FC Halifax Town play their final Vanarama National League North game of the regular season when they travel to Chorley this Saturday, April 29 (3pm). There have been many players to represent both clubs over the years, and here we look at some of them…
James Dean top-scored in Halifax’s successful season of 2009/10, when they won the Unibond Division One North. He bagged 40 goals in all competitions, with 27 of those coming in the league. He had made a solitary substitute appearance for Chorley way back in 2004, and then joined them again in 2013. Since his second spell for the ‘Magpies’, that spanned until 2016, he has had spells at Warrington Town and Padiham.
Harry Winter is another to have played at both the Shay and at Chorley. The central midfielder initially joined Town on loan from Northwich Victoria in the 2009/10 season, but was recalled by the Vics in March 2010. He signed a permanent deal for the Shaymen later that year but his season was plagued by injury and he left in 2011. He went on to play for Hyde FC, Matlock Town and then AFC Fylde, before signing for Chorley in 2014. He stayed at Victory Park for just over a season, and joined FC United in 2015. In March of this year, he signed for Stockport County.
The hugely successful former FC Halifax Town captain Tom Baker, who led the club to successive promotions in 2009/10 and 2010/11, is another former Shayman to have graced Victory Park. Chorley was his last destination as a player however, as he announced his retirement in 2015 at the age of just 29. During his time at the Shay, Town won the Unibond Division One North, the Evo-Stik Premier and had an FA Cup first round proper appearance against Charlton Athletic at the Shay, which was shown live on national television. Baker’s tenure as captain is fondly remembered by Town fans, and he has now made the step into management with Trafford FC where has been in charge since 2015. His side missed out on the Evo-Stik Division One North Play-offs last weekend by just one place and two points, finishing sixth. Had they managed to turn their 1-1 draw at Ossett Town into a win, they would have leapt up to fourth place and had a shot at promotion.
Simon Garner was another player from the successful period of 2009-2011 for the Shaymen and enjoyed highlights such as scoring the winning goal against FC United in a 1-0 victory at Gigg Lane. He left the Shaymen to join Chorley in 2012, but then left Victory Park by mutual consent in 2013. He took over as manager at Clitheroe later that year, where one of his signings was current Shayman David Lynch. Garner landed a first team coaching role at Altrincham at the start of this season, but has since left and re-ignited his playing career under Tom Baker at Trafford.
Other players to have played for both clubs include Jack Dorney, Cameron Darkwah and Marcus Carver. Several players appeared for the original Halifax Town AFC and the Magpies, two of the more notable ones being Lee Bracey and Paul Fleming, the latter of whom made over 150 appearances for the Shaymen.
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