- Wrexham F.C.
Wrexham FC Full name Wrexham Football Club Nickname(s) The Red Dragons
Ground Racecourse Ground, Wrexham
(Capacity: 15,500 (10,500 seated))
Chairman Ian Roberts Player-manager Andy Morrell League Conference National 2010–11 Conference National, 4th Website Club home pageHome coloursAway colours Current season
Wrexham Football Club (Welsh: Clwb Pêl-droed Wrecsam, nicknamed The Red Dragons, or more traditionally, The Robins, their previous nickname) are a professional football team based in Wrexham, north-east Wales, who play in the English football pyramid.
Founded in 1872, they are one of the oldest surviving football clubs in Britain and the oldest professional club in Wales. They play in the Conference National following their relegation from Football League Two at the end of the 2007–08 season, after 87 years of consecutive membership. Despite playing in the English leagues, they have also been competitors in the Welsh Cup, winning it a record 23 times.
The fifth tier of the English football league system, also known as the Conference National, is the lowest level of competition that Wrexham played in since they were first elected to the football league in 1921. Wrexham's home stadium, The Racecourse Ground, is the world's oldest international stadium that still continues to host international games.
The club was formed by members of the Wrexham Cricket Club, who wanted a sporting activity for the winter months, on 28 September 1872 during a meeting held at the Turf Hotel in Wrexham (this is despite the club's modern badge stating they were formed in 1873).
As the rules of football were still somewhat fluid at the time, early matches featured teams with up to 17 players on each side (16 players when playing the Provincial Insurance Office and Chester College, 15 players against the Volunteer Fire Brigade). In these early years Wrexham were leaders of the campaign to restrict teams to having just 11 players on the pitch at any one time. The club's first match against an outside team was a 12–a-side game against past and present members of Grove Park School played at Wrexham Cricket Ground, which Wrexham won 2–0 on 19 October 1872.
In 1876, the newly formed Football Association of Wales saw Wales play their first international match, against Scotland at The West of Scotland Cricket Club, Partick, featuring Edwin Cross and Alfred Davies as the first of many Wrexham A.F.C. players to play for Wales.
In the 1877–78 season the FAW inaugurated the Welsh Cup competition, to run on similar lines to the English FA Cup. The first Welsh Cup Final was played at Acton Park. Wrexham got to the final of the inaugural competition, where they defeated Druids F.C. 1–0, with James Davies being credited with the goal. Because of a lack of money at the fledgling FAW, Wrexham did not receive their trophy until the next year. For their first decade, Wrexham mostly played friendly matches against both Welsh and English opposition, with the Welsh Cup providing most of their competitive football, Wrexham winning it again in 1883.
1883 also saw Wrexham's first appearance in the FA Cup, when after receiving a bye to the second round of the competition they were defeated 3–4 at home by Oswestry. Crowd trouble at the game led to the club being disbanded, although a new club, Wrexham Olympic, was formed a month later and which reverted to the original name after three years.
Thanks to a dispute with their landlords, who had raised the rent of the Racecourse Ground to £10 a year, Wrexham played their home games in the 1881–82 and 1882–83 seasons at Rhosddu Recreation Ground (changing the club's name to Wrexham Athletic for one season), before moving back to the Racecourse Ground for the 1883–84 season, where the club have played their home games ever since.
In 1890 Wrexham joined The Combination league, playing their first game against Gorton Villa on 6 September 1890, with Arthur Lea scoring Wrexham's only goal in a 5–1 defeat. Lea played for the club despite only having one arm as did playing colleague James Roberts. Wrexham finished the season second from bottom in eighth place in the first season.
Wrexham played in the Combination for four years before a rapid increase in costs resulted in the club joining the Welsh League in the 1894–95 season. Wrexham won the Welsh League both years that they were in it, but they then decided to return to the Combination, as despite the reduced support they received, the savings made on their travelling expenses outweighed the reduction in gate revenue.
The club then remained in the Combination league until 1905, by which time they had managed to win the league four times. After several unsuccessful attempts Wrexham were finally elected to the Birmingham and District League in time for the beginning of the 1905–06 season. Wrexham's first ever match in this league was at home against Kidderminster Harriers at the Racecourse, and two thousand spectators witnessed Wrexham win the match 2–1. Wrexham finished sixth in their first season in this league.
During their time in the Birmingham and District League, Wrexham won the Welsh Cup six times, in 1908–09, 1909–10, 1910–11, 1913–14, 1914–15, and 1920–21. They also reached the First Round proper of the FA Cup for a second time in the 1908–09 season before losing a replay 1–2 to Exeter City after extra time.
In 1921 Wrexham were elected to the newly formed Third Division North of the Football League. Their first League game was against Hartlepool United at the Racecourse in front of 8,000 spectators. Playing in blue shirts, Wrexham were defeated 0–2. The week after this defeat Wrexham travelled north to play Hartlepool and managed to get their revenge by beating them 1–0 in a hard-earned victory.
It was during this particular season that Wrexham achieved many "firsts" in the club's history, such as when Ted Regan scored the club's first ever hat-trick, and also Brian Simpson became the first Wrexham player to be sent off in a League game when he was ordered from the field of play against Southport in January 1922. Charlie Hewitt was the club's first ever manager during this period.
In the 1926–27 season the club got past the first round of the FA Cup only to be knocked out by Rhyl. The following season Wrexham fought their way to the fourth round before they lost 0–1 to Birmingham City. A record 32 league goals from Albert Mays helped Wrexham to get to third position in the division in the 1928–29 season. And later in that season Tommy Bamford made his first appearance for the club. He went on to score 201 League and Cup goals for the club during his time at the Racecourse. During the 1929–30 season the club recorded their best ever league win to date when they defeated Rochdale 8–0.
Wrexham enjoyed their best ever Third Division North season in 1932–33, when they finished runners-up to Hull City and won 18 of their 21 home games during the course of the season. This was the first season that the club appeared in their now-familiar red and white strip for the first time for the short-lived 1939–40 season.
During the Second World War years, when long cross-county trips were impossible due to the war, Wrexham played in the Regional League West against local teams from Merseyside and Manchester, amongst others in the north west region. Wrexham's position as a barracks town meant that the team could secure the services of many famous guest players such as Stanley Matthews and Stan Cullis.
In the first post-war season Wrexham equalled their best ever position when they again finished third in the Third Division North. In the summer of 1949 the club made its first ever tour abroad when it played three games against the British army in Germany.
The club reached the fourth round of the FA Cup in 1956–57 where they played Manchester United's Busby Babes in front of a crowd of 34,445 people at the Racecourse, which still remains a club record. The 5–0 defeat did not spoil the occasion for the large home crowd, and later that season Wrexham managed to win the Welsh Cup for the first time in 26 years.
1960 saw the club were relegated for the first time in their history, and they dropped into the newly created Fourth Division. But their performances did improve following the appointment of Ken Barnes as player-manager. He led Wrexham straight back to promotion to the third division in his first season in charge and oversaw the 10–1 trouncing of Hartlepool United, which is still the club's record league victory. Two years after their promotion, Wrexham were relegated to the Fourth Division again, and in 1966 they finished rock-bottom at 92nd in the Football League after an extremely disappointing season.
With Welsh clubs now able to qualify for the European Cup Winners' Cup by winning the Welsh Cup, Wrexham played their inaugural match in Europe against Swiss side FC Zurich in Switzerland on 13 September 1972, the game finishing 1–1. In the return leg Wrexham won 2–1, advancing to the second round with a 3–2 win on aggregate. The second round drew Wrexham against Yugoslav side Hajduk Split. Over the course of two games the score finished 3–3 on aggregate with Wrexham matching their more illustrious opponents, but they were knocked out of the competition due to the away goals rule.
The 1972–73 season saw the completion of the new Yale stand, with the ability to hold a capacity of up to 5,500, including the terrace helped to comprise the bottom tier of the stand.
The 1973–74 season saw Wrexham change their badge from the Maelor crest to a brand new badge that had a lot more resemblance to the Welsh roots of the club, with three feathers on the top of the badge and two dragons, one on either side of the badge and facing inwards. This is still the present badge for today's team. This season also saw Wrexham reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup in another cup run. After victories over Shrewsbury Town, Rotherham United, Middlesbrough, Crystal Palace and Southampton, their cup run finally came to end against first division side Burnley at Turf Moor, with just over 20,000 Wrexham fans present to watch the match. Also that season Wrexham just missed out on the promotion spots, finishing in 4th place at the end of the season.
1975–76 saw John Neal's starlets again shock the football world by reaching the quarter finals of the European cup-winners cup after another sparkling cup run and multiple defeats of higher quality opponents. In the first round Wrexham beat Swedish team Djurgårdens IF 3–2 on aggregate. They then managed to knock out Polish side Stal Rzeszow 3–1 on aggregate. Wrexham played Belgian giants and champions Anderlecht in the quarter finals and narrowly lost 2–1 to the eventual winners of the competition.
The 1976–77 season saw Wrexham again beat First Division opposition in both Cup competitions as they went on another cup run, defeating Tottenham Hotspur in the Football League Cup and Sunderland in the FA Cup, however the league season was a traumatic one as the club, on the verge of promotion to the second division with only four matches left to play, required just three points to reach their goal, and unbelievably they missed out after a poor run of form.
Arfon Griffiths took over as player-manager for the 1977–78 season. They reached both the League and FA Cup quarter-finals that season, and Wrexham finally clinched promotion to the second division when they beat Rotherham United 7–1 at a packed Racecourse, and Wrexham went on to win the Third Division Championship that year.
In the 1978–79 season Wrexham made it to the fourth round of the FA Cup where they narrowly lost to Tottenham Hotspur 3–2 in the replay after the first game finished 3–3, the Spurs team had stars amongst their ranks such as Ossie Ardiles, Ricky Villa and Glen Hoddle in their team, and Wrexham were unfortunate to get knocked out.
Following Arfon Griffiths resignation from the manager's position in 1981, his assistant Mel Sutton was put in charge, with the memorable third round FA Cup win over Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest, in another cup run, the highlight of the season.
The summer of 1982 saw Bobby Roberts (footballer) appointed the club's new manager. Relegation meant the club had dire financial problems, resulting in the sale of many of the club's experienced and talented players. Frank Carrdus, Ian Edwards, Mick Vinter and Wayne Cegieski had already left during the summer, Steve Fox, Joey Jones, Dixie McNeil and Billy Ronson soon followed. Wrexham were again relegated again to the Fourth Division after plummeting from apparent mid-table security. The club's slide continued into the following season, and only goal difference prevented Wrexham from being forced to apply for re-election to the League.
The 1984–85 season saw Wrexham take on Portuguese giants FC Porto in European competition. Wrexham won the home leg with a 1–0 victory, but in the second leg Porto showed their class and were 3–0 up after 38 minutes, however Wrexham pulled goals back and the game finished 4–3 with Wrexham advancing on away goals. The second round draw was to pair Wrexham with Italian giants AS Roma, managed by Sven Goran Eriksson. Wrexham lost 3–0 on aggregate over the two legs. Their league performance was even more dire than the previous year, and by the time Bobby Roberts was finally removed from his post, Wrexham were rock-bottom of the entire Football League.
Former Racecourse favourite Dixie McNeil was appointed caretaker manager, and immediately inspired a revival that saw Wrexham win 7 of their last 10 matches and comfortably finish clear of having to apply for re-election, which earned him the job on a permanent basis that summer. His first season in charge saw the team finish mid-table position in an average season, he led the team to a Welsh Cup final win over Kidderminster Harriers. 1986 saw Wrexham make a return to European football with a first round draw against Maltese side FC Zurrieq, whom they beat 7–0 on aggregate to earn a second round tie against Real Zaragoza which they drew 2–2 with on aggregate but they went out on away-goals.
Following the Bradford City stadium fire in May 1985, legislation on ground safety at all football grounds was brought in effect, this eventually led to the closure of the Mold Road stand because it did not reach the necessary safety standards. Led by Dixie McNeil, Wrexham reached the Fourth Division play-offs in 1989, having finished seventh in the league. Wrexham beat Scunthorpe United in the semi-final 5–1 on aggregate, but narrowly lost to Leyton Orient 2–1 in the final. After Wrexham started the next season with just 3 wins from 13 league games, Dixie McNeil resigned before his inevitable sacking.
He was replaced, initially on a temporary basis, by Brian Flynn, but his appointment was made permanent a month later. However the club continued to struggle domestically, and Flynn was forced to make three important signings in Mark Setori, Eddie Youds and Alan Kennedy which saw the team finish in twenty-first place, therefore avoiding relegation.
The 1990–91 season it was announced there would be no relegation to the Conference National as a team had already voluntarily left the league. That season Wrexham were to finish in ninety-second place. Wrexham were knocked-out of the European Cup Winners' Cup in the quarter-finals by Manchester United 5–0 on aggregate, who eventually went on to win the trophy.
The 1991–92 season saw Wrexham still in a poor financial state, as they continued to struggle on the field. With the club knocked out of the League Cup and struggling in the league, it was left to the FA Cup to keep the season alive. Having beaten Telford United and Winsford United they were drawn to play the previous season's First Division champions and giants Arsenal. Wrexham produced one of their most memorable nights to beat the Gunners 2–1 after being behind, with a thunderous Mickey Thomas free kick and a Steve Watkin goal. They lost in the next round to West Ham United 1–0 in a replay after the first game had finished 2–2.
In an attempt to change the fortunes of the club after several seasons in the doldrums at the bottom of the football league pyramid, the 1992–93 season saw Wrexham manager Brian Flynn make a shrewd signing when he enlisted the services of Gary Bennett, who soon settled and helped Wrexham into the promotion race. Wrexham's season came to a head on 27 April 1993 when with two games left they travelled to Northampton Town requiring a win to gain promotion to the next tier of the English football. The game ended with a 2–0 victory to Wrexham and the 5,500 travelling "Reds" supporters there were jubilant when promotion had finally been achieved.
The 1994–95 season would see Wrexham achieve more success in cup competitions, this time going on a run through the FA Cup. Having beaten Stockport County and Rotherham United, they faced Premier League side Ipswich Town at the Racecourse, with Wrexham running out 2–1 winners thanks to goals from Gary Bennett and Kieron Durkan. In the next round, Wrexham were drawn away to Manchester United and despite taking the lead at Old Trafford, United went on to win 5–2.
The 1995–96 season once again saw Wrexham in European action, with their opposition this time coming in the form of Romanian team Petrolul Ploiesti; the home leg ended in a 0–0 draw but Wrexham lost 1–0 in the away leg, with the Romanians scoring the only goal of the match, and Wrexham were subsequently knocked out of the tournament.
The 1996–97 season saw Wrexham set off on another amazing run in the FA Cup and beating more top flight opposition. Following wins at Colwyn Bay and Scunthorpe United, they were drawn to play West Ham United at home, the game ending in a 1–1 draw on a snow-covered pitch after a well earned draw. The replay at Upton Park ended in a shock 1–0 win to Wrexham as Kevin Russell scored in the dying minutes to send Wrexham in to the fourth round. After also beating Peterborough United and Birmingham City in the following rounds, they played Chesterfield in an all-Division-2 FA Cup quarter final, Wrexham narrowly losing to the Spireites 1–0.
June 1997 was the date for the official opening of Colliers Park, which was Wrexham's new training ground and was situated just outside of Gresford on Chester Road. It was built at a cost of £750,000 and is widely regarded to be one of the best training grounds outside of the top flight. It has been used for training by many visiting teams that play at a higher standard over the years.
The 1999–2000 season saw Wrexham again beat a top flight team in the FA Cup, this time in the shape of Middlesbrough. The final score of the match was 2–1, with the second half goals coming from Robin Gibson and Darren Ferguson after being behind to the Premiership outfit. Wrexham went on to win the FAW Premier Cup in May 2001.
At the start of the 21st century the club was dogged with many problems off the pitch, including then chairman Alex Hamilton, attempting to get the club evicted from the stadium so that he could use and sell it for his own development purposes – the saga involved the sale of the Racecourse Ground to a separate company owned by Hamilton immediately after he became the club's chairman. In the summer of 2004 Hamilton gave the club a year's notice to quit the ground.
The club's fans developed an affinity with the fans of fellow football league club Brighton & Hove Albion, who themselves had managed to successfully depose their chairman and keep control of their stadium after he had sold the ground for development purposes in almost the same circumstances.
On 3 December 2004 the club was placed in financial administration by the High Court in Manchester as the club owed £2,600,000, including £800,000 which was owed to the Inland Revenue in unpaid taxes. Wrexham became the first League club to suffer a ten-point deduction under the new rule for being placed in administration, dropping them from the middle of the League One table to the relegation zone after the point deduction, and subsequently condemned Wrexham to relegation.
Despite their financial troubles, Wrexham went on to win the 2004–05 Football League Trophy by defeating Southend United 2–0 after extra time, in Wrexham's first appearance at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. It was Southend's second consecutive defeat in the Football League Trophy final. The winning goals were scored by Juan Ugarte and Darren Ferguson as Wrexham ran out winners in front of over 20,000 Wrexham fans.
Wrexham still retained an outside chance of escaping the drop in the 2004–05 season following an end-of-season winning streak; however, their faint hopes of staying up were ended with a 2–1 home loss to Brentford on 3 May 2005. The 10–point deduction proved decisive in determining Wrexham's fate, as the club finished with 43 points compared to 20th-placed Milton Keynes Dons' 51 - a net points tally of 53 after deduction, which had condemned them to relegation.
In October 2005, Birmingham High Court decided that Alex Hamilton's company CrucialMove had improperly acquired the freehold of the ground and the decision went against him. Hamilton then took this to the Appeal Court in London and it ruled on 14 March 2006 that the stadium must remain in the hands of the club's administrators. On 30 April 2006 the administrators reached an agreement with local car dealer Neville Dickens, subject to agreement by the shareholders and creditors (which was achieved on 30 May), for Dickens to take over control of the club and all its assets. Had the club still been in Administration by the 3 June then Wrexham would have automatically been expelled from the League because of their financial situation.
Wrexham Football Club (2006) Ltd is the name of the "phoenix" company that took over the assets of the old Wrexham Association Football Club Limited - technically, the club is no longer known as Wrexham Association Football Club due to the takeover of the club by Neville Dickens and Geoff Moss and their associates; this is reflected on new merchandise, although most fans will still refer to it as "Wrexham AFC".
The 2006–07 season started well for Wrexham, as they went 8 games unbeaten, with included a 4–1 away win against Championship side Sheffield Wednesday and were in the play-off places after the addition of numerous new faces. Unfortunately they were beaten in a shock 5–0 defeat at Accrington Stanley on 13 September 2006, then followed by a 5–2 defeat at Stockport County. Both of these teams were struggling at the foot of the table when these defeats happened, and Wrexham never fully recovered from them. This would begin the start of a long relegation battle for Wrexham. Denis Smith was sacked along with his assistant Kevin Russell on 11 January 2007 with Wrexham in the bottom half of the division and after a poor run of results and was replaced by coach Brian Carey. Wrexham finished 19th in Football League Two and on 51 points after an impressive late run of form which saw them win 4 out of their last 5 games, which included defeating local rivals Shrewsbury in the last ever derby match at Gay Meadow. Wrexham's league status was saved on the last day of the season with a vital 3–1 victory on 5 May 2007 over Boston United at home which sent their opponents down to the Conference National and ensured that Wrexham would stay in the Football League.
Expectations were high for the 2007–08 season, as there had been the signings of players such as Anthony Williams, Richard Hope, Michael Proctor, Silvio Spann and Eifion Williams and a push for promotion was expected by the fans after the disappointment of last season. But the season started badly, with only three wins and 10 points by the middle of November and Wrexham rooted to the bottom of the table.
Brian Carey was eventually sacked after Wrexham crashed out of the FA Cup in the First Round following a 4–1 defeat against Peterborough United. On 6 November 2007 Wrexham Football Club released a statement saying that the club were looking for an "experienced senior manager" to work alongside the current Racecourse staff. On 15 November 2007, Brian Little was named as Wrexham's new manager and the replacement to Brian Carey, who took the role of assistant manager.
After a promising start to his reign, a run of 7 straight league defeats and a 4–2 defeat in the FAW Premier Cup at the hands of Llanelli, forced Little to ring the changes and brought in 11 players in the January transfer window to attempt to change Wrexham's fortunes. In terms of the backstage staff, he brought in former Port Vale boss Martin Foyle as first-team coach and several members of staff were told that they had no future at The Racecourse. With the new players introduced Wrexham went a run of six matches unbeaten, which included victories against promotion candidates Darlington and Milton Keynes Dons and a 0–0 draw against Peterborough United. However, in the final months of the season many of Little's new players had become injured and Wrexham suffered several defeats against fellow strugglers in the league and were also defeated 3–0 in a derby match against Shrewsbury Town. Wrexham were finally relegated following a 2–0 defeat away at Hereford United, ending the club's 87 year stay in the Football League.
The 2008–2009 season started well, with a 5–0 home victory against Stevenage Borough, however a run of poor results followed, with Wrexham being left in the mid-table battle, only four points above the relegation zone and only keeping two clean sheets all season. Following a 3–0 home defeat against Rushden and Diamonds, and fans calling for his dismissal, Little left Wrexham by mutual consent. Since then, Dean Saunders has taken over the management of Wrexham, with his first game against Forest Green Rovers ending in a victory. Wrexham's first full season in the Conference National ended in a disappointing 10th place. The following year, 2009–10, ended in a similar fashion with Wrexham finishing in 11th position, well off the pace of the promotion battle.
In March 2011 the ownership of the club became subject to 2 bids: one from Wrexham Supporters' Trust and another from local businesswoman Stephanie Booth. Wrexham's MP and AM indicated that they would prefer Wrexham Supporters' Trust to secure the bid. A third bid later came in, but after WST and Booth came to an agreement, their bid was then reaccepted.
In April 2011, the club were served with a winding up order from HMRC, with an unpaid tax bill of just under £200k. The team finished the 2010–11 season in 4th place, qualifying for a play-off spot.
On the 5 May 2011 Wrexham played their first play-off game against Luton Town at home: Wrexham were 3–0 down in the first half and failed to score in the second half. 
On the 10 May 2011 Wrexham played their second play-off game: Wrexham went 1–0 up after Andy Mangan scored in the 8th minute, Gareth Taylor later missed a penalty, Luton went on to win 5–1 on aggregate. Over 800 Wrexham fans were present at Kenilworth Road.
Wrexham FC were invited back into the Welsh Cup after 16 years. Wrexham FC enter the third round and their first game is at home to Airbus UK Broughton FC, which is scheduled to be played on 3/4 December 2011.
The Racecourse is situated on the Mold Road, which is the main road heading into Wrexham, and is opposite the residential area of Maesgwyn, next to Glyndŵr University; who owns the freehold to the stadium.
According to the Guinness book of records, the Racecourse Ground (Welsh: Y Cae Râs) is the oldest international football stadium in the world that is still in use. It was the venue when Wales famously beat England 4–1 in the Home Nations Tournament. The Wrexham first team play their home fixtures in all competitions at the Racecourse. The Racecourse presently has a capacity of approximately 10,500 all-seated, making it the second largest stadium in the Conference National, behind Darlington F.C.. Construction of the proposed new Kop stand is yet to commence, but it shall significantly further increase the capacity of the stadium.
The Racecourse is used by Welsh teams such as Bangor City for their qualifying matches in the UEFA Cup and UEFA Champions League, which they qualify for through the Welsh Premier League and the Welsh Cup. It was the venue for the Bangor City vs FC Midtjylland match in 2008, which resulted in a resounding 6–1 victory for the Danish team.
The Racecourse is made up of four stands, one of which, the terraced Kop, is closed as it is awaiting demolition following a failed health & safety test in 2008. The Kop stand is located behind the goal at the 'town end' of the ground, and development is planned for a 5,800 all seater stand, with the intention to include a bar & shops and also a retractable stage so that the Racecourse will be able to stage events such as concerts, basketball games, boxing matches and conferences. Behind the Kop there will be multi-story flats which will provide accommodation to the University next door. The Eric Roberts Stand, named after a local builder, is located behind the goal nearest to the A483. It was traditionally used by away fans, in-order to implement crowd segregation for football matches; is said by many visiting fans to have one of the best views of action in all of the lower leagues. From the 2008–2009 season, away fans have been allocated 600 seats in the Yale stand, and the Eric Roberts stand has been allocated to the home fans, where it is home to the 12th Man supporters group. It is where the majority of Wrexham fans display their own Wrexham and Welsh Flags, and it is known to be the most atmospheric part of the ground. The Yale Stand houses the directors box, changing rooms and club offices, and is located behind the dugout. It is seen by many as the family stand and has a capacity of 5,500 which alone holds more fans than Wrexham's rivals Chester City's entire ground. The Mold Road Stand built in 1999 (formerly Pryce Griffiths Stand), is the most notable stand to most away fans, because of the unusual shape of the cantilever roof. It contains a Nando's sponsored family area.
All of the seats in the stadium are red, the exception being approximately 600 bi-laterally in the upper Yale Stand which are a blue, and the word 'Wrexham' spelt out in white letters in the Mold Road Stand.
The Racecourse is not only used for footballing purposes, as the Llanelli Scarlets and Ospreys use it to train. Crusaders Rugby League used the Racecourse Ground for their opening European Super League XV clash against reigning champions Leeds Rhinos and moved to Wrexham for the 2009–10 season.
Wrexham's current training ground is the purpose-built Colliers Park, which is situated on Chester Road, Gresford, approximately 2 miles from the Racecourse, close to the site of the old Gresford Colliery. When the construction had been completed it was officially opened in June 1997, at a building cost of £750,000. It is widely regarded in British football to be one of the best training grounds outside of the top flight and one of the best never to have been used by a top flight team. The England national team, Barcelona, Rangers and the Wales national team have all used it for training purposes. Colliers Park continues to be improved, a running hill, as well as all-weather pitches and a small stand have been constructed since the facilities opened in 1997. Colliers Park is now owned by Glyndwr University as part of their purchase of the Racecourse Ground assets.
- Football League Third Division - Champions: 1977–78 (third tier)
- Football League Fourth Division - Runners-Up: 1969–70 (fourth tier)
- Football League Division Three - Runners-Up: 1992–93 (fourth tier)
- Football League Fourth Division - Promoted (3rd): 1961–62 (fourth tier)
- Football League Division Three - Promoted (3rd): 2002–03 (fourth tier)
- Football League Trophy - Winners: 2004–05
- Welsh Cup - Winners: 23 times, runner-up 22 times
- FAW Premier Cup - Winners: 1996–97, 1997–98, 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2002–03, 2003–04
- FA Cup - QF: 1973–74, 1977–78, 1996–97
- Football League Cup - QF: 1960–61, 1977–78
- European Cup Winners' Cup - QF: 1975–76
- Most league goals in a season - 44 Tommy Bamford (1933–34)
- Most league goals in total - 175 Tommy Bamford (1928–34)
- Most league appearances - 592 Arfon Griffiths (1959–61, 1962–79)
- Most capped player - Joey Jones, 72 for Wales
- Most caps while at Wrexham - Dai Davies - 28 for Wales
- Oldest player - Billy Lot Jones - aged 46 v Tranmere Rovers
- Youngest player - Ken Roberts - aged 15 years and 158 days v Bradford Park Avenue
- Attendance - 34,445 v Manchester United, FA Cup R4, 26/01/1957
- League Attendance - 23,451 v Peterborough United, 01/05/1978
- Average attendance - 11,651, 1977/78 season.
- Highest league win - 10–1 v Hartlepool United, 03/03/1962 (Notable for the first occasion of 3 hat tricks in a single football league game)
- Worst league defeat - 0–9 v Brentford
- Biggest cup win - 6–0 v Charlton Ath. 05/01/1980 FA Cup R3
- Most games won in a row - 10, 05/04/2003 - 08/05/2003
- Most games without losing - 20, 25/01/1902 - 11/11/1902
- Highest transfer received - £800,000 for Bryan Hughes, Birmingham City 1997
- Highest transfer fee paid - £212,000 for Joey Jones, Liverpool 1978
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
No. Position Player 2 DF Curtis Obeng 3 DF Neil Ashton 4 DF Mark Creighton 6 MF Jay Harris 7 MF Adrian Cieslewicz 8 MF Lee Fowler 9 FW Danny Wright 10 FW Jake Speight 11 FW Andy Morrell 12 MF Dean Keates 13 GK Danny Ward 14 DF Leon Clowes 15 DF Stephen Tomassen 16 DF Johnny Hunt 17 MF Glen Little 18 MF Jamie Tolley 19 FW Obi Anoruo No. Position Player 20 MF Nathaniel Knight-Percival 21 GK Chris Maxwell 22 DF Declan Walker 23 DF Chris Westwood 24 FW Mathias Pogba 25 GK Joslain Mayebi 26 MF Joe Clarke 32 MF Jamie Morton 33 FW Louis Moss 34 DF Anthony Stephens 35 DF Rob Salathiel 36 MF Matty Owen 37 FW Jay Colbeck - FW Max Fargin - MF Ed Marsh - FW Andy Pasco
Out on loan
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
No. Position Player 30 FW Nicholas Rushton (on loan to Newtown) 31 DF Max Penk (on loan to Newtown)
- Andy Morrell - Player/Manager
- Billy Barr -(Caretaker) Assistant Manager / First Team Coach
- Joey Jones - Coach
- Michael Oakes - Goalkeeper Coach
- Ritson Lloyd - Physio
- President: Arfon Griffiths MBE
- Chairman: Ian Roberts
- Chief Executive:
- Company Secretary: Geoff Moss
- Senior Vice President: Neville Dickens
- Football Secretary & Webmaster: Geraint Parry
- Sales Manager:
- Football in the Community Officers: Jimmy Hunter & Lee Jones
- Safety Officer: Martin Bradley
- Head Groundsman: Paul Challinor
Notable former players
- See also Category:Wrexham F.C. players
Players with international caps in bold.
Players with over 200 Football League appearances for Wrexham
Players with over 100 Football League appearances for Wrexham
Other Notable former players
Inclusion criteria: Attained international caps, went on to/previously played at a significantly higher level of football or is notable for a specific reason.
PFA Team of the Year
The following have been included in the PFA Team of the Year whilst playing for Wrexham :
- 1975 Arfon Griffiths (Third Division)
- 1977 Arfon Griffiths, Billy Ashcroft (Third Division)
- 1978 Dai Davies, Mickey Thomas, Bobby Shinton, Dixie McNeil (Third Division)
- 1989 Joey Jones, Kevin Russell (Fourth Division)
- 1992 Phil Hardy (Fourth Division)
- 1993 Gareth Owen (Fourth Division)
- 1995 Gary Bennett (Second Division)
- 1996 Karl Connolly , Bryan Hughes (Second Division)
- 2003 Carlos Edwards, Andy Morrell (Third Division)
- 2004 Carlos Edwards (Second Division)
- 2006 Mark Jones (League 2)
Managers since joining the league
- Ted Robinson (1921–25)
- Charlie Hewitt (1925–29)
- Jack Baynes (1929–31)
- Ernest Blackburn (1932–36)
- Jimmy Logan (1937–38)
- Arthur Cowell (1938)
- Tom Morgan (1938–40)
- Tom Williams (1940–49)
- Les McDowall (1949–50)
- Peter Jackson (1950–54)
- Cliff Lloyd (1954–57)
- John Love (1957–59)
- Billy Morris (1960–61)
- Ken Barnes (1961–65)
- Billy Morris (1965–66)
- Jack Rowley (1966–67)
- Alvan Williams (1967–68)
- John Neal (1968–77)
- Arfon Griffiths (1977–81)
- Mel Sutton (1981–82)
- Bobby Roberts (footballer) (1982–85)
- Dixie McNeil (1985–89)
- Brian Flynn (1989–2001)
- Joey Jones (2001)
- Denis Smith (2001–2007)
- Brian Carey (Jan 2007–Nov 2007)
- Brian Little (2007–2008)
- Brian Carey & Martin Foyle (2008)
- Dean Saunders (Oct 2008–Sep 2011)
- Andy Morrell (Oct 2011-Present)
Wrexham has developed a reputation as being one of the biggest giant-killers in professional British football. The Racecourse has been the venue for some of the biggest giant-killings in cup competitions. The most notable of these victories was a 1–0 victory against Portuguese giants FC Porto at The Racecourse, with the goal coming from Jim Steel, other victories have happened against many top flight teams (at the time), such as:
- Arsenal FC 2–1, FA Cup
- Birmingham City FC 1–3, FA Cup
- Bristol City 3-0, FA Cup, 1-0 League Cup
- FC Porto 1–0, Eu ropean Cup Winners Cup
- FC Zurich 2–1, European Cup Winners Cup
- Ipswich Town FC 2–1, FA Cup
- Middlesbrough FC 2–1, FA Cup
- Newcastle United 4–1, FA Cup
- Nottingham Forest 1-3, FA Cup
- Sunderland 1-0, FA Cup
- Tottenham Hotspur 2–3 League Cup
- West Ham United FC 1–0 FA Cup, 1981 and 1997
Chester FC: Wrexham's main rival was Chester City and is now Chester F.C., as the towns are just 12 miles apart on opposite sides of the England-Wales border and it is one of the most competitive derbies in the lower leagues. They met on 74 occasions in the league, Wrexham edging the head-to-head with 36 victories against Chester's 22. Wrexham had not lost to Chester at home in the league since 1977–78, when Chester were the only team to win at the Racecourse in that promotion season, with the match played in front of some 19,000 fans. Games between the two are usually moved to Sunday, with a 12:00 kick off, minimising time for the consumption of alcohol and the risk of the two sets of supporters clashing. The last meeting between the two teams was on 27 September 2009, the match played in front of almost 6,000 fans and ending in a 0–0 draw. The sides are yet to meet since Chester re-formed as a phoenix club, as the clubs are two divisions apart at present and are yet to meet in a cup competition.
Shrewsbury Town: Wrexham's next nearest rivals are Shrewsbury Town, who are 35 miles to the south. This rivalry is also based upon the English-Welsh divide as well as geographical proximity, as both towns are situated near the England-Wales border. The rivalry intensified when Wrexham were responsible for condemning Shrewsbury to relegation to the Conference National in the 2002–03 season, following a 2–1 at the Gay Meadow, with goals from Andy Morrell and a 90th minute winner from Lee Jones, the result also all but promoted Wrexham to Division Two (now League One). Fixtures between these two teams have also been moved to a 12:00 kick-off on a Sunday to avoid confrontation between the two sets of supporters. In recent seasons, Shrewsbury have had the better results, although Wrexham did win 1–0 in the 2006–07 season, and therefore became the last ever team to win at the Gay Meadow, including Shrewsbury, with the goal scored by Michael Proctor. In the most recent meeting between the two teams, in Wrexham's first visit to the New Meadow, Shrewsbury won 3–0 against an injury-ravaged team, with the goals coming from Kevin McIntyre, Darren Moss and James Constable this more or less confirmed Wrexham's fate of relegation to the Conference National, which was finally confirmed after losing 2–0 at Hereford United.
Tranmere Rovers: Wrexham also have a long history of rivalry with Tranmere Rovers. This is due to their proximity (only 22 miles separate the two) and a long history of antagonism between the fans. The last time these two met was in 2006. Merseyside, North Wales and Cheshire police expected trouble after a text message was tracked from one Tranmere fan to another quoting "Wrexham...they're bringing 200 or more can't wait". In all 32 Tranmere Rovers fans were charged with football hooliganism.
Welsh Derbies: Derbies with fellow Welsh teams Cardiff City and Swansea City are rare these days as they are 3 leagues above Wrexham, but they used to be fierce affairs due the North/South Wales divide. However, Newport County were promoted to the Conference Premier for the 2010–11 season hence providing Wrexham with a Welsh derby.
Others: Some less significant local derbies that Wrexham share are with Crewe Alexandra, Walsall and more recently Altrincham FC. Large away followings can also be expected to and from Bury F.C., Rochdale, Stockport County and Hereford United because of the geographical proximity between the clubs.
- The Wrexham Supporters Trust
- Wrexham Supporters Association
- Wrexham Supporters Federation
- Buckley & District Reds, were formed in 2006 when 29 people attended the very first meeting which was held at the Hope & Anchor pub in Buckley. By June in 2007 they had 110 members with members living as far as London and Glasgow.
- The Deeside Reds formed in 2008, The Deeside Reds are the latest supporters group. This group of fans come from the Connah's Quay, Shotton and Queensferry areas of Flintshire.
- Holywell & district Reds
- Kings mill Reds
- London Reds, The London Reds/Cochion Llundain was formed in 1993 after the promotion game in Northampton. Many Wrexham fans before this were travelling south not north on the train. It includes not only Wrexham supporters from London but from all over the South-East area.
- Manchester Reds, The Manchester Reds were founded in November 1997.
- Mold & District Reds, The Mold & District Reds were formed in May 2007.
- Rhos Reds, Formed in 2006 the group has grown steadily and now has over 80 members.
- The Shropshire Reds Formed in 1994 with its first meeting held in Shrewsbury attended by just 21 recruits, and now membership stands at about 250, being one of the largest supporters group.
- Tartan Reds Formed in the 90's for Wrexham fans living and working in Scotland
- The 12th Man Formed to created extra support and noise for the 2007–08 season in an attempt to try to get the fans more involved in the game and to support the players on the field. They wear club colours and sit near the away supporters in an attempt to create as much atmosphere as possible. It is recognised by the club and has a new flag, which is a large-scale version of the Wrexham home shirt.
- Wrexham Supporters Football Club Originally formed in 2006, they travel the country facing other supporters of clubs in the North West.
Wrex the Dragon is the official team mascot of Wrexham. The mascot Wrex the dragon (along with the team nickname "The Dragons"), was introduced in 2001/02 by the Commercial manager following a ballot of fans to help increase sponsorship and promote the clubs Welsh image whilst also providing a more unique nickname as Bristol City, Swindon Town and Cheltenham Town also use the nickname of 'The Robins'. 'Wrex' wears a red face and Wrexham F.C. shirt wearing the numbers "1873" on his back, as this is the year the Wrexham F.C. was officially founded, although originally founded in 1872. Previous mascot Rockin' Robin was also famous for having a wife called Tina Turfit (plus a son, Robinson) and for being able to ride a bike around the ground and pitch which he did regularly getting him into trouble with manager Brian Flynn. Rockin Robin was also sent off by the referee in the Wrexham vs. Wycombe Wanderers game.
Wrexham related books
- Wrexham FC 1872–1950 by Peter Jones and Gareth Davies
- Wrexham FC 1950–2000 by Peter Jones and Gareth Davies
- Wrexham - A Complete Record 1872 - 1992 by Peter Jones
- Wrexham; The European era by Peter Jones
- Wrexham FC, An A-Z history by Dean Hayes
- The Racecourse Robins from Adams to Youds by Peter Jones and Gareth Davies
- The Giant Killers; a Wrexham fan's view by Richard Partington
- Wrexham Football Club Pen-Portraits by Don Meredith
The Wrexham football team plays a significant role in the 1994 Peter Davies book Twenty Two Foreigners in Funny Shorts which was written for the World Cup in the U.S. It also profiles the Robins' ongoing and ultimately successful promotion effort.
- ^ "Wrexham appoint Andy Morrell as caretaker manager". BBC Sport. 2011-09-23. http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/15035666.stm. Retrieved 2011-09-23.
- ^ "Guinness cheers Racecourse with official record". Daily Post North Wales. 2008–06–18. http://www.dailypost.co.uk/sport-news/wrexham-fc/2008/06/18/guinness-cheers-racecourse-with-official-record-55578-21092141/. Retrieved 2010–09–22.
- ^ "The History Of Wales' Oldest Team". Wrexham AFC. 19 July 2009. http://www.wrexhamafc.co.uk/page/History/0,,10311~1062217,00.html. Retrieved 17 February 2010.
- ^ "1877 Welsh Cup Action". The Story of Welsh Football: 1877–1879. www.wrexham.gov.uk. http://www.wrexham.gov.uk/english/heritage/welsh_football/1877_1879.htm#y1877_2. Retrieved 24 February 2010.
- ^ Davies, Gareth; Garland, Ian (1991). Who's Who of Welsh International Soccer Players. Bridge Books. p. 38. ISBN 1-8724-2411-2.
- ^ Davies, Gareth; Garland, Ian (1991). Who's Who of Welsh International Soccer Players. Bridge Books. p. 125. ISBN 1-8724-2411-2.
- ^ SUPPORTERS DIRECT REPORT ON WREXHAM TAKEOVER BACKED BY TOWN AM AND MP - Supporters Direct
- ^ "Blueprint for Racecourse Development" wrexhamafc.co.uk Retrieved on 1 January 2008
- ^ "Profiles". Wrexham F.C.. http://www.wrexhamafc.premiumtv.co.uk/page/ProfilesDetail/0,,10311,00.html. Retrieved 2008–06–24.
- ^ "Wrexham 1–0 Cambridge Utd". BBC Spoirt. 2011–08–13. http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/w/wrexham/live_text/default.stm. Retrieved 2011–08–13.
- Wrexham F.C. on BBC Sport:
- Official website
- Wrexham Supporters Trust
- RedPassion Fansite and Forum
- Wrexham FC Supporters' Association - Founded 1926
Wrexham Football Club OverviewManagers · Players · Seasons · All articles Ground Matches2005 Football League Trophy Final Seasons2010–11 Football in Wales National teams League systemWelsh Premier League · Cymru Alliance · Welsh Football League (Div 1 · Div 2 · Div 3) · Welsh National League · Welsh Alliance League · Mid Wales League · Mid Wales South League · Montgomeryshire League · South Wales Amateur League · South Wales Senior League · Gwent County League · Neath & District League · Gwynedd League · Clwyd League · Anglesey League Domestic cupsList of clubs · Venues (Listed by capacity) · Competitions Football League members from WalesCurrent and former members of the Football League Premier League Football League Football ConferenceNewport County · Wrexham Western Football League Defunct Former Football League clubsAberdare Athletic (1921–27) · Accrington (1888–93) · Accrington Stanley (1921–62) · Aldershot (1932–92) · Ashington (1921–29) · Barrow (1921–72) · Bootle (1892–93) · Boston United (2002–07) · Bradford Park Avenue (1908–70) · Burton Swifts (1892–1901) · Burton United (1901–07) · Burton Wanderers (1894–97) · Cambridge United (1970–2005) · Chester City (1931–2000, 2004–2009) · Darlington (1921–89, 1990–2010) · Darwen (1891–99) · Durham City (1921–28) · Gainsborough Trinity (1896–1912) · Gateshead (1930–60) · Glossop North End (1898–1915) · Grimsby Town (1892–1910, 1911–2010) · Halifax Town (1921–1993, 1998–2002) · Kidderminster Harriers (2000–05) · Leeds City (1905–19) · Lincoln City (1892–1908, 1909–1911, 1912–1920, 1921–1987, 1988–2011) · Loughborough (1895–1900) · Luton Town (1897–1900, 1920–2009) · Maidstone United (1989–92) · Mansfield Town (1931–2008) · Merthyr Town (1920–30) · Middlesbrough Ironopolis (1893–94) · Nelson (1921–31) · New Brighton (1923–51) · New Brighton Tower (1898–1901) · Newport County (1920–31, 1932–88) · Northwich Victoria (1892–94) · Rotherham County (1919–25) · Rotherham Town (1893–96) · Rushden & Diamonds (2001–06) · Scarborough (1987–99) · South Shields (1919–30) · Southport (1921–78) · Stalybridge Celtic (1921–23) · Stockport County (1900–2011) · Thames (1930–32) · Wigan Borough (1921–31) · Wimbledon (1977–2004) · Workington (1951–77) · Wrexham (1921–2008) · York City (1929–2004)
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Wrexham — County Borough Verwaltungssitz Wrexham Fläche 498 km² Einwohner 133.200 (2009) W … Deutsch Wikipedia
Wrexham — Vue du centre ville Les photos de la ville sur … Wikipédia en Français
Wrexham — [ reksəm], 1) Industriestadt in Nordostwales, Verwaltungssitz von 2); 40 600 Einwohner; katholischer Bischofssitz; Zentrum des nordwalisischen Kohlenbergbaugebietes; Stahl , Chemiefaser , pharmazeutische, Reifenindustrie, Maschinenbau. 2) … Universal-Lexikon
Wrexham — (spr. Reckshäm), Stadt in der Grafschaft Denbigh des englischen Fürstenthums Wales; Fabrikation von Flanell, Strumpf , Eisen u. Messingwaaren, Stückgießerei; 6800 Ew., im gesammten. Kirchspiel 15,000 Ew … Pierer's Universal-Lexikon
Wrexham — (spr. réxäm), Stadt (municipal borough) in Denbighshire (Wales), 18 km südwestlich von Chester, hat eine got. Kirche (1867 restauriert), eine Technische Schule, Freibibliothek, Kohlengruben, Lederfabrikation und (1901) 14,966 Einw … Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon
Wrexham — (spr. réxämm), Stadt in Wales, (1901) 14.966 E … Kleines Konversations-Lexikon
Wrexham — infobox UK place country = Wales welsh name=Wrecsam constituency welsh assembly=Wrexham, Clwyd South latitude=53.03 longitude= 2.98 official name= Wrexham unitary wales= Wrexham population= 63,084 (2001) lieutenancy wales= Clwyd constituency… … Wikipedia
Wrexham — ▪ Wales, United Kingdom Welsh Wrecsam town, Wrexham county borough, historic county of Denbighshire (Sir Ddinbych), Wales. It is an industrial centre, a market centre, and the principal town of northeastern Wales. The town s name is … Universalium
Wrexham — Ubicación de Wrexham en Gales. Wrexham (en galés: Wrecsam) es una autoridad unitaria situada en el extremo septentrional de Gales. Limita al noroccidente con los condados de Flintshire y Denbighshire. Al sur y al occidente con Cheshire, en… … Wikipedia Español
Wrexham — Original name in latin Wrexham Name in other language Reksamas, Reksem, Reksum, Rexam, Wrecsam, Wreksam, Wrexham, legseom, Рексем, Рексъм State code GB Continent/City Europe/London longitude 53.04664 latitude 2.99132 altitude 87 Population 43649… … Cities with a population over 1000 database