|Ground Capacity 9,875|
2015–16 League One, 20th
Manager Paul Hurst
League EFL League One
|Chairman Roland Wycherley|
Website Club home page
Arena/Stadium New Meadow
|Full name Shrewsbury Town Football Club|
Nickname(s) Salop, The Blues, The Town, The Shrews
Training ground Sundorne Castle Training Ground
Location Shrewsbury, United Kingdom
Shrewsbury Town Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England. The team compete in League One, the third tier of the English football league system.
- Early history
- Football League history
- Kevin Ratcliffe era and Conference
- Return to Football League
- Club colours
- Club Crest
- Club officials
- Coaching staff
- Current squad
- Out on loan
- Notable former players
- Record holders
- Famous names
- Local players
- Cult heroes
- Club records
- Minor honours
The club was formed in 1886 and was elected to the Football League in 1950, where it has played in all of its bottom three divisions, apart from spending the 2003–04 season in the Conference Premier. It has also competed in the Welsh Cup, winning it six times, a record for an English team.
From 1910 onwards, the club was based at Gay Meadow on the banks of the River Severn; since 2007, they have played at the New Meadow, a UEFA Category four stadium with a capacity of 9,875.
Shrewsbury Town were formed at a meeting on 20 May 1886 at the Turf Hotel in Claremont Hill, Shrewsbury. This was following the demise of first Shropshire Wanderers and later indirectly after Castle Blues. The Blues were a rough team, leading to their demise after several games were marred by violence. The new team hoped to be as successful but without the notoriety. Press reports differ as to the date the new club was formed, The Eddowes Shropshire Journal of 26 May 1886 reported the birth of the club at The Lion Hotel, Wyle Cop, Shrewsbury. The Shrewsbury Chronicle reported the club's being formed at the Turf Hotel, Claremont Hill, Shrewsbury. It may be both accounts are true, with a get-together at The Lion being finalised at the Turf.
After friendlies and regional cup competitions for the first few seasons, Shrewsbury were founder members of the Shropshire & District League in 1890–91, later admitted to the Birmingham & District League in 1895–96. Many of the teams Town faced in the early days have vanished, however Shrewsbury met many of today's Football League and Conference teams, including Crewe Alexandra, Coventry City, Stoke City, Kidderminster Harriers and Stafford Rangers.
In 1910, Shrewsbury looked to move to a new ground, having spent early years at locations across the town, notably at Copthorne Barracks west of the town. The club moved to Gay Meadow on the edge of the town centre, within sight of Shrewsbury Abbey, and stayed 97 years.
Shrewsbury's Birmingham League days were mostly mid-table, with a few seasons challenging near the top, the club being league champions in 1922–23.
A move to the Midland Champions League in 1937–38 saw the club enjoy one of its most successful seasons, winning a league and cup treble. Shrewsbury were league champions, scoring 111 goals . In addition, the Welsh Cup was won following a replay, the team enjoyed a run in the FA Cup, and won the Shropshire Senior Cup.
After a run of good seasons in post-war years, Shrewsbury were admitted to the old Division 3 (North) of the Football League in 1950, after being Midland League champions in 1949–50.
Football League history
Shrewsbury Town were elected to the Football League Division 3 North for 1950–51 following the decision to expand from 88 to 92 clubs. Shrewsbury were then promoted to the Third Division in 1958–59. They remained in the third tier 15 years, slipping back to Division Four at the end of 1973–74.
1960–61 season saw Shrewsbury Town reach the Semi Final of the League Cup. After beating Everton (then the biggest club in the country) in the quarter-finals, they narrowly lost over two legs 4–3 on aggregate to Rotherham United. This era was also remembered for Arthur Rowley. He arrived from Leicester City in 1958, the club's first player/manager. During his playing and managerial career, he broke Dixie Dean's goal-scoring record, scoring his 380th league goal against Bradford City at Valley Parade on 29 April 1961. Retiring from playing in 1965 he remained manager until July 1968.
Shrewsbury were promoted to the Third Division in 1974–75 as runners-up, before another successful season in 1978–79, when they were league champions under Ritchie Barker and later Graham Turner. Over 14,000 fans packed Gay Meadow on 17 May 1979 to see Shrewsbury seal promotion with a 4–1 win over Exeter City. In addition, the club had their first run to the FA Cup quarter-finals, before a replay defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Turner is the team's most successful manager, winning the Third Division Championship in 1978–79 – his first season in charge – to take the club into the Second Division for the first time. They remained for ten years, although Turner departed for Aston Villa in 1984. Shrewsbury repeated their 1979 feat of reaching the quarter-final in 1981–82, defeating UEFA Cup holders Ipswich Town in the fifth round before defeat away to Leicester City.
The 1980s saw many big teams defeated by Shrewsbury, whose period in the old Second Division coincided with some of the current Premier League clubs. During the 1980s, Fulham, Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers, West Ham United and Chelsea lost to Shrewsbury Town. Middlesbrough were defeated at Gay Meadow at the end of 1985–86, Shrewsbury winning 2–1, relegating Middlesbrough, who went out of business and almost out of existence. The match was marred by violence from Middlesbrough fans, with many of them later having to return to Shrewsbury for court appearances.
In the early to mid-1980s the club enjoyed its most successful Football League run. Shrewsbury survived through the sale of players, with some to have played for Shrewsbury including Steve Ogrizovic, David Moyes, John McGinlay and Bernard McNally. They were relegated at the end of 1988–89 after ten years. In the Third Division, on 22 December 1990, Gary Shaw scored the quickest Town hat trick – 4 minutes and 32 seconds – against Bradford City at Valley Parade. At the end of 1991–92, three years after relegation to the Third Division, the club was relegated to the Fourth – the first time since 1975. However, two seasons later Shrewsbury won the new (fourth tier) Division Three championship under Fred Davies in 1993–94, and remained in Division Two (third tier) three seasons. Shrewsbury were not to rise any further, remaining mid-table before slipping down again at the end of 1996–97.
The 1990s saw Shrewsbury make their first appearance at Wembley as finalists in the 1996 Football League Trophy final. Shrewsbury lost 2–1 to Rotherham United; future Shrewsbury striker Nigel Jemson scoring both Rotherham goals. Davies was sacked at the end of the 1996–97 relegation season. Jake King arrived, following a successful reign at local rivals Telford United.
Kevin Ratcliffe era and Conference
In the 1999–2000, Shrewsbury endured a poor season, with King being sacked in November as the club near relegation. Former Everton captain and Welsh international Kevin Ratcliffe was appointed manager and saved them from relegation to the Conference on the final day of the season with a 2–1 victory away to Exeter City.
Ratcliffe worked on improving the side. Former youth team and reserve player Luke Rodgers emerged as a regular goal-scorer, and with big names arriving at Shrewsbury, the team looked on the up, narrowly missing the 2001–02 league playoffs despite 70 points.
In 2002–03, Shrewsbury had an FA Cup run. After dispatching non-league sides Stafford Rangers and Barrow, they won at home against Everton in the third round in front of 7,800, with two goals by Jemson. Chelsea were the fourth round visitors, in a televised match on BBC's Match of the Day. Town lost 0–4, with Gianfranco Zola the man of the match. A near capacity crowd of 7,950 turned up for Chelsea, but from then form disappeared. The team won just twice in the league thereafter. Seven points adrift at the bottom and having conceded 92 goals, the club contemplated the end of their 53 years in the league. Following angry demonstrations from fans, Ratcliffe resigned, and Mark Atkins took temporary charge for the club final League game, a 2–1 defeat to Scunthorpe United, who were coincidentally the first League opponents for Shrewsbury Town back in 1950.
Northwich Victoria manager Jimmy Quinn was appointed Shrewsbury manager in May 2003, with the aim of getting them promoted back to the Football League at the first attempt. With most of the previous year's players released, Quinn assembled a whole new squad, with experienced non-league players such as Darren Tinson and Jake Sedgemore being joined by Colin Cramb, Scott Howie and former League Cup finalist Martin O'Connor. The league title went to Chester City, but with 74 points, Shrewsbury finished third in the league and defeated Barnet in the playoff semi-finals to set up a playoff final against Aldershot Town, at the neutral venue of the Britannia Stadium, home of Stoke City. The two teams played out a 1–1 draw which went to a penalty shootout. Shrewsbury goalkeeper Scott Howie saved three consecutive Aldershot penalties and defender Trevor Challis scored the winning penalty.
Return to Football League
Quinn departed 14 league games into the season, being replaced by former Preston manager Gary Peters, who preserved Shrewsbury's Football League status in the 2004–05 League Two campaign. Shrewsbury's plans to move ground came to fruition, as Wycherly ceremoniously cut the first sod of soil at the New Meadow in the summer of 2006.
Despite the departure of a then talented young goalkeeper and future England number 1 Joe Hart to Manchester City, Shrewsbury went on a 14-match unbeaten run in the 2006–07 season; following a 2–2 draw against Grimsby Town in the final League match to be held at Gay Meadow, they finished in seventh place and thus qualified for the play-offs, where they defeated Milton Keynes Dons in the semi-finals. The team lost to Bristol Rovers in the League Two play-off final on 26 May 2007 at the new Wembley Stadium in front of a record crowd for any 4th tier game of 61,589.
The club moved to the New Meadow stadium for the 2007–08 season. Peters left the club on 3 March 2008 by mutual consent, replaced by Paul Simpson, who led the club to an eventual 18th-place finish in the league. After the season, the kit manufacturer Prostar earned the naming rights of the stadium.
The 2008–09 season saw Shrewsbury reach the play-offs again with victory over Dagenham and Redbridge on the final day of the season. They faced Bury in the playoff semi-finals, winning on penalties with goalkeeper Luke Daniels making two saves to send Shrewsbury through 4–3 on aggregate. Shrewsbury lost 0–1 to Gillingham in the play-off final at Wembley Stadium on 23 May in front of 53,706, with a goal in the 90th minute by Gillingham's Simeon Jackson. On 30 April 2010, after a disappointing 2009–10 season, Simpson was dismissed as manager with two games remaining.
Graham Turner returned to Shrewsbury Town as manager in June 2010. The club finished the 2010–11 season in 4th place, finishing with 79 points and qualifying for the playoffs, missing automatic promotion by only 1 point. They lost 2–0 on aggregate in the playoff semi-final to Torquay United. The following 2011–12 season they finished 2nd on 88 points. They won 1–0 over Dagenham & Redbridge from a James Collins header on the penultimate game of the season to achieve promotion to League One after a 15-year absence. Shrewsbury exceeded expectations the following 2012–13 season and ultimately managed to seal League One safety with two games to spare of their first season back, a 1–0 win at home to Oldham Athletic. The beat relegated Portsmouth 3–2 on the final day to finish 16th on 55 points. The following season, a disappointing first half of the season saw Turner quit in January and relegation was confirmed after a 2–4 home defeat against Peterborough United.
In May 2014 ex-Fleetwood Town boss Micky Mellon was appointed manager. Town were promoted back to League One on 25 April 2015 with a 0–1 victory away to Cheltenham Town via Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro's goal. Mellon left for Tranmere Rovers in October 2016, and he was replaced by Grimsby Town manager Paul Hurst, with Shrewsbury bottom.
Town's first ground hosted 51 matches over 3 years. The majority of these were friendlies as Town were not members of any league. Their first game was a 5–2 victory over Wellington Town on 16 October 1886 at the Racecourse Ground.
Town spent 4 seasons here and they were founder members of the Shropshire and District League started in 1890. 22 February 1890 saw town's record victory which was 18–0 against Wellington Town (Bowdler 8, Phasey 3, Rowlands 2 Gosson 3 Aston and Murphy). Town played 44 times at this ground.
Town played 47 times in 2 seasons at this ground and when they moved from here, they also moved up to the Birmingham League. This ground is now allotments.
Town played here for 15 years over 300 matches against more classier opposition of reserve teams like Aston Villa and Wolves. In 1909–10 they reached the first round of the FA Cup.
For many years, Shrewsbury coracle maker Fred Davies achieved some notability amongst football fans, by a unique service he and his coracle provided. He would sit in his coracle during Shrewsbury Town home matches, and retrieve any stray footballs that went into the River Severn. Although Davies died long ago, his legend is still associated with the club.
A new stadium opened 17 July 2007, it features a 9,875 all-seater capacity in four separate stands for football.
Capacity for concerts at the stadium is 17,000.
The ground has conference facilities, a function area, snack bars, licensed bars, a club shop and a restaurant. Within the stadium confines are training facilities for the club and a 5-a-side football complex which is run by Powerleague.
The first match at the stadium was 4–0 win against A-line Allstars featuring Gianfranco Zola. The first league match was against Bradford City.
Shrewsbury's record victory at this ground is 7–0 against Gillingham on 13 September 2008 in League Two play.
The record attendance at the New Meadow is 10,210 v Chelsea in the 2014–15 Football League Cup.
England under 17's, 19's 20's, 21's and the full England Women's team have all played at the stadium. Other notable teams to have played there include Premier League sides Manchester City, West Bromwich Albion, Fulham and Stoke City. A Manchester United XI appeared in a pre-season friendly against Shrewsbury Town on 17 July 2011
On Sunday 12 June 2011 one of the world's most internationally recognised musical artists Elton John took to the stage at the stadium in front of an audience of 17,000 to mark the first concert at the New Meadow.
The club's colours have always featured blue. However, blue has not always been the most dominant colour. Early kits included blue and white stripes, quartered shirts and all-blue shirts, which were worn with either white or amber trim until 1978. In 1978 Shrewsbury's most famous kit was introduced – the blue and amber stripes, which they wore as they were promoted in successive seasons, up to the old second division (now the Football League Championship). This was the design worn by character Derek Smalls in the movie This Is Spinal Tap.
The club was not loyal to the stripes for long, and in 1982 reverted to a blue shirt, then used a blue body with amber sleeves, later reverting to an amber body with blue sleeves. In 1987 the shirts radically changed to white shirts for four seasons before reverting to stripes in 1991–92. After a flamboyant abstract pattern on the shirts in 1992–93, Shrewsbury's kits have stayed mostly blue, with amber stripe(s) of some description evident since 1999.
The shirt sponsors have, since their introduction in 1982, all been local companies. The current shirt sponsor is a major local motor dealership network, Greenhous, whom are also the primary sponsor of the stadium
The first crest to appear on the shirt of Shrewsbury Town was the town's coat of arms, The Loggerheads in 1907. The crest was used intermittently on shirts until 1960 through to 1970, when a generic football design was used. During this time, The Loggerheads continued to be used on other merchandise, such as match-day programmes. The Loggerheads returned in 1970, and in various guises continued to be used until 1986, when a "Shrew" cartoon was introduced as the club's crest in an attempt to rebrand "Salop" as "The Shrews". During this time, the club's kit was also changed to predominantly white. A campaign by fanzine a "A Large Scotch" eventually led to the return of The Loggerheads crest in 1992. The crest changed once in again in 2007 to coincide with Salop's move to New Meadow, the new badge featured a single lion's head in a circle. The club stated that the new badge was necessary as any design incorporating The Loggerheads could not be copyrighted. Shortly after the badge was introduced, it was revealed that the lion was in fact a piece of clip-art freely available online. In 2012, a campaign to "Bring Back The Loggerheads" was launched, and indeed the Loggerheads returned for a third time in 2014, with 92% of a poll of 1171 Salop fans voting to change the badge.
Traditionally Walsall and Wolverhampton Wanderers have been seen as the club's major rivals. In more recent years rivalry with near-neighbours Hereford United was ranked nineteenth in The Daily Telegraph's Twenty fiercest rivalries in English football. Known as the 'A49 derby' due to the road separating the two teams, it is unlikely to be contested again in the near future with the reformed Hereford F.C. now playing several leagues below Shrewsbury in the Midland Football League.
Shrewsbury also had big rivalries with Chester City and Wrexham. Following crowd difficulties at Chester's stadium during a league match in season 2003–04 when well over 2,000 Shrewsbury fans, some in different parts of the home sections, appeared to come forward to the pitchside when a tannoy spokesman asked "If there are any more Shrewsbury Town fans in the home section would you please come down to the perimeter so you can be appropriately relocated in the away section". The rivalry with Wrexham is also less important, with Wrexham no longer being in the Football League, but was always a heated fixture.
A rivalry developed with Port Vale, located in neighbouring Staffordshire, after Vale were relegated to League Two in the 2007–08 season. Their first encounter in the 2008–09 season was their first encounter for at least 30 years, with Vale coming into the game having had six straight defeats prior. The fans eventually tried to get at each other after a Shrewsbury equaliser made it 1–1, and the match led to an away pitch invasion after a controversial added time winner from Vale's Marc Richards, which saw the ball deflect in off his chest as he lunged in to tackle Luke Daniels' save attempt. Every encounter since has been lively and has involved incidents with fans in and out of the football grounds. From season 2008–09 to season 2010–11 Shrews only managed three points from six matches with Vale. However, Shrewsbury finally broke the Vale undefeated streak with a 2011–12 season double, even looking likely to take 3 points in a home game that was called off in the 65th minute. Shrewsbury were promoted to League One at the end of the season, while Port Vale finished mid-table.
Crewe Alexandra and Kidderminster Harriers have also been popular away games, especially the former since their relegation to League Two in the 2008–09 season. Another rivalry is the Shropshire Derby against AFC Telford United which is annually contested in the Shropshire Senior Cup, although owing to Telford's lower stature in footballing terms the rivalry is not reciprocated by Shrews' fans, despite the blue and amber faithful regularly chanting about their apparent insignificant county rivals.
As of 15 February 2016
As of 20 January 2017.
Current squadAs of 25 February 2017.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Out on loan
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Notable former playersSee also Category:Shrewsbury Town F.C. players
Mickey Brown holds the club record for most appearances, accumulated during three spells. Centre half turned centre forward Alf Wood scored 5 goals in the 7–1 victory against Blackburn Rovers in 1971 and became the first player since Dixie Dean to score four headed goals in one match.
Several Shrewsbury players have gone onto, or came from prominent top-flight careers. These include current and former top-flight managers David Moyes, Nigel Pearson, Gordon Lee, David Pleat and Gary Megson. International stars John McGinlay, Jim Holton, Jimmy Quinn, Michael Gulla (American footballer), Jimmy McLoughlin, Mickey Thomas, Carl Robinson and Neville Southall all spent time at Shrewsbury. Doug Rougvie won the European Cup Winner's Cup with Aberdeen in 1983 and played for Shrewsbury later in the decade after a spell at Chelsea.
More recently, Premier League winner Mark Atkins spent later seasons of his career at Shrewsbury, as did Sheffield Wednesday's Nigel Jemson and former Nottingham Forest player Ian Woan. Coventry City stalwart Steve Ogrizovic was previously a Shrewsbury player. Two notable recent departees are local-born youth products, England goalkeeper Joe Hart and Wales midfielder David Edwards, both of whom have been capped at U21 and senior international levels. Edwards has since gone on play in the Premier League with Wolverhampton Wanderers and the Wales national team. Hart is a regular in the England senior team.
In addition to Hart and Edwards, Shrewsbury have given opportunities to many young local players, who have forged successful professional careers. Norman Hobson was a local Shrewsbury born defender in the mid to late 1950s and made 224 appearances. Bernard McNally was a local star in the 1980s, with two other local players, Kevin Seabury and Peter Wilding being fan favourites at the club in the 1990s. Veteran striker Andy Cooke was born and raised in Shrewsbury, and supported the club as a boy, but forged his career elsewhere after being rejected as a trainee. Tom Bradshaw is a recent Shrewsbury-born talent to have emerged from the Youth Team, and Mason Springthorpe signed for Everton prior to making an appearance for the Shrews, for £125,000.
In 2004, the BBC's Football Focus ran polls to determine club's cult heroes, and Dean Spink was named as Shrewsbury's cult hero, ahead of Steve Anthrobus and Austin Berkley.
38: Arthur Rowley (1958–59)
152: Arthur Rowley (1958–65)
418: Mickey Brown (1986–91, 1992–94, 1996–2001)