Curzon Ashton Football Club

Curzon Ashton FC was formed in 1963 following the amalgamation of two clubs, Curzon Road and Ashton Amateurs. The newly formed club joined the Manchester Amateur League, winning the title twice and finishing runners-up in their first three seasons.

A step forward took them into the Manchester League, and after a period of consolidation a string of honours followed in the early 1970's, amongst them runners-up in both the First and Premier Divisions, twice in respect of the latter.

1978/9 saw Curzon become founder members of the Cheshire League Division Two, winning promotion at the first attempt, but again just missing out on the title, on this occasion by just two points.

The first season in the top flight was celebrated with the club's then finest moment when they became the first North West based club to reach the semi-final stage of The FA Vase. Their dream of a final was however quickly diminished, losing both legs 2 - 0 to Stamford, with the home tie producing a then record attendance of 1,800.

Curzon once again became founder members of yet another competition, the North West Counties League (NWCL), in 1983/4 with the merger of the MWCL Cheshire League and Lancashire League, as part of the non-league pyramid. The club was placed in the First Division and in 1986 National Park was "illuminated' following the installation of floodlights, in preparation for what they hoped would be an opportunity to join the Northern Premier League (NPL), a feat which they achieved in 1986 by joining the First Division.

Managers then quickly came and went with Steve Waywell being their fourth appointment in the space of 12 months when he was appointed in October 1987. Such were the on-field problems that relegation was only avoided when the League was expanded from 19 to 22 clubs. Waywell remained with the club until February 1993.

Almost a decade on (1996/7) and further problems, on and off the field, beset Curzon.

Terry McLean was handed the reins at the start of the season, only to resign in September. Changes in the boardroom brought with it more unrest within the club, and Dave Denby was placed in charge of team affairs, with Ged Coyne as his assistant. Denby remained until just after the New Year. Coyne took charge on a temporary basis (a position which was made permanent at the end of the season) but he was unable to halt the clubs slide and with it relegation.

If relegation wasn't enough, the club received a "double-whammy' when they were placed in the Northern Counties East League (NCEL) following a meeting of the Northern Joint Liaison Committee, a decision which not only shocked officials of the club but many others connected with football in the region.

An appeal to the National League System sub-committee, supported by the Northern Premier League but opposed by both the NWCL and NCEL, proved fruitless, and so the club became the first to be moved in this way since the pyramid system was introduced.

The much anticipated difficulties followed, and the club ended the season one place above the bottom club. The mistake was recognised and the NCEL Management Committee assisted the club in supporting their move back to the NWCL for the start of season 1997/8.

The club remained in the Second Division until under the guidance of Joe Murty they gained promotion at the end of season 1999/2000, although Murty was relieved of his duties in June 2000, and Gary Lowe was appointed.

Lowe led the club to the Final of the Worthington League Challenge Cup in his first season, losing to Formby on penalties.

Almost a decade of discussions with Tameside MBC officials about a new ground it finally became a realisation when agreement was reached for the club to vacate National Park, spending season 2004/05 at the home of Stalybridge Celtic, before moving into their magnificent Tameside Stadium for the start of season 2005/06.

The ground was formally opened on 8 September 2005 by Sir Alex Ferguson for a game in which Manchester United provided the opposition.

Despite repeated attempts to return to the NPL they had to wait until season 2006/07 to benefit once again from the re-structure of the pyramid system to return from whence they came, a season which also saw them end their NWCL campaign as the "nearly' team, ending the season as runners-up in the League, D-Zine League Challenge Cup Finalists and emulating the team of 1980 by reaching the Semi-Final of The FA Carlsberg Vase, only to lose out to the eventual winners, Truro City.

The D-Zine League Challenge Cup Final, which took place at the Tameside Stadium, was played in front of a reported record crowd for the competition of 3,210 against FC United of Manchester.

Season 2007-2008, and the first back in to UniBond League, saw the club reach the promotions play-offs after leading the First Division North for most of the season. Unfortunately they were knocked out of the play-offs by Skelmersdale United.

In the 2008-2009 season the club reached the Play-off Final but were beaten by Newcastle Blue Star who then resigned from the UniBond League in late June. The season will be remembered for the clubs magnificent FA Cup exploits when reaching the Second Round Proper of the competition where they were beaten 2-0 away at Kidderminster Harriers after beating Exeter City 3-2 at home in the First Round Proper.

Season 2009-2010 the club reached the Play-offs for the third consecutive season but were again beaten in the semi-finals by the eventual winners Colwyn Bay, they also reached the League Challenge Cup Semi-Final but were beaten 2-0 by Boston United.

Season 2010-2011 Another successful cup run saw Curzon reach the First Round Proper of the FA Trophy for the first time in their history, eventually losing at home to Altrincham in a re-played game after the original game had to be abandoned due to a power failure with Curzon outplaying their Conference opponents and leading 2-1 at half-time. Once again the club reached the Play-offs for the fourth consecutive season and were again beaten by the eventual winners Chorley. This was the final season for manager Gary Lowe who called it a day after eleven seasons at the helm. The club appointed John Flanagan as Gary Lowe’s successor and would start the 2011-2012 season building a new team.

In his first season in change John Flanagan took the club to the Play-off Final where they were beaten by Witton Albion. Making the Play-off Final in his first season in change was tremendous achievement but the most significant accolade was finishing the season in the clubs highest ever league position finishing second to AFC Fylde. This achievement can only be matched if we gain promotion at the end of the 2012-2013 season which is also the club fiftieth year having started life in football in 1963.