The next round of Vanarama National League North fixtures will see the Shaymen travel to Shropshire, to face AFC Telford at the New Bucks Head Stadium on Saturday.
Billy Heath’s side have sunk to two successive defeats at the hands of AFC Fylde and Harrogate Town and will need to bounce back sooner rather than later. Telford have drawn three on the bounce, sharing points with Curzon Ashton (1-1), Stockport County (0-0) and Nuneaton Town (1-1).
Ahead of Saturday’s game, here are 10 things about our opposition that you may not have known.
Like FC Halifax Town, AFC Telford United were founded after the town’s previous club, Telford United, were dissolved in 2004. Fan contributions reached as high as £50,000 during the clubs demise in the summer of 2004 but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to dent the £4m debt that the club had accumulated. The old club left behind a brand new stadium and thousands of fans hungry for Football.
The new club was instantly formed and managed to keep hold of their old stadium, New Bucks Head, when the club began life in Division One of the Northern Premier League.
Telford is considered a new town and wasn’t created until 1963, being built around local town Wellington, and named Dawley New Town. It wasn’t renamed to Telford until 1968 after Scottish Born Engineer Thomas Telford who played a vital part in the Iron revolution in Shropshire.
The town of Telford itself is famous for its iron works due to its close proximity to Iron Bridge Gorge and advertises itself as the “Birthplace of Industry”.
Old club, Telford United, were initially founded as the Parish Church Institute before being renamed Wellington Town in 1879. The club didn’t become Telford United until 1969 when the Town of Telford began to outgrow the Town of Wellington in Shropshire.
Despite being 20 miles east of the Welsh border, Telford United won the Welsh Cup three times in the early 20th century joining Shrewsbury Town and even Crewe Alexandra in entering the competition from outside of Wales. Telford’s three titles gives them an unusual place in Welsh Football history.
Telford fans refer to their beloved club with three nicknames: The Lilywhites, after the colour of the club’s home strip, The Bucks, the male deer featured on the club’s badge, and United, for more obvious reasons.
In 2013-14, AFC Telford United reached the Conference National for the first time in their history and had climbed back to the level that the old club was at during their collapse in 2004.
Their all-time top scorer Andy Brown banged in 56 goals between 2008-2012 before making his move to Midland rivals Nuneaton Town. Brown has since joined Solihull Moors
Telford also has a rich history of other sports with the town having had more American Football Teams (6) than Football clubs. Shropshire Revolution, who were founded in 2006, play in the British American Football League.
It also hosted the UK Snooker Championships between 2007 and 2010 with Ronnie O’Sullivan beating Steve Maguire 10-2 in 2007, winning the first final played away from the Barbican Centre in York since the millennium. Shaun Murphy, Ding Junhui and John Higgins also won snooker titles in Telford
Billy Heath will be hoping that his Shaymen side can start August in similar fashion to how they started August and come back from Shropshire with all three points.
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