was sealed with a 2–2 home draw against Clitheroe.[ citation needed ]

Halifax started the 2010–11 season in the Northern Premier League, (the 7th tier of English football). New-signing Jamie Vardy (who would later play for Leicester City and the England National Team) helped fire Halifax to back-to-back promotions to the Conference North as top scorer with 22 goals. Once again, Halifax would lose in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup to a fifth tier side; this time it would be a narrow defeat to Mansfield Town. On New Year's Day 2011, Town beat FC United of Manchester 4–1 at the Shay which attracted a crowd of 4,023, an attendance that at the time held the record crowd for the Northern Premier League. [9] They finally won the title after winning 2–0 at Retford United and gained automatic promotion to the Conference North. [ citation needed ]

Conference North Years (2011–2013)

During pre-season, star-striker Jamie Vardy signed for Fleetwood Town. Vardy was replaced as Halifax's main striker by Lee Gregory (who would later play for Millwall and Stoke City in the EFL Championship). Halifax had a sluggish start to their first ever season in the 6th tier. For the first ever time, Halifax reached the 1st round of the FA Cup: a televised home tie against League 1 leaders Charlton Athletic. [10] The result was a 4–0 defeat in front of 4,601 supporters.The club rose from 13th at the start of the match to 3rd by the end of the season. Halifax lost in the play-offs to Gainsborough Trinity (3–2 on aggregate). [11]

The 2012–13 season was the club's second consecutive season in the 6th tier. The season was defined by successful cup-runs and another promotion. In the FA Cup, Halifax took Conference Premier side Lincoln City to a replay in the 4th qualifying round. In the FA Trophy Halifax reached the quarter-finals of the tournament, eventually losing out to 5th tier side Dartford. Due to Town's cup-runs and postponements from poor weather caused a huge back-log in fixtures. By February, Halifax had ten games in hand on certain teams. Halifax had a difficult run at the end of the season (despite playing 12 games in 27 days), reaching the play-offs in 5th. In the play-off semi-final, Halifax won 3–1 (on aggregate) against local side Guiseley. [12] The play-off final was won 1–0 against Brackley Town with a solitary goal by Lee Gregory. [13]

National League Years (2013–)

The National League (5th tier) was the highest level that the newly formed FC Halifax Town side had played at since formation. Neil Aspin started the 2013–14 season by signing a two-year contract. [14] Their first season in the 5th tier started with a disappointing 5–1 defeat to Cambridge United. [15] Town's first win in the 5th tier was against Wrexham. [16] From March onwards, the Shaymen won 9 of 10 matches (keeping 7 clean-sheets) Halifax finished their first season in the Conference play-off positions (the highest placed semi-professional team in the country). Halifax lost 2–1 to Cambridge United in the play-off semi-final, rounding off a sensational first season in the 5th tier. [17]

During pre-season, Lee Gregory was sold for £250,000 to Millwall after being Halifax's top scorer for three consecutive seasons (scoring 18, 20 and 29 goals respectively). [18] Halifax started the new season with five consecutive wins, placing the Shaymen at the top of the league. In the 1st round of the FA Cup, Halifax were drawn against old rivals Bradford City. The televised match attracted 8,042 spectators (FC Halifax Town's record attendance): which Town lost 2–1. [19] Eventually, form dropped off in the league with too many draws (15), leaving Halifax Town in 9th place at the end of the season. [20]

The Shaymen's third season in the National League was a poor one, culminating in relegation back to the 6th tier. Neil Aspin was sacked [21] and replaced by Darren Kelly. Kelly oversaw disastrous results against Grimsby Town [22] (7–0), Cheltenham Town (7–1) [23] and Braintree Town (6–3). [24] The Braintree defeat forced the hand of the board who sacked him after less than two months in charge. [25] Jim Harvey became caretaker manager, he turned the club's fortunes around but couldn't prevent Halifax's relegation back to the National League North following a draw against Macclesfield Town. [26] Meanwhile, Halifax reached the 2016 FA Trophy Final, defeating Grimsby Town 1–0 at Wembley Stadium. [27]

Harvey was replaced by North Ferriby United manager Billy Heath. Town made an immediate return to the National League, finishing in 3rd place. Halifax met Salford City in the play-off semi-final, drawing 1–1 (winning 3–0 on penalties). [28] In the play-off final, Halifax beat Chorley 2–1 after extra time in front of nearly 8000 fans. [29]

Halifax's return to the National League was largely uneventful. Despite mid-season doubts, Halifax were never in serious danger of relegation. Billy Heath was replaced by Jamie Fullarton [30] mid-season who guided them to 16th place. [31]

For the second consecutive season, Halifax finished the season in 16th place. Halifax were top of the league at the end of August having just switched to a hybrid full-time model. The highlight of the season was an impressive win against League Two side Morecambe. [32]

During pre-season, Jamie Fullarton was replaced with Pete Wild. [33] This time though, the positive start to the season didn't end like in previous seasons. By March, the COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the season. [34] The final league position was decided on a points per game decision, meaning Halifax would end up in the play-off positions. However, the Shaymen lost 2–1 in the play-offs to Boreham Wood. [35]

Halifax started wearily in the 2020-21 National League season, despite a 2-0 win over Dagenham & Redbridge F.C. in their first competitive match, Wild’s men went on to have 9 games without a win, consisting of 1 win, 4 draws and 5 losses within the first 10 matches, including a devastating season-long injury to debutant striker Matt Stenson on the 10 November 2020, a mere 16 minutes in during Town’s fifth match of the season; however hope was not lost as this bad run of events had culminated into a 5-2 win over Barnet F.C. followed by a 5-1 routing of Weymouth F.C. and then a comfortable 3-1 win over Aldershot Town F.C. to add a total of 13 goals to the count, bringing their goal difference up by 9 with concessions taken into account. The Shaymen then went into having a mixed performance, highlighted by a 3-2 win over Torquay United F.C., the then league leaders, live on television - but also a 3-1 loss to Hartlepool United F.C.: with the aforementioned match including a red card against Halifax. A run of good results did place them into the playoff position but a batch of bad games and injuries to key players meant it went down to the final day, with Halifax finishing 10th in the 2020-21 National League season, a point below 9th placed Eastleigh, 3 points below 8th placed Wrexham and a grand total of 4 points out of the playoffs, with Bromley and their 69 points placed 7th. Despite missing out on the playoffs, Halifax still managed to garner 65 points through 19 wins and 8 draws to 15 losses, with a positive goal difference of 9 after scoring 63 and conceding 54. Overall the season was a mixed result plagued by injuries and bad performances, enhanced by the COVID Pandemic and the lack of fans within stadiums which forced Halifax to try gain income through a live stream service of fixtures which did raise some issues with the software itself and the amount of money made, as an average of above 2,000 attendance within the stadium had been quartered well below 500 utilising the live stream service which was hampered by bad connections, low quality and other issues.

Kit

PeriodKit ManufacturerHome Shirt SponsorAway Shirt Sponsor
2008–2009Vandanel Grand Union Railway Halton Group
2009–2010Doodson Broking Group
2010–2011Polyframe
2011–2012
2012–2013
2013–2014 Sondico MBi Consulting
2014–2015 Adidas
2015–2016MBi ConsultingIntegro Doodson
2016–2017Northern Powerhouse DevelopmentsGB Architectural Cladding Products
2017–2018
2018–2019
2019-2020Core Facility ServicesNuie Bathroons
2020-2021
2021-2022

Halifax Town's traditional colours are blue and white. The club doesn't have any particular, identifiable style and as such there can be quite a change of style season upon season. For the majority of Halifax Town's existence the club has opted for blue shirts, blue shorts and blue socks with various different styles on the shirt. This rhythm was interrupted between 2011 and 2014 as in the 2011–12 season the kit was blue with black trim as opposed to white, between 2012 and 2014 the club wore blue shirts, white shorts and blue sock; in the 2019-20 season the kit was blue with golden trim before moving back to a blue kit with white trimmings for 2020-21, which continued into 2021-22. As Halifax Town (AFC) the kit was also variable, including full blue, blue with white shorts, blue and white stripes and in the 1970s the kit included orange and even full white kits with orange [36] Away kits have no set standard or style nor colour and can come in a wide range of styles, such as the 2019-20 away kit which was orange with light blue trim which was exchanged for a pink and black kit or a gold and white shirt with hints of burgundy with burgundy socks and shorts in 2020-21, even the 1996-1997 white away kit with purple trimmings or, finally, the black and white 2011-12 away kit with lime trimmings. [37]

Rivals and local games

ClubLast MatchSeason
Bradford City L 2–12014–15
York City D 2–22007–08
Huddersfield Town D 0–02001–02
Rochdale L 2–12001–02
Burnley L 1–01991–92

According to a survey conducted in 2003, Halifax's three main rivals are Burnley, Rochdale and Huddersfield Town. [38] The rivalry with Burnley began in the 1980s when Burnley dropped into the Fourth Division and a number of intense affairs between the two clubs when the teams played sparked a rivalry. Despite not having met since and rarely beforehand, Halifax fans still view Burnley as being the club's biggest rival and make reference to it in several chants. Halifax have met Rochdale well over 100 times in the Football League [39] and like the Burnley rivalry has formed due to the Yorkshire-Lancashire connection and being one of the nearest towns to Halifax, albeit over the Pennines. Rochdale are the club's oldest traditional rival and many of the older generation of supporters still see them as the primary rival. The Huddersfield rivalry comes from the proximity between the two towns, being just 8 miles apart. Like Burnley, the two clubs have rarely met due to Huddersfield usually being in a higher division but the fans still see there as being a rivalry.[ citation needed ]

Other rivals include Bradford City and York City. Despite Bradford being a similar distance away from Halifax as Huddersfield is and having met each other far more times, isn't considered as fierce a rivalry. York, although around 35 miles away, have a competitive rivalry with Halifax, particularly as the two were the only Yorkshire representatives when playing in the Conference Premier in the mid-2000s. Barnsley and Oldham Athletic were both considered rivals in the past; neither have played Halifax in a league fixture since the 1970s.[ citation needed ]

When Halifax were demoted to the regional leagues some of the smaller local clubs tried to form competitive rivalries but none of them really took off. The biggest of these rivalries was arguably with Guiseley as the clubs met several times and during Halifax's time in the Conference North the two clubs were both pushing for the play-offs. The rivalry has since declined and has become more of a friendly one as several ex-Halifax players now play and manage there. A small rivalry formed with Chester during their season in the Conference North as the two clubs were the two big, ex-league clubs and had gone through an almost identical fate, having been liquidated and demoted three leagues. Smaller rivalries were also formed with Bradford Park Avenue and Harrogate Town.[ citation needed ]

Players

Current squad

As of 14 July 2021 [40]

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

No.Pos.NationPlayer
1 GK Flag of England.svg  ENG Sam Johnson
3 DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Jack Senior
5 DF Flag of Ireland.svg  IRL Neill Byrne
6 DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Tom Bradbury
7 FW Flag of Montserrat.svg  MSR Jamie Allen
8 MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Kieran Green
12 GK Flag of England.svg  ENG Harrison Davison-Hale
No.Pos.NationPlayer
14 FW Flag of England.svg  ENG Matty Stenson
18 DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Jay Benn
19 MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Luke Summerfield
20 MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Dom Tear
26 MF Flag of Scotland.svg  SCO Martin Woods
30 DF Flag of England.svg  ENG Kian Spence
31 MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Niall Maher
- MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Harvey Gilmour
- FW Flag of England.svg  ENG Billy Waters

Current staff

Club officials
First team staff

Managerial history

As of 6 September 2020

All competitions except West Riding County Cup

NameFromToPlayedWonDrawnLostWin %
Jim Vince2 July 20089 April 20094622101447.83
Nigel Jemson (Caretaker)9 April 200925 April 200940310.00
Neil Aspin 28 April 200917 September 2015332178787653.61
Gareth McClelland (Caretaker)17 September 20151 October 201530210.00
Darren Kelly 1 October 201517 November 20151021720.00
Jim Harvey (Caretaker)17 November 201522 December 2015532060.00
Jim Harvey 22 December 201524 May 201629129841.38
Billy Heath24 May 201631 January 20188838232743.18
Neil Young (Caretaker)31 January 201820 February 2018311133.33
Jamie Fullarton 20 February 201815 July 20196520271830.80
Steve Nichol and Nathan Clarke (Co-Caretakers)15 July 201924 July 201900000.00
Pete Wild 24 July 2019Present411971546.34

Performance

League standings

YearLeagueTierPldWDLFAGDPtsPositionLeague top scorer FA Cup FA Trophy Average league attendanceAdditional Notes
2008–09 Northern Premier League
Division One North
8401712117152+19638/21Ashley Stott (15) QR2 PR 1,165
2009–10 Northern Premier League
Division One North
8423010210838+701001/22
Promoted
James Dean (27) QR4 QR3 1,432 Promotion
2010–11 Northern Premier League
Premier Division
742308410836+72981/22
Promoted
Jamie Vardy (22) QR4 QR2 1,630Second successive promotion
2011–12 Conference North 6422111108059+21743/22 Lee Gregory (18) R1 QR3 1,422Lost in the play-offs to Gainsborough Trinity [41]
2012–13 Conference North 642211298638+48755/22
Promoted
Lee Gregory (20) QR4 QF 1,222Promoted via the play-offs, beating Brackley Town 1–0 in the play-off final [42]
2013–14 Conference Premier 5462211138558+27775/24Lee Gregory (29) R1 R1 1,600Lost in the play-offs to Cambridge United [43]
2014–15 Conference Premier 5461715146054+6669/24 Lois Maynard (11) R1 QF 1,472
2015–16 National League 5461212225582−274821/24
Relegated
Jordan Burrow (14) R1 W 1,546FC Halifax were relegated [44]
2016–17 National League North 642248108143+38803/22
Promoted
Tom Denton (16) R2 QR3 1,810Promoted via the play-offs against Chorley [45]
2017–18 National League 5461316174858−105516/24 Tom Denton/Matty Kosylo (10) QR4 R2 1,726
2018–19 National League 5461320134443+15916/24 Devante Rodney (7)R2R21,553
2019–20 National League 537177135049+1586/24 Liam McAlinden (10) QR4 R3 2,141Lost in the play-offs against Boreham Wood [46]

FA Cup

YearRound ReachedNotes
2008–09 2nd qualifying roundLost 1–4 to Nantwich Town
2009–10 4th qualifying roundLost 0–1 to Wrexham
2010–11 4th qualifying roundLost 0–1 to Mansfield Town
2011–12 1st roundLost 0–4 to Charlton Athletic
2012–13 4th qualifying roundLost replay 0–2 to Lincoln City
2013–14 1st roundLost 1–4 to MK Dons
2014–15 1st roundLost 1–2 to Bradford City
2015–16 1st roundLost 0–4 to Wycombe Wanderers
2016–17 2nd roundLost replay 0–2 to Eastleigh
2017–18 4th qualifying roundLost 1–3 to Tranmere Rovers
2018–19 2nd roundLost 1–3 to AFC Wimbledon
2019–20 4th qualifying roundLost 1–2 to Harrogate Town
2020–21 4th qualifying roundLost 0–2 to South Shields

FA Trophy

YearRound ReachedNotes
2008–09 PreliminaryLost 1–2 to Harrogate Railway Athletic
2009–10 3rd qualifying roundLost 1–3 to Guiseley
2010–11 2nd qualifying roundLost 1–2 to Curzon Ashton
2011–12 3rd qualifying roundLost replay 1–2 to Colwyn Bay
2012–13 Quarter-finalsLost replay 2–3 to Dartford
2013–14 1st roundLost 0–1 to Guiseley
2014–15 Quarter-finalsLost 0–1 to Wrexham
2015–16 Final Winners 1–0 against Grimsby Town
2016–17 3rd qualifying roundLost replay 2–3 to Matlock Town
2017–18 2nd roundLost 1–4 to Maidenhead United
2018–19 2nd roundLost replay 0–1 to Solihull Moors
2019–20 3rd roundLost 0–1 to Halesowen Town

Honours

Player records

As of 6 September 2020 [47]

Most league appearances and goals

As of 28 April 2018

The following table shows players who have made 75 league appearances or more for the club (including substitutions) in descending order:

SeasonsPlayerAppearancesSeasonsPlayerAppearances
2011–2018 Scott McManus 2502014–2017 Richard Peniket 92
2009–2014Danny Lowe1692015– Sam Johnson 91
2012–2016 Matt Glennon 1572013–2015 Marc Roberts 91
2008–2012Tom Baker1452011–2014Ryan Toulson89
2010–2014 Lee Gregory 1452013–2015 Lois Maynard 85
2010–2013 Liam Hogan 1112008–2011 Scott Phelan 83
2014–2017 Kevin Roberts 1062013–2015 Adam Smith 82
2013–2015 Matty Pearson 1052015– Matty Brown 79
2009–2012James Dean1012016–2018Josh Wilde79
2013–2016 James Bolton 1002009–2011Jonathan Hedge77
2009–2012 Aaron Hardy 992013–2018Jake Hibbs76
2015–2020Josh MacDonald962010–2012Simon Garner75
2012–2015 Paul Marshall 93

The following table shows players who have scored 15 league goals or more for the club (including penalties) in descending order:

SeasonsPlayerGoalsSeasonsPlayerGoals
2010–2014 Lee Gregory 942008–2012Tom Baker22
2009–2012James Dean532009–2012Nick Gray20
2010–2012Danny Holland272013–2015 Lois Maynard 19
2016–2018 Tom Denton 272016–2019Matty Kosylo18
2010–2011 Jamie Vardy 252012–2014 Dan Gardner 16
2009–2011Richard Marshall242008–2009Ashley Stott15

Team records

As of 6 September 2020 [48]

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References

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