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Our History

Our History

Founded in 1920, Morecambe Football Club have represented the seaside town on the football map for over 100 years. The club was formed on the 7th May 1920 following a local meeting at the West View Hotel and that meeting now leads us to the Morecambe FC  of today.

In our early years we entered the Lancashire Combination, where we would remain for 48 years and would go on to win the league title on 5 different occasions. In 1968, the club then joined the newly formed Northern Premier League and have had relative success at that level: winning the FA Trophy in 1974 before clinching the Northern Premier League Presidents Cup in 1992.

The early years saw Morecambe FC build a club from the bottom up, originally sharing facilities with Morecambe Cricket Club at Woodhill Lane. Football proved to be a popular choice in the town with over 3,000 attending derby matches with both Lancaster City & Fleetwood Town.

Eventually the club would move to dedicated grounds at Roseberry Park. Following the purchase of the ground by President J.B. Christie, the stadium would renamed in his honour. The first few seasons were not fruitful for The Shrimps, however, in 1924-25, they would go on to clinch the title for the first time and that was combined with Lancashire Junior Cup success in front of over 30,000 against rivals Chorley.

As the club continued to progress, the post-war era saw further development of the football club and with Ken Horton appointed player-manager in 1956 the club was very much looking forward. The 50’s, 60’s and 70’s all featured big cup success. In 1961-62, the club made it to the FA 3rd Round where we were narrowly beaten 1-0 by Weymouth before winning the Lancashire Senior Cup in 1968 with a 2-1 win over Burnley. The Shrimps would go on to win the 1974 FA Trophy at Wembley after beating Dartford 2-1.

During the 80s and early 90’s the club found itself in a state of flux with attendances falling to around 200 and struggling to maintain the success of earlier decades. However, success would not be too far away again in the North-West.

With Jim Harvey installed as the Manager of Morecambe FC, the club would win promotion to the Conference (5th tier). Not content with achieving promotion to the conference, under Harvey, the club would narrowly miss out on runner’s up spots and play-off success as the intent was there for all to see.

Under Jim Harvey the club also equalled its best performances in the FA Cup, however after maiking it through the early rounds of both the 2000-2001 and 2002-2003 campaigns, the club would lose out to Ipswich Town in both seasons.

During a league fixture with Cambridge United in November 2005, Jim Harvey suffered a heart attack and the club moved quickly to appoint former Manchester United midfielder Sammy McIlroy as caretaker manager. McIlroy’s long friendship with Harvey made the transition very easy at the time for the club and managers.

With Harvey ready to return, the club decided to retain McIlroy as Manager of the club, as Harvey departed the Morecambe after a successful 11 years at the helm.

With McIlroy in sole charge The Shrimps narrowly missed out on promotion to the football league in his first season after a 4-3 defeat to Hereford. However the following season the club would come through the play-off’s successfully, dispatching of Exeter City in the final at Wembley in front oof over 40,000 fans to reach their highest height and make it to the professional leagues and fourth tier of English Football.

In 2007, the club had made the decision to leave Christie Park and move to new grounds in preparation for the 2009-2010 campaign. In summer 2010 the club would move to the Globe Arena. The Shrimps would open their new stadium with a 2-0 win over Championship side Coventry City in the League Cup First Round on 10th August 2010.

After five successful years at the helm and helping the club to get in to the Football League, Sammy McIlroy departed Morecambe on 9th May 2011.

Days later Jim Bentley was appointed Manager, becoming player-manager on a two-year deal. Jim’s first nine games in charge of Morecambe saw the club sit pretty at the top of League and he would continue to retain The Shrimps position in League Two for 8 years.

In October 2019, Bentley decided to move to pastures new with over 400 games behind him as Morecambe Manager. In that time Jim secured over 120 wins for the club and ensured that the club maintained its position in the fourth tier of English Football.

The experienced Derek Adams was installed as the new Morecambe FC Manager following Bentley’s departure. After success with Scottish Premiership Side Ross County and EFL side Plymouth Argyle, Adams took the reins of The Shrimps and masterfully kept the club in the league prior to the COVID-19 pandemic halting all football.

Season 2020-21 proved to be a year of big headlines for Morecambe. Firstly, Adams’ side were drawn with Premier League Newcastle United in the third round of the EFL Cup before heading to Stamford Bridge to face off with Chelsea in the third round of the FA Cup.

After memorable cup matches, the league would ultimately bare the most fruitful place for The Shrimps. After finishing fourth in League Two with 78 points, narrowly missing out on automatic promotion by one point, it was the play-off’s that beckoned. For the first time in the club’s history, a League Two play-off final at Wembley awaited after a 3-2 win over Tranmere Rovers in the semi-finals.

On 31st May 2021, Carlos Mendes Gomes converted a 107th minute penalty to send Morecambe FC to League One for the first time, as Derek Adams’ side overcame Newport County 1-0 at the National Stadium.

Days after that Wembley final, Derek Adams would step down and former Motherwell FC manager Stephen Robinson would take over at the Mazuma Stadium. Robinson would have a strong start to his time in charge, opening the season with an impressive 2-2 draw at Ipswich Town.

Robinson would also lead The Shrimps out at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, as again Morecambe bagged a glamour third round tie in the FA Cup. With The Shrimps taking the lead it looked like one of the biggest cup shocks in history was on the cards but Spurs ultimately hit back and ran out 3-1 winners.

Derek Adams would return for his second spell as manager in February 2022 after Robinson left Morecambe to become manager of Scottish Premiership side St Mirren. With 32 games gone, Derek Adams would use the remainder of the campaign to ensure the club’s safety in League One, meaning a second consecutive season of third-tier football for The Shrimps.

The 2022/23 season saw Morecambe collect a record number of points in League One however it wasn’t enough to maintain our position in League One, as we were relegated on the final day of the campaign after a valiant effort to remain in the third tier. This was the first time the club was ever relegated.

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