Wrexham Football Club
Wrexham Football ClubIntroductionEarly YearsPost W
Wrexham Football Club
Wrexham Football Club is based in North East Wales, and was founded in 1872. The team are otherwise known as the Dragons, and are famous for their European Cup Winners’ Cup exploits during the 1970’s and 1980’s.
Wrexham’s main rivals are Chester City, Cardiff City, Swansea City, Tranmere Rovers, Crewe Alexandra and Shrewsbury Town. The club also currently play their home games at the Racecourse Ground.
The club was formed on 28 September 1872 by members of Wrexham Cricket Club, so they could continue playing a sport during the winter months. The meeting which led to the formation was held at the Turf Hotel, which still stands at one corner of the present ground.
The club’s first game was held a few weeks later, and matches often included 17 players on either side. By 1875, formations were reduced to 11 men, and a year later Wrexham was among the founder members of the Cambrian Football Association. Soon afterwards this title was changed to the Football Association of Wales.
The FAW introduced the Welsh Cup in the 1877/78 season, which Wrexham went on to win, after a 1-0 victory over Druids Football Club. The Dragons then won the Welsh Cup for a second time in 1882.
Wrexham were forced to leave their home at the Racecourse Ground in 1883 after a dispute over rent. However, these issues were soon resolved, and the Dragons moved back to the Racecourse in 1887.
Wrexham were founder members of the Football Combination in 1890, before leaving four years later. After twice finishing as runners-up in the Welsh Cup, the club then chose to rejoin the Combination in 1896. The Dragons went on to win the Combination three years in a row, before joining the Birmingham and District League in the 1905/06 season.
During this time, the club was dominant in the Welsh Cup. Nearly every season saw Wrexham either finish as winners or runners-up. By 1921, the club had lifted the trophy 12 times. It was also during 1921 that the Dragons became founder members of the Football League Division Three North.
Charlie Hewitt became the club’s first official manager in 1924. However, he only lasted a couple of months in the job, and left the following year.
Various others including Jack Baynes, Ernest Blackburn and James Logan enjoyed spells as manager of Wrexham. Each was able to continue Wrexham’s dominance in the Welsh Cup, before the outbreak of war saw the Football League programme abandoned during the 1939/40 season.
When football eventually resumed, Wrexham’s good form continued in the Welsh Cup, but the team was performing indifferently in the league.
By 1958, the Dragons had won the Welsh Cup 17 times. It was also during this year that Wrexham were placed in the Football League Division Three, after a re-organisation of the league structure.
Cliff Lloyd took charge in 1959, but ultimately saw his side relegated the same season. Lloyd was quickly replaced by Billy Morris, who tried and failed to get Wrexham promoted back to Division Three at the first attempt.
Ken Barnes then became the club’s next manager, and he instantly saw the club promoted, before being relegated two seasons later. Barnes left in 1965, and it was not until 1970 that Wrexham again achieved promotion.
The team finished as Division Four runners-up in the 1969/70 season, with John Neal now in charge at the club. Neal then went on to continue the trend of Welsh Cup success at the club, before taking Wrexham into the European Cup Winners’ Cup competition in the early 1970’s.
The club reached the Quarter-final, after a run which had seen them beat formidable opposition. However, Wrexham went on to lose to Anderlecht 2-1 on aggregate.
Wrexham’s brief demise
John Neal eventually left in 1977, after a successful nine years at the Racecourse Ground. Arfon Griffiths took over, and quickly saw Wrexham crowned as Football League Division Three Champions in the 1977/78 season.
Griffiths left in 1981, and the Dragons suffered relegation the following season. Mel Sutton was brought in to attempt to restore Wrexham’s Division Two status. However, the team were again relegated in the 1982/83 season, and were forced to contemplate life in Division Four.
Dixie McNeal became the latest manager of the club in 1985, and eventually took Wrexham to the play-offs in the 1988/89 season. Despite a 5-1 aggregate victory over Scunthorpe United, the Dragons went on to lose to Leyton Orient in the final.
The Brian Flynn years
Flynn won the Welsh Cup in successive seasons after becoming the Dragons’ latest manager. Division Four was then re-designated as Division Three, after the formation of the FA Premier League in 1992. During this season, Wrexham won promotion to Division Two, after finishing the season as Division Three Runners-up.
The club was unlucky not to win promotion to Division One in the 1997/98 season, narrowly missing out on goals scored. However, Wrexham did win the FAW Invitation Cup during the same season, after a 2-1 victory over Cardiff City. This then became the FAW Premier Cup, which the club went on to win twice more, before Brian Flynn left Wrexham in 2001.
His departure briefly shocked the club, as they were relegated to Division Three in 2002. However, with Denis Smith now in charge, the Dragons won promotion back to Division Two the following season.
In the 2004/05 season, Division Two was renamed as League One. Wrexham had 10 points deducted for entering administration, and this led to their inevitable relegation into League Two. Despite this set back, the Dragons did salvage some pride by winning the LDV Vans Trophy after beating Southend United 2-0 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
Wrexham narrowly escaped relegation in 2007, during a season which saw Denis Smith lose his job after a poor run of results. Wrexham beat Boston 3-1 at the Racecourse Ground towards the end of the season, a result which saw Boston relegated to the Conference.
Brian Little was named as Wrexham’s new manager in November 2007, and many are hoping that brighter times lie ahead for the Dragons.
- Football League Division Three Champions: 1977/78
- Football League Division Three Runners-up: 1992/93
- Promoted (3rd): 2002/03
- Football League Division Three North Runners-up: 1932/33
- Football League Division Four Runners-up: 1969/70
- FA Cup (best season): 6th rd, 1974, 1978, 1997
- Football League Cup (best season): 5th rd, 1961, 1978
- Welsh Cup Winners: 23 times (joint record)
- Welsh Cup Runners-up: 22 times (record)
- FAW Premier Cup Winners: 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003
- LDV Vans Trophy Winners: 2005
- European Cup Winners’ Cup: 1972/73, 1975/76, 1978/79, 1979/80, 1984/85, 1986/87, 1990/91, 1995/96
- Record League Victory: 10-1 v Hartlepool United, Division Four, 3 March 1962
- Record Cup Victory: 11-1 v New Brighton, Football League Northern Section Cup 1st rd, 3 January 1934
- Record Defeat: 0-9 v Brentford, Division Three, 15 October 1963
- Highest Scorer in Season: Tom Bamford, 44, Division Three North, 1933/34
- Most League Goals in Total Aggregate: Tom Bamford, 175, 1928-1934
- Most League Goals in One Match: 5, Tom Bamford v Carlisle United, Division Three North, 17 March 1934; 5, Lee Jones v Cambridge United, Division Two, 6 April 2002; Juan Ugarte v Hartlepool United, League Championship 1, 5 March 2005
- Most League Appearances: Arfon Griffiths, 592, 1959-61, 1962-1979
- Youngest League Player: Ken Roberts, 15 years 158 days v Bradford PA, 1 September 1951
- Record Transfer Fee Received: £800,000 from Birmingham City for Bryan Hughes, March 1997
- Record Transfer Fee Paid: £210,000 to Liverpool for Joey Jones, October 1978
Contact and Ticket Information
For club enquiries or tickets please contact:
Wrexham Football Club
Main reception (tel): 01978 262129 Ticket Office (tel): 01978 262129 (option 1)
For ticket information online, see the club website
Take the A483 from Chester or Oswestry to Wrexham. Exit at the ‘Mold’ junction, and then follow signs for the ‘Town Centre’. The Racecourse will come quickly into view.
Wrexham General Station is located directly next to the ground.
Take the bus to the centre of Wrexham. Head towards the prominent multi-storey car park, turn right along the Mold Road, and the ground is located half a mile along this road on the right hand side.