Halifax Town are a football club from Halifax, West Yorkshire, England, who currently compete in the Vanarama National League - the fifth tier of English Football. They are managed by Pete Wild, and play their home games at The Shay.
The club share their 10,401 capacity stadium with local Rugby League club Halifax. 5,293 of the stadium's capacity is made up of standing sections in the North and South stands, with the rest of the ground being fully seated. Across the 2018-19 campaign, The Shaymen had an average home attendance of 1,553, ranking them 12th in the top tier of non-league football for this. The club's record attendance at the stadium is 36,885 from when they played Tottenham Hotspur in the fifth round of the FA Cup back in 1953, under their previous club.
The current team of FC Halifax Town are technically a young side in terms of footballing history. After the collapse of Halifax Town A.F.C in 2008 due to financial troubles which led to them owing HMRC £814,000 in unpaid tax bills, the club were removed from the Football Conference after administration and started under the new name in the Northern Premier League Division One North for the 2008/09 campaign.
The earlier side had spent a number of years in the Football League throughout their history, but found themselves back in the Conference in 2002. Under manager Chris Wilder, who has now risen to fame as the mastermind behind Sheffield United's resurgence into the Premier League and aim for European Football, they finished eighth in their first season in the league. In 2005/06, they reached the playoff final, but lost 3-2 to Hereford United at Leicester City's stadium in front of a crowd of over 15,000 spectators.
The new club's first promotion came in their second campaign. Under the stewardship of Neil Aspin, they made their way through a congested fixture list caused by over a month of postponed games, and in April of 2009 clinched the title after a 2-2 draw away to Clitheroe in front of over 1000 travelling away fans.
The season after, they secured their second league title in as many campaigns. They were bolstered by strong signings such as former Bradford City captain Mark Bower from Darlington and a young Jamie Vardy from Stocksbridge Park Steels, a man who would go on to become one of the most notable rags-to-riches stories in English football, rising through the leagues and helping Leicester City to an astonishing Premier League title win five years later and who is now a mainstay in Gareth Southgate's England side. They won the title after a 2-0 win versus Retford United to gain promotion to the Conference North.
In 2011-12, the loss of star-striker Vardy to Fleetwood Town led to a lack of form in their league. However, the season was celebrated for their run in the FA Cup, reaching the first round for the first time as the new club and drawing a tie against Charlton Athletic, broadcast live across the nation on ITV1. In the game, the Shaymen lost 4-0 to the League One opposition from London, but set a new attendance record of 4,601 and made a very good account of themselves with the performances that the players put in. After their sluggish form, the cup run reignited their form and spurred them on to a 10-game unbeaten streak, propelling them from 13th to third and three wins from their final four games secured them a spot in the playoffs. Facing Gainsborough Trinity, they drew 2-2 away from home in the first leg, but a 1-0 loss in the return game saw them miss out on collecting a third promotion in as many years.
The Town kept up their winning form as they battled valiantly into the 2012-13 campaign. Once again, they had a number of fixture postponements due to their pitch and one home game against Stalybridge Celtic had to be played at Rochdale's Spotland Stadium. By February, they had ten games in hand on runaway leaders Chester and were 41 points behind them. A strong end to the season saw the Shaymen once again qualify for the playoffs, this time drawing local neighbours Guiseley in the semi-finals after finishing second in the league. Halifax pulled off an excellent 3-1 aggregate victory and faced Brackley Town in the playoff final. In their game away to Brackley, a 75th minute goal by Lee Gregory sent the Shaymen's phoenix club back to the conference premier after a five year absence. Two days later, Halifax also won the West Riding County Cup at Valley Parade against Guiseley, giving them double success in an excellent campaign.
In their first season back in the Conference Premier, they reached the playoff final at Wembley Stadium against Cambridge United, but fell 2-0 in London. Between then and the 2019-20 campaign, the Shaymen fell down to the sixth tier once again, achieved promotion at the first time of asking, and went on a 30-game unbeaten run at the Shay. This year, they are now under the stewardship of Pete Wild, the man who masterminded Oldham Athletic to an incredible FA Cup giantkilling away to Fulham despite only having been given the job on an interim basis a week before nd having famously complained to Virgin Trains that he would no longer need his ticket to go as a supporter of the club. Under Wild, the Shaymen are aiming to get themselves back into the football league for the first time in the new club's history, and with their current form it is a feat that definitely looks on the cards.
|1. Sam Johnson||2. Michael Duckworth||6. Liam Nolan||7. Jamie Allen|
|12. Will Appleyard||3. Jerome Binnom-Williams||8. Jack Earing||9. Dayle Southwell|
|4. Nathan Clarke||10. Cameron King||11. Tobi Sho-Silva|
|5. Matthew Brown||14. Josh Staunton|
|16. Jacob Hanson||17. Josh MacDonald|
|20. Jeff King|
|21. Danny Williams|
|22. Charlie Cooper|
|31. Niall Maher|
*All details correct as of 12th September 2019