Shrewsbury Town F.C.


Shrewsbury Town F.C.

Football club infobox
clubname = Shrewsbury Town


fullname = Shrewsbury Town Football Club
nickname = Salop, The Shrews,
founded = 1886
ground = New Meadow , Shrewsbury
capacity = 9,875 [expansion to 12,500 planned - All Seated]
chairman = flagicon|England Roland Wycherley
manager = flagicon|England Paul Simpson
league = League Two
season = 2007–08
position = League Two, 18th
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pattern_la2=_trim|pattern_b2=_redsides|pattern_ra2=_trim
leftarm2=000000|body2=000000|rightarm2=000000|shorts2=000000|socks2=000000

Shrewsbury Town Football Club are an English football club currently playing in Football League Two, the fourth tier of English football. They have played in all of the bottom three rungs of the Football League in their various guises.

The club was promoted back to the Football League in 2004 at the first attempt, when they won the Conference playoff final. They had previously been relegated into the conference national from what was then called the Third Division "(fourth tier)" in 2003. In the 2006-07 season, they reached the first ever play-off final at the new Wembley Stadium, only to lose 3-1 to Bristol Rovers. They finished the 2007–08 season in 18th, drawing 1-1 on the final day with Rochdale.

The reserve squad play matches in the Central League Division One Central.

History

Early history

Shrewsbury Town were formed in May 1886, indirectly following the demise of the successful Castle Blues team. Despite being successful locally, the Blues were known as a rather rough team, eventually leading to their demise after several of their games were marred by on and off field violence. The new team hoped to be as successful as the Blues, but without the notoriety. Press reports of the time differ as to the exact date that the new club was formed, The Eddowes Shropshire Journal of 26 May1886 reported the birth of the club at the Lion Hotel, Wyle Cop, Shrewsbury. Meanwhile, the Shrewsbury Chronicle reported the club being formed at the Turf Hotel, Claremont Hill, Shrewsbury. It may be possible that both accounts are true, with an early get-together at the Lion being finalised at the Turf (or that the club was formed on a pub crawl!)

After playing friendlies and regional cup competitions for the first few seasons, Shrewsbury were founder members of the Shropshire & District League in 1890-91, later being admitted to the Birmingham & District League in 1895-96. Many of the teams Town faced in the early days have since faded into oblivion, however Shrewsbury were to meet 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 the early years playing at several locations across the town, most notably at Copthorne barracks to the west of the town.The club was to move to a piece of land situated on the edge of the town centre, within sight of the famous Shrewsbury Abbey, known locally as the Gay Meadow. Shrewsbury were to settle at this site and stay there for an eventual 97 years.

Shrewsbury’s Birmingham League days were mostly spent as a mid table side, with a few seasons challenging near the top of the table, and 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 ever, winning a league and cup treble. Shrewsbury were crowned league champions, scoring 111 goals in the process. In addition, the Welsh Cup was won following a replay, the team enjoyed a run in the FA Cup, and they were also winners of the Shropshire Senior Cup.

After a run of good seasons in the immediate post war years, Shrewsbury were admitted to the old Division 3 (North) of the Football League in 1950, after being crowned Midland League champions in 1949-50.

Football League history

Shrewsbury Town were elected to the Football League Division 3 North in 1950 following the decision to expand the league from 88 to 92 clubs. Shrewsbury were then promoted to the Third Division in 1958-59. They were to remain in the third tier for 15 years, eventually slipping back down to Division Four at the end of the 1973-74 season.

This era of Shrewsbury's history was probably best remembered for Arthur Rowley. He arrived at the club from Leicester City in 1958, becoming the club's first player/manager. During his playing and managerial career with Shrewsbury, he was to break Dixie Dean's goal-scoring record, scoring his 380th league goal against Bradford City at Valley Parade on April 291961. Retiring from playing in 1965 he remained as manager until July 1968, establishing Shrewsbury as a force to be reckoned with both in the Football League and FA Cup.

Shrewsbury were promoted back to the Third Division in 1974-75 as runners up, before another successful season in 1978-79, when they were crowned league champions under firstly Ritchie Barker and later Graham Turner. Over 14,000 fans packed Gay Meadow on May 171979 to see Shrewsbury seal promotion with a 2-1 win over Exeter City. In addition, the club had an exciting FA Cup run, which included a famous 2-0 win over Manchester City at Gay Meadow in the third round, eventually being beaten 3-1 at home by Wolverhampton Wanderers in a sixth round replay.

The most successful manager to take charge of Shrewsbury Town is Graham Turner, who won the Third Division Championship in 1978-79 - his first season in charge - and took the club into the Second Division for the very first time. They remained there for ten years against all the odds, although Turner departed for Aston Villa in 1984.

1980s & 1990s

The club enjoyed its greatest FA Cup run in 1981-82. The fifth round saw them face Ipswich Town for the second year in a row. (Ipswich previously winning 3-0 after a fifth round replay). Ipswich were, at the time, one of Europe's top teams. However a spirited performance from Shrewsbury saw them pull off a 2-0 win, with goals from Steve Cross and Jackie Keay. Following this famous win, Shrewsbury faced Leicester City at Filbert Street in the quarter final stage. With the game 2-2 at half time, Shrewsbury were potentially 45 minutes away from a semi-final appearance, but the Leicester side, including a young Gary Lineker, eventually ran out 5-2 winners.

The 1980s are seen as the 'golden age' for Shrewsbury Town. Often seen as a small club punching above their weight, many 'big name' teams were to be defeated in the league by Shrewsbury, whose period in the old Second Division coincided with some of the current Premiership clubs' darkest days. During the 1980s, the likes of Fulham, Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers and even Chelsea suffered league defeats by Shrewsbury Town. Middlesbrough F.C. were famously defeated at Gay Meadow at the end of the 1985-86 season, with Shrewsbury winning 2-1, securing their league safety and relegating Middlesbrough, who sadly, would later go out of business and almost out of existence. The match was marred by crowd violence from angry Middlesbrough fans, with many Teessiders later having to return to Shrewsbury for court appearances.

It was during the early to mid 1980s that the club enjoyed it's most successful Football League run. After 'finding their feet' in the early years, the club was to enjoy a successful number of seasons between 1982/83 and 1984/85, where they were to finish no lower than ninth in the League. Despite still being smaller than many of the clubs in the league, Shrewsbury often survived through the sale of players, with some of the notable names to have played for Shrewsbury including Steve Ogrizovic, David Moyes, John McGinlay and Bernard McNally.

1990s

After a couple of relegation scares, Shrewsbury's Second Division life ended at the end of the 1988-89 season after ten years, after a season marred by poor club discipline. As the 1990s dawned, the club were unable to make a quick return to the Second Division, spending the early 1990s as a mid-table side. Whilst in the Third Division, on 22 December1990, Gary Shaw scored the quickest Town hat trick - 4 minutes and 32 seconds from first goal to last - against Bradford City at Valley Parade. At the end of the 1991-92 season, just three years after relegation to the Third Division, the club was relegated to the Fourth Division — the first time since 1975 that Shrewsbury would be in the fourth tier.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)" for three seasons. Unfortunately, Shrewsbury were not to rise any further up the Football League, remaining as a mid-table team before slipping back down again at the end of the 1996-97 season - after a drastic loss of form in the final weeks of a season which had begun with a promotion challenge on the cards.

The 1990s era also saw Shrewsbury make their first appearance at Wembley as finalists in the 1996 Auto Windscreens Shield final (now known as the Johnstone's Paint Trophy). However, the day was to be a disappointment, a below-par Shrewsbury team losing 2-1 to Rotherham United; Nigel Jemson, a player who would later feature prominently in Shrewsbury's history, grabbing both Millers goals.

The Wembley final is often seen as marking the beginning of the end for Fred Davies, who was sacked at the end of the club's 1996-97 relegation season. By this time, Shrewsbury were to become less of a force in the Football League, heading towards a rather stale period in their history. Amongst other things, dwindling crowds meant Shrewsbury didn't have the finances to compete with their rivals, and it was in this backdrop that Jake King arrived, following a successful reign at local rivals Telford United.A successful Shrewsbury player during the 1980s, King was well regarded by fans, and the recently voted club chairman, local businessman Roland Wycherley. For Wycherley, the immediate priority was to assure Shrewsbury's financial future, before increasing the club's profile and finally to ensure the club's move to a new ground. However, with this some years in the future, Jake King was forced to work as best he could on one of the smallest playing budgets in the league. He worked tirelessly with the club's youth set-up, also bringing in some promising non-league players. However, with the pick of the transfer market finding better offers elsewhere, Shrewsbury were to see out the 1990s in mediocre fashion.

Kevin Ratcliffe era

In the 1999-2000 season, Shrewsbury endured a poor season, with the manager, former Town player Jake King being sacked in November as the club flirted with relegation. Former Everton captain and Welsh international Kevin Ratcliffe was appointed manager, and was able to steer the club from relegation on the final day of the 1999-2000 season. With the club facing relegation to the Conference, a 2-1 victory away to Exeter City was enough to keep the club in the league, after rivals Carlisle United and Chester City both lost, Chester being relegated.

After Shrewsbury's "Great Escape", Ratcliffe worked on improving the Shrewsbury side. Former youth team and reserve player Luke Rodgers emerged as a regular goal-scorer, and with many 'big names' arriving at Shrewsbury, the team looked to be on the up, narrowly missing out on the 2001-02 league playoffs despite gaining 70 points.

At the start of the 2002-03 season, Shrewsbury looked to be building on the previous season and were seen to be a side on the up, with a youthful team strengthened by established names such as Ian Woan, Nigel Jemson and Mark Atkins. However, despite an encouraging start to the season, league form soon began to suffer, including humiliating away defeats to Boston United, Rushden & Diamonds and Cambridge United, Town conceding an embarrassing aggregate of 16 goals across the three matches as they remained in the bottom half of the table.

A sideshow to the poor league form was an impressive FA Cup run, which temporarily took thoughts back to more successful days. After easily dispatching non-league sides Stafford Rangers and Barrow A.F.C., Shrewsbury were drawn at home to high-flyers Everton in the third round. A packed Gay Meadow saw Town emerge unlikely winners in front of 7,800.A first half free kick from Nigel Jemson gave Town the lead at the interval, however an equaliser from Niclas Alexandersson appeared to send the tie to a replay at Goodison Park. However, with minutes left, an innocuous looking free kick was well taken by Ian Woan, Jemson heading in the cross to give Town a famous 2-1 victory. For Shrewsbury fans, a notable point from this match was the performance of Shrewsbury's Peter Wilding. A former Sunday League defender from the local leagues, Wilding had the game of his life as he kept Wayne Rooney well and truly marked, Rooney having an awful match at the Meadow. Wilding was also one of the names who was to escape intense criticism later in the season.

Chelsea were the fourth round visitors, in a televised match on BBC's Match of the Day. A plucky Town side lost 4-0, with Gianfranco Zola easily the man of the match.

A near capacity crowd of 7,950 fans turned up for the Chelsea game, but from then on the league form seemingly disappeared with the glory hunters. The team were to win just twice in the league thereafter, with many fans questioning the team's desire and commitment. Jemson, a player who split opinions amongst Shrewsbury supporters was a scapegoat, (Jemson was once notably caught up in an argument mid-match with an irate Shrewsbury fan), with Ian Woan another player who was often singled out for criticism, being booed off the field after being substituted in his final Shrewsbury appearance. That was against Carlisle United, a 3-2 defeat relegating Shrewsbury. Seven points adrift at the bottom and having conceded 92 goals, a season that had promised much had left the club contemplating the end of their 53 year stay 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.

Conference days

After some speculation, Northwich Victoria manager Jimmy Quinn was appointed Shrewsbury manager in May 2003, with the aim of getting Shrewsbury promoted back to the Football League at the first attempt. For the first time in many years, Shrewsbury were seen as the 'big fish' in the league, with many experts predicting a league victory. 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.

On the field, a new-look Shrewsbury side seemed to have the desire that the previous side lacked, but at times lacked consistency. Thrilling matches, such as a 4-1 home victory over Hereford United, were tempered by some embarrassing results, including a 5-0 away defeat to Dagenham & Redbridge and two away defeats to local rivals Telford United, both in the league and the FA Trophy. However, as the season went on, the side were able to grind out some decent results. The league title went to Chester City, but with 74 points, Shrewsbury finished third in the league, comfortably qualifying for the league playoffs, the first time the club had ever qualified for a playoff competition.

In the semi-finals, Shrewsbury faced Barnet over two legs. The opening leg at Underhill saw Shrewsbury lose 2-1, with Barnet scoring an injury time winner. Over 7,000 saw the return match at Gay Meadow, a match that was televised live on Sky Sports. Shrewsbury drew level on aggregate following a Luke Rodgers penalty. With the teams level after extra-time, Scott Howie saved a penalty from Barnet's Simon Clist, and Darren Moss scored the winning penalty, setting Shrewsbury for the Conference playoff final against Aldershot Town, at the neutral venue of the Britannia Stadium, home of Stoke City.

The final against Aldershot, on Sunday 16 May 2004 saw 19,216 fans visit the Britannia Stadium, two third of those being Shrewsbury fans making the short journey up the A53. In glorious sunny weather, the two teams played out a rather dull 1-1 draw, and after both teams blew their chance to win the match in injury time, the game went to penalties.

Striker Luke Rodgers, seemingly a banker to score a penalty stepped up, but inexplicably blasted his shot high over the bar. With Shrewsbury fans anxiously looking on, Shrewsbury goalkeeper Scott Howie earned himself a place in Shrewsbury folklore as he saved three consecutive Aldershot penalties. Shrewsbury converted their remaining penalties, defender Trevor Challis scored the winning penalty and began the celebrations, which began at Stoke, and continued in Shrewsbury for weeks. It may not have been glorious, but by sheer hard work, Shrewsbury were back in the Football League.

For many supporters, the Conference season splits opinion. Many remember it as somewhat of an exciting 'adventure', one of the few seasons in recent years where Shrewsbury have been one of the bigger teams in the league, plus a memorable final victory. Others however, whilst grateful of the success, see the Conference season as something of an embarrassment, feeling that the club should never have been relegated in the first place.

Return to Football League

Unfortunately for Shrewsbury, the optimism from the play-off final victory soon evaporated. An opening day 1-0 defeat to Lincoln City was an indicator of what was to come, as Shrewsbury were to flirt with the relegation places and were defeated in the FA Cup first round by Histon. In the eyes of most fans, Jimmy Quinn was not up to the job, and departed after just 14 league games, being replaced by former Preston manager Gary Peters. Peters came to Gay Meadow with a modest but at the same time impressive track record, including a spell as Preston manager during the mid 1990s, during which he signed David Beckham as a loan player. After nearly saving Exeter City from relegation in 2002-03, he resigned and was working as a scout for Everton before taking up the Shrewsbury job.

With the club seemingly on a downward spiral back to the Conference, Peters was able to stem the slide, and preserved Shrewsbury's football league status in the 2004-05 Coca-Cola League Two campaign. Since, Peters has looked to strengthen the side, transforming the side from one that was favourites for relegation in 2004-05, to one that are seen as realistic promotion candidates. Many pundits saw Shrewsbury as relegation favourites in the 2005-06 season, but despite a poor start, Peters was able to guide the team to a tenth place finish, narrowly missing the play-offs.

Off the field, Shrewsbury, for so long one of the smaller, least funded teams in the league, had cause to look to the future with optimism. The Shrewsbury Town board, headed by Roland Wycherley, was starting to see their policy of sound financial management pay off, with the club more solvent than many of its rivals.Fact|date=August 2007 The recent FA cup run, subsequent fall-out from the Ratcliffe era and the solitary season in the Conference had galvanised local support, and attendances were on the increase.

And finally, after a drawn-out, and sometimes bitter planning process stretching as far back as 1999, Shrewsbury's plans to move ground came to fruition, as Wycherly ceremoniously cut the first sod of soil at the New Meadow in the summer of 2006.

Despite the departure of talented young goalkeeper Joe Hart to Manchester City, Shrewsbury entered the 2006-07 season as promotion hopefuls in their final year at Gay Meadow. However the home ground was to wreak havoc with the opening part of Shrewsbury's season, poor weather leading to the ground being flooded and several matches being called off. With several matches in hand due to the cancellations, the club were as low as 16th in the table by February 2007, but with the team going on an impressive 14 match unbeaten run, they were in play-off contention by the end of the season.

Following a 2-2 draw against Grimsby Town in the final League match to be held at Gay Meadow, Shrewsbury finished in seventh place and thus qualified for the play-offs. Shrewsbury faced Milton Keynes Dons over two legs, following a goalless draw at the Gay Meadow, they beat MK Dons 2-1 on their return fixture at the National Hockey Stadium, thus winning 2-1 on aggregate.

The team faced Bristol Rovers in the League Two play-off final on May 26 2007 at the new Wembley Stadium. However, despite an early goal, Bristol Rovers were strong opponents and hit back with two first half goals. A late Sammy Igoe goal made it 3-1 to Bristol Rovers, sealing their victory. [cite web | title=Bristol Rovers 3-1 Shrewsbury | work=BBC Sport | url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_div_3/6686951.stm | accessdate=August 29 | accessyear=2007 ]

The club moved to the New Meadow stadium for the 2007-08 season. On 3 March 2008 manager Gary Peters left the club by mutual consent. Paul Simpson was appointed as the new manager on a 3 year contract on 12 March. On 21 July the club announced that it had secured a deal with kit manufacturer Prostar for the naming rights of the stadium. Therefore "The New Stadium" is now called "The Prostar Stadium".

2008–09

The 2008–09 season started on August 9, 2008 with Shrewsbury winning 4-0 against Macclesfield Town in the opening game at the Prostar Stadium. Shane Cansdell-Sheriff, Grant Holt and Graham Coughlan all found the net on their debuts for Shrewsbury, with Dave Hibbert notching the fourth goal. Shrewsbury then fell out the League Cup at the first hurdle against Carlisle United 1–0 at the Prostar Stadium. Shrewsbury then went on to claim 1-0 victories against Exeter City and Aldershot, with Paul Murray and Grant Holt being the scorers respectively. Towns 100% league record was dropped in the next game against Notts County after a 2-2 draw with Dave Hibbert and Michael Symes equalising twice for Shrewsbury. Shrewsbury Town then played their first Johnstone Paint Trophy match against Exeter City, where they ran out 2-1 winners with goals from Kevin McIntyre and a last minute winner from captain Ben Davies. Shrewsbury Towns first league defeat of season was 1-0 away to club rivals Morecambe. Town quickly rebounded the following week hitting Gillingham for 7, in a brilliant display, with set pieces proving to be vital. Towns next game was away to local rivals Chester City, where town had to settle for a 1-1 draw thanks to a Grant Holt penalty. Shrewsbury them continued their 100% home league record still without conceeding a goal against Bradford City. Town captain Ben Davies opened the scoring and a first Shrewsbury goal for Richard Walker completed the 2-0 victory over the Bantams. This continued the excellent defensive form of Shrewsbury, who have yet conceeded a home league goal. Shrewsbury's next game was a trip to league leaders Wycombe Wanderers in the second round of the Johnstone Paint Trophy, who had only conceeded 3 goals in the league. Shrewsbury won the tie 7-0, with record signing Grant Holt netting 5 goals in the game, his first ever hat-trick. Kevin McIntyre, and Shane Cansdell-Sheriff scored the other two, as Town won 7-0 twice, in 24 days. On the 11/10/08, Shrewsbury played Port Vale in the Coca Cola League two game. The Lost 2-1 with a very dodgy goal in the last few minutes as the town keeper Luke daniels has a boot and studs in the face.

Club colours

Football kit box
align = left
pattern_la = _white_stripes
pattern_b = _whitestripes3
pattern_ra = _white_stripes
leftarm = 0000AA
body = 0000AA
rightarm = 0000AA
shorts = FFFFFF
socks = FFFFFF
title = Home colours,
1890s.
Football kit box
align = right
pattern_la = _blue_stripes
pattern_b = __bluestripes2
pattern_ra = _blue_stripes
leftarm = EEAB1F
body = EEAB1F
rightarm = EEAB1F
shorts = 294a9c
socks = EEAB1F
title = Home colours,
1978-1982.
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 famously seen 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, all been local companies. The current shirt sponsor is a major local motor dealership network, Greenhous. The away strip is sponspred by Redhous, a property company forming part of the Greenhous group.

In 2008, the club announced a deal with sportswear firm ProStar to supply the club's playing kit and training wear. The deal also sees ProStar acquire naming rights to Shrewsbury's stadium.

Shirt sponsors

1982-86 - Link 51
1987-88 - Wem Ales
1988-89 - Davenports
1990-92 - Greenhous
1992-95 - WSJ
1995-97 - Greenhous
1997-99 - Ternhill Communications
1999-05 - RMW
2005-07 - Morris Lubricants
2007-08 - Greenhous
2007-08 - Redhous (Away Shirt)

Rivals

Arguably the club's fiercest rivals include Wrexham, Walsall and Wolverhampton Wanderers whom despite not playing league derbies against them for over 20 years, memories of the 1979 F.A. Cup Quarter Final tie spring to mind. Traditionally, Walsall were seen as the club's major rivals, although in recent years near-neighbours Wrexham are often seen as the fiercest rivals.Other rivals include Hereford United, Chester City and finally A.F.C. Telford United, with whom Shrewsbury regularly meet with in the Shropshire Senior Cup final.

Although the two clubs are not traditionally fierce rivals, Kidderminster Harriers are also considered a derby team, however they dropped out of the Football League in the 2004-05 season.

tadium

In 2007 the club moved to a newly-built stadium on the outskirts of Shrewsbury, called the ProStar Stadium, which has a 9,875 all-seater capacity. It was provisionally called the New Meadow during the 2007-08 season, however the ground is now officially known as 'The ProStar Stadium' as part of a sponsorship deal.

New Meadow also features much improved clubshop open 6 days a week, luxury corporate facilities and a large function room available for functions and dinners, operable 24/7 it also has a number of bricks which are in memory of old supporters, players and show true spirit of 'Shrews'

The 2006-07 season was the last season at the club's old Gay Meadow ground, which had been home to the club for 97 years. The final league match at the Gay Meadow was a 2-2 draw against Grimsby Town on 5 May 2007. Shrewsbury Town qualified for the 2006-07 League 2 playoffs, and as a result the final competitive senior match was a 0-0 draw against MK Dons.

Trivia

*Actor Harry Shearer immortalised Shrewsbury Town in the film "This Is Spinal Tap". His character Derek Smalls wore a blue and amber Shrewsbury shirt in several scenes. The top worn in the film was the same one worn by Shrewsbury Town in the early 1980s, and is still available to buy from TOFFS, a company specialising in retro football shirts.

*For many years the club was well known for its 'Coracle Man', Fred Davies. Davies was a local coracle maker who during home matches would take his coracle to the River Severn, which runs alongside one side of the Gay Meadow. Davies would then spend home matches collecting stray footballs that were kicked into the river before returning them back to the club. Although Fred Davies has since passed on, his legend continues, with many football fans associating Gay Meadow with the 'Coracle Man'. Coincidentally, Fred Davies's namesake would manage the club in the 1990s.

*For many years, the team ran out to "Catch Us If You Can" by the Dave Clark Five. This song has been used on-and-off since the 1974/75 season and was seen by home fans as Shrewsbury's de facto theme tune. With the move to the new ground, use of the song was initially replaced by a mix of "Right Here, Right Now" by Fat Boy Slim and Carnival De Paris by Dario G.. However, following the departure of manager Gary Peters, and in response to a number of requests by supporters, "Catch Us If You Can" was reinstated as the run-out tune. [cite web | title=Catch Us If You Can| work=STFC official website | url=http://www.shrewsburytown.premiumtv.co.uk/page/NewsDetail/0,,10443~1259285,00.html| accessdate=March 8 | accessyear=2008 ]

*In the 97 years that Shrewsbury Town played at the Gay Meadow, they had played every League side in League, Cup or Friendlyplay, apart from Tottenham Hotspur. To date Tottenham Hotspur still hasn't played Shrewsbury Town, the closest this came to happening was in 1993/94 season, when Shrewsbury were just minutes away from defeating the then mighty Blackburn Rovers in the Football League Cup third round but lost 4-3 after extra time and would have played Tottenham Hotspur in the next round.

Players

Notable former players

:"See also "

Famous former players include: ;England
* Matt Jones
* Steve Anthrobus
* Ian Atkins
* Mark Atkins
* Austin Berkley
* Mickey Brown
* Wayne Clarke
* David Geddis
* Joe Hart
* Nigel Jemson
* Gary Megson
* Steve Ogrizovic
* Nigel Pearson
* David Pleat
* Luke Rodgers
* Arthur Rowley
* Kevin Seabury
* Dean Spink
* Kevin Summerfield
* Mark Taylor
* Graham Turner
* Peter Wilding
* Ian Woan;Ghana
*flagicon|Ghana Derek Asamoah;Northern Ireland
*flagicon|Northern Ireland Jimmy Quinn
*flagicon|Northern Ireland Jimmy McLoughlin
*flagicon|Northern Ireland Bernard McNally
*flagicon|Northern Ireland Mark Williams;Scotland
* Sandy Brown
* Jim Holton
* Ross MacLaren
* John McGinlay
* David Moyes
* Doug Rougvie;Wales
*flagicon|Wales David Edwards
*flagicon|Wales Paul Evans
*flagicon|Wales Carl Griffiths
*flagicon|Wales Carl Robinson
*flagicon|Wales Neville Southall
*flagicon|Wales Mickey Thomas

Record holders

Former Town player Arthur Rowley is famous for being the Football League's all-time top goal-scorer, and holds the club's single-season and all time scoring records. Mickey Brown holds the club record for most appearances, accumulated during three spells.

Famous names

Several Shrewsbury players have gone onto, or came from prominent top-flight careers. These include current and former top-flight managers David Moyes, Gordon Lee, David Pleat and Gary Megson. International stars John McGinlay, Jimmy Quinn, Jimmy McLoughlin, Mickey Thomas, Carl Robinson and Neville Southall all spent time at Shrewsbury.

More recently, Premier League winner Mark Atkins spent later seasons of his career at Shrewsbury, as did Nottingham Forest duo Nigel Jemson and Ian Woan. Coventry City stalwart Steve Ogrizovic was previously a Shrewsbury player. Two notable recent departees are Shrewsbury-born England U21 goalkeeper Joe Hart, who joined Manchester City in the summer of 2006, and Welsh International David Edwards who joined Luton Town in June 2007.

Local players

Shrewsbury have given opportunities to many young local players, who have forged successful professional careers. 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. In more recent times, Joe Hart and David Edwards both started their careers at their hometown club, with the latest local star being Steve Leslie, who having successfully moved up from the club's youth academy, is attempting to break into the first team on a regular basis. 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.

Recent transfers

In February 2008, striker James Constable and goalkeeper Scott Bevan were signed from Kidderminster Harriers in a deal which saw Chris MacKenzie move the other way to Aggborough. They were joined by Crawley Town forward Guy Madjo, youngster James Meredith, and Birmingham City midfielder Asa Hall on a loan deal.These signing proved to be Gary Peters' final signings as Shrewsbury Town manager, with newly appointed manager Paul Simpson making his own short-term changes to the squad with loan signings.

Michael Barnes was signed on loan from Manchester United, but despite an impressive home debut, he was not kept on by the club, along with veteran striker Andy Cooke who was released early from his contract after an injury-hit season.
Doncaster Rovers central defender Graeme Lee was signed in March and played a handful of games before being recalled back to his home club in April due to injuries in the squad.

With just one game of the 2007/08 season remaining: Simpson released five players from the squad, Luke Jones, Colin Murdock, Jimmy Ryan, Michael Barnes and trialist Martin Riley, whilst Asa Hall rejected a contract offer.

During the close season, youth team goalkeeper Jasbir Singh signed a 12 month contract with the club, meanwhile Stephen Hindmarch and experienced midfielder Paul Murray were signed on free transfers. Simpson broke the club's transfer record with the signing of striker Grant Holt, who was signed from Nottingham Forest for £170,000, with defender Michael Jackson signing on a free transfer. Also signing Shane Cansdell-Sheriff and long time Peters target Richard Walker on a season long loan. On 12 September, Simpson signed Leyton Orient's former Sunderland A.F.C. and Doncaster Rovers midfielder, Sean Thornton on a month long loan deal.

Cult heroes

In 2004, BBC's Football Focus ran polls to determine club's cult heroes, and Dean Spink was named as Shrewsbury's cult hero, ahead of Steve Anthrobus and Austin Berkley. [cite web | title=Shrewsbury's cult heroes | work=BBC Sport | url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/football_focus/3598134.stm | accessdate=June 21 | accessyear=2007 ]

Current squad

"As of 2008-09-12"

Player records

*Most league goals in a season
38: Arthur Rowley (1958-59)
*Most league goals in total
152: Arthur Rowley (1958-65)
*Most league appearances
418: Mickey Brown (1986-91, 1992-94, 1996-2001)

Managerial history

Honours

*Welsh Cup winners 1891, 1938, 1977, 1979, 1984, 1985; runners up 1931, 1948, 1980
*Football League Third Division "(third tier)" champions 1979
*Football League Third Division "(fourth tier)" champions 1994
*Football League Fourth Division "(fourth tier)" runners up 1975
*Football League Two "(fourth tier)" Playoff runners up 2007
*Football League Cup Semi Finalists 1961
*Football League Trophy runners up 1996, area finalists 2003
*Midland League champions 1938, 1946, 1948
*Birmingham & District League champions 1923; runners up 1914, 1924, 1937
*Football Conference Playoff Winners 2004

References

* From Rats to riches, Mike Jones, ISBN 978-0954809904

External links

* [http://www.shrewsburytown.co.uk Shrewsbury Town FC Official Website]
* [http://www.shrewsbury.vitalfootball.co.uk Vitalshrews]
* [http://www.shropshirestar.com Local Paper: The Shropshire Star]
* [http://www.shropshirestar.co.uk/archive/blog/shrewsbury-town/ Shrews blogger David Craig]
* [http://www.blueandamber.com Blue and Amber: Unofficial Website]
* [http://www.shrewstrust.com Shrewsbury Town Supporters Trust]
* [http://www.newsoftheshrews.com/ News Of The Shrews]
* [http://www.svenskafans.com/england/shrewsbury/ Scandinavian Shrews]
* [http://www.shrewsburytown.dk/ Shrewsbury Town FC, Danish Branch (in english)]
* [http://www.neilbrown.newcastlefans.com/shrewsbury/shrewsbury.htm Player list]
* [http://homepages.nildram.co.uk/~matta/townkits.html Kit History page]
* [http://homepages.nildram.co.uk/%7Ematta/spinaltap.html Spinal Tap reference page]
* [http://www.goodbyegaymeadow.com Goodbye Gay Meadow book homepage]
* [http://www.oleole.com/england/league2/shrewsbury/tl81.html shrewsbury fc fans]


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