ABOUT THE REDS
The story so far...
Colne F.C. were formed in January 1996, by a group of like-minded people under the wing of now Life President Dave Blacklock. The enthusiasts combined their strengths and knowledge of non-league football, and arrangements were made for a new club to use the vacant Holt House Stadium, once used by the Dynamoes in the North West Counties Football League Division Two.
Colne FC’s first ever competitive game was on the 17th August 1996 against Middlewich and the result ended in a 1 – 0 defeat.
The team was then managed by Keith Mason, but after his resignation soon after, Denzel Hart was appointed to the hot seat. His first game was a 6 – 0 defeat away at Ashton Town, but just two games later Colne FC recorded their first ever victory thumping Bacup Borough 5 – 2. The highlight of the season, coming when the reserves won the BEP Cup at Clitheroe’s Shawbridge ground.
In the summer of 2002 James Webster took control of the club, to become the youngest chairman in the league at the age of 24. James was a player at the club with plenty of experience and along with his father who was vice chairman, had a strong desire to see the current side emulate the success of its predecessors.
Webster responded immediately by appointing Nigel Coates as the new manager as well as player Gary Rishton as his number 2. Nigel had played for the Dynamoes, being in the FA Vase winning team and had experience of management at local rivals Nelson.
Season 2003/04 brought back the glory days to Colne with a string of successes. In the League Colne had to play catch up after a successful cup run, but ended the season 10 points clear in Division two, scoring 102 goals in their 38 games.Colne completed the double by winning the Division Two Trophy 1 – 0 over Great Harwood.
The season was capped by an amazing run in the FA Vase for a North West Counties Football League Division Two club, they progressed all the way to the semi-finals, (via an incredible 1 – 2 away win at AFC Wimbledon) before being defeated over two legs 4 – 3 on aggregate to AFC Sudbury.
As the season progressed attendances started to rise as the local population realised we were no longer the whipping boys of the league, and the famous RED ARMY was formed.
In November 2013 Colne’s manager for the past 10 years Nigel Coates stepped down from the hot seat and former Colne player Steve Cunningham was appointed manager, with another former Colne favourite Ted Cockett as his No.2 and Coach.
Steve and Ted had ambitious plans for the club and wasted no time in bringing in a few new faces to boost the playing squad, consolidating for the rest of the season but with big hopes and plans for the following seasons.
Season 2014-15 proved to be the best ever at that time in terms of league placing, with Colne finishing a creditable fourth.
Season 2015-16 proved to be the best ever in Colne FC twenty year history. The reds battled for the NWCFL Premier title with Runcorn Linnets and Atherton Collieries with the Reds winning the title with an 81 minute goal at 1874 Northwich securing 100 points and 100 + goals upon the way. The reds also reached the final of the League Cup before falling to Atherton.
2016-17 saw the Reds compete at level 4 for the first time in their history and finished a more than creditable 5th and the final play-off spot which the Reds lost in the semi- final to Farsley Celtic. The Colne fans earned many accolades throughout the season for their fine and vocal support of the team.
The 2017-18 season see’s Steve Cunningham lead his team for another tilt at the title. A new Chairman Ryan Haigh was appointed in June 2017 and with the backing of Utility Renewals. The reds again were competitive missing out on the final play off place on goal difference.
2018/19 saw a new era for the club with the formation of the NPL West Division. Again Colne suffered play-off heartache losing to a last minute extra-time goal in the Semi-Final at Leek Town.
2019/20 saw the season null and voided due to the Covid epidemic with Colne in a mid-table position. However it was a season to remember for all involved with the club as the reds reached the 4th and final qualifying round of the FA Cup. The reds were sadly well beaten at Gateshead. At the end of the season long time manager Steve Cunningham stepped down and was replaced by Nathan Rooney.
2020/21 With a new manager and back room staff in place Colne were looking forward to being a challenger in a very strong league. Colne ended the curtailed season sitting in first place after nine games.
2021/2022 This season was our 25th anniversary as Colne Football Club and had the challenge of a new league to play in with several new signings and Lee Pugh taking over as captain from long time servant Alex Coleman. After 13 games and with the squad blighted by injuries to key players, the record was - Played 13, won 5 drawn 3, lost 5. In the FA Cup we played our old friends Trafford away and took them back to Harrison Drive to win the replay 2-1. Next up were Stalybridge Celtic away who we beat 1-0 before losing at home to Guiseley AFC 1-0. In the FA Trophy we drew City of Liverpool FC away winning 1-0. The next round took us to Buxton beating them 2-1 to progress to the First Round proper. The draw then paired us with a Step 3 team from the Southern League Central Division, Tamworth FC. In a hard fought game which ended 1-1 Colne bowed out 4-3 on penalties. The First Round is our best progress so far in the completion.
Nathan Rooney resigned in December stating personal reasons He was replaced by Jonathon Macken who brought in Steve Atkinson as his assistant for our New Year’s Day game against Kendal Town - a scrappy 1-0 defeat. January 2022 was a month of comings and goings with six players in and an equal number being moved on and saw just 1 point from the last 6 games. February was no better with another four defeats but signs of improvement. March saw three wins and a draw with no goals conceded which effectively ensured safety for the season at this level. The club finished the campaign in 14th place with a record of: Played 38, won 12, drawn 8, lost 18, 44 points.
The 22/23 season, was one to forget for the reds, despite the optimism from a promising pre-season, the club ended up in turmoil at the end of August as Ryan Haigh stepped down as chairman and principle sponsor. The club approached two local businessmen, Glenn Stock and Darren Harrison, and within a matter of days they were announced as the clubs new Co-Chair.
Trouble off the pitch led to trouble on the pitch and as the new year started results were pulling Colne closer and closer to the drop. Following a number of dismal results, the club had no other option than to sack manager Phil Brown, and former Burnley player Paul Weller was appointed interim manager.
Sadly, the job of keeping the reds at step 4 was too much for Weller, and the reds were relegated on the final game of the season back to the NWCFL.
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