The History of Worksop Town

SITUATED not far from the birthplace of modern football in Sheffield, it is not surprising that Worksop Town are one of the oldest football clubs in existence...

Early History

The Tigers were formed way back in 1861- just four years after the world's oldest club Sheffield FC.Since then, Worksop has always had a team to cheer, though they have sometimes struggled to survive.

After starting out life playing friendlies from a ground on Netherton Road, Worksop soon moved to Hardy Street, which now hosts the town's bus station.

They were then offered land on the other side of the River Ryton where they shared a Central Avenue home for the next 90 years.

It was not until 1908 that the Tigers really roared and they came to the attention of the nation with an FA Cup third round game at Chelsea, but unfortunately the team lost 9-1. In 1921-22 the club won the Midland League for the first time and in that same season they held Spurs to a 0-0 draw at White Hart Lane - again in the FA Cup third round.

But with Worksop unable to host the replay, and Hillsborough unavailable, Worksop were forced to play the replay in London and this time lost 9-0.

The Tigers attracted their record Central Avenue crowd of 8,171 in 1925 when they played nearby Chesterfield.

The 1950s onwards...

By now the Tigers were well known for cup runs and the next good one came in 1955-56 when they again reached the third round before going down 1-0 at Swindon Town.Another successful side graced the town in the 1960s, winning another Midland League title before the club joined the Northern Premier Legaue in 1968 as founder members.

They were relgated back to the Midland league after just one year but won promotion in 1972-73 after winning the title and remained in the Northern Premier League throughout the rest of the 70s and mid and early 80s.

1980s to 1990s

In 1986 the club defeated Burton Albion to win the President's Cup, but trouble was looming and by 1989 the club were on the brink of folding.

They were made homeless as Worksop Cricket Club, who owned Central Avenue, sold off some of their land that included part of the football pitch.

But members of the supporters club were determined to keep the town's football club and it was arranged that the Tigers would play at Gainsborough Trinity's the Northolme until a new ground was built.

After the club were also relegated they set about rebuilding both on and off the field.

Eventually the club were given a 99-year lease on land on Sandy Lane and the club's new ground was completed for the start of the 1992-93 season.

Things also began to pick up significantly on the field as well after the club appointed Paul Mitchell as manager midway through 1996-97.The club won the Sheffield Senior Cup at the end of his first campaign and then won promotion back to the Northern (UniBond) Premier League the following season.

Late 1990s to Present

In 1998-99, the club achieved its best-ever Premier League finish of second behind champions Altrincham and in 1999-2000 the team were beaten in the Challenge Cup final by Lancaster City. Celebrated former England star Chris Waddle arrived at the club for 2000-01 and helped inspire the club to a league record 12-0 win over Frickley.

The club had a great spell in the cups too, reaching the FA Trophy quarter-finals for the first time before going down 2-1 at Forest Green.

A season later they reached the FA Cup first round proper for the first time in more than 20 years, losing 3-0 at Bournemouth.

Since Mitchell's departure in 2003 the club had mixed fortunes as they entered the new dawn of the Conference North under the leadership of former Barnsley midfielder Ronnie Glavin.

The Tigers' financial position resulted in them entering a Company Voluntary Agreement in March 2005 and were docked 10 points during the 2004-2005 season - at a time when they looked well-set for the play-offs.

Worksop regrouped and the new company 1861 Leisure strived to keep the Tigers on an even keel.

In the 2005-2006 season Worksop finished in a disappointing fourth from bottom in the Conference North, but their season was buoyed by a successful run in the FA Trophy.

However, their quarter-final against Boreham Wood in February 2006 was best remembered, not for the result, but for the shameful scenes of violence between warring sets of fans.

In September 2006 after an indifferent start to the season, Ronnie Glavin and Worksop parted company by mutual consent.

Caretaker manager Ian Bowling led the Tigers to an unbeaten October and left the board no option but to offer him the job on a permanent basis.

The ownership of the club is set to change once more, with 1861 Leisure retaining control of the Tigers' clubhouse and a consortium led by current chairman John Hepworth will take charge of the football club.