The Football League Clubs of Lancashire – Part 2

Another club in the county to have enjoyed greater successes in previous years is Blackburn Rovers who were founder members of the football league back in 1888. The club has won the league title on three occasions plus winning the FA cup six times and the League Cup once. Two of the league titles were achieved just prior to the start of the First World War and then there was a long period of little league success until a local steelworks owner, Jack Walker became the club’s chairman in 1990.

Investing millions into the club Kenny Dalglish was appointed as manager, and major signings were completed such as Alan Shearer and the revamped side went on to win the premiership in the 1994–1995 season.

Blackburn are now in fourth place in the third tier of the English football league desperately trying to get back up the divisions. They still play at Ewood Park which has now been their home since

Record signing Alan Shearer made a major contribution to winning the premiership

1890. However, the ground was virtually rebuilt in 1992, as Walker poured his millions into turning producing a 31,000 all-seater stadium, with one of the stands being named after the ex-chairman.

Accrington are another club who were founder members of the league but only existed for a short time before folding in 1896. In this brief period their best ever, season was finishing sixth in the 1889-1890 season, but they were relegated three seasons later before their eventual demise. A separate club from the same town is Accrington Stanley who now play in league 2, which is the fourth tier of the league system. Only formed in 1968, the club emerged as a result of the original team that had been playing since 1891, going bankrupt in 1966.

The club’s ground is the Wham stadium and it is the smallest in the football league with a capacity of 5,057. They have been playing in the football league since they gained promotion from the Conference in 2006, and their best season so far was in 2010–2011 when they reached the play-offs.

Bury Football Club play in the third tier of the football league. They have been members of the football league since 1894 and have won the FA Cup on two occasions. They have played at Gigg Lane since 1885 and since their last FA Cup Win in 1903 they have spent the majority of the time in the lower leagues. One of their fiercest rivals are fellow Lancastrians Rochdale who are also from the Greater Manchester area. Rochdale were entered into football league in 1921 and since then they have played all their football in the bottom two leagues. They have played their home games at Spotland Stadium since 1920.

Dave Whelan’s millions bankrolled Wigan Athletic

One of the most recent Lancashire sides to have entered the football league are Wigan Athletic who were elected in 1978, and then in 1999 they moved from Springfield Park to share the DW stadium with Wigan Warriors. The club actually owns the stadium but lease it out to the Rugby League side for the summer months. The club was bought by Dave Whelan in 1995 and he immediately invested in the club, and it resulted in the team playing in the Premiership between 2005 and 2013.

The highlight was winning the FA Cup in 2013 but unfortunately the side were relegated at the end of the season and are now playing in the third level of the football league. Wigan is yet another club in the region that currently play outside of the premiership yet in their history have still achieved great success.