Stalybridge Celtic FC, Back The Bridge
Stalybridge Celtic FC, along with its home of Bower Fold, was founded in 1909 by the vision of Herbert Rhodes. The ultimate goal, to achieve success balanced with sustainability, both on and off the pitch, at all times.
Stalybridge, as a town, had enjoyed football previously through Stalybridge Rovers and an earlier outfit bearing the Celtic name. Although exact origins remain unclear, it seems that both these teams, possibly through a merger, were crucial seeds to what we know and love today.
From formation, success and progress via the Lancashire & Cheshire League, Lancashire Combination, Central League and Southern League was immediate and showed the level of ambition that existed.
Being voted in as founder members of the Third Division North, a result of the Football League opting to expand, represented a golden age. Seventh and eleventh place finishes were achieved, as was a best ever FA Cup, third round equivalent, appearance in front of a record gate of 9,753.
After two seasons, in a bid to maintain a viable concern, the decision to voluntarily relinquish Football League membership was taken. Trivia history being created by becoming the first and so far only side to ever do so.
The journey to achieve it all again began with a spell in the Cheshire County League until a full reorganisation of the footballing pyramid took place. There followed another rise via the North West Counties League and Northern Premier League to the Football Conference, including a best ever FA Trophy, quarter final, appearance.
Today, competing in the third tier of non league football, the opportunity to reminisce at history with memories of games, promotions, cups and titles won needs to be celebrated, providing the future is embraced.
The ambition and vision of Herbert Rhodes still remains to this day, as does the ultimate goal, to achieve success balanced with sustainability, both on and off the pitch, at all times.
Throughout its entire history and most importantly, it is the people that have made Stalybridge Celtic FC and Bower Fold what it is. Without all the officials, management, players and fans throughout the years, what we do all know and love today wouldn’t exist and we would be all the poorer for it.
Back The Bridge. Together, we are Stalybridge Celtic FC.