Saturday the 10th of November sees FC Halifax Town face League 2 side Morecambe away from home in an FA Cup first round clash to determine who gets a place in the draw for the second round of football’s oldest cup competition.
With that in mind, we decided to look at two people who have been involved with both The Shaymen and The Shrimps.
Having already produced the likes of David Platt, Robbie Savage and Dele Adebola, AJ Leitch-Smith was the next young prospect hot off the production line at Crewe Alexandra. He was brought to FC Halifax Town on a month-long loan by then-manager Jim Vince in November 2008, where he would go onto play three games and score one goal.
Later, his career, Leitch-Smith would play for Newcastle Town, Icelandic side ÍBV, Curzon Ashton, Yeovil Town, Port Vale, Shrewsbury Town and Scottish side Dundee, before being brought to Morecambe by Jim Bentley in August 2018.
Mention the name Jim Harvey to a Halifax or Morecambe fan, and you’ll get glowing feedback about a man who performed miracles during his time with both sides.
Following a playing career that saw the Lurgan born midfielder turn out for Northern Irish side Glenavon, Arsenal, Hereford United, Bristol City, Wrexham, Tranmere Rovers, Crewe Alexandra, Southport and Chester City, Harvey began his managerial career at Morecambe in 1994. Just one year after his appointment, The Shrimps won promotion to what was then known as the GM Vauxhall Conference from the Northern Premier League. Fast forward three years, and Harvey had led his Morecambe to glory in the Conference League Cup, beating Woking in the final. During Harvey’s time with the Lancashire side, they regularly knocked on the door of promotion to the Football League, finishing 4th in 1996-97, 5th in 1997-98, 3rd in 1999-00 and 2nd in 2002-03.
Later, his managerial career, Jim Harvey would go onto manage Forest Green Rovers, Chester City and Stalybridge Celtic before ending up at FC Halifax Town as assistant manager to Darren Kelly in October 2015. He would later be placed into the managerial role on a caretaker basis however, as Kelly was dismissed just 47 days after his appointment. After a run of five games that saw Town win three and draw two, Harvey was given the job on a permanent basis. Despite managing to completely turnaround Halifax after a poor start to the season, he was unable to keep The Shaymen in the Vanarama National League, as Town were relegated following a draw at home to Macclesfield on the last day of the season. Harvey’s time with the West Yorkshire side is much better known for winning the FA Trophy against Grimsby Town though, which gave Halifax a taste of Wembley for the first time.
He would later manage Altrincham, where he was dismissed after three months in charge of The Robins.
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