Mossley A.F.C.

Mossley A.F.C.
Mossley AFC Crest
Full name Mossley Association Football Club
Nickname(s) The Lilywhites
Founded 1903 (as Park Villa)
Ground Seel Park, Mossley
(Capacity: 4,000 (200 seated & 1,500 covered))
Chairman TBC
Manager Gareth McClelland
League Northern Premier League
Division One North
2010-11 Northern Premier League
Division One North, 15th
Home colours
Away colours

Mossley Association Football Club are an English football club from the town of Mossley, Greater Manchester, currently playing in the Northern Premier League Division One North. They were founded in 1903 and are nicknamed the Lilywhites, owing to their colours (white shirts, black shorts and white stockings). They are managed by Gareth McClelland and play at Seel Park.



Early years

Mossley were formed in 1903 as Park Villa and initially competed in local competitions. After just one season the club's name was changed to Mossley Juniors. In 1909 they became Mossley AFC and moved to their present ground Seel Park in 1912 from their previous site at Luzley. The early years of Mossley AFC were spent in the Ashton & District League culminating in a superb season in 1914–15 when Mossley won the League, Manchester Junior Cup and the Lady Aitken Cup, progressing to the South East Lancashire League in 1915, the Manchester Amateur League in 1916, the Lancashire Combination in 1918 and then were founder members of the Cheshire County League in 1919, finishing runners up in the first season in both League and League Cup and returning to win the League Cup the following season beating Sandbach Ramblers in the final.


Apart from many successes in the Ashton Challenge Cup and various Manchester Cup wins, Mossley had many lean years in the League and rarely finished in the top half of the table, although in 1961 they won the Cheshire League Cup for only the second time when they beat a strong Tranmere Rovers Reserve side 6–3 at Hyde United's ground under the guidance of former Blackburn Rovers star Eddie Quigley. Mossley's most successful season in their Cheshire League days was in 1969–70 when Don Wilson's side finished runners-up in the League, reached the 1st Round Proper of the FA Cup for the first time in 20 years losing narrowly in a replay to Stockport County and made it to the quarter finals of the inaugural FA Trophy going out to Southern League giants Barnet. After more than fifty years in the Cheshire League, the Lilywhites were elected to the Northern Premier League in 1972.

During the late 1970s, Mossley grew into a formidable force in non-league football. They won successive League titles in 1978–79 and 1979–80 and finished runners-up in each of the next three seasons. With influential manager Bob Murphy at the helm the club also saw its greatest moment. May 1980 saw the Lilywhites at Wembley Stadium in the Final of the FA Trophy. After defeating supposedly bigger clubs like Altrincham, Blyth Spartans and Boston United on the way, Mossley unluckily lost 2–1 in the final to Dagenham, their first defeat in 31 games. A crowd of 26,000 were at Wembley, and a memorable day for the Club and town was captured for posterity by Granada TV in their documentary "Mossley Goes To Wembley." At this time Mossley had the most formidable strike force in non-league football with Leo Skeete, Dave Moore and Ian Smith alongside first Eamonn O'Keefe, who was later sold to Everton, and then Kevan Keelan.


The following season saw Mossley take their only Football League scalp in the FA Cup when they beat Crewe Alexandra 1-0 at Seel Park, in a match which featured the only appearance for Mossley by former Manchester City and England star Mike Summerbee. Other League clubs faced in the glory years were Rotherham United, York City, Mansfield Town, Stockport County, Huddersfield Town and Darlington. The great run of success ended abruptly in 1984 when following financial upheavals the Lilywhites finished bottom of the then one division NPL and had to seek re-election.

A gradual recovery took place through the 1980s,with 1988–89 being the most successful since the glory days. Under the guidance of Bryan Griffiths and Dave Jones, Mossley won the NPL Cup, Manchester Premier Cup, Reporter Floodlit Cup and at the start of the following season the Northern Premier League Shield. After this, fortunes faded again following further financial problems with the club narrowly avoiding relegation in 1992. The following year, after a calamitous series of results not even the return of the legendary Bob Murphy could save the Club from the drop. Over the next two years Mossley saw no fewer than six managerial changes and the Lilywhites run of 23 years in the Unibond/NPL came to an end in 1995 when they were relegated to the North West Counties League.

The 1995–96 season saw Mossley make a highly promising North West Counties League debut, involved in the promotion race for most of the season they eventually finished 4th, reaching the final of the Floodlit Trophy into the bargain. The following season, after a bright start, the team failed to stay the pace with the leaders and finally finished in 7th position, but did have a great run in the FA Vase, reaching the quarter finals. In 1997 the Club parted company with manager Kevan Keelan and installed another former Lilywhites player, Benny Phillips as his replacement. Also appointing a new Chairman in the club's main sponsor Sam Rigby of club sponsors NEC and with a rebuilt team finished in 9th position. 1998–99 saw the team more than unfortunate not to win the title, losing out to Workington on the last day of the season. It was a bitter pill to swallow after leading the table for the last three months which included a club record 12 successive wins.

21st Century

The Millennium season saw Mossley again reach the quarter finals of the FA Vase before going down 3–1 at eventual winners Deal Town F.C. and slip from the title race after that to finish 4th, but they did reach the final of the Manchester Premier Cup, losing by a last minute goal to Droylsden at Oldham Athletic's Boundary Park. Ironically, the Droylsden goal that day was scored by Paul Budimir, a former Mossley player. Budimir went on to draw parallels with Denis Law — who famously relegated former club Manchester United whilst playing for fierce rivals Manchester City - in his post-match comments and said he hoped that Mossley fans would forgive him.

In November 2001 Benny Phillips was replaced as manager by former Coventry City and Stoke City player Ally Pickering. Mossley finished their Centenary Season 2002–03 in 3rd position, reached the quarter finals of the FA Vase for the third time and won their first cup in over a decade when they beat Clitheroe 2–1 to win the Worthington Trophy at Gigg Lane. The 2003–04 season saw Jason Beckford replace Pickering as manager just prior to the season's start and the club embarked on a 21 match unbeaten run leading up to the New Year. However, following a 3 point deduction for to an administrative error, form took a nosedive as the team quickly crashed out of four cups and lost pole position in the League. The drama continued to the end and Mossley were pipped to the title by Clitheroe on the last day of the season.

In the 2005–06 season, Mossley become Champions of the Northern Premier League Division One, finishing two points above Fleetwood Town despite losing their last two games, earning promotion back to the Premier Division. In 2007, Mossley faced relegation and were assigned to the inaugural season of the Northern Premier League Division One North. Jason Beckford parted company in the close season and was replaced in June 2007 by Gerry Quinn, a teacher from Huddersfield. Quinn's reign lasted one full season, before former Mossley player Chris Willcock re-joined the club as manager, in June 2008. Willcock resigned in January 2010 to be replaced by his former assistant and ex Woodley Sports manager John Flanagan. Unfortunately the popular Flanagan resigned at the end of the season due to business commitments and he was replaced by former Stalybridge Celtic reserve boss Shaun Higgins.

Despite a good FA Cup run to the final qualifying round Higgins reign only lasted until March 2011 when following a poor run of results and form he was replaced by former Woodley Sports boss Gareth McClelland, initially on a caretaker basis. McClelland impressed enough to be given the job for the 2011–12 season Mossley's 100th year at Seel Park.


Mossley play at Seel Park, which has a capacity of 4,000 people, 1,500 of which are covered and 200 are seated. The site was a disused cricket ground before the club started to play home games there in 1911, and christened the site Seel Fold. The ground began its gradual improvement process in 1920, with the building of a 430 person stand and dressing rooms: the first permanent structures on the site. By the 1930s, the ground had been renamed Seel Park. In 1948, Seel Park was bought outright from Stamford Estates, for a total of £1,200. In 1988 Seel Park was sold to investors to clear crippling debts and in 1990 it was purchased by Tameside MBC who continue to lease it back to Mossley AFC. In late December 2009 two floodlight pylons collapsed and the other six were later condemned. Mossley had to play home midweek fixtures for the second half of the 2009–10 season at Ashton United's Hurst Cross ground. New floodlights were erected in time for the 2010–11 season. 2011–12 saeson sees Mossley celebrate 100 years playing at Seel Park.

Current squad

As of 25 August 2011[1]

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
England GK Nick Ashley
England GK Martin Pearson
England DF Peter Band
England DF Alex Chesters
England DF Alex Clarke
England DF Cavell Coo
England DF Steve Halford
England DF Mike Jones
England DF Keil O'Brien
England DF Nick Swirad
England MF Andy Bailey
No. Position Player
England MF Mike Brickhill
England MF Alex Byrne
England MF Tom Clarke
Republic of Ireland MF Jordan Cuff
England MF Kayde Coppin
England MF Andy McKernon
England MF Ben McNamara
England MF Danny Queeley
England MF Lee Rick
England FW Lee Constantine
England FW Joe Heap
England FW Harry Noon
England FW Jay Walcott
England FW Osebi Abadaki
England FW Cameron Darkwah (on loan from Stockport County)


  • Previous Names: Park Villa (1903–04), Mossley Juniors (1904–09)
  • Record Attendance: 6,640 v Stalybridge Celtic, Cheshire League, 1946
  • Record Victory: 9-0 v Urmston, Manchester Shield, 1947
  • Heaviest defeat: 2-13 v Witton Albion, Cheshire League, 1926
  • Most Appearances for Club: 613, Jimmy O'Connor 1972–1987
  • Most Goals for Club: 235, David Moore 1974–1984
  • Most Goals in a Season: 58, Jackie Roscoe 1930–31
  • Largest Transfer Fee Received: £25,000 from Everton for Eamonn O'Keefe, 1979
  • Largest Transfer Fee Paid: £2,300 to Altrincham for Phil Wilson, 1980
  • England Semi-Pro Internationals: Eamonn O'Keefe (1979), Ian Smith (1980), Phil Derbyshire (1981)

Best FA Cup Performance - Second Round

  • Lost 0-0, R0-3 v Nuneaton Borough 1949–50
  • Lost 1-3 v Mansfield Town 1980–81

Best FA Trophy Performance - Finalists

Best FA Vase Performance - Quarter Finalists


  • Ashton Challenge Cup Winners: 1921–22, 1922–23, 1929–30, 1934–35, 1948–49, 1951–52, 1953–54, 1955–56, 1961–62
  • Ashton & District League Champions: 1911–12, 1914–15
  • Ashton Junior Cup Winners: 1909–10
  • Cheshire League Cup Winners: 1920–21, 1960–61
  • FA Cup 2nd Round: 1949–50, 1980–81
  • FA Trophy Runners Up: 1979–80
  • Floodlit Cup Winners: 1974–75, 1988–89
  • Lady Aitken Cup Winners: 1913–14, 1914–15
  • Manchester Intermediate Cup Winners: 1960–61, 1966–67, 1967–68
  • Manchester Junior Cup Winners: 1914–15, 1933–34
  • Manchester Premier Cup Winners: 1988–89, 1990–91
  • Manchester Senior Cup Winners: 1971–72, 1976–77
  • Manchester Shield Winners: 1937–38, 1948–49
  • Northern Premier League Champions: 1978–79, 1979–80
  • Northern Premier League Runners Up: 1980–81, 1981–82, 1982–83
  • Northern Premier League Division One Champions: 2005–06
  • Northern Premier League Challenge Cup Winners: 1978–79, 1988–89
  • Northern Premier League Challenge Shield Winners: 1989–90
  • North West Counties League Runners Up: 1998–99, 2003–04
  • North West Counties League Trophy Winners: 2002–03


  1. ^ Current Squad 5 July 2011

External links

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