Stockport County F.C.

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Stockport County
logo
Full name Stockport County Football Club
Nickname(s) The Hatters, County
Founded 1883 (as Heaton Norris Rovers)
Ground Edgeley Park, Stockport
Ground Capacity 10,841
Chairman Vacant
Manager Alan Lord
League Conference North
2012–13 Conference National, 21st
(relegated)
Home colours
Away colours
Third colours
Current season

Stockport County Football Club is an English association football club based in Stockport, Greater Manchester. Formed in 1883 as Heaton Norris Rovers, they adopted their current name in 1890 after the creation of the County Borough of Stockport.12 They have played at Edgeley Park since 1902, traditionally in blue and white. They are nicknamed The Hatters after the town's former hatmaking industry.

Stockport County joined the Football League in 1900 and competed in it continuously from 1905 to 2011. Having spent most of their history in the lower reaches of the Football League, the 1990s were more successful with the club competing in the First Division for five seasons. Instability on and off the pitch led to Stockport quickly falling back to the lower divisions. The club started the 2011–12 season in the Conference National, having been relegated from Football League Two at the end of 2010–11.3 They are currently the longest survived Football League team to drop out of the league, having played in the league for a total of 110 years. At the end of 2012–13, Stockport were relegated to the Conference North,4 11 years after they had last competed in the second tier of English football and becoming the only team to drop from that tier to the sixth.

History

Stockport County were formed in 1883 as Heaton Norris Rovers by members of the Wycliffe Congregational Church,5 and played their first recorded game in October the next year. The club adopted 'The Hatters' as their nickname,1 owing to Stockport's history as the centre of the Victorian hat-making industry, a nickname that is shared with Luton Town.5

Stockport played in the Lancashire League until 1900. They then gained admission to the Football League Second Division.6 Stockport's first Football league match was against Leicester Fosse which ended in a 2-2 draw.2

The club finished in the bottom three for their first four seasons and at the end of 1903–04 they failed to gain re-election.7 They spent one year in the Lancashire Combination (a league which they won)8 and the Midland League. At the end of the season they were re-admitted to the Football League after being re-elected through the Midland League.9 In their first season back in the football league Stockport reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, However they were knocked out by Lincoln City.10 Stockport finished the league in 10th position that season.11

Photo of the 1913-14 Stockport County Team.

Stockport remained in Division 2 of the football league for seven years until 1912–13 when once again they had to seek re-election. Stockport gained 22 votes and were therefore re-elected.12 Stockport were fortunate that, despite an awful 1920–21 campaign that saw them end the season bottom of the Second Division, which would normally have seen them face re-election, they were placed in the brand new Third Division North.13 Stockport were the first winners of The Third Division North, winning their first official football league championship in the process.14 After gaining 5 wins out of their first 6 matches Stockport set the standard for the division and clinched their first football league title when they beat Darlington in front of 18,500 fans at Edgeley Park. Albert Williams (the then manager) was presented with the trophy seven days later before the home game with Lincoln City.15

Once Stockport returned to Division 2, they struggled and survived an automatic relegation by one point.16 The 1923–24 season saw Stockport County finish 13th, 1 place above Manchester United. This is the only time in history Stockport have achieved better than United.17 During this campaign Stockport Goalkeeper Harry Hardy was called up to play for the England national team and kept a clean sheet in a 4–0 win against Belgium. He is the only player to be capped at full level by England while on Stockport's books.1819 Two seasons later (1925–26 Stockport returned to the bottom division after finishing bottom of the league and only picking up 25 points.20 Barring a couple of seasons, the club would stay in this division for more than 40 years.

From the start of the 1930s Stockport County playing in a home strip of white and black and were nicknamed the 'Lilywhites'.2 The 1933–34 season saw goals galore, 115 in total, including a 13–0 win over Halifax Town, which still stands as a Football League record. 21 Alf Lythgoe also scored 46 goals for Stockport during the season.22 Both of these records still stand today in the clubs history.21 Another first for Stockport was also seen during this season when Stockport's 2–1 home defeat to Crystal Palace in the second round of the FA Cup was shown on TV.22 Stockport finished 3rd in this record breaking season.23 In 1936–37 County won the Third Division North, gaining 60 points and 23 wins,24 towards the ending of this season Stockport had a ten game unbeaten run that included seven victories, prior to a last day title decider against Lincoln City in which more than 27,000 fans watched.25 Stockport failed to gain a foothold in the Second Division, finished 22nd out of 22 and were relegated to Division 3 (North) after only earning 31 points.26 During the 1939–40 season Football was stopped following Britain's declaration of war and was not resumed until the end of war. This was because most British men were sent to the army. Stockport played only two matches in the 1939–40 season before war was declared losing both and being bottom of the league.27 In 1945–46, English football didn't have a football season as such, however FA Cup matches were played. Stockport were eliminated from the 1945–46 FA Cup in the first round after a 3–2 aggregate loss to Rochdale28 The first post-war league season 1946–47 saw Stockport finish 4th in Division 3 (North) with 24 wins and 50 points29

The 1950s brought little league success, but were notable for some fine goalscoring by Jack Connor, whose 140 goals in 5 seasons are still a club record, including 13 hat-tricks (three of which back-to-back – once against Crewe Alexandra and twice against Chester), two instances of four goals in a match (against Workington and Carlisle United), and two of five goals in a match (against Bradford Park Avenue and Tranmere Rovers).30 When the regional Third Divisions were to be combined into national Third and Fourth Divisions after the 1957–58 campaign, Stockport managed to finish in the top half of the Third Division North and so were placed in the following season's national Third Division.31 One season was spent at this level as Stockport were demoted.32 Stockport played in the first ever League Cup competition in 1960–61 beating Carlisle United in the first round.2 Stockport were eliminated in the second round after a 3-0 defeat against Manchester City.33 Stockport Survived re-election in the 1964–65 season. After finishing bottom of the league with only 27 points, Stockport were re-elected by gaining 45 votes.34 During the 1964/65 season then Stockport Chiarman Vic Bernard re-introduced the royal blue strip; colours they still play in to this date.2 Two seasons later Stockport returned to Third Division by winning the Fourth Division in 1966–67 after gaining 64 points.35 After being relegated in 1969–70, the 1970s and 1980s consisted of little other than mediocrity or struggling against re-election. The introduction of automatic promotion and relegation between the Football League and the Conference was not a good sign for Stockport and, in 1986–87 they had just six points from 13 games and faced a real prospect of non-League football, exemplified by crashing out of the FA Cup to Caernarfon Town. Colin Murphy was brought in for his second spell as manager, County gained 45 points from their final 31 games and survived, although Murphy left shortly after the end of the season.1

Danny Bergara was appointed as manager in March 1989, quickly transforming the team, and automatic promotion was gained in 1990–91. The next three seasons saw County make the play-offs, but failed to result in another promotion. In March 1995 Bergara was sacked after an altercation with then chairman Brendan Elwood,36 and Dave Jones was appointed manager. The 1996–97 campaign proved to be the most successful in the club's history, finishing 2nd in the Second Division and reaching the semi-final of the League Cup, knocking out three Premiership teams (Blackburn Rovers, Southampton and West Ham United) on the way before losing to Middlesbrough 2–1 on aggregate. Jones left for Southampton, and a succession of managers were unable to build on the success of the 1990s, former England international Carlton Palmer failing to stop County being relegated in 2001–02 or to build a team capable of challenging for a return in subsequent seasons. Sammy McIlroy followed as manager in 2003 but more poor results led to his sacking, and the appointment of Chris Turner just one year later. Another relegation followed, and Turner himself lasted just one year in charge, resigning after a 6–0 defeat to local rivals Macclesfield Town that left County five points adrift of safety & facing a third relegation in just four years.

Former player Jim Gannon was placed in charge, initially as caretaker-manager. He led the club to safety in 2005–06 and County sustained a promotion challenge the next season, eventually missing out on the League Two playoffs on goal difference. They also set a new Football League record on 3 March 2007 when they beat Swindon Town 3–0, recording nine consecutive wins without conceding a goal. County continued their winning ways in the 2007–08 season and, despite losing an FA Cup match to non-League Staines Town, finished 4th in the league and beat Rochdale 3–2 in the play-off final at Wembley Stadium to earn promotion to League One.37

Former County players Anthony Pilkington, Carl Baker, Stephen Gleeson and Tommy Rowe in December 2008

During the 2008–09 season, Stockport defied the odds by challenging for a play-off place, but their form dipped during the final months of the season which saw them slip to mid-table. Jim Gannon was approached by Brighton & Hove Albion and the approach was accepted by Stockport, but after talks with the chairman of Brighton, Gannon rejected the job and stayed at Stockport.38 After he rejected the job, the following game v Huddersfield Town on the Saturday, Gannon got a standing ovation when he came out of the tunnel before the game.

On 30 April 2009, Stockport County were placed into administration following a battle to repay creditors.39 It followed a petition by a creditor to repay a loan of around £300,000.40 Recently, the club has struggled to repay a tax debt of £250,000 to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs. 41 On 16 December 2009 the team's training ground was put up for sale.42

On 12 June 2009, Leonard Curtis, administrators of Stockport County Football Club, announced that they had agreed terms with the Melrose Consortium for the sale of the club.43 Paul Reeves, one of the joint administrators commented that: "Whilst a deal has been agreed, it is subject to the Melrose Consortium obtaining landlord approval. This is a positive step to safeguarding the club's future." The Melrose consortium, consisiting of 'a group of businessmen with a sporting background' headed by ex Manchester City player Jim Melrose said: "We look forward to developing a fruitful relationship with Sale Sharks and Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council which will provide the basis for a successful future for Stockport County Football Club." 44 The immediate aims of the Melrose Consortium are to "…guarantee football at Edgeley Park next season and to secure the services of redundant manager, and Stockport legend, Jim Gannon".

On 3 July 2009 Administrators agreed to a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) with previous shareholders and creditors.45

Gannon however took over as manager at Scottish Premier League side Motherwell, giving County fans cause to worry that he'd be poaching County's young players in the forthcoming weeks. Gary Ablett, former manager of Liverpool reserves, was appointed manager on 8 July 2009 following talks with the (prospective) new owners,46 even though they'd still not taken over, and in fact never did take over the club. In March 2010 it was announced that a new consortium, the '2015 Group' had been given exclusivity to work towards a takeover of the club. The Group were approved by the Football League at their May 2010 meeting.

It was announced on 17 June 2010 that the takeover of Stockport County was completed by the 2015 Group at a press conference held the same day at 11.00pm . It was also announced that Gary Ablett had been relieved of his duties as Stockport County Manager after just one season in charge, which saw them relegated from the third division of the English Football League, (League One), with just 5 wins from 46 league matches.47 It was widely reported that fans' favourite, and former manager Jim Gannon, who was made redundant in April 2009, would return to the club. However, Gannon decided to take a break from the game.

Following the takeover of the club by the 2015 Group, the consortium pledged to "rebuild the club from top to bottom".48

On 12 July 2010, former Carlisle United manager Paul Simpson was unveiled as Gary Ablett's successor as the new manager of the club at a press conference at Edgeley Park.49 Simpson's Assistant Manager was Peter Ward, who was previously assistant manager at the club between 2005 and 2009 under former manager Jim Gannon, and who also played over 100 games for the club in the 1990s. On 4 January 2011 Simpson was sacked, his place taken by Peter Ward on a caretaker basis. Ward was replaced by Ray Mathias after twelve games and two wins. Stockport's relegation from the Football League after 106 years was confirmed after a 2–0 away defeat against Crewe Alexandra.

County players celebrate a goal in 2011

The 2011–12 season started with County appointing Ray Mathias as permanent manager.50 However, before a ball was kicked, he was replaced by former Liverpool, Newcastle United, Bayern Munich and German international midfielder, Dietmar Hamann 51 after Liverpool-based businessman Tony Evans attempted an ultimately unsuccessful takeover of the club.52

Hamann did poorly, winning just three games out of 19, and resigned in November citing the failed takeover as the reason.53 He was replaced by former player and manager Jim Gannon, who returned to the club as Director of Football and First Team Manager 54 through the 'Your Town Your Team' Group. John Fitzpatrick also joined the Board of Directors simultaneously. In November 2011, Spencer Fearn also bought a stake in the football club, and was appointed Vice – Chairman in August 2012.

In Gannon's first match back at the club, they lost a hard-fought match to joint-leaders Fleetwood Town, 2–1, who achieved a record attendance in the fixture at Highbury.55 Gannon managed County to their first back to back wins in over 3 years – since his last stint as manager – with successive 1 – 0 victories over Wrexham56 and Darlington.57 Gannon steered County away from the drop zone, winning 8 of the last 15 league games – remarkable form for a side that had only managed to win 9 games throughout the whole of the 2010–11 campaign – to finish 16th in the final table.58

Gannon once again focused on youth development, inducing young talents such as Danny Whitehead, Cameron Darkwah, Danny Hattersley and Ian Ormson into the starting eleven.

The Stockport County squad, Apr 2012.

County regained sole tenancy of their Edgeley Park stadium for the first time in 9 years from the beginning of the 2012–13 season, after Sale Sharks relocated for a second time, this time sharing with Salford City Reds at Barton.

On 15 January 2013 former fcbusiness Magazine Editor, Ryan McKnight, was named as the new Chief Executive Officer at the club, becoming the youngest CEO in UK football in the process.5960

Fourteen months into his second spell at Edgeley Park and with County sitting in the relegation zone Jim Gannon was relieved of his duties as Stockport County boss6162 following the 3–1 home defeat by Mansfield Town on 16 January 2013.

He was replaced by Darije Kalezić,63 who initially saw an upturn in results, but left the position himself just two months later following a poor run which left the club in serious danger of relegation to the Conference North.64

Ian Bogie in turn succeed Kalezić65 , but was unable to turn the club's form around, and the club were relegated on the final day after a defeat to title challengers Kidderminster Harriers.66

Former Vice-Chairman Spencer Fear made an offer to the shareholders in later August 2013. Claimign that he would “write off his loans to the Club, in exchange for the remaining shareholders to do likewise”. The board took this proposal on board and acknowledged it as a beneficiary of the football club.67 Stockport gained just one point from their first four games of the 2013–14 season, which led to the managerial merry-go-round continuing as Bogie resigned as manager on 31 August, with the club second-bottom of the Conference North. Alan Lord then took charge of the team in a care taker capacity.68 Ryan McKnight announced his resignation from the position of CEO at the football club on 8 April 2014 stating he will leave in early May 2014. .69

Colours, crests and traditions

Several historical Stockport County crests.
Top: 1978–88, 1989–91, 1994–2006
Bottom: 2006–10, 2010–11, 2011–present

Stockport County's traditional kit colours are blue and white, although they have played in other colours throughout their history. Originally competing in blue and white striped jerseys and white shorts, they experimented with red and white stripes in the early 1900s and from the mid-1930s to mid-1960s played in white jerseys and black shorts.270

No set pattern has been established for the clubs use of blue and white as main colours, at various times playing in a white jersey with a blue band and blue shorts; blue jersey with white pin stripes and white shorts; a short experiment with an Argentina-style kit, light blue & white stripes with black shorts, after the 1978 World Cup, which was abandoned after the outbreak of the Falklands War;5 and a return to blue & white striped tops with blue shorts in the 1980s.

County marked their 125th anniversary during 2008 by bringing in a third kit – a gold colour with black trim.71 The kit was worn on 17 occasions, all away trips, during which County were unbeaten. The strip was retired 'undefeated' at the end of the year, having been worn for 13 victories and 4 draws.

The club crest which was used for many years until 2010, when the club exited administration, was based on the achievement of arms of the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport. It was further altered slightly in 2006, to resemble the town's arms even more closely, including the Latin motto Animo et Fide, which, when loosely translated, means With Courage and Faith. The blue shield is taken from the coat of arms of the 'de Stokeport' family, from whom Stockport derives its name. The twin-towered castle above the shield is Stockport Castle, which stood until 1775.

After the completion by the 2015 Group takeover of the club, a new club crest has been adopted for the coming seasons. The new crest was still based on the Stockport coat of arms, though the "Animo Et Fide" motto was removed, along with a patch of green at the base of the badge; the flag of Cheshire, featuring a sword and three wheatsheaves, replaced the golden lozenges & crosslets in the shield. The medals hanging from the lions rampant (which represented Cheshire and Lancashire, owing to Stockport's location astride the Mersey, which forms the historic border between the two counties) were removed. It also saw the return of a football on the shield. This change was made in part because as of the 2010–11 season, Stockport County are sponsored by the Metropolitan Borough Council;72 therefore, if the badge had been kept the same, the same badge would have effectively appeared twice on the shirt.

The crest was altered in 2011, to re-include the town motto. The new version adds two white ribbons – one at the top, with Animo et Fide, and one at the bottom with Stockport County F.C.. In addition, the football was again removed from the shield.

The Stockport County Supporters' Co - Operative use the blue on white cross symbol from the 1978 badge as the main identifier in their company logo.

County's kit is currently supplied by local manufacturer Umbro who will supply all three of County's kit from the start of the 2013–14 season, replacing Nike thus, making County the only senior club in the UK to wear Umbro strip in the 2013-14 season.573

Kit manufacturers and Main shirt sponsors

70

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor
1976–1979 Bukta none
1978–1979 Admiral
1979–1984 Adidas
1984–1986 Bukta
1986–1989 En-S Messenger Newspapers
1989–1991 Ribero Sovereign Rubber
1990–1991 Gordon Ford Group
1991–1993 Gola Cobra
1993–1995 Super League Robinsons Best Bitter
1995–1996 M
1996–1999 Adidas
1999–2002 Patrick
2002–2007 TFG Sports Scandia
2007–2009 Diadora Just Search74
2009–2010 Macron
2010–2011 Nike Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council
2010–2012 GT Law
2012–2013 GT Law (Home & Away)
Leemic (Third)
2013–present Umbro73 Stockport Sports Village (Home)
Match Day Cards (Away)
Leemic (Third)75

Grounds

Heaton Norris Rovers originally played home matches at the Heaton Norris Recreation Ground, then at various locations in Stockport until settling at a park on Green Lane, Heaton Norris, in 1889. The nearby Nursery Inn served as the team's home, with players using a barn as changing rooms.1

In 1902 the club required a larger ground and moved to Edgeley Park, then home of the rugby league club Stockport, who went out of business three years later.76 Stockport County have played home games there ever since, celebrating the centenary in 2002.

In late 2000 the chairman considered moving the club to Maine Road, the former home of rivals Manchester City. The potential move was unpopular with supporters, and protests were staged after it was suggested that the club would change its name to Man-Stock County after the move. Ultimately the protests were not necessary as Manchester City Council decreed that Sale Sharks would make better tenants.77 Maine Road has since been demolished to make way for a housing estate and Edgeley Park was then shared with Sale whose Parent Company Cheshire Sports who owned the ground.

In 2012 Sale Sharks confirmed that they would be moving to Salford City Reds' new stadium 78 This meant that Stockport County would once again be the only tenants at Edgeley Park, having sole use of the pitch & various revenue-generating aspects of the stadium.

On 23 May 2012, it was announced that Stockport County were to rename the Main Stand "The Danny Bergara Stand" in honour of their late manager Danny Bergara who managed the team during a successful period in the 1990s.79

Panoramic view of Edgeley Park. Left: Popular Side. Centre: Cheadle End. Right: Main Stand

Support

County fans away at Fleetwood Town in November 2011, part of a then record home league attendance for Fleetwood

With both Manchester United and Manchester City around 7 miles (11 km) from Edgeley Park, Stockport County have always struggled for local support. During the mid sixties the Football League introduced a minimum admission price for all clubs in all four divisions, attempting to help boost revenue for lower clubs. It had the desired effect only in small towns miles from big city teams. It had the opposite effect in places like Stockport, where people had the choice of paying the same price on Saturday afternoon to stand on the terraces and watch Stockport or to watch Manchester City or Manchester United. Stockport devised a unique solution, moving all their home games to Friday evening kick-offs, which generated larger crowds and extra business in surrounding pubs and restaurants. Even during the 1998–99 season, crowds averaged around 20,000 less than local rivals Manchester City, who were a division below County at the time.80

County achieved a notable milestone in 2004, when the club attracted a crowd of more than 20,000 for one of its tour matches in China. Both Manchester United and Barcelona achieved less in their subsequent tour matches in the country in the same year. County were watched by 22,000 in Yingkou against their then sister side Stockport Tiger Star whom they beat 4–0; perhaps this high attendance was down to Stockport County's association with their affiliate team, and Tiger Stars' name change to include 'Stockport' two years previously.81

Although the club has had great misfortunes on the pitch from 2000–01 onwards, crowds have continued to be rather healthy. In fact, during the 2005–06 season home attendances (that is, given attendances minus away support) increased slightly on the season before,82 helped by a 10,006 crowd against Carlisle on the final day of that season; this game in particular attracted such a high crowd as the town of Stockport fully got behind its team at Edgeley Park, because had County lost that particular game, they would have been relegated for the second successive season, and more significantly would have been relegated from the Football League for the first time ever, as County have competed continuously in the Football League since 1900. County eventually drew the game with Carlisle, and survived the drop, while Carlisle themselves gained the league championship.

The 2006–07 season saw the club average the fourth highest average attendance in League Two, and was the highest average since the club's last season in the First Division.83

The 2007–08 season saw a further increase in attendance. Away support increased in recent seasons, due to a combination of lower ticket prices, improved results and the close proximity of sides such as Bury, Rochdale & Macclesfield Town, with Stockport's away support outnumbering home supporters on a number of occasions.82 In the 2007–08 season, Stockport County had an average away attendance of over 900; the highest in the league. Only two teams in the league above surpassed this figure.82

Vocally, the support from Stockport fans has often been cited by managers and players as inspirational and a huge boost to the team during play, with their influence likened to having a twelfth player on the field, and Stockport supporters often receive praise from other players & managers, both at home and away, for their loyal and vocal support.8485

Between the 2006–07 and 2009–10 seasons the squad number 12 was allocated to the 'Blue & White Army', in reference to the supporters being the team's 12th man on matchdays. However, for the 2010–11 season, the number reverted to one of the players. Stockport fans also have a wide variety of songs, being ranked 6th on FootballChants.org for the number of individual chants.86

County fans pack the Cheadle End after their final home game Vs. Tamworth in 2012.

Stockport County fans are known for singing the club's anthem, "The Scarf My Father Wore", and, similar to Tottenham Hotspur fans, the "Blue & White Army"; in this chant, the supporters sing the manager's name, followed by "blue & white army", as the team play in blue & white. Songs of the Cheadle End – was a CD that a group of Stockport County fans recorded; It contained 46 popular fan chants that spanned over four decades.87 The CD also contained the club's anthem which was re-recorded in 201188

Some Famous Stockport County fans include BDO Darts Player Tony O'Shea,89 Singer-songwriter Daz Sampson and Robin Richards90 from the band Dutch Uncles. Tony writes an article in the club programme every home match and also wears the club colours in all of his televised darts matches.82 While Daz became a life member of the Stockport County Supporters Trust after he released 'The County Song'; The song pays tribute to Stockport County's football league record of nine consecutive wins without conceding a goal.

Rivalries

As the two nearby Manchester clubs have rarely been in the same division as Stockport, there is little or no rivalry with either club. Despite the two Manchester clubs attracting supporters from Stockport, Stockport County enjoy something of a rivalry with Manchester City between 1997 and 2002, when the two clubs spent three out of five seasons in the same division and for one season County were actually a division higher than City.

The 1997–98 season saw Stockport County and Manchester City meet in a football league game for the first time in 88 years, Stockport County were victors at home, beating Manchester City 3–1, thanks to goals from Paul Cook, Alun Armstrong and Brett Angell. Manchester City did defeat Stockport County 4–1 at Maine Road in the return fixture, however, this did not prevent them from being relegated to the third tier. 1998–99 became the first season in which Stockport County competed at a higher level than Manchester City. Rivalries were renewed in 1999–2000 following Manchester City's promotion back to the second tier. Stockport County beat Manchester City at Maine Road for the first time in history (1999–2000) thanks to an equaliser from ex-City youngster Alan Bailey, and the winning goal from the penalty spot by Tony Dinning. Manchester City were also defeated by Stockport County in 2001–02, when 2 late goals from John Hardiker meant that City were prevented from gaining 100 points in their quest for the Division One title. Stockport County and Manchester City met six times between 1997 and 2002, with Stockport County winning three times, losing once and drawing twice.

County's main rivalries are with more distant neighbours such as Burnley, and Stoke City, for historical reasons, as well as other rivalries with local clubs such as Oldham Athletic, Bury, Rochdale and Macclesfield Town. The rivalries with Burnley and Stoke City are largely fuelled by meetings in the early 1990s, including the Football League play-offs finals and Football League Trophy finals being played each club respectively – both of which Stockport controversially lost. Therefore, games nowadays against these clubs, for Stockport fans at least, have added edge. According to the last Football Fans Census in 2003, Burnley, Manchester City and Stoke City are cited as Stockport County fans' biggest rivals - although this would not appear to be the case within a decade as County had fallen into non-league football and the two other clubs were in the Premier League (Manchester City being champions in 2012).91 However, overall, there are very few genuinely fierce rivalries between Stockport County and other clubs, with the club being nicknamed 'The Friendly Football Club' by other football supporters.

Players

As of 10 December 201392

Current squad

See also: Category:Stockport County F.C. players

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
England GK Ian Ormson
England GK Dane Smith
England DF Kieran Charnock
England DF Scott Duxbury
England DF Jordan Fagbola
England DF Kyle Jacobs
England DF Mark Lees
Republic of Ireland DF Stephen O'Halloran
England DF Matthew Todd
Scotland DF James Washburn (Dual Registration with Squires Gate)
England MF Chris Churchman
No. Position Player
England MF Iain Howard
England MF Bobby Lofthouse
England MF Jamie Milligan
Portugal MF Adriano Moke
England MF Tunji Moses
England MF Sanchez Payne
England FW Mark Battersby
England FW Kristian Dennis
England FW Phil Jevons
England FW Rhys Oates (on loan from Barnsley)
England FW Nicky Platt

Hall of Fame

This list contains the names of all past players/club staff that have been inducted into the Stockport County Hall of Fame. 93

Owners and club board

Club board

Name Position
Kevan Taylor Director94
Richard Park Director94
Jon Keighren Director94

Technical staff

Current coaching staff

Alan Lord England Manager 95
Phil Brown England Assistant Manager 94
Jordan Felgate England Goalkeeping Coach94
Rodger Wylde England Club Physiotherapist94
Richard Landon England Kit Man94

Top 10 managers of the club's history

Based on win % in all competitions

Name Nat From To Record
P W D L %
Lincoln Hyde England 1926 1931 221 127 37 57 57.47
Fred Westgarth England 1933 1936 141 72 28 41 51.06
Andrew Wilson Scotland 1932 1933 44 22 12 10 50.00
Dave Jones England 1995 1997 131 63 36 32 48.09
Eddie Quigley England 1965 1966 51 24 7 20 47.06
Andy Beattie England 1949 1952 148 68 31 49 45.95
Danny Bergara Uruguay 1989 1995 352 156 88 108 44.32
Jim Gannon (First Tenure) Republic of Ireland 2006 2009 182 79 42 61 43.41
Bob Marshall England 1939 1949 139 59 29 51 42.45
Jimmy Meadows England 1966 1969 128 54 36 38 42.19

*Stats correct as of 30 April 2012

First team honours

The League Two Playoff Trophy

Honours are correct as of April 201296

Football League

  • Division Three (North) Challenge Cup

Other Competitions

  • Lancashire League Champions: 1899–1900
  • Lancashire Combination Champions: 1904–05
  • Manchester Senior Cup Winners: 1897–98, 1898–99, 1914–15, 1922–23
  • Cheshire Medal Winners: 1922–23, 1924–25, 1928–29, 1929–30, 1930–31
  • Cheshire Bowl Winners: 1933–34, 1948–49, 1952–53, 1955–56, 1956–57,
    1958–59, 1960–61, 1962–63
  • Cheshire Friendly Trophy Winners: 1965–66, 1966–67
  • Cheshire Premier Cup Winners: 1969–70, 1970–71, 2010–11

Youth Competitions

Club records

Team records

  • Consecutive wins without conceding a goal: 9, 2006–07, also a Football League record99100
  • Consecutive defeats: 12, 2009–10
  • Consecutive games scored in: 30, 2007–08
  • Consecutive League games scored in: 26, 2007–08
  • Highest attendance: 27,833 vs. Liverpool, 11 February 1950 21
  • Highest attendance (all-seated): 10,273 vs. Leeds United, 28 December 2008
  • Lowest attendance: 1,089 vs. Southend, 15 February 1985 21
  • Longest match: 3 hours 23 minutes vs. Doncaster Rovers, 30 March 1946, also a world record
  • Lowest number of paying spectators: 13 vs. Leicester City (at Old Trafford, 7 May 1921) also a Football League record*.101

*It is estimated that between 1,000 and 2,000 people actually attended the match; Manchester United and Derby County had played immediately beforehand, and some of the spectators for that match had stayed on to watch the Stockport match for free. However, only 13 people paid at the gate to watch the Stockport match by itself.

Player records

  • Most goals (season): 46 League by Alf Lythgoe, 1933–34 21
  • Most goals (career): 132 by Jack Connor (1951–1956)21
  • Most appearances (career): 555 Andy Thorpe (1978–1986, 1988–1992)21
  • Most international appearances (caps) – 9 Jarkko Wiss, Finland (2000–2002)21
  • Youngest player: Paul Turnbull, aged 16 years 97 days v Wrexham, 30 April 200521
  • Oldest player: Alec Herd, aged 47 years 40 days vs. Crewe Alexandra, 25 December 195121
  • Most capped player while at the club: Jarkko Wiss 9 capps for Finland21
  • Most consecutive clean sheets: 9 by Wayne Hennessey, 2006–07, coinciding with league record for consecutive wins100

Nine game winning run

Stockport County currently hold the record for winning nine Football League matches without conceding a goal. This record ran from January to March 2007, as manager Jim Gannon led the club to the best form shown by a football club in Football League history.

Wayne Hennessey, who was on loan to Stockport at the time from Wolves, kept all the clean sheets in his first nine games in professional football.100 He made his footballing debut against Boston United where Stockport won 2–0. The players involved in the record-breaking run are below:

Wayne Hennessey, Robert Clare, Michael Rose, Ashley Williams, Gareth Owen, Stephen Gleeson, Jason Taylor, Adam Griffin, David Poole, Damien Allen, Anthony Pilkington, Tony Dinning, Dominic Blizzard, Liam Dickinson, Adam Proudlock, Tes Bramble and Anthony Elding.

During this time Wayne Hennessey received the League Two Player of the Month Award102 and Jim Gannon was candidate for the Manager of the Month Award twice.

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