Frickley Athletic FC is based in the former coal mining village of South Elmsall. Recent research has shown that the first South Elmsall football team was formed in 1905 but was superseded in 1908 by the newly formed Frickley Colliery Athletic Club and joined the South Yorkshire league which comprised of works, church and village teams. In 1910, the football club moved to the Sheffield Association League and first played in the FA (English) Cup.
The club remained in the Sheffield Association League (except for the war years) until 1922, finishing runners up in 1911/12, and winners in 1920/21, our only league title ever.
In 1922/23 Frickley joined the Yorkshire league and after finishing runners up in 1923/24, the club were elected into the Midland League, Although the Club had to apply for re election several times pre war (and didn’t play in any league in 1933/34) it was kept going by the support of the mineworkers and the sale of players.
1936/37 was Frickley’s worst ever league season when the club finished bottom with only 8 points, but amazingly reached the FA Cup First Round Proper for the first time.
Post war, Frickley remained in the Midland League gaining its best finish, 7th, in 1945/46, but left the league on its break up at the end of 1959/60.
From 1960/61 to 1969/70, Frickley Colliery played in the Cheshire County League, However, financial considerations led the club to join the Midland Counties League for 1970/71. They finished runners up in 1972/73 and were eventually elected into the NPL for the 1976/77 season as Frickley Athletic.
After finishing 3rd in the League in 1979/80, the club was promoted into the Alliance Premier League, now the National League. Here they remained for 7 years, the most successful in the clubs history, and in 1985/86 reached the FA Cup Third Round Proper, after beating a Football League club, Hartlepool United, only to lose 3-1 at home to Rotherham Utd. The club also finished as Gola League runners up, with manager Sean Marshall winning the Gola League Manager of the Year award.
During this period, Gary Hooley, Paul Shirtliff, Paul Wilson and Russ Wilcox (who went on to play over 500 games in the EFL) were chosen to play for what is now the England C team.
The following season, 1986/87, saw a reversal as we were relegated back into the NPL.
From 1987/88 to 1991/92 the club consistently finished around mid-table in the NPL. but did manage to reach the League Cup Final in 1991/92, losing 1-0 to Marine at Maine Road.
The next few seasons saw Frickley finish in the lower reaches of the table. Then, in 2005/06 the Blues enjoyed their most successful league season for 20 years as they finished runners up to Blyth Spartans. Unfortunately, though, the Blues were defeated on penalties in the Play-off Semi’s.
In the following seasons Frickley returned to finishing in the lower half of the table, but 2015/16 saw the club have an excellent season to finish in 7th place.
This was not repeated in 2016/17 as most of the players who had brought this success were attracted to join other, more affluent clubs. The club was relegated from the NPL Premier Division after being members for 30 years.
2017/18 saw the club enter the NPL First Division South, finishing 3rd in the league scoring a record 117 goals. Additionally, Jacob Hazel broke the Club record for individual goals in a season with 47 strikes. The season ended disappointingly with Play-off Semi-Final defeat at the hands of Stamford.
Last season, 2018/19, in the new NPL East Division, was a less successful one, seeing managerial changes and a 12th place finish. However, the season was not without its highlights with victory at eventual champions, Morpeth and a mighty 10-1 win against Liversedge in the FA Cup.
More change has followed prior to the start of 2019/20, along with another league re-organisation seeing the Blues go into the NPL South East Division, with new manager Craig Spink at the helm. Craig will be looking to make a push for the top half of the league and promotion back to the BetVictor NPL Premier Division.
Facts and stats
In the FA Cup Frickley have reached the First Round Proper on eleven occasions and it was against Rotherham United in 1971 that the record attendance for Westfield Lane of 6000 was set when the club's average crowd was about 600.
1936 Southport (Home) 0-2
1957 South Shields (Away) 2-3
1963 Notts County (Away) 1-2
1971 Rotherham United (Home) 2-2 (Away) 0-4
1973 Halifax Town (Away) 1-6
1983 Altrincham (Home) 0-1
1984 Stalybridge Celtic (Home) 2-1
1985 Halesowen Town (Home) 1-1 (Away) 3-1
1986 Altrincham (Home) 0-0 (Away) 0-4
1988 Northwich Vics (Home) 0-2
2000 Northampton Town (Away) 0-4
The Blues have made the Second Round Proper two occasions:
1985 Darlington (Away) 0-1
1986 Hartlepool Utd (Away) 1-0
The club's only Third Round appearance to date is the 3-1 home defeat to Rotherham United in 1985-86
FA Cup 3rd Round – 1985-86
FA Trophy Quarter Finalists – 1984-85
Goal League (Football Conference Premier) Runners Up – 1985-86
Northern Premier League Runners Up – 2005-06
3rd Place (Promoted to Football Conference) – 1979-80
Northern Premier League Cup Runners Up – 1991-92
Midland League Runners Up – 1972-73
Midland League Cup Winners - 1975-76
Yorkshire League Runners Up – 1923-24
Sheffield Association League Winners – 1920-21, Runners Up – 1911-12
Sheffield & Hallamshire Senior Cup Winners 1927-28, 1956-57, 1960-61, 1962-63, 1966-67, 1978-79, 1985-86, 1987-88, 1989-90, 1999-00, 2003-04 & 2012-13