There are big football clubs in Greater Manchester, Manchester United are in Trafford and Manchester City are in Manchester. Here in Salford we have Salford City FC, a National League North side [this is level six in the English Football league structure]. Salford City play from Moor Lane in Salford, next to Kersal Moor on land that was once Manchester Racecourse. Salford City have been working their way up the leagues over the past ten years. Success in the 2007-2008 season saw them secure promotion in to the eighth level, with further promotions in 2014 – 2015 and 2015 – 2016.
It was towards the end of the 2013 – 2014 season that the news broke that five former Manchester United players, Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt were taking over the side. These are five of the six ‘Class of ’92’ players who came through Manchester United’s youth team together to all dazzle us with their skills, successfully playing for Manchester United [David Beckham is the one missing]. These five took on the ownership of a lower league team enthusiastically and the story was told by a BBC documentary Class of ’92 in 2015 and 2016. Salford is mostly a red [Manchester United] city, rather than blue [although there of course exceptions] and so you might think this was a match made in heaven. Certainly expectations were high although not everyone was happy with the new ownership.
The club’s history goes back to 1940 when it began as Salford Central. The name was changed to Salford Amateurs in 1963 and they gained the nickname ‘the Ammies’. Today, the joint managers Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley, who have been with the club since 2015 and have recently agreed full-time positions, are working hard to achieve success. The Salford City players will also turn professional this summer.
In preparation for further promotion, work on the ambitious new stadium at Moor Lane is underway. The new stadium will hold 5,000 fans and planning permission was granted despite local residents concerns regarding parking. Anyone who has ever been to a match will wonder just where those 5,000 people are going to put their cars but this development will ensure the team is equipped for higher level football.
Although the team just missed promotion at the end of the 2016/17 season coming 4th, many of us in Salford have got our fingers crossed that Salford City FC are going to continue to do their city proud.