Colwyn Bay F.C.
|Colwyn Bay Football Club
|Llanelian Road, Old Colwyn
|2,500 (500 seated)
|Northern Premier League Division One North
|Northern Premier League Premier Division, 23rd (relegated)
|Club home page
Coordinates: 53°16′56.16″N 3°41′58.70″W / 53.2822667°N 3.6996389°W Colwyn Bay Football Club (Welsh: Clwb Pel-Droed Bae Colwyn) is a Welsh football club based in Old Colwyn, Conwy. The club participates in the Northern Premier League Division One North, the seventh tier of English football. Nicknamed the Seagulls, but also known as 'The Bay' the club's home ground is at Llanelian Road in Old Colwyn.
The club have reached the semi-finals of the Welsh Cup on three occasions, but no longer participate in the competition due to Football Association of Wales restrictions on clubs that play in the English pyramid.
Formation and pre-war
The club traces its history back to 1881 when a Colwyn Bay club was first formed. They entered the North Wales Coast Football League in 1901 and remained in this league until it folded in 1921, whereupon they joined the Welsh National League. The club became founder members of the North Wales Football Combination in 1930, marking their first entrance into English football, as the new league also covered Cheshire.
They won this new league in its first season of existence and so moved on to the Birmingham & District League, until returning to Welsh football as members of the Welsh League (North) in 1937 after experiencing travelling difficulties in the West Midlands-based competition.
1980s and 1990s
The club remained in their new home for many years before successive championships in 1983 and 1984 saw them return to a higher level, this time the North West Counties Football League.
The club made rapid progress in their new surroundings, winning promotions and also reaching the FA Cup First Round for the first time in their history in the 1987–88 season, losing 1–0 to Northwich Victoria. In the 1990–91 season the club was finally promoted to the Northern Premier League as runners-up following the demise of South Liverpool, representing their highest level reached at that time.
Despite winning the Northern Premier League First Division in 1992, the club soon faced problems as the Football Association of Wales decided to ban Wales-based teams from continuing in English non-league football in order to boost its new League of Wales competition. After a series of failed court battles, Colwyn Bay were forced to leave Wales and seek temporary homes in Northwich and Ellesmere Port in order to continue in the NPL. The club eventually won an overturning of the ruling at the High Court in London in April 1995, allowing them to return to their home ground.
The club's best FA Cup run came during the 1995–96 season when they reached the Second Round, before bowing out 2–0 away to Blackpool. The Seagulls reached the quarter finals of the FA Trophy during the 1996–97 season, losing to Stevenage Borough.
The club had managed to maintain their status as members of the Northern Premier League Premier Division throughout the ordeal, although things began to look more uncertain when Bryn Jones stepped down as manager after 18 years at the end of the 2000–01 season, long-serving player Colin Caton took over as player-manager and managed to keep the team up, but they were relegated in 2002–03 and Caton stepped down. His replacement Jimmy Mullen lasted only one season as he failed to gain promotion. His successor Adie Jones, who was appointed in May 2004, could not secure promotion to the Northern Premier League Premier Division and left the club at the end of the 2005–06 season after two years in charge. In his place the club appointed former Manchester United striker Peter Davenport as their new manager on 24 May 2006. He resigned as manager on 15 January 2007 to take charge of Conference side Southport. Gary Finley was appointed manager on 23 January 2007 but he was sacked at the end of the 2007–08 season following the Bay's failure to reach the Northern Premier League Division One South play-offs. Steve Pope was appointed manager on 13 May 2008 but resigned on 7 September citing "personal reasons". Former Leek Town manager Mark Cartwright was appointed as caretaker manager of the team.
On 24 September 2008, Neil Young was confirmed as the new Colwyn Bay manager with former Tranmere Rovers, Nottingham Forest and Grimsby Town player Gary Jones as his assistant. The pair moved to become manager and assistant at the newly formed Chester F.C. in May 2010.
A good run of 17 points from seven games near the end of the 2006–07 season had given Colwyn Bay a good chance of making the play-offs and going into the final weekend of the season, they needed to equal Stocksbridge Park Steels' result at Rossendale United. A 2–1 defeat to Eastwood Town looked to have cost the Bay, but a last minute goal conceded by Stocksbridge meant they too were defeated and Colwyn had qualified for the play-offs. They travelled to Cammell Laird on 1 May 2007. Cammell Laird twice took the lead but it looked like Colwyn Bay would force extra time in with a 90th-minute equaliser. However, in the final minute of stoppage time Cammell Laird scored to send the Welsh side out 3–2.
The 2007–08 season was spent in the newly formed Northern Premier League Division One South and the team could not re-produce the form of the previous end of season run and finished outside the play-offs. As a result, a new manager was appointed in former Crewe player Steve Pope alongside the vastly experienced Paul Ogden as his assistant.
Following a disappointing start to the 2008–09 season Steve Pope stood down as manager after only four league games. Two weeks later Neil Young was appointed as the new manager, assisted by former Tranmere Rovers and Nottingham Forest player Gary Jones. The transformation was remarkable; the team went on a winning streak that saw them rise from 17th to 3rd place, securing two successive NPL club of the month awards for February and March along the way. The team eventually secured a play-off position finishing in 4th position, almost unthinkable before Young's appointment. This was the club's highest league placing for many years. However, a run of injuries and a recall for influential on-loan midfielder Ashton Taylor back to Tranmere dented the club's play-off hopes as they were eventually beaten away at Newcastle Blue Star on penalties. A cruel twist being that the eventual play-off winners Newcastle BS soon folded, denying the Bay and the other teams in Division One North who made the play-offs a place in the Premier Division.
For the start of the 2009–10 season manager Neil Young made a number of signings in order to strengthen the side with the hope that the club could improve on the previous season. Off the field, the club managed to secure the biggest shirt sponsorship deal in their history with the Co-operative Food Group. After a great start, Colwyn Bay had a turbulent time after Christmas, and were at one point looking to struggle to make the play-offs. However, an upswing of five games unbeaten (including draws away at Lancaster City & Curzon Ashton), meant that the Bay secured a guaranteed play-off position with a win at home against Woodley Sports. They were sitting in third position, but two defeats at the end of the season slipped to fourth.
The semi-final game was away at Curzon Ashton, where The Bay came from behind with goals from an Ian Sheridan spot kick & Lee Davey. Colwyn Bay met a strong Lancaster City side in the final, and with an 88th-minute penalty from Ian Sheridan (which was delayed by a minute whilst the penalty spot was swept clear of standing water), the Bay returned to the Premier Division for the 2010–11 season, seven years after being relegated. Colwyn Bay manager Neil Young decided to leave just weeks after gaining promotion, but it didn’t take the club long to unanimously agree that club captain David Challinor was the man they wanted to take the club forward.
The 2010–11 season saw a second successive promotion for Colwyn Bay. After spending the majority of the season in 2nd place, the team secured the runners-up and play-off place by beating Nantwich Town 2–0 on the final day. A comfortable 2–0 win against North Ferriby in the semi-final set up a play-off final at home to F.C. United of Manchester. In front of a sell-out crowd, Colwyn Bay secured promotion to the Conference North beating FC United 1–0 thanks to a second-half goal from Jon Newby.
In the 2011–12 season the club were thrown into disarray when they were informed that they had to improve their stadium, Llanelian Road or face relegation from Conference North. The club needed to have four rows of seating in the stands, but only had three. The club had installed new floodlights and had nearly finished the new rows of seats before the 31 March deadline. In attempt to raise money for the improvements, Colwyn Bay created the "Back the Bay" fund and have sold shares, had events held at the clubs, offered to sell seats when the new row is built and even offered fans the chance to walk Snowdon with Manchester United legend Mickey Thomas It was announced on 29 March 2012 that Colwyn Bay would host Manchester City in a pre-season friendly in August to mark the official opening of the new stand.
The FA Grading Group inspected the stadium on 2 April 2012. As a result of this inspection, the ground was certified as Grade B. After the departure of Lee Williams on 7 February 2013, Frank Sinclair was appointed player-manager on 11 February 2013. Although favourites to be relegated following a poor run of form that left them 9 points from safety with two weeks remaining in the season, Colwyn Bay won their last 6 games in a space of 15 days to survive relegation from the Conference North.
Sinclair's first full season in charge, the 2013–14 season, saw Colwyn Bay consolidate their Conference North status, finishing in 12th position. However, just five games short of celebrating his 100th in charge Sinclair resigned as boss with the club 15th in the Conference North on 4 January 2015. Gus Williams replaced Sinclair as Bay manager until the end of the season, but the club were relegated from the Conference North on goal difference despite a 5–3 win away to Worcester City on the final day of the season. Williams resigned on 8 May 2015 with the club appointing former Burnley winger Ashley Hoskin as manager. But left the club by mutual consent on 10 October 2015 after a poor start to the Northern Premier League Premier Division season. He was replaced by Kevin Lynch, who himself was sacked on 28 March 2016 after only four league wins in charge. Senior players Luke Denson and Carl Rodgers were put in temporary charge but they could not save the club from a second successive relegation in April 2016.
On 20th Aug 2016, The Seagulls beat Shaw Lane AFC away in the FA Cup preliminary 1st round 1-0 to set up a 2nd round tie at Morpeth Town. Unfortunately, without a 1st team keeper in the squad, The Bay were knocked out by 4 goals to 2.
On 8th Oct 2016, The Seagulls beat Hyde United 0-1 away in the FA Trophy to set up a home tie with Witton Albion. In an excellent end-to-end match, which saw Colwyn Bay's Luke Denson miss a penalty, the game ended 1-1. The replay was held at Wincham Park on 1st Nov 2016. With The Seagulls one goal up, Bay then hit the crossbar only to see Witton Albion immediately run down the other end of the pitch to make it 1-1. Witton Albion eventually ran out winners in a closely fought 3-1 win.
The Bay returned to Wincham Park two weeks later to take on Northwich Victoria (who ground share with Witton Albion) in the Integra Doodson League Cup 1st round. Colwyn Bay were two goals up at half-time thanks to Drew Matthews and Jack Kelleher only to surrender that lead with the game ending 2-2. With no extra-time, the game went straight to penalties. Northwich Victora won the shoot-out 5-3 after Tom Hardwick had his spot-kick saved.
As of November 2016
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
|Director of Football
|Reserve Team Manager
|Assistant kit manager
|Director of football in the community
- 07-09-2008: STEVE POPE DEPARTS. colwynbayfc.co.uk
- BBC SPORT | Football | Welsh | Colwyn Bay appoint a new manager. BBC News (2008-09-24). Retrieved on 2011-11-15.
- "Colwyn Bay wait on new stadium – BBC". BBC News. 11 February 2012.
- "Buy a Seat" (PDF).
- "Colwyn Bay FC Snowdon Walk with Mickey Thomas".
- "Colwyn Bay to host Manchester City".
- "Colwyn Bay FC wait on Conference North Decision".
- Evans, Richard (12 April 2012). "Ground Grading". North Wales Weekly News. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
- "Frank Sinclair Has Resigned At Colwyn Bay". NonLeagueBet.co.uk. 4 January 2015. Retrieved 4 January 2015.