- Curzon Ashton F.C.
Curzon Ashton Full name Curzon Ashton Football Club Nickname(s) The Blues, The Nash Founded 1963 (as Curzon Amateurs) Ground Tameside Stadium
Chairman Harry Galloway Manager John Flanagan League NPL Division One North 2010–11 NPL Division One North, 4thHome coloursAway colours
Curzon Ashton F.C. are a football club who currently play in the Northern Premier League Division One North. Nicknamed "The Blues", the club play their home games at the Tameside Stadium in Ashton-under-Lyne.
Curzon Ashton was formed in 1963 after the merger of two clubs, Curzon Road F.C. and Ashton Amateurs F.C., who played in the Manchester Amateur Football League. The amalgamated club's name was originally Curzon Amateurs before being changed to the current name.
Curzon joined the Manchester League and once they had found their feet in the higher competition, there was no stopping the Blues, taking a string of honours in the early 1970s. In 1970–71 they were Manchester Intermediate Cup runner-up and they followed that with a hat trick of wins in the competition. In 1973–74 they were runners-up in Division One of the Manchester League and then runners-up in the Premier Division, a feat they matched the following season. The Reserves team then won four championships in a row and in 1977–78 won the League and Cup Double.
Season 1978–79 saw Curzon become founder members of the Cheshire League Division Two and they won promotion at the first attempt, missing the title by just two points. The first season in the top flight was celebrated with the clubs finest moment when they became the first North West club to reach the semi-final of the FA Vase. They lost both legs 2–0 to Stamford, the home leg producing the clubs record home attendance of 1800, and a record that still stands.
In the 1980s the Manchester Premier Cup was won five times. In 1983–84 Curzon became founder members of the North West Counties League when the MWCL Cheshire League and Lancashire Combination merged as part of the non-league pyramid. The club was placed in the First Division and floodlights were purchased in 1986 as Curzon prepared for an assault on the title and possible promotion to the Northern Premier League. Promotion was not attained and manager Peter Mayo resigned due to work commitments during the 1986 season. His successor Les Sutton failed to win a single League game; although the club won the Manchester Premier Cup, he was sacked at the end of the season.
Despite finishing in a relegation position, Curzon became founder members of the Northern Premier League First Division the following season. A disastrous start to the season resulted in the manager David Noble being sacked and Steve Waywell became the clubs fourth manager in less than twelve months when he was appointed on October 1987. Relegation was only avoided when the Division was expanded from 19 to 22 clubs.
Waywell was relieved of his duties in February 1993, and after Alan Zelem briefly held the reins, Winsford United assistant manager 'Taffy' Jones was appointed following which Curzon recorded their best ever win, 7–0 against local rivals Ashton United.
Season 1995–96 saw Curzon finish fourth in the league, their best ever position, under the guidance of Derek Brownbill, but they could not envisage what was to follow. Before the start of the 1996–97 season Brownbill resigned and joined Runcorn and Vauxhall GM manager Terry McLean took over, only to resign in September. At this time changes were taking place in the boardroom and Dave Denby was appointed to succeed McLean, bringing with him Ged Coyne as his assistant.
The team struggled and then it was the turn of Denby to resign before the end of the season with Coyne being invited to take over, before being permanently appointed in the close season. After finishing in a relegation position along with other North West based clubs Warrington Town and Atherton LR, Curzon moved to the Northern Counties East League following a meeting of the Northern Joint Liaison Committee, a decision which shocked not only the club but many other connected with football in the region. An appeal to the National League System Sub-Committee proved to be fruitless and so the club has become the first side to be moved in this way since the pyramid system was introduced.
The anticipated and forecast difficulties in the Northern Counties East League followed with the club ending the season next to bottom. NJLC moved Curzon back west at the end of the 1997–98 season.
In November 1998 Joe Murty was appointed manager and brought Martin Farnworth in as his assistant. Season 1999–2000 saw the club gain promotion to Division One of the First North Western Trains League. In June 2000 Joe Murty was released of managerial duties and replaced with Gary Lowe. In season 2000–2001 Gary took the club to the Worthington Challenge Trophy Final where they lost on penalties. Also they finished in eighth position in the league.
After residing at National Park for a number of years, Curzon moved to the £4 million Tameside Stadium at the beginning of the 2005–06 season. For the first game at the new ground, Curzon played a Manchester United XI, which included Fraizer Campbell and Jonny Evans. Outside the stadium, a statue stands commemorating three locally-born footballers associated with the World Cup; Geoff Hurst (born in Ashton), Jimmy Armfield (Denton), and Simone Perotta (also born in Ashton).
On Saturday 3 March 2007, they beat Leamington 4–1 to reach the semi-final of the FA Vase for the second time in their history. They were beaten in the semi-final 3–2 over two legs by Truro City from Cornwall, however they were promoted to the Northern Premier League as runners up to FC United of Manchester. They also were runners up to FC United of Manchester in the North West Counties League Challenge Cup losing the final 2–1. In the 2006–07 season they narrowly lost 3–2 at the same stage to Macclesfield Town.
In the 2007–08 season the 1st team played in the Northern Premier League Division One North and after finishing fourth they missed out on promotion as they lost in the play-offs to Skelmersdale United.
In the 2008–09 season, Curzon reached the first round proper of the FA Cup for the first time, where they defeated League Two side Exeter City 3–2. They went on to lose 2–0 away to Conference National side Kidderminster Harriers in the second round.
Also, for the second season in a row, they reached the end-of-season play-offs. In the semi-final, Curzon beat Skelmersdale United, before losing to Newcastle Blue Star in the final.
- FA Cup best performance: second round proper – 2008–09
- FA Trophy best performance: first round proper – 2010–11
- FA Vase best performance: semi-finals – 1979–80, 2006–07
- Top Goalscorer: Rodney Lawton, 376 goals
As of 5th November 2011
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 GK Hayden Buckley-Smith GK Joshua Ollerenshaw DF Connor Hampson DF Graham Kay (captain) DF Andrew Watson DF Simon Woodford DF David Young MF Lee Blackshaw MF Phil Edghill MF Jordan Goodeve No. Position Player MF Andrew Heald MF Matthew Kay MF Matthew Purcell MF Steve Settle MF Samuel Walker MF Daryl Weston FW Kristian Dennis FW Michael Fish FW Mark Haslam FW Chris McDonagh
Name Role John Flanagan Manager Steve Brockley Assistant manager Jack Crompton President Harry Galloway Chairman Harry Twamley Chief Exec/ Treasurer Jo Forshaw Physiotherapist
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