Marine Football Club

The Club were formed in 1894 by a group of local businessmen and former college students – taking its name from the hotel on the River Mersey sea front at Waterloo, seven miles to the north of Liverpool – where the founders met. They moved to their present ground The Marine Travel Arena (formerly known as Rossett Park) in 1903.

Marine quickly made an impression on local football, winning numerous titles in the I Zingari League and the Liverpool Combination. Their greatest success as an amateur team in this period culminated in an F.A. Amateur Cup Final appearance in 1931/32, when they lost 7 – 1 to Dulwich Hamlet in front of a 22,000 crowd at West Ham United. In 1946 they went close again by reaching the semi-final.

In 1935/36 they moved to the all-professional Lancashire Combination and enjoyed limited success before moving to the Cheshire County League in 1969/70. In 1972 Roly Howard was appointed first team manager and completed 1,975 competitive games over a 33 year period before retiring at the end of the 2004/05 season. He was recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the longest serving manager in world football as Marine enjoyed its most successful period winning some 30 trophies.

The Club relinquished its amateur status and became professional in 1974. Three Cheshire League Championships were won in five seasons before progressing to the Northern Premier League in 1979/80. They have twice been Champions (1993/94 and 1994/95) as well as twice being runners-up and have won the League Cup on three occasions (1984/85, 1991/92, and 2002/03).

In more recent times, the club have had a number of managers including Alvin McDonald (2005-2009), Kevin Lynch (2009-2013) & Phil Brazier (2013-2014). Alvin qualified for the UniBond Premier play-offs in two seasons, losing to the eventual play off champions on both occasions. Kevin Lynch narrowly missed out on a play off place over his reign and Phil Brazier enjoyed his first season of football management. 2014-2015 saw the appointment of Carl Macauley, having previously been manager at conference north club Vauxhall Motors for eight years. Following a disappointing run of results, the club & management team parted company by mutual consent & on the 24th February, defender Sean Hessey took over team affairs as caretaker manager. At the time, Marine were 22nd place in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League, 11 points adrift of the safety zone, having won only 5 league games so far in the league campaign. Sean was prepared to take on the most difficult challenge and had 12 cup finals to play through to the end of the season in a desperate effort to avoid relegation for the first time in our Club’s 120 year history. Sean was given the management position on a permanent basis on 15th April 2015. With Sean in charge, and the same players, in what can only be described as a miracle, the 12 cup finals were all nail-biting games – losing 1, drawing 5 and winning an impressive 6 matches to pull off the ‘Great Escape’. Finishing in a relegation position, the club then had to wait a further two and a half weeks for the FA to meet and allocate the leagues for 2015-2016, with Marine receiving a reprieve, following the demise of Salisbury City. Marine’s final run in of only one defeat in the last 12 games left Marine with the best average points per game of clubs finishing in the highest place relegation positions across the three divisions at step 3 nationally. Marine were retained as a member of the NPL Premier Division.

Marine’s best performance in the F.A. Cup was reaching the 3rd Round in 1992/3 when they lost 3-1 to Crewe Alexandra. Marine have also achieved ten first and two second round appearances in the FA Cup and have beaten two Football League Clubs (Barnsley and Halifax Town) in the competition. Marine have twice reached the semi-finals of the F.A. Trophy in 1983/84 and 1991/92 and have been winners of 13 senior county cups. Marine have won the Liverpool Senior Cup seven times and the Lancashire Trophy Challenge Trophy three times.

More recently, the club have twice won the accolade as Football Foundation Community Club of the Year in 2009 and 2010, as voted by readers of the Non League Paper and in March 2011, the club were awarded the FA Charter Standard Community Club award by the Football Association. In 2010, the club were awarded Club of the Year by outgoing league sponsors UniBond.

The club are continuing to make improvements to their Marine Travel Arena base, three years ago new floodlights were installed at a cost of £70,000, and this summer the unused area under the stand was turned into a new community facility, matchday boardroom, hospitality suite and offices. Further improvement over the next few years is planned, with the long term objective to replace the olden wooden buildings at the front of the stadium.

Honours & awards can be found at www.marinefc.com

Where next?

Richard's Records 07-08 to 10-11 Click the links for Marine AFC Appearances and Goals for seasons: http://files.pitchero.com/clubs