|Full name||Shrewsbury Town Football Club|
|Nickname(s)||The Shrews, Salop, Town, The Blues|
|2019-20||League One, 15th of 23|
Shrewsbury Town Football Club is a professional association football club based in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England. The team compete in League One, the third tier of English football. The club plays its home games at New Meadow, having moved from the Gay Meadow in 2007. They have won the Shropshire Senior Cup a record 67 times and are the only club from the county to ever play in the Football League.
Founded in 1886, the club were inaugural members of the Shropshire & District League in 1890 and then joined the Birmingham & District League five years later. Crowned champions in 1922-23, they switched to the Midland League in 1937 and won the Midland League title in 1937-38, 1945-46 and 1947-48. Shrewsbury were admitted into the Football League in 1950 and won promotion out of the Fourth Division at the end of the 1958-59 season. They were promoted again in 1974-75 after being relegated the previous year, and went on to win the Third Division title in 1978-79. They returned to the fourth tier following relegations in 1989 and 1992, where they won another league title in 1993-94. The club lost in the 1996 Football League Trophy final and dropped into non-League football after suffering relegations in 1997 and 2003.
Shrewsbury immediately regained their Football League status after winning the 2004 Conference play-off final. They lost League Two play-off finals in 2007 and 2009 before they won automatic promotion in 2011-12 and again in 2014-15 after relegation the previous season. They finished as runners-up in the 2018 EFL Trophy final and 2018 League One play-off final.
Shrewsbury Town were formed in 1886, following the demise of first Shropshire Wanderers and later indirectly Castle Blues. The Blues were a rough team, leading to their demise after several games were marred by violence. The new team hoped to be as successful but without the notoriety. Press reports differ as to the date the new club was formed, The Eddowes Shropshire Journal of 26 May 1886 reported the birth of the club at The Lion Hotel, Wyle Cop, Shrewsbury. The Shrewsbury Chronicle reported the club's being formed at the Turf Hotel, Claremont Hill, Shrewsbury. It may be both accounts are true, with a get-together at The Lion being finalised at the Turf.
After friendlies and regional cup competitions for the first few seasons, Shrewsbury were founder members of the Shropshire & District League in 1890-91, later admitted to the Birmingham & District League in 1895-96. Many of the teams Town faced in the early days have vanished, however Shrewsbury met many of today's Football League and Conference teams, including Crewe Alexandra, Coventry City, Stoke City, Kidderminster Harriers and Stafford Rangers.
In 1910, Shrewsbury looked to move to a new ground, having spent early years at locations across the town, notably at Copthorne Barracks west of the town. The club moved to Gay Meadow on the edge of the town centre, within sight of Shrewsbury Abbey, and stayed 97 years.
Shrewsbury's Birmingham League days were mostly mid-table, with a few seasons challenging near the top, the club being league champions in 1922-23.
A move to the Midland Champions League in 1937-38 saw the club enjoy one of its most successful seasons, winning a league and cup treble. Shrewsbury were league champions, scoring 111 goals . In addition, the Welsh Cup was won following a replay, the team enjoyed a run in the FA Cup, and won the Shropshire Senior Cup.
After a run of good seasons in post-war years, Shrewsbury were admitted, alongside Scunthorpe United to the old Division 3 (North) of the Football League in 1950, after being Midland League champions in 1949-50, following the decision to expand from 88 to 92 clubs.
1960-61 season saw Shrewsbury Town reach the Semi Final of the League Cup. After beating Everton in the quarter-finals, they narrowly lost over two legs 4-3 on aggregate to Rotherham United. This era was also remembered for Arthur Rowley. He arrived from Leicester City in 1958, the club's first player/manager. During his playing and managerial career, he broke Dixie Dean's goal-scoring record, scoring his 380th league goal against Bradford City at Valley Parade on 29 April 1961. Retiring from playing in 1965 he remained manager until July 1968.
Shrewsbury were promoted to the Third Division in 1974-75 as runners-up, before another successful season in 1978-79, when they were league champions under Ritchie Barker and later Graham Turner. Over 14,000 fans packed Gay Meadow on 17 May 1979 to see Shrewsbury seal promotion with a 4-1 win over Exeter City. In addition, the club had their first run to the FA Cup quarter-finals, before a replay defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Turner is the team's most successful manager, winning the Third Division Championship in 1978-79 - his first season in charge - to take the club into the Second Division for the first time. They remained for ten years, although Turner departed for Aston Villa in 1984. Shrewsbury repeated their 1979 feat of reaching the quarter-final in 1981-82, defeating UEFA Cup holders Ipswich Town in the fifth round before defeat away to Leicester City.
The 1980s saw many big teams defeated by Shrewsbury, whose period in the old Second Division coincided with some of the current Premier League clubs. During the 1980s, Fulham, Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers, West Ham United and Chelsea lost to Shrewsbury Town. Middlesbrough were defeated at Gay Meadow at the end of 1985-86, Shrewsbury winning 2-1, relegating Middlesbrough, who went out of business and almost out of existence. The match was marred by violence from Middlesbrough fans, with many of them later having to return to Shrewsbury for court appearances.
In the early to mid-1980s the club enjoyed its most successful Football League run. Shrewsbury survived through the sale of players, with some to have played for Shrewsbury including Steve Ogrizovic, David Moyes, John McGinlay and Bernard McNally. They were relegated at the end of 1988-89 after ten years. In the Third Division, on 22 December 1990, Gary Shaw scored the quickest Town hat trick - 4 minutes and 32 seconds - against Bradford City at Valley Parade. At the end of 1991-92, three years after relegation to the Third Division, the club was relegated to the Fourth - the first time since 1975. However, two seasons later Shrewsbury won the new (fourth tier) Division Three championship under Fred Davies in 1993-94, and remained in Division Two (third tier) three seasons. Shrewsbury were not to rise any further, remaining mid-table before slipping down again at the end of 1996-97.
The 1990s saw Shrewsbury make their first appearance at Wembley as finalists in the 1996 Football League Trophy final. Shrewsbury lost 2-1 to Rotherham United; future Shrewsbury striker Nigel Jemson scoring both Rotherham goals. Davies was sacked at the end of the 1996-97 relegation season. Jake King arrived, following a successful reign at local rivals Telford United.
In the 1999-2000, Shrewsbury endured a poor season, with King being sacked in November as the club near relegation. Former Everton captain and Welsh international Kevin Ratcliffe was appointed manager and saved them from relegation to the Conference on the final day of the season with a 2-1 victory away to Exeter City.
Ratcliffe worked on improving the side. Former youth team and reserve player Luke Rodgers emerged as a regular goal-scorer, and with big names arriving at Shrewsbury, the team looked on the up, narrowly missing the 2001-02 league playoffs despite 70 points.
The 2002-03 saw Shrewsbury enjoy an FA Cup run. After dispatching non-league sides Stafford Rangers and Barrow, they won at home against Everton in the third round in front of 7,800, with two goals by Nigel Jemson.Chelsea were the fourth round visitors, in a televised match on BBC's Match of the Day. Town lost 0-4, with Gianfranco Zola the man of the match. A near capacity crowd of 7,950 turned up for Chelsea, but from then on, the side's form disappeared, picking up just two wins in the league thereafter. Seven points adrift at the bottom and having conceded 92 goals, the club contemplated the end of their 53 years in the league. Following angry demonstrations from fans, Ratcliffe resigned, and Mark Atkins took temporary charge for the club final League game, a 2-1 defeat to Scunthorpe United, who were coincidentally the first League opponents for Shrewsbury Town back in 1950.
Northwich Victoria manager Jimmy Quinn was appointed Shrewsbury manager in May 2003, with the aim of getting them promoted back to the Football League at the first attempt. With most of the previous year's players released, Quinn assembled a whole new squad, with experienced non-league players such as Darren Tinson and Jake Sedgemore being joined by Colin Cramb, Scott Howie and former League Cup finalist Martin O'Connor. The league title went to Chester City, but with 74 points, Shrewsbury finished third in the league and defeated Barnet in the playoff semi-finals to set up a playoff final against Aldershot Town, at the neutral venue of the Britannia Stadium, home of Stoke City. The two teams played out a 1-1 draw which went to a penalty shootout. Shrewsbury goalkeeper Scott Howie saved three consecutive Aldershot penalties and defender Trevor Challis scored the winning penalty.
Quinn departed 14 league games into the season, being replaced by former Preston manager Gary Peters, who preserved Shrewsbury's Football League status in the 2004-05 League Two campaign. Shrewsbury's plans to move ground came to fruition, as chairman Roland Wycherley ceremoniously cut the first sod of soil at the New Meadow in the summer of 2006.
Despite the departure of a then talented young goalkeeper and future England number 1 Joe Hart to Manchester City, Shrewsbury went on a 14-match unbeaten run in the 2006-07 season; following a 2-2 draw against Grimsby Town in the final League match to be held at Gay Meadow, they finished in seventh place and thus qualified for the play-offs, where they defeated Milton Keynes Dons in the semi-finals. The team lost to Bristol Rovers in the League Two play-off final on 26 May 2007 at the new Wembley Stadium in front of a record crowd for any 4th tier game of 61,589.
The club moved to the New Meadow stadium for the 2007-08 season. Peters left the club on 3 March 2008 by mutual consent, replaced by Paul Simpson, who led the club to an eventual 18th-place finish in the league. After the season, the kit manufacturer Prostar earned the naming rights of the stadium.
The 2008-09 season saw Shrewsbury reach the play-offs again with victory over Dagenham and Redbridge on the final day of the season. They faced Bury in the playoff semi-finals, winning on penalties with goalkeeper Luke Daniels making two saves to send Shrewsbury through 4-3 on aggregate. Shrewsbury lost 0-1 to Gillingham in the play-off final at Wembley Stadium on 23 May in front of 53,706, with a goal in the 90th minute by Gillingham's Simeon Jackson. On 30 April 2010, after a disappointing 2009-10 season, Simpson was dismissed as manager with two games remaining.
Graham Turner returned to Shrewsbury Town as manager in June 2010. The club finished the 2010-11 season in 4th place, finishing with 79 points and qualifying for the playoffs, missing automatic promotion by only 1 point. They lost 2-0 on aggregate in the playoff semi-final to Torquay United. The following 2011-12 season they finished 2nd on 88 points. They won 1-0 over Dagenham & Redbridge from a James Collins header on the penultimate game of the season to achieve promotion to League One after a 15-year absence. Shrewsbury exceeded expectations the following 2012-13 season and ultimately managed to seal League One safety with two games to spare of their first season back, a 1-0 win at home to Oldham Athletic. The beat relegated Portsmouth 3-2 on the final day to finish 16th on 55 points. The following season, a disappointing first half of the season saw Turner quit in January and relegation was confirmed after a 2-4 home defeat against Peterborough United.
In May 2014 ex-Fleetwood Town boss Micky Mellon was appointed manager. Town were promoted back to League One on 25 April 2015 with a 0-1 victory away to Cheltenham Town via Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro's goal. Mellon left for Tranmere Rovers in October 2016, and he was replaced by Grimsby Town manager Paul Hurst, with Shrewsbury bottom. In 2017-18, Hurst led Shrewsbury to the EFL Trophy Final, ultimately losing to Lincoln. He also led the team to the League One play-offs, but lost to Rotherham after extra time. Hurst left to join Ipswich Town on 30 May 2018. He was replaced by former Macclesfield boss John Askey, but he was sacked later that year in November having won just 5 of their opening 21 games. His successor, Sam Ricketts was appointed manager in December.
Town's first ground hosted 51 matches over 3 years. The majority of these were friendlies as Town were not members of any league. Their first game was a 5-2 victory over Wellington Town on 16 October 1886 at the Racecourse Ground.
Town spent 4 seasons here and they were founder members of the Shropshire and District League started in 1890. 22 February 1890 saw town's record victory which was 18-0 against Wellington Town (Bowdler 8, Phasey 3, Rowlands 2 Gosson 3 Aston and Murphy). Town played 44 times at this ground.
Town played 47 times in 2 seasons at this ground and when they moved from here, they also moved up to the Birmingham League. This ground is now allotments.
Town played here for 15 years over 300 matches against more classier opposition of reserve teams like Aston Villa and Wolves. In 1909-10 they reached the first round of the FA Cup.
For many years, Shrewsbury coracle maker Fred Davies achieved some notability amongst football fans, by a unique service he and his coracle provided. He would sit in his coracle during Shrewsbury Town home matches, and retrieve any stray footballs that went into the River Severn. Although Davies died long ago, his legend is still associated with the club.
A new stadium opened 17 July 2007, it features a 9,875 all-seater capacity in four separate stands for football.
|Roland Wycherley Stand||2,741|
Capacity for concerts at the stadium is 17,000.
The ground has conference facilities, a function area, snack bars, licensed bars, a club shop and a restaurant. Within the stadium confines are training facilities for the club and a 5-a-side football complex which is run by Powerleague.
The first match at the stadium was 4-0 win against A-line Allstars featuring Gianfranco Zola. The first league match was against Bradford City.
Shrewsbury's record victory at this ground is 7-0 against Gillingham on 13 September 2008 in League Two play.
England under-17s, -19s -20s, -21s and the full England Women's team have all played at the stadium.
|2017-2019||The Energy Check|
Shropshire Homes (Away)
Shropshire Homes (Away)
The club's colours have always featured blue. However, blue has not always been the most dominant colour. Early kits included blue and white stripes, quartered shirts and all-blue shirts, which were worn with either white or amber trim until 1978. In 1978 Shrewsbury's most famous kit was introduced - the blue and amber stripes, which they wore as they were promoted in successive seasons, up to the old second division (now the Football League Championship). This was the design worn by character Derek Smalls in the movie This Is Spinal Tap.
The club was not loyal to the stripes for long, and in 1982 reverted to a blue shirt, then used a blue body with amber sleeves, later reverting to an amber body with blue sleeves. In 1987 the shirts radically changed to white shirts for four seasons before reverting to stripes in 1991-92. After a flamboyant abstract pattern on the shirts in 1992-93, Shrewsbury's kits have stayed mostly blue, with amber stripe(s) of some description evident since 1999.
The shirt sponsors have, since their introduction in 1982 until 2017, all been local companies. As of the 2017-18 season, the current shirt sponsor is The Energy Check, a South Shields-based Energy management company.
The first crest to appear on the shirt of Shrewsbury Town was the town's coat of arms, The Loggerheads in 1907. The crest was used intermittently on shirts until 1960 through to 1970, when a generic football design was used. During this time, The Loggerheads continued to be used on other merchandise, such as match-day programmes. The Loggerheads returned in 1970, and in various guises continued to be used until 1986, when a "Shrew" cartoon was introduced as the club's crest in an attempt to rebrand "Salop" as "The Shrews". During this time, the club's kit was also changed to predominantly white. A campaign by fanzine a "A Large Scotch" eventually led to the return of The Loggerheads crest in 1992. The crest changed once in again in 2007 to coincide with Salop's move to New Meadow, the new badge featured a single lion's head in a circle. The club stated that the new badge was necessary as any design incorporating The Loggerheads could not be copyrighted.
The club has many supporters groups from different areas of the country, including places in Wales. In 2019, a group named South Stand Flags was set up after the opening of New Meadow's safe standing section in order to "improve atmosphere at home games". The group, usually based in block 8 of the South Stand, organise choreography and flag displays. Their first fundraiser raised over £1000 which funded the purchase of 50 new flags. The group has gained a lot of praise from players and managers, including current Shrewsbury boss Sam Ricketts.
An unofficial fanzine and forum named Blue & Amber was introduced in 2005.
In late 2019 the club started attracting fans from the small Caribbean island nation of Grenada. The support stemmed from the club having two Grenada internationals, Aaron Pierre and Omar Beckles, who helped the nation to a six-match unbeaten run in qualifying for the CONCACAF Gold Cup. The president of the Grenada Football Association, Cheney Joseph, adopted The Shrews as his team, stating "I have fallen in love with Shrewsbury. I'm serious. I believe they can become a dream story, a Cinderella story." In November 2019, Joseph sent a partnership offer to the club, as well as a formal invitation for Town chairman Roland Wycherley to visit the country. On 9 November, Oliver Norburn became the third Town player to be called up by Grenada, whom he qualified for through his paternal grandfather. On 26 January 2020, Joseph made his first visit to his adopted club, where he witnessed The Shrews come back from 0-2 down to draw 2-2 with Premier League leaders and European and World champions Liverpool, setting up a replay at Anfield.
The club maintain various fierce rivalries. The rivalry with near-neighbours Hereford United was ranked nineteenth in The Daily Telegraph's Twenty fiercest rivalries in English football in 2015. Known as the 'A49 derby' due to the road separating the two teams, it has not been played since Hereford United went out of business and reformed as Hereford FC, who now play in the National League North, 3 divisions below The Shrews. This is similar to the rivalry with the now defunct Chester City. In 2010, a new club was formed named Chester FC who, like Hereford, also compete in the National League North and are yet to meet Shrewsbury in any competition.
The record for a Shrewsbury Town home fixture came on 26 April 1961 swelled by a large travelling contingent, when 18,917 turned up in a football league third division fixture.
The record attendance for a fixture at New Meadow currently known as Montgomery Waters Meadow, came on 28 October 2014 when 10,210 attended a Football League Cup 4th round tie vs Chelsea. The capacity was expanded from 9,875 to 10,360 with the introduction of temporary stands in two corners of the ground.
A list of the top ten attended fixtures in matches involving Shrewsbury Town.
As of 15 February 2016
|M Ashton||Associate Director|
|D Pitchford||Associate Director|
|HJ Wilson||Associate Director|
|Brian Caldwell||Chief Executive Officer|
|Jayne Bebb||Club Secretary|
|Jamie Edwards||Head of Community Development|
As of 9 September 2020
|Dean Whitehead||Assistant manager|
|Brian Jensen||Goalkeeping coach|
|Andy Johnson||Fitness Coach|
|Jordan Beech||First-team physiotherapist|
|David Longwell||Academy manager|
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Mickey Brown holds the club record for most appearances, accumulated during three spells. Centre half turned centre forward Alf Wood scored 5 goals in the 7-1 victory against Blackburn Rovers in 1971 and became the first player since Dixie Dean to score four headed goals in one match.
Several Shrewsbury players have gone onto, or came from prominent top-flight careers. These include current and former top-flight managers David Moyes, Nigel Pearson, Gordon Lee, David Pleat and Gary Megson. International stars John McGinlay, Jim Holton, Jimmy Quinn, Michael Gulla (American footballer), Jimmy McLoughlin, Mickey Thomas, Carl Robinson and Neville Southall all spent time at Shrewsbury. Doug Rougvie won the European Cup Winners' Cup with Aberdeen in 1983 and played for Shrewsbury later in the decade after a spell at Chelsea.
More recently, Premier League winner Mark Atkins spent later seasons of his career at Shrewsbury, as did Sheffield Wednesday's Nigel Jemson and former Nottingham Forest player Ian Woan. Coventry City stalwart Steve Ogrizovic was previously a Shrewsbury player. Two notable recent departees are local-born youth products, England goalkeeper Joe Hart and Wales midfielder David Edwards, both of whom have been capped at U21 and senior international levels. Edwards went on to play in the Premier League with Wolverhampton Wanderers and the Wales national team and returned to Shrewsbury in January 2019. Hart was a regular in the England senior team.
In addition to Hart and Edwards, Shrewsbury have given opportunities to many young local players, who have forged successful professional careers. Norman Hobson was a local Shrewsbury born defender in the mid to late 1950s and made 224 appearances. Bernard McNally was a local star in the 1980s, with two other local players, Kevin Seabury and Peter Wilding being fan favourites at the club in the 1990s. Veteran striker Andy Cooke was born and raised in Shrewsbury, and supported the club as a boy, but forged his career elsewhere after being rejected as a trainee. Tom Bradshaw is a recent Shrewsbury-born talent to have emerged from the Youth Team, and Mason Springthorpe signed for Everton prior to making an appearance for the Shrews, for £125,000.
THE Blues' League Two derby at Shrewsbury this afternoon has been postponed due to a frozen pitch.
Shrewsbury Town's fierce rivalry with near neighbours Wrexham is about to go global as the two old rivals clash more than 6,400 miles from home in Kenya.