Giant Axe

Lancaster City F.C. is an English football club based in Lancaster, Lancashire. The club are currently members of Northern Premier League Division One North and play at Giant Axe.


A club from Lancaster was founded on 31 May 1905 at Temperance Hall in Lancaster, and were originally named Lancaster Athletic Football Club. They immediately joined Division Two of the Lancashire Combination, but resigned from the league at the end of the Lancashire Combination at the end of the 1909–10 season. The club dropped into the West Lancashire Football League, and changed their name to Lancaster Football Club. However, they failed to complete their fixtures, and shareholders decided to disband the club in March 1911. In May 1911 the club was reformed as Lancaster Town Football Club and were admitted back into the Division Two of the Lancashire Combination for the start of the 1911-12 season.

The formation of Lancaster City as we know it today is now however in dispute. In the course of a detailed investigation into the history of Lancaster City FC, information and facts have come to light which show that the formation of the club as it is known today was actually 1911, not 1905 as originally thought. A thorough study of local newspaper archives and minutes of Lancashire FA committee meetings was undertaken by David Cunliffe, official historian of Lancaster City FC.

It was already known the club formed in 1905, Lancaster Athletic FC/Lancaster FC, folded in 1910 and was believed to have been replaced by Lancaster Town FC in 1911. However this investigation has revealed the new club would only have been permitted to join the Lancashire FA if it had satisfied the authorities it had no connection whatsoever with the previous Lancaster club. Records unearthed by David Cunliffe confirm the new club, Lancaster Town FC, was indeed a completely new and separately constituted entity from 1911 onwards. Lancaster Town FC was subsequently re-named Lancaster City FC following the granting of the Royal Charter to Lancaster in 1937. Therefore it is now believed that Lancaster City as exists today was in fact formed in 1911 and not 1905 and as such should now be celebrating its centenary despite having celebrated it six years ago. David’s comprehensive report, which delved into records as far back as the 1880s, is available for scrutiny from the club office.

After World War I the Combination was reduced to a single division. The club finished as runners-up in 1919–20, and the following season the club applied to join the new Third Division North of the Football League, but were unsuccessful. However, they won the Combination for the first time in 1921–22. In 1928–29 the club reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, but lost 3–1 at home to Lincoln City. The following year they won the Combination for a second time and reached the FA Cup first round again, losing 4–1 at New Brighton. The first round was reached again in 1930–31, 1931–32 and 1933–34, but the club lost on each occasion. Back-to-back league titles were won in 1934–35 and 1935–36, and in 1937 the club adopted its current name after the town was giving city status as part of King George VI's coronation celebrations.

In 1970 the club left the Combination to join the newly-established Northern Premier League. After finishing seventeenth in 1981–82 they dropped into Division One of the North West Counties League. Two years later they were relegated again after finishing second from bottom of the division. However, despite only finishing thirteenth in 1987–88, the club were accepted into the new Division One of the Northern Premier League.

In 1995–96 Lancaster won Division One and were promoted to the Premier Division. After finishing eighth in 2003–04 the club were placed in the newly-established Conference North. Financial problems led to the club folding at the end of the 2006–07 season, in which they suffered a 10-point deduction for going into administration, and finished bottom of the league with one point. During the summer, the club reformed, and were accepted into Division One of the Northern Premier League.


The club play at Giant Axe, located close to Lancaster railway station. It has been their home ground since 1905, before which the club played its first two home games at Quay Meadow, located behind the buildings on St Georges Quay. It was given its name as it was the centrepiece of a sports club, the exterior wall of which was, when viewed from above, the same shape as an axe head. In those early years, tennis was also played at the ground, and the football pitch was at the centre of a huge circle of grass called 'the sixpence', which also featured cricket pitches. The ground has been the club's home since the early days, but was renovated in the 1990s, and now features a stand of modern plastic seating.

The ground has a 500-seat Main Stand, with the open Club End Terrace behind one goal and The Shed at the other. Opposite the Main Stand is the Long Side, a small open terrace which also plays host to a raised corporate box and the dugouts.

Current squad

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

Reserves, Ladies and Youth teams

Lancaster City also have several other teams starting with Lancaster City Reserves who play in the Lancashire League West Division, a league that includes several other non-league reserve teams from the North West of England. The Lancaster City's under 18's team currently play in the North West Youth Alliance while Lancaster City Ladies F.C. play in the Lancashire Ladies County League West Division. There are also several youth and junior teams ranging from under 7's to under 16's that play in the Lancaster and Morecambe Service to Youth League and the Lune and District Junior Football League

Coaching staff

Coaching and Medical Staff

  • Manager: Tony Hesketh
  • Assistant Manager: Phil Brown
  • First Team Coach: Derek Bull
  • Director of Football: Mick Hoyle
  • Physios: Kevin McGuffog, David Rhodes, Dave Hughes
  • Kit Managers: Hughie Sharkey, Billy Heron
  • Reserve Team & Under 18's Manager: Richard Thomas
  • Reserve Team & Under 18's Assistant Manager: Dave Rogerson
  • Ladies Team Managers: Kyle Young, Guy Heffernan
  • Northern Premier League Division One
    • Winners (1): 1995-96
  • Northern Premier League Challenge Cup
    • Winners (2): 1999-2000, 2000–01
  • Northern Premier League President's Cup
    • Winners (2): 1994-95, 2010–11
  • Lancashire Combination
    • Winners (4): 1921–22, 1929–30, 1934–35, 1935–36
  • Lancashire Combination Cup
    • Winners (1): 1921–22
  • Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy
    • Winners (6): 1927–28, 1928–29, 1930–31, 1934–35, 1951–52, 1974–75
Club records
  • Record attendance: 7,509 vs Carlisle United, FA Cup fourth qualifying round, 17 November 1927
  • Record win: 17–2 vs Appleby, FA Cup, 1915.
  • Record defeat: 0–10 vs Matlock Town, Northern Premier League, 1974.
  • Most career appearances: Edgar J. Parkinson 591, 1949–1964.
  • Most career goals: Dave Barnes, 130, 1979–84, 1988-91.
  • Most goals in a season (league & cup): Jordan Connerton, 38, 2009–10.
  • Record transfer fee paid: £6,000 to Droylsden for Jamie Tandy, July 2006.
  • Record transfer fee received: £50,000 (including add-ons) from NAC Breda for Peter Thomson, 1999.
Managerial history

In addition to the above permanent managers both Mick Hoyle on four occasions in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2008 and Derek Bull in 2006 have held the post of caretaker manager.