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History

This particular section of Mitchell Shackleton Football Club was founded in October 1969 by a group of employees working for Mitchell, Shackleton and Company Limited, a well established engineering company based in Patricroft, Eccles, which manufactures marine and diesel crankshafts.
The founding members of Mitchell Shackleton Football Club were Bob Cowlishaw (Chairman), Bill Russell (Secretary) and Charlie Flynn (Treasurer, who served the Club also served as Secretary with distinction from 1981 until his death in 1994). They were ably supported by a Committee comprising of Alf Johnson (now Club President), Ged Moore (Kit Manager) and Stan Catlin (Team Manager). Although the Cub has been in existence for over 30 years, Mitchell Shackleton FC can trace teams playing under the Company's banner as far back as 1935.
Initially, the Football Club was financially supported through the Company's active Sports and Social Club, however the recession of the late 1970's led to the Company restructuring it's business interests, and unfortunately a reduction in the workforce.
These events inevitably led to the dissolution of the Sports and Social Club, and a splintering of the various sporting sections with each individual group becoming self-financing.
The Football Section based it's headquarters at the Oddfellows Arms, Patricroft, before moving to St Michaels Community Centre, Peel Green in 1973, which was to become the Club's permanent base for the next 29 years.
Mitchell Shackleton FC entered the Eccles and District Amateur Football League in 1970 where the Club established itself without winning any major honours. After a two-year association with the Eccles League, the Club sought pastures new by joining the Manchester Amateur League in season 1972-73.
It was in the Manchester Amateur League that the Club's reputation began to grow, winning the Third Division (1973-74) and Second Division (1974-75) Championships in successive seasons, and in 1975 a reserve team was formed.
Between 1976 and 1978, the Club went through a transitional phase with younger players being introduced to the first team, and the formation of a new management team of George Walker, Billy Hall and Jimmy Preston.
During this period, a re-structuring of the League saw Mitchells competing in the Industrial 'B' Division, in which the Club were runners-up in 1979-80.
In season 1983-84, Mitchells finished Industrial 'A' Division runners-up, but ended the season on a high by winning the Gosling Cup.
Industrial 'A' Division runners-up once again in season 1985-86, and defeated finalists in the Gosling Cup of 1988-89 signalled the end of the Club's 17 year association with the Manchester Amateur League with Mitchells again looking for a new challenge by joining the Manchester League in 1989.
Mitchells quickly found their feet and gained promotion to the Premier Division at the second attempt, finishing as First Division runners-up in 1991.
A change of management saw Paul Traynor and Kenny Davies take on the first team responsibilities, with George Walker and Ron Parker managing the reserves.
In 1993, Mitchells reached the Gilgryst Cup Final, only to lose out to Woodley Sports in the Final.
1994 saw the formation of a third team which was entered into the Eccles and District League, and in the same year, Paul Traynor departed due to work commitments and Kenny Davies assumed control, ably assisted by Billy Hall.
This management team took Mitchells to their highest ever league position in the Premier Division, runners-up to Abbey Hey in 1995.
The Club was rocked prior to the commencement of 1997-98 season when Kenny Davies walked out, taking with him several first team players to local rivals Monton Amateurs.
Dave Rowan and Craig Woodley, who had forged a successful partnership with the reserves, were promoted and asked to rebuild the side. Roy Bluer, a successful manager in Sunday football, was recruited to run the reserves.
By the end of December 1997, the first team were rock bottom of the Premier Division with two points, and were twelve points adrift and facing certain relegation. However, the Club kept faith with its management team and a run of six wins, three draws and only two defeats saw Mitchells catch the side above them. Losses in the next two games saw Mitchells drop into the bottom two, but a dramatic win against fellow strugglers Wythenshawe Town and mid-table Monton Amateurs saw the Club stave of relegation.
The experience was too close and the team have not been out of the top six since, finishing fifth in 1998-99, third in 1999-2000 and fourth in 2000-01.
The start of 2001-02 season saw the Club change its title to Irlam MS in anticipation of a proposed move to Irlam, which is still ongoing.
It also saw the departure of Craig Woodley, and the formation of a new management team of Rowan, former Willows boss Gary Fellows, and team coach Dave Mann, who have rebuilt the squad and introduced several young prospects.
League form fell short of early expectations, but the team did put together a good Gilgryst Cup nun to reach the Semi-Finals.
The reserves side, under the guidance of Anthony Ashton, Duncan Beaumont and Mark Murphy had a more productive season, clinching a top three spot in the Second Division plus a Final tie in the Open Trophy.
Although Mitchells have yet to win a major trophy in the Manchester League, they have established a reputation for their competitiveness, fitness and style of play, which is known and respected throughout Greater Manchester.
Mitchell Shackleton were proud winners of the Albert Booth Sportsmanship Trophy in 1998-99, a testament to the spirit in which the Club plays the game.
Also, in June 2000, Club Secretary lan Street was named Secretary of the Year at the Annual General Meeting.
A major change at the Club occurred in 2002 when Mitchells were informed that Salteye Park, their existing ground was to be purchased and subsequently be used for what is now to become the new Salford Reds rugby League stadium.
The hunt was on for a new ground, and with compensation from their move , plus football foundation assistance, Silver St in Irlam , once home to Irlam Town became an obvious choice.
The new ground at Silver St was officially opened in 2003 with a visit from Brian Mclairs Milk Cup winning , Manchester United youth team.
Since this time, the Club has been working tirelessly to bring the Club into the North West Counties, the highest standard that the Club has seen. Manager Gary Fellows left the Club to take up the position of manager at Salford City FC, and after a season with manager Arthur Burns, who worked miracles with a threadbare side, including winning the Manchester Challenge Trophy, the mantle passed onto Dave Mann to continue the building of a new side for the following season.
A further name change saw Irlam MS become Irlam FC, and the appointment of Warren Dodd as secretary of the Club, from Irlam Rangers Junior Club saw development increase at the ground. As the Club begins its 2008/2009 campaign in the North West Counties, it is hoped that it will be long associated with this standard for many years to come.

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