A.F.C. Blackpool are a football club based in Blackpool, Lancashire, England. The club currently play in the North West Counties League Division One. Based at Jepson Way, they are nicknamed The Mechanics or The Mechs, and are full members of the Lancashire County Football Association.
The club was founded as Blackpool Metal Mechanics in 1947 before changing their name to Blackpool Mechanics. They initially played in local leagues on the Fylde coast. They won the Fylde District League Division Two title in the 1950–51 season and were promoted to Division One, where between 1953–54 and 1957–58 they were champions twice and runners-up three times in five consecutive seasons. They also won a number of local cup competitions, including the Lancashire FA Amateur Shield in 1957–58.
In 1959 the club took the decision move up the leagues and joined the West Lancashire League. In their first season, 1959–60, they were runners-up. In 1960–61 they were champions and also won the Lancashire FA Amateur Shield again. The following season they were again West Lancashire League champions.
In 1962, they joined the Lancashire Combination Division Two. In the 1972–73 season they won the Lancashire Combination Bridge Shield and in 1974–75 finished as runners-up in the league, just one point behind champions Darwen. With the formation of the North West Counties Football League, they were placed in Division Three, and were promoted as champions to Division Two in 1985–86. They were briefly promoted to Division One in 1991–92 before being relegated back to Division Two, renamed Division One in 2006.
In May 2005 Lytham St. Annes FC, who had just won the West Lancashire League Division One title, merged into the Mechanics after resigning from the West Lancashire league. In May 2008 the Mechanics merged with Squires Gate Junior FC, with the club renamed AFC Blackpool. The name change depended upon Blackpool giving it their full approval, and in July 2008 they confirmed to the Lancashire Football Association that they had no objections and that they were keen to help the club.
As champions of Division One in 2010–11, they were promoted to the Premier Division. On 21 March 2015 some Blackpool FC fans boycotting their match with Leeds in protest at chairman Karl Oyston's management of the club decided to attend AFC Blackpool's match against Bootle. The game saw an attendance of 503 compared with an average of 35 that season; some Leeds fans also attended the match as part of a combined general protest "against the Football League."
The club were relegated to the North West Counties League First Division at the end of the 2015–16 season, in which they finished bottom of the table.
The club play at The Mechanics, Jepson Way having originally played at Stanley Park Arena.
In December 2007, the club announced plans for a £60,000 refurbishment programme, including improvements to the pitch, as well as new crowd barrier fencing and concreting the spectators area right round the pitch. Drainage work began on the pitch in April 2008, as well as levelling and reseeding the pitch. Following the club's name change in May 2008 they leased a further piece of land next to the ground to accommodate the enlarged club. Also investment to improve the facilities was begun. It was also decided that the ground would take the name The Mechanics to maintain the link with the past.
In February 2006 the club had to switch their match against F.C. United of Manchester to Blackpool's Bloomfield Road ground due to the anticipated large crowd. Around 4,300 spectators saw Mechanics lose the game 4–2, bringing in £10,000 for the club.
The ground has four stands. On the east side is the main stand which contains the dressing rooms, club offices and clubhouse with two rows of spectator seating. On the West side is a 100 capacity seated stand with the dugouts either side. There are small terraced stands behind each goal.As of 15 January 2017.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.As of 15 January 2017
Bridge Shield winners 1972
North West Counties Football League
First Division champions 2010–11
Third Division champions 1985–86
West Lancashire Football League
Champions 1960–61, 1961–62
Fylde District League
Division One champions twice
Division Two champions 1950–51
Lancashire FA Amateur Shield
Winners 1957–58, 1960–61
Best FA Cup performance: First qualifying round, 2000–01, 2004–05, 2015–16
Best FA Trophy performance: First qualifying round, 1974–75, 1975–76
Best FA Vase performance: Second round, 2010–11
Record attendance: 4,300 vs FC United of Manchester, 18 February 2006 at Bloomfield Road.At The Mechanics: 503 vs Bootle, 21 March 2015