Bamber Bridge F.C

Bamber Bridge
Bamber Bridge club badge
Full name Bamber Bridge Football Club
Nickname(s) The Brig
Founded 1974
Ground Bamber Bridge
Ground Capacity 2,264
Chairman Dave Spencer
Manager Neil Crowe
League Northern Premier League
Division One North
2012–13 Northern Premier League
Division One North, 9th
Home colours
Away colours

Bamber Bridge F.C. are an English football club based in Bamber Bridge, near Preston, Lancashire. They currently play in the Northern Premier League Division One North and are full members of the Lancashire County Football Association. They play their home games at the QED Stadium in Bamber Bridge. They are currently managed by Neil Crowe, assisted by Neil Reynolds.

History

Early years

The club can trace its origins to the late 19th century. The club were re-formed in 1952 as a junior club in the Preston and District League.[1]

The current club was formed in 1974 following an amalgamation with neighbouring Walton-le-Dale F.C.[2] They won the Lytham Medal Competition in 1975–76 and the Lancastrian Brigade Cup in 1976–77. The following season they were losing finalists in the Preston and District League Guildhall Cup, and in the 1978–79 season they were Premier Division runners-up and won the Guildhall Cup, their first major trophy. In 1979–80 they were losing finalists again in the Guildhall Cup. In 1980–81 they were Premier Division champions and also won the Guildhall Cup for a second time as well as being losing finalists in the Lancashire FA Amateur Shield. They won the Lancashire FA Amateur Shield in 1981–82. In 1982–83 they were Premier Division runners-up then in 1983–84 they were Premier Division Ward Shield losing finalists. They were runners-up in the Premier Division once again in 1984–85 and won the Guildhall Cup for a third time. The following season they were crowned Premier Division champions for a second time and won the league for a third time in 1986–87. They were losing finalists again in 1987–88. In 1989–90 they were Premier Division champion for a fourth and final time and also won the Guldhall Cup, the Lancastrian Brigade Cup and were losing finalists in the Lancashire FA Amateur Shield.[1][3]

Move up to the North West Counties Football League and beyond

In the 1990–91 season the club joined the North West Counties Football League in Division Two. Their also won the Lancastrian Brigade Cup for a third time.

The following season they were promoted to Division One as champions and also reached the semi-finals of the FA Vase as well as reaching the final of the North West Counties Football League Floodlit Trophy. In 1992–93 they were runners-up in Division One on goal difference winning a second successive promotion, this time to the Northern Premier League First Division. In 1993–94 they were losing finalists in the First Division Cup. They were Division One runners-up in 1994–95 and promoted to the Premier Division. They also won the Northern Premier League Challenge Cup and the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy.[1][3]

Managed by former player Tony Greenwood, they won the Northern Premier League championship at the first attempt in 1995–96 as well as being losing finalists in both the Northern Premier League Challenge Shield and the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy. However, they were ineligible for promotion to the Football Conference, because of ground grading issues, and Greenwood departed. The following season they were once again losing finalists in the Northern Premier League Challenge Shield. In 1999–2000 they were again losing finalists in the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy. However, the highlight of the season was reaching the second round of the FA Cup for the first time where they lost 1–0 to Cambridge United who at the time were in the Football League Second Division. Cambridge claimed a close win with a disputed penalty. Once again the club were managed by Greenwood, who had returned in 1999. They were relegated to the First Division in 2001–02 after the play-offs in which they beat Radcliffe Borough 3–2 in the semi-finals, before losing to Ashton United 2–1 in the final. They were promoted back to the Premier Division in 2003–04 following the 2004 Conference expansion.[1][3]

Their stay though was short-lived and the club were relegated back to the First Division once more in the 2004–05 season. However, they did win the Northern Premier League President's Cup. In the 2007–08 season, following a restructuring of the Northern Premier League they joined the new Northern Premier League Division One North.[1]

In 2007–08 they finished in fifth position in a season which also saw a crowd of 1,435 for the home league game against FC United of Manchester on 17 November 2007.[4] On 9 April 2008, Bamber Bridge conceded two goals in the first 47 seconds of their 0–3 defeat by Newcastle Blue Star, which is believed to be a world record.[5] In the promotion Play-offs they were beaten 3–2 in the semi-finals on 30 April 2008 by FC United of Manchester.[1][4]

The club were unable to sustain a promotion challenge in 2008–09, finishing the season 11th. Towards the end of the season, manager Phil Entwistle was appointed general manager. He was replaced by Tony Greenwood, returning for his third spell in the manager's seat after five successful years at Fleetwood Town.

Stadium

Bamber Bridge play their home games at the QED Stadium. The ground was previously known as Irongate, before the new name was adopted in a sponsorship deal. The club bought the land in 1983 and spent the next four years developing it into a football pitch, naming it Irongate after the local area. The first game was played in August 1987 and since then the stadium has seen a number of developments. Floodlights were installed in the early 1990s.[1]

In 1996 the Czech Republic national team beat Bamber Bridge 9–1 in a warm up game for the 1996 European Championships in front of a record crowd of 2,300.[1] As well as the home games of Bamber Bridge, the stadium also hosts the home games of Preston North End reserve team.

Social Club End

The Social Club End behind one goal has the social club behind the goal which has a sponsors lounge on the first floor which is used on match days. There is also a covered terrace to the side of the social club which also houses the Brig'ers Sports Bar.[6]

Bamber Bridge End

Behind the other goal is the Bamber Bridge End which has a covered terrace running the width of the pitch.[6]

Gerry Lawson Stand

The Gerry Lawson Stand is situated at one side of the pitch. It houses 500 spectators with the letters BBFC imprited in white lettering on the seats which are mostly black. The stand is currently sponsored by Travelwise and it was built with money from both the Football League Trust and the club's 1999–2000 FA Cup run.[6]

Popular Side

At the other side of the pitch is the only undeveloped side of the stadium which is an uncovered grassy bank. It is though still used by supporters.[6]

Players

As of 14 May 2013.[7]

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

No. Position Player
England GK Lee Dovey
England DF Ryan Thompson
England DF Rob Henry
England DF Matt Lawlor
England MF Matty Kay (Captain)
England DF Jez Fitzgerald
England MF Roberto Bonaminio
England MF Chris Marlow
England MF Daniel Wilkins
No. Position Player
England MF Lennie Reid
England MF Neil Reynolds
England MF Matt Mahoney
England MF Alistair Waddecar
England FW Greg Johnstone
Scotland FW Mark Buchan
England FW Andy Bell
England FW Curtis Haley (on loan from Blackburn Rovers)

Non-playing staff

Name Role
England Dave Spencer Chairman
England Vice-chairman
England Cath Doherty Treasurer
England Geoff Wright Club secretary
England George Helliwell Director of Football
England Karen Browne, Amanda Cummings, Catherine Doherty, Geoff Hebson, Gerry Lawson, Brian Littlefair, Bob Livesey, Peter Nowell, John Rodger committee members
England Neil Crowe First-team manager
England Neil Reynolds Assistant manager
England Gus Muncaster Sports therapist

Honours

League

Cup

  • Northern Premier League Challenge Cup winners: 1994–95
  • Northern Premier League President's Cup winners: 2004–05
  • Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy winners: 1994–95
  • Lancashire FA Amateur Shield winners: 1981–82
  • Preston and District League Guildhall Cup winners: 1978–79, 1980–81, 1984–85, 1989–90
  • Lancastrian Brigade Cup winners: 1976–77, 1989–90, 1990–91
  • Lytham Medal Competition winners: 1975–76

Records

Attendances

Averages

As of 13 December 2008, the average league-game attendance at the QED Stadium for the 2008–09 season is 193, which places Bamber Bridge 10th for the division, and is a decrease of 39.7% from the previous season.[8]

Past averages:

  • 2011–12: 145

Source: English football site

References

External links

  • Official website
  • Unofficial website
  • QED – Official BBFC Stadium Sponsors
  • Bamber Bridge at the Football Club History Database
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