Monday, April 30, 2007

Rebels hit right note

Source: M.E.N.

Stuart Brennan
30/ 4/2007

FC UNITED pogo'd out of the North West Counties League to the strains of punk music and amid wild celebrations at Gigg Lane.

But manager Karl Marginson will tonight gather his players and warn them that there is still one more big game to play this season, the League Challenge Cup final against Curzon Ashton - who have also been promoted along with Nantwich Town - on Thursday night.

The Rebels beat Formby 5-0 to round off their league season, and with George Best's sister Barbara McNarry watching from the stands, it was appropriate that Ulsterman Rory Patterson should be the star, crashing in a hat-trick to take his tally for the season to 39.

Rhodri Giggs kicked the party off by opening the scoring and in the midst of Patterson's treble, Formby defender Chris Pauls also put through his own net.

The beer and champagne flowed after that as North West Counties League chairman Dave Tomlinson handed over the trophy, and the first team was joined on the pitch by the Reserves who have won their league in their first season and on Wednesday play Padiham in the reserves' cup final.

Marginson, who brought himself on for a swansong appearance with 20 minutes to go, was the party-pooper, reminding his players that they are back in training tonight for the all-ticket final at Tameside Stadium.

"It's been an incredible league season, and we have broken a couple of records along the way by amassing 112 points and scoring 157 goals, and that's all down to the players," said Marginson.

"I told the players in the dressing room before the game how proud I was to be associated with them, and that they have all earned the right to be here when we move up to the UniBond first division next season.


"What a day it has been - United go five points clear, we pick up the trophy and Leeds have gone down! Now we want to make it a great week with a result at AC Milan on Wednesday and us lifting the cup the following night."

As punk band Sick Nurse set the tone for the celebrations from the back of an Army truck, Tomlinson said they would be sad to see FC go.

He said "They have brought a lot of finance to the majority of our clubs."

"They have brought a high profile to the league, for which we are always grateful, and they have also shown a lot of clubs what you can do in terms of organisation - they are one of the best-organised clubs around. Because they have such a large following, they have an awful lot of people with different skills which shows in their use of information technology, their programme and their matchday organisation.

"When they first appeared, a lot of clubs had misgivings. I think a lot of them thought `Hang on, we are getting somebody here with a lot of money and there are only two promoted from the second division'.

"But we didn't get a lot of critics. Generally clubs accepted the fact that they would benefit. I wasn't sure that they would find it as easy as they have, but Karl Marginson has done a remarkable job in finding the players and getting them together as a good squad.

"They will be missed. Whether their crowds stay as high as they are, I don't know, but our clubs are grateful for what they have had, wish them all the best and hope they go from strength to strength.

"If ever they come back to us, they will be welcome."

Five-star FC enjoy trophy celebrations

Source: This is Lancashire

By Liam Chronnell

RORY Patterson smashed his second hat-trick in four days as champions FC United lifted the Division One trophy on the final day of the season to spark wild celebrations at Gigg Lane.

The Double-chasing Reds, who take on Curzon Ashton in the League Challenge Cup final on Thursday night, blasted five past Formby without reply in front of 3,847 delighted fans.

The victory means the breakaway club, who sealed promotion to the UniBond League earlier this month, topped the table by 13 points, having struck an incredible 157 goals and conceded just 36 in 42 league matches.

Rhodri Giggs fired the hosts in front before Patterson's 23-minute salvo either side of half-time, with a Formby own goal in between, ensured the prolific Rebels extended their unbeaten run to 25 games in a match where manager Karl Marginson came out of retirement to make a cameo appearance as a late substitute.

There were also five-star displays from the two Atherton clubs as they signed off in style.

Collieries clinched seventh spot - their best-ever finish - after a blistering 5-1 victory against Ramsbottom United, one place below them in the table.

Nick Dyson handed the Alder House club, who had never finished higher than twelfth before, the lead, though the visitors drew level from the penalty spot.

However, Czech hitman Vita Bina grabbed a stunning double in three minutes before the interval, and Seydou Bamber's second-half brace, made it a superb seven wins out of eight in April for Phil Brown's team.

Atherton LR, much improved under new boss Roy Sweeney, also ended a mixed season with a fantastic performance as they ran out 5-1 winners at bottom club Stone Dominoes.

The impressive display means Rovers, who have undergone a remarkable turnaround since the former assistant manager took over from Mark Cox last month, finished in 16th spot after flirting with relegation after Christmas.

Ian Berry proved the matchwinner with a 26-minute first-half hat-trick - only LR's second of the season - while Stuart Wellstead and captain Rick Arnold chipped in with goals after the break.

There was, at last, some good news for Daisy Hill in Division Two as they shocked third-placed Padiham 3-2 thanks to a brilliant Simon Farrell treble. The New Sirs striker struck three times in 23 minutes at the start of the second half to blow away the home side and give Tommy Moore's young side, stuck in the bottom two for long periods, plenty of hope for better things in the future.


Match Gallery Here

Celebrations Here

Saturday, April 28, 2007

FC United honour for legend Best

Source: M.E.N.

mike keegan
28/ 4/2007

GEORGE Best will be honoured by fans of breakaway club FC United today.

The legendary player's sister, Barbara McNarry, will be at Gigg Lane in Bury to pick up a cheque for £3,000, raised by fans of the club for a charity set up in her brother's memory.

Speaking to the M.E.N. just over a year after the memorial service for the United legend, Barbara revealed she was `desperate' to keep George's Manchester connections alive.

"He loved this place," she said. "He was a man who mixed with queens, kings, presidents and prime minister but he was always more at home in a Manchester pub playing cribbage with the ordinary man from the street"

She said Best's heart was always at Old Trafford: "Belfast was his home. But he never got Manchester out of his system. He lived in London for a long time but was always coming back here. I think he thought Mancunians were very similar characters to those from his home. And he loved United - they were always his team."

Barbara, 55, added that she was `always' thinking about her brother. "It's hard not to," she said. "We drive past an airport that's named after him every day.

"I find the whole thing astonishing - we have George Best Airport and £5 notes with his face on them in Northern Ireland. He was that popular and I don't think he ever realised it."

The money raised by FC United fans will go to the George Best Foundation, set up by his family last year.

The current total stands at £400,000 and will be spent on research into liver disease and alcoholism and on encouraging youngsters to play football.

FC United was set up two years ago by supporters disillusioned with the Glazer takeover. The cheque will be handed over as FC are crowned North West Counties Division One champions - the club's second league title in two seasons.

Manager Karl Marginson said: "It promises to be a great day. Last year's celebrations, when we had more than 6,000 here, will live long in the memory and I'm sure today will be equally special."

A spokeman from the club said: "The response from supporters has been magnificent. It just goes to show what George meant to us all."

Friday, April 27, 2007

Karl's final flourish

Source: M.E.N.

Stuart Brennan
27/ 4/2007

KARL Marginson will come out of football retirement to play in FC United's final league game of the season against lowly Formby on Saturday (3pm).

The Rebels' boss, who has guided his team to a second successive promotion and into next Thursday's League Challenge Cup final, wants a last hurrah and is threatening to bring himself on as a sub for the last 10 minutes.

The 36-year-old van driver has not played since he suffered a knee injury turning out for Flixton two years ago.

Two months later he was appointed FC manager and, despite registering as a player last season, did not play for the club.

"It might be a bit selfish, but I want to finish my career on a high, and it's something I have been mulling over," said Marginson, a former Rotherham and Macclesfield striker.

"I am sure I will get some stick from our fans, but they will shut up when I belt one in the top corner!"

The match will also mark the retirement of assistant manager Darren Lyons and defender Dave Brown.

The club intends to turn the match into a celebration and has invited George Best's sister Barbara McNarry to be a special guest - she will accept a cheque for £3,000 raised for her brother's charity Foundation.

And Marginson wants his players to cap a fantastic league season with a win over lowly Formby - last season they had to pick up the Division Two trophy after losing to Great Harwood Town 1-0 in front of over 6,000 fans.

Marginson will be without Rob Nugent who will rest a knee injury and the suspended Stuart Rudd.

Rebels goal star suffers ban blow

Source: Bolton News
By Liam Chronnell

FC United goal-machine Stuart Rudd will miss the League Challenge Cup final after his appeal against his sending off was rejected.

The 44-goal striker was handed a three-game ban after being sent off for the first time in his career against Ramsbottom United on April 7.

The champions appealed against Rudd's red card but the decision was upheld and the former Skelmersdale hitman will miss Thursday's final against Curzon Ashton, as well as tomorrow's final league game against second-bottom Formby and the first match of next season.

"I am absolutely gutted," said Rudd. "It's the first time I've ever been sent off and I'm missing two of the most important games of my career.

Full-back Alex Mortimer is also suspended for the home clash, after which the Rebels, unbeaten in 24 games, will be presented with the North West Counties Division One trophy.

Seventh-placed Atherton Collieries will be looking to end their best-ever campaign on a high note when they entertain Ramsbottom United - one place and three points below them in the table.

The Alder House club, who have never finished higher than 12th before, are already 13 points better off than their previous highest points haul of 54, and Colls boss Phil Brown will be keen to sign off an excellent year with victory.

Atherton LR take on bottom club Stone Dominoes in their final league encounter while, in Division Two, Daisy Hill will be desperate to end a difficult season with a win.

Though safe from relegation due to the restructuring of the league, manager Tommy Moore is desperate for his young side to finish out of the bottom two. However, the New Sirs outfit will have their work cut out to claim three points at promotion-chasing Padiham.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

FC United’s fun day for youngsters

Source: M.E.N.

By Staff Reporter

SPORTS-mad youngsters can enjoy some family fun in the sun on a day of festivities at Gigg Lane on Saturday - and it won't cost a penny.

FC United of Manchester, which plays at the home of Bury Football Club, have invited young people from 400 schools, clubs and organisations across Manchester - including dozens in Bury - to take part in Youth United Day.

There is free entry for under 18s, who can join in with activities including music, arts and theatre and also get to watch FC United play in their final home game of a successful season against Formby.

The breakaway Reds have already won the North West Counties League Division One and are on course for the double, having reached the final of the League Challenge Trophy.

The club's matches regularly attract crowds of around 2,500. The season finale last year, when United won the Division Two championship, attracted 6,023 and organisers are hoping this year's event will be just as successful.

Co-organiser Vinny Thompson said: "As part of the club's continuing community development programme, we want to give as many youngsters as possible a chance to experience a big-game atmosphere at an affordable price.

"It will be a day of celebration in recognition of our back-to-back championships and will be a fun event for young people from Bury and Greater Manchester to be involved in."

He added: "The atmosphere is second to none and attracts families and especially young people, who make up a significant proportion of our membership. Youth United Day is a way of encouraging other families and their friends to come and experience this for themselves."

Entry to the match, which starts at 3pm, costs £7 for adults and £5 for concessions.

The day of fun starts at 12.30pm when youngsters can take part in a series of workshops at Holy Cross College in Manchester Road. Activities will include a banner-making class, a rap and rhyme' music session and a theatre workshop.

For more information, contact Mr Thompson on (0161) 236 1070.

Tribute to George Best


By Staff Reporter

FC UNITED fans are set to pay tribute to their hero George Best on Saturday when a very special guest visits Gigg Lane.

Reds fans will welcome Best's sister Barbara McNarry and her husband Norman to the club's final league match of the season against Formby The couple are due to make the half-time Fair Share draw out on the pitch and will also accept a donation of more than £3,000 from the club's Supporters Network.

The cash, which raised during a memorabilia auction and through collections and badge sales, will go to the George Best Foundation, which was funds research into liver disease and alcoholism and encourages young people to adopt a healthy lifestyle through participation in football.

One of items up for grabs in the auction was a rare George Best £5 note, which raised more than £180 alone.

FC United supporter Mike Sherrard, of Boothstown, who organised the fundraising activities, said he is looking forward to the visit. "It will be an honour for Barbara to visit Gigg Lane.

"Obviously, FC United came from the history of Manchester United and many of our supporters will have fond memories of George. He is part of my earliest footballing memory and I always had his poster up on my wall when I was a kid. I thought it was important for our supporters to do something in tribute to him when he died and this has been a perfect way of doing so. I would like to say a huge thank you to all the people who have donated money, who took part in the auction or who bought the badges. To raise so much money is fantastic and everyone involved should feel proud."

Giggs slays City!

Source: Salford Advertiser

FC United 4 Salford City 2:

A POOR start to the second half and a hat-trick from ex-Salford player Rhodri Giggs put paid to City’s hopes of gaining automatic promotion.

Salford made a bright start to Saturday’s North West Counties League first division game at Gigg Lane and shocked the vociferous home support in the 12th minute when a defence splitting pass from Jamie Bagguley sent Nick Robinson through on goal and he calmly slotted the ball past FC keeper Sam Ashton.

FC’s equaliser on 35 minutes was tinged with controversy. From a corner, Giggs dispatched a sweet volley past City keeper Andy Moore from 20 yards out but Salford’s players claimed the goal should have been disallowed for a foul on Dale Whitehead.

The concussed Whitehead failed to reappear after the interval and, as in recent games, City failed to get back into their stride.

Within two minutes, FC’s Nicky Platt hit a first time shot from the edge of the penalty box which seemed to go through Moore’s body and into the net to put the league champions in front.

Then with no apparent danger, Robinson lost possession deep in his own half and, following a neat one-two with Wright, Giggs hit his second goal of the game.

Robinson almost redeemed himself within a minute at the other end but he was thwarted by a good save.

Further chances fell the way of United before City got their act together. The introduction of substitute Tommy Turner put more vigour and commitment into the side and it was Turner who threw the Moor Lane team a lifeline with 20 minutes remaining when he waltzed through the home defence and rattled in unstoppable shot.

Salford pushed forward in search of an equaliser only to be hit by a late sucker punch from Giggs, who had been difficult to contain all afternoon.

City host Nantwich Town in their final game of the season on Saturday, April 28, kick-off 3pm.

They need something from the game to finish in fourth spot.

FC United 4 Trafford 4

Source: M.E.N.

David Ornstein
26/ 4/2007

WHAT should have been a routine victory for FC United ended in disappointment last night as the rebels let slip a three-goal lead to draw 4-4 with Trafford FC in their penultimate game of the North West Counties League season.

The Rebels were crowned champions a week ago, winning promotion to the UniBond League a year ahead of schedule, but the ease with which they lostconcentration here warrants cause for concern ahead of the League Challenge Cup final against Curzon Ashton on May 3.

Just five minutes were on the clock when Stuart Rudd opened the scoring with a penalty - the former Wigan youth player's 45th goal in 48 appearances this season.

FC wasted countless opportunities to extend their lead before Rory Patterson smashed into an empty net shortly after half-time.


That brought up FC's 150th league goal of the season and a record 36th league win in a season looked to be a formality.

Liam Ralph pulled one back for the visitors but two more goals for Patterson should have rubber stamped the three points.

Substitute Mark Fitton gave Trafford hope before John Bluck's free-kick caused tension to sweep around Gigg Lane.

With just five minutes remaining Billy McCartney completed the comeback from the penalty spot to send the pocket of Trafford supporters delirious but the FC crowd home praying this was a minor blip in an otherwise magnificent season.

Young Alex is having a ball

Source: South Manchester Reporter

LITTLE Alex Croft has been given a new lease of life thanks to his footballing heroes at FC United.

The nine-year-old, who suffers from cerebral palsy, is the proud owner of a new £12,000 wheelchair, paid for in part by the fundraising efforts of the club’s players.

And his new set of wheels have improved his mobility to such an extent that he is now able to repay their kindness by serving as a ball boy at the club’s games.

Alex’s father, Les, says he turned to the club for help when his son’s old wheelchair kept breaking down.

“They’ve been fantastic,” he said. “I’ve been taking Alex to the games for a while and as soon as I told them we were raising money for a new chair, they immediately said they’d help.

“They’ve been so generous, to say they’re not exactly on premiership wages, and they’ve given so much of their time too.”

Players for the club also donated items for an auction that the family held at Chorlton Irish Club. Even the club’s kitman chipped in, riding a 450-mile sponsored bike ride to raise money.

OVER the moon: Alex with dad Les and sister Lucy, six
Les, 37, from Brookburn Road, Chorlton, said he and wife Claire, are thrilled at the difference it has made to their son’s life.

The insurance claims advisor added: “He’s got his independence now. Whereas before he always had to have someone to push him, now he can go about on his own.

“He’s been out and about with his friends and having a whale of a time.”

Despite naming his son after two Manchester United legends, Alex Ferguson and Matt Busby, Les switched allegiance to the breakaway club when it was set up by disgruntled reds’ fans.

“He got addicted to going straight away, so we kept on going.,” said Les.

And having become one of FC United’s most loyal fans, Alex was called on to the pitch to help the team celebrate when they won the league this season.

There's Nou-where I'd rather be

Source: Heywood Advertiser

BARCELONA may be home to some of the world’s greatest players, but John and Curtis Howarth would rather watch their football in Bury.

The father and son, who hail from Heywood, are so passionate about FC United that they make a 1,700-mile round trip to Gigg Lane for every home game to watch the North West Counties side.

They have even had shirts specially made which are half Barcelona shirt and half FC United.

One shirt has ‘Ruddaldinho’ on the back of it, in honour of Barcelona’s Brazilian superstar Ronaldinho and FC United’s leading scorer Stuart Rudd.

The other has ‘van Patterson’ on the back in homage to former Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy, who now plays for Real Madrid, and FC United striker Rory Patterson.

Barcelona won the Champions League last season and its line-up includes world class players such as Ronaldinho, Deco, Lionel Messi, and Samuel Eto’o.

But Curtis, 28, formerly of Hopwood Avenue, is more interested in FC United.

He said: “I have been to see a couple of Barcelona games but they don’t really interest me. FC United has some good players who have come down the leagues to play for the club as it has bigger crowds than they would ever play in front of.

“The club has a real family atmosphere and we know the manager and the players.

“FC United could be a massive club and it feels good to have been involved by going to matches since the start.”

John, 51, used to live on Hopwood Avenue and followed Manchester United all over the world. He stopped going to games when the Glazer family took over the Old Trafford club, which sparked the formation of FC United.

The former Heywood St James FC player moved to Barcelona two and half years ago and runs three businesses as an investment adviser. Curtis works on one of them with him.

John said: “We have such a good time going to matches that in the early part of last season we were missing more flights home than we were getting on.

“The camaraderie and atmosphere at games is so great we didn’t wanted to go home. But coming from Heywood we always have somewhere to stay when we didn’t make it back.

“Some people can’t comprehend why we do it, but this is our passion and we are doing something we really want to do.

“We had a great time on the Rammy Rattler the other week – it was like rolling back the years to the 1970s when we went to matches on the train.”
Michael Byrne

First published by the Heywood Advertiser

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Free Image HostingSource: Daily Mirror
Oliver Holt 25/04/2007

GIGGS scored a hat-trick for United on Saturday. "Sublime," they called it on the club website.

What, you mean you watched the game against Middlesbrough and you didn't see it?

Well, you could be forgiven for that because you were watching a different United and a different Giggs.

And you could be forgiven, too, for having forgotten all about FC United of Manchester, as Manchester United of Manchester have carried all before them in a magical season that is racing towards its climax.

FC United were formed by disillusioned Manchester United supporters in the summer of 2005 in the first flush of resentment against Malcolm Glazer's debt-laden takeover at Old Trafford.

For a year, they were the club's guilty conscience. Their presence was a reminder of the way Sir Alex Ferguson and his craven board had swallowed their principles and bowed down in front of the money-men from Palm Beach.

Think of Dennis Skinner railing from Labour's back benches against the sell-out Tony Blair and you've got an idea of their position in football culture.

To the more romantic, they were knights on white chargers waging war on the football anti-Christs who talked of fans as 'customers' and the club as 'a brand'.

They were part of a movement to give football back to the fans, part of the counter-culture initiated by AFC Wimbledon and taken up by clubs like Stockport County, now run with passion and intelligence by supporters.

But then this season, Manchester United put their recent years of relative ordinariness behind them and started playing well again. Started playing beautiful, beautiful football again.

The Glazers shelled out big money for Michael Carrick and Nemanja Vidic and appeared to be ready to sanction the £20million purchase of Owen Hargreaves from Bayern Munich.

The television moolah rolled in, ticket prices remained stable and suddenly everyone started asking what all the fuss had been about. To many, FC United had lost their raison d'etre.

The people at FC United don't see it that way. On the pitch, things are still going as well as they possibly could. A week ago, they secured their second successive promotion. They have won 35 of their 40 games in the North West Counties Football League Division One.

They have amassed 108 points, which puts them 15 ahead of second-placed Curzon Ashton. Their goal difference is plus 116.

On Saturday, they beat Salford City 4-2. Rhodri Giggs, younger brother of Ryan and a left-winger to boot, scored three of the goals.

Next season, they will play in the Unibond First Division. They are clambering up the pyramid fast. Four more promotions and they would be in the Football League.

Attendances are holding up, too. They are averaging more than 2,500 this season, which puts them above several league clubs, including Bury, with whom they share Gigg Lane.

And for the fans instrumental in the founding of the club, the fact that Ferguson and his side are closing in on another Treble has given them no reason for second thoughts.

Because, essentially, it's not what happens on the pitch at either club that defines the reason for the split. It's what happens off it. "The true effects of the Glazer takeover at Old Trafford have yet to come to fruition," FC United board member and spokesman Jules Spencer said.

"There were always going to be two or three seasons of grace before the interest payments Glazers' investment vehicle, announced a loss of more than £130m last week for the year ended June 2006.

"But the figures were revealed at the same time as news of Cristiano Ronaldo's new contract so no one really took any notice. They paid £85m in interest payments until June last year and that's £85m that could have gone towards keeping ticket prices down.

"We didn't set up FC United just because Manchester United were in the doldrums. The fact they are having success now does not remove the reasons why we walked away.

"We were becoming disillusioned by issues like kick-off times, rampant merchandising and rising ticket prices. And when Glazer took over, we objected to the idea we would be buying the club for him.

"None of those issues have changed because Manchester United are in the semi-finals of the European Cup and are at the top of the Premiership. It's important to stress we still remain United fans, just not customers.

"Anyone who saw how FC United supporters reacted to John O'Shea's winner in front of the Kop in the pubs round Gigg Lane prior to one of our home games will attest to that."

FC United face plenty of stern challenges in the years ahead, not least the fight to avoid turning into the kind of club they despise the closer they get to the Football League.

But their philosophy is worth supporting. They're the acceptable, articulate face of opposition to foreign ownership, the antithesis of the old-boy idiocy of Peter Hill-Wood's xenophobic garbage about not wanting 'their sort' here.

"We never opposed Glazer on the grounds of his nationality," Spencer says. "We just had concerns that he had no emotional ties to Manchester United and about the debt burden. "But takeovers by foreign owners are distancing Premiership clubs even more from their supporters. Clubs and the community should be one and the same thing.

"We still stick to our philosophy of not endorsing rampant commercialism. We do some merchandising but it's only what is requested by our fans. We took a vote on it. That's the difference." Well, vive la difference. I still admire FC United for what they're doing. I hope they continue to prosper.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

FC to make Best donation

Source: M.E.N.

24/ 4/2007

REBEL club FC United will hand over a £3,000 donation to the George Best Foundation prior to being crowned North West Counties League champions on Saturday.

Best's sister Barbara McNally will be at Gigg Lane to receive the cheque ahead of the club's final home game of the season against Formby.

After a brief mid-season wobble, FC United eventually secured promotion to UniBond League Division One with something to spare.

Once again, the club, formed by fans opposed to Malcolm Glazer's takeover of Manchester United, recorded staggering attendance figures.

Average gates hovered around the 3,000 mark, which will make them favourites to achieve a third successive promotion next season that will leave them just three divisions below the Football League.


Source: Sporting Life

By Simon Stone, PA Sport Chief Football Writer

Rebel club FC United will hand over a £3,000 donation to the George Best Foundation prior to being crowned North West Counties League champions on Saturday.

Best's sister Barbara McNally will be at Gigg Lane to receive the cheque ahead of the club's final home game of the season against Formby.

After a brief mid-season wobble, FC United eventually secured promotion to UniBond League Division One with something to spare.

Once again, the club, formed by fans opposed to Malcolm Glazer's takeover of Manchester United, recorded staggering attendance figures.

Average gates hovered around the 3,000 mark, which will make them favourites to achieve a third successive promotion next season that will leave them just three divisions below the Football League.

Friday, April 20, 2007

No rest for Karl's champions

Source: M.E.N.

Stuart Brennan
20/ 4/2007

KARL Marginson has made it plain that there can be no let-up for his FC United champions, with cup final places still to be won and lost.

The Rebels clinched the North West Counties League title with a 7-1 win over Atherton LR on Wednesday, and play host to rivals Salford City at Gigg Lane tomorrow (3pm), one of only two teams to have beaten them in the league.

But Marginson wants his side's 22-match unbeaten run to continue until the end of the season, which ends in the League Challenge Cup final on May 3.

"We have a duty to the other teams in the league not to take our foot off the pedal now," said Marginson. "Not only that, we need to keep the momentum going all the way to the cup final because in football it's hard to get it going again once you have lifted your foot off that pedal."

Marginson also vowed to give his title winners a chance to impress in the UniBond League first division next season, and backed them to be fighting for a third consecutive championship: "The standard is not too dissimilar to the NWCL. Perhaps some teams are physically stronger but there is not a great deal of difference.


"Buxton, who won the Northern Counties League east last season, which is equivalent to our level, won the UniBond first division this season and Cammell Laird, who were champions before us, are second at the moment.

"We will be looking to emulate Buxton. I know the UniBond League, and with one or two additions to our squad, the majority of our players will be here next year. All of our players have shown they deserve a chance to represent the club at a higher level. I know they are good enough.

"Sometimes you watch players at other clubs and the grass seems greener, but you need evidence that these lads can play in front of big crowds and raise their game week in, week out.

"That is exactly what we have done this year by drawing three and losing two of our 39 league games so far."

Striker Rory Patterson completes his three-match ban tomorrow and will be available for the run-in.

FC have announced that they will again face AFC Wimbledon in a pre-season friendly, at Kingsmeadow on August 4.

FC on BBC North West Tonight

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Title Winning Celebrations

Congratulations to the FC United First Team and Reserves from all at Punkfootball

sorry no pics, apparently with these newfangled cameras the batteries need to be 'charged' whatever that is. thanks to forrest for borrowing me his compact for this footage

Kein Sponsor auf dem Shirt

Source: jungeWelt (Germany)

Graswurzelrevolution: Der FC United of Manchester ist schon wieder Meister geworden
Von Christian Bunke
Nachdem der Rebellenclub FC United of Manchester im vergangenen Jahr auf Anhieb die North West Counties League /Second Division gewann, schrieben sich einige Fanzine-Autoren die Finger wund. Schüchterne Fragen wurden gestellt. Kommt jetzt die schwierige zweite Saison? So wie bei Musikbands, wenn das zweite Album dran, was ja öfters daneben geht. The Stone Roses machten zum Beispiel »The Second Coming« und danach nichts mehr. Bekanntlich ist der FC United eine Fan-Neugründung als Reaktion auf den Verkauf ihres Clubs Manchester United an den US-Milliardär Malcolm Glazer 2005.

Am Mittwoch erlebten 2249 begeisterte Fans, wie FC United wieder einen Meistertitel holte. FC United gewannen gegen Atherton Laburnun Rovers 7:1. Rhodri Giggs, der Bruder des Manchester-United-Spielers Ryan, machte das erste Tor für FC. Das Manchester Road End jubelte und fing schon an, was von Championees zu singen, als Ian Berry für Atherton nur eine Minute später einen Ausgleichstreffer einschmuggelte. Ups. Doch das konnte die Stimmung kaum trüben, Der Rest des schön warmen und sonnigen Abends bescherte dem FC sechs weitere schöne Tore. Um den Ehrentreffer für Atherton kümmerte man sich auch noch per Eigentor. FC United hat damit 22 Spiele in Folge gewonnen und kann damit allen, die behauptet haben, ein von Fans demokratisch verwalteter Fußballclub schaffe nicht mal eine halbe Saison durchzustehen, getrost den Mittelfinger zeigen. Auch die erstmals in dieser Saison auftretende Reservemannschaft holte in ihrer Liga den Meisterschaftstitel und wurde in der Halbzeitpause entsprechend bejubelt.

FC United bleibt seinen Gründungsprinzipien auch weiter treu. Die Fans besitzen den Club und werden in alle Entscheidungen einbezogen. Nach wie vor ist kein Sponsor auf dem Shirt zu sehen, was auch in der kommenden Saison so bleibt. Die Eintrittspreise sind genau so niedrig wie im letzten Jahr. Die Fans sind eine bunte Mischung aus Frauen, Männern, Kindern und Jugendlichen aller Altersstufen. Zu einer Zeit, in der überall in Manchester flächendeckend Jugendeinrichtungen geschlossen werden, ist dies von wachsender Bedeutung.

Der Club engagiert sich antirassistisch, sehr zum Ärger von Faschisten, die erfolglos versuchten, den Club zu unterwandern. In Zusammenarbeit mit Schulen gerade in den vernachlässigsten Stadtteilen Manchesters wird wichtige Sozialarbeit geleistet. In unregelmäßigen Abständen gibt es freien Eintritt für Kids.

Technisch gesehen wurde der Aufstieg bereits am 9. April mit einem 3:1 gegen Maine Road besiegelt. Maine Road ist ein Club, der von den Fans des ManU-Lokalrivalen Manchester City betrieben wird. Die traditionelle Konkurrenz zwischen dem »großen« Manchester United und Manchester City übertrug sich auf die Spiele zwischen FC United und Maine Road.

Nicht wenige FC-Fans hoffen, sich den »großen Bruder« Manchester United irgendwann zurückzuholen, Im Besitz und unter demokratischer Kontrolle der Fans. Bis dahin heißt es frei nach Woody Guthrie: »This badge is your badge, this badge is my badge, three stripes and three sails, of what a fine badge, they tried to take it, but we replaced it, on the shirt of United FC«.

Champions eye record points haul


By Liam Chronnell

CHAMPIONS FC United have the chance to break the Division One record points total when they entertain rivals Salford City on Saturday.

The Rebels clinched back-to-back titles and took a step closer to achieving a league and cup double when they hammered Atherton LR 7-1 on Wednesday night.

The victory, which stretched FC's unbeaten run to 22 games and took them 14 points clear at the top, means United now have 104 points - one short of LR's previous best haul set in 1992/93 - with three games left.

Striker Rory Patterson and full-back Alex Mortimer will be missing through suspension.

LR, meanwhile, will be glad to see the back of United after conceding 14 goals in two meetings with the new champions this season.

Roy Sweeney's improving side entertain Flixton this weekend and, with no injury worries, will be confident of taking three points from a team that are playing their fifth game in eight days.

Atherton Collieries will hope to continue their superb run when they travel to basement club Stone Dominoes.

Colls, who have never finished higher than twelfth, are unbeaten in six games and welcome back captain Alex Lord as they chase a top-six finish.

In Division Two, Daisy Hill halted their six-game winless streak with an excellent 3-1 victory against Ashton Athletic in midweek.

Tommy Moore's side will be looking to build on that performance when they take on Blackpool Mechanics in their final home game of the campaign.

The New Sirs club, meanwhile, are looking for players for next season's senior and youth teams.

The youth side will play in the North West Youth Alliance and the FA Youth Cup, and players must be 17-years-old or under on August 31, 2007.

Anyone interested contact Tommy Moore on 01942 790135 or Bob Naylor on 01942 813720.

Rebels win title with goal glut

Source: M.E.N.

Rebels win title with goal glut
FC united 7 Atherton LR 1
19/ 4/2007

KARL Marginson earned praise from one of the leading lights in FC United's formation after guiding the club to a second successive title.

Marginson has built a successful team from scratch to take the Rebels into the UniBond League a year ahead of schedule.

And FC general manager Andy Walsh says that Marginson's Manchester roots - plus his ability to attract the cream of non-league football - have been the key factor in the club's success.

"Karl is a Manchester lad and a United fan through and through," Walsh said.

"He has assembled a team and a set of coaches who understand what FC United are about, and he makes sure that every player knows that the supporters are the most important part of this football club."

The Rebels have won the North West Counties League title at a canter. They still have three league games left and can complete a double by winning the League Challenge Cup final against closest rivals Curzon Ashton on May 3.


The Rebels forged ahead after nine minutes when left winger Jerome Wright crossed for Rhodri Giggs to turn in his 11th goal of the season.

A minute later, Ian Berry smashed in a terrific equaliser from 25 yards but the FC response was emphatic.

Atherton defender Rob Hope sliced Wright's near post corner past his own keeper on 19 minutes, and just three minutes later Dave Brown hammered in a 35-yarder and make it 3-1.

After some sustained pressure, Stuart Rudd was floored in the area and Nicky Platt calmly slotted home to make it 4-1 at half time.

Defender Rob Nugent continued his goalscoring streak by knocking in the fifth after 66 minutes.

Nugent then got a little carried away with his prowess in front of goal, but when he tried to fire in number six from the edge of the box his defensive partner Dave Chadwick rose to deflect it home.

Leading scorer Stuart Rudd finished things off by smashing in his 44th of the season from close range after Nicky Platt's drive had been blocked on the line.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Rebels ready for double celebration

Source: M.E.N.

Stuart Brennan
18/ 4/2007

FC UNITED are closing in on the double - and that could lead to a big Red celebration at the end of this season, says manager Karl Marginson.

Lifelong United fan Marginson wants to see the treble back at Old Trafford, with his own team collecting two trophies.

They can claim the first tonight when a victory over Atherton LR at Gigg Lane would secure the North West Counties League title.

"It would be brilliant if United can win the lot, and then we can do a double - actually you could say it's a quadruple, because our reserves have already just won their league and are in their own cup final, in their first season," says Marginson.


The Rebels have surged to the brink of a double with an unbeaten run stretching back 21 matches to December 9 and now need three points and a victory over biggest league rivals Curzon Ashton in the League Challenge Cup final on May 3 to clinch it.

"I am delighted with what we have achieved so far, even though we had a bit of a sickener in going out of the FA Vase early," said Marginson.

"Now we need to finish the job, and then keep going strongly until the end of the season. The good thing is that the cup final is the last game, so it is a perfect way of ensuring everyone stays on their toes.

"The reserve team has done really well under Tony Cullen and Loz Greenhalgh, who faced the same problems we had last season in that they were starting from scratch.

"If we can win the title tomorrow night, one or two of those reserves will get their chance between now and the end of the season, because they deserve it, and we want to see how they handle playing in front of a big crowd."

FC have no injury problems going into tonight's game, and Marginson is backing top scorer Stuart Rudd to achieve his aim of netting 50 times in a season.

Rudd has 43 goals with five games left, and Marginson says he would not bet against the big Wiganer.

"Stuart has not been in the best of form in recent weeks, but he still keeps scoring the odd one or two and will be looking to finish the season on a high," said Marginson.

The future is bright for the rebel reds


By Liam Chronnell

FC UNITED were poised to seal a second successive title last night as they continue their double assault on League and Cup honours.

The Rebels took on Atherton LR at Gigg Lane last night knowing a win would see them crowned NW Counties Division One champions.

Before kick-off, Karl Marginson's side were unbeaten in 21 games and 11 points clear at the top of the table and, provided they overcame Rovers, will now set their sights on completing the double.

Closest rivals Curzon Ashton stand between United and more success, with the pair due to met in League Challenge Cup final on May, 3.

"Now we need to finish the job, and then keep going strongly until the end of the season," said Marginson, who side entertain Salford City on Saturday.

"The good thing is that the cup final is the last game, so it is a perfect way of ensuring everyone stays on their toes.

"I am delighted with what we have achieved so far, even though we had a bit of a sickener in going out of the FA Vase early.

"It would be brilliant if we can do a double - actually you could say it's a quadruple, because our reserves have already just won their league and are in their own cup final."

Indeed, FC's reserves have enjoyed an equally impressive season as the senior side.

In defeating title rivals Padiham 1-0 courtesy of Martin Cosgrave's matchwinner last weekend, Tony Cullen's young side were crowned North West Counties League Reserve Division champions in their inaugural campaign.

And, with the Reds second string, who top the table by 16 points, through to the semi-finals of the cup where they meet New Mills - with Padiham waiting in the final - the future looks bright for FC.

Marginson's men proved far too strong for Colne in an emphatic 5-1 triumph last Saturday.

A double from defender Rob Nugent and one from Jerome Wright saw the breakaway club cruise into a 3-0 half-time lead. Assistant manager Phil Power, who had only been on the pitch three minutes, grabbed a fourth and the prolific Stuart Rudd's 43rd goal of the season wrapped up a ninth straight win for FC, though the Lancashire hosts struck a late consolation.

Monday, April 16, 2007

FC United 5 Colne 1

Source: M.E.N.

Paul Gallagher
16/ 4/2007

FC UNITED can bring the title home this week after crushing Colne 5-1.

Karl Marginson's team are now just three points short of the NWCFL Division One championship.

Defender Rob Nugent netted twice in the first half and Jerome Wright put the visitors three up by half-time in front of 838 spectators at the Holt House Stadium.

The Rebels were cruising in the second half and 41-year-old assistant player-manager Phil Power stretched their lead before striker Stuart Rudd scored his 36th league goal of the season to make it five.

Colne 1 FC United 5


By Telegraph newsdesk

Colne put on a brave display against their talented opponents but the difference in class soon became apparent when on 13 minutes Rob Nugent opened the scoring when he glanced in a Jerome Wright corner.

Ten minutes later, Colne should have equalised when a Steve Cunningham free kick found Anthony Murt at the far post but his header back across goal was put just over the bar by Ben Howarth.

Nugent added a second on 37 minutes from another corner when he rose unopposed at the back post and three minutes later Wright slotted home past the outstretched arm of Mark Crossley.

But just before the break, Colne had Crossley to thank for two great saves from Stuart Rudd.

In the second half, Colne made a promising start but on 65 minutes from yet another corner Phil Power rose to head a fourth goal.

Rudd was finally on target when on 77 minutes he weaved his way past two defenders and side-footed the ball into the corner.

Colne's efforts were rewarded with a late consolation goal when a good ball from Murt put Cunningham through to fire home.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Rebels close in on title


By Liam Chronnell

FC UNITED need just one more victory to be crowned champions after they stretched their unbeaten run to 21 games with an emphatic 5-1 triumph at Colne.

The runaway leaders are 14 points clear at the top of the Division One table and one win from their remaining four games would see Karl Marginson's side secure a second successive title.

That could come at Gigg Lane on Wednesday night when the Rebels entertain Atherton LR, without a game at the weekend, knowing three points would set up the first half of their dream double'.

United proved far too strong for mid-table Colne on Saturday and a double from defender Rob Nugent and one from Jerome Wright saw them cruise into a 3-0 half-time lead.

Assistant manager Phil Power had only been on the pitch three minutes when he grabbed a fourth and the prolific Stuart Rudd's 43rd goal of the season wrapped up a ninth straight win, though the Lancashire hosts struck a late consolation.

Atherton Collieries' superb run continued as they secured a fifth straight victory when they beat sixth-placed Maine Road 1-0 at fortress Alder House.

David Rhodes 22nd-minute header from Stuart Cliffe's cross proved decisive as Phil Brown's much-improved side, who are enjoying their best ever season, close in on a top-six finish.

Daisy Hill looked like they were going to finish a troubled season on a high note after a run of good results earlier this month, but they suffered another set ack when they went down 2-0 at Eccleshall.

A Week in Football

Source; edited from Sunday Telegraph

By Roy Collins, Sunday Telegraph
Some things never change. Poor old Manchester City, who have spent so long in United's shadow, could at least boast of ruling the local roost at non-league level with Maine Road, a club formed by supporters in 1955.

Maine Road, winners of the Manchester League four times in a row, have now been eclipsed by the upstarts of FC United, the breakaway team formed by disillusioned Reds just two years ago. FC United thrashed Maine Road 3-0, their 10th successive win, to seal promotion from the North West Counties League Division One.

While FC United will play in the Unibond League next season, City fans are bracing themselves for an even worse humiliation. In three weeks' time, Manchester United could win the Premiership title at Eastlands, which many Reds are billing as revenge for 1974 when former legend Denis Law sent United down with a backheeled winner for City.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Reds ready for the champions elect!


CHAMPIONS-elect FC United are the visitors at Holt House tomorrow as Colne look to continue their impressive recent form.

United can seal the title with a win, providing Curzon Ashton lose at home to Ramsbottom, but Nigel Coates' men are out to spoil any party as they look to build on a fine sequence of six games without defeat.

However, the Reds know they have a job on their hands to put a spanner in the works against free-scoring United, as Coates said: "It is a big test.

"We've lost to them twice this season, in the cup at home we should have been in front at half-time, but they scored a cracking goal, and then the circumstances changed with a sending-off early in the second half, and it finished 4-0.

"I didn't think that reflected how the game had gone. But in the league, at Gigg Lane, they gave us a 6-2 hiding.

"We're susceptible to crosses, and they caught us out that afternoon.

"We have to be better defending set-pieces and crosses."

Indeed, over the last two games, Colne have been undone by a lack of aerial dominance, and Coates added: "The goal we conceded against Trafford came from a free kick flighted in, and we didn't deal with the second ball, and against Bacup their goal came from a free kick.

"We have problems defending set pieces, and we can only keep working on it, but FC United are very strong in the air.

"We can cause them problems at the other end, but it depends on how much possession we can get.

"They are flying at the moment and are steamrolling sides. They are probably the best I've seen at this level, along with Cammell Laird, although Cammell Laird had more flair.

"They will be confident, and we have to guard against conceding early.

"All I can ask is to try and keep our unbeaten going, and see it through to the end of the season. That's what we'll aim for."

Colne picked up two draws over the Easter weekend to stretch their run to six without defeat, and Coates looked back: "We certainly should have beaten Bacup on Monday, but it was probably a fair result at Trafford.

"The attitude of the lads was spot on in both games though, they kept going right to the end.

"We're six games unbeaten now, and we've had some tough away games in that time as well.

"We've only had two of those games at home, and we have been down to the bare bones throughout the run, but we've kept it going."

To that end, the news from the treatment room doesn't get any better, with eight players missing on Monday that would have been involved in the squad.

The likes of Scott Gizon, Paul Walker, Gavin Cooper and Ashley Alderson expected to be out for the rest of the season, while Chris Whittaker is unavailable due to college commitments.

Coates said: "It just goes on, but we'll get on with it."
Kick-off tomorrow is at 3 p.m.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Three and easy for league leaders


FC United 3
Maine Road 0

DESPITE showing indifferent form over the last few weeks, Maine Road went into Bank Holiday Monday’s derby with high hopes of inflicting the rebels’ first league defeat since the end of November.

They started brightly, winning an early corner and seeing Colin Marshall’s cross-cum-shot drop just over Sam Ashton’s bar.

As the half progressed, FC began to apply attacking pressure of their own and Road were unlucky to fall behind on 17 minutes when Rory Patterson’s strike was deflected past a flailing Greg Hall.

Road had a good chance to draw level on 21 minutes when Jack Halsall fed a neat ball through to Gareth Richards, whose left-footed shot hit Ashton’s right-hand post.

Both teams continued to treat the crowd of 3,605 to a fine display of attacking football with Steven Mason and Anthony Roberts looking particularly strong in defence.

FC began to turn the screw and applied increased pressure on the Road back four, Rhodri Giggs having particular success down the right, but Road’s defence held solid

On the stroke of half-time though, Roberts was harshly adjudged to have fouled and FC were awarded a free kick on the right edge of Road’s penalty area.

Road old-boy Jerome Wright’s left-footed cross was met by the head of Dave Brown and FC’s lead was duly doubled.

The second half saw FC introduce pacy winger Josh Howard who proved to be a thorn in Road’s side for the rest of the game.

Halsall forced a good save from Ashton who also tipped over Marshall’s cross, while Hall provided a masterclass in shot-stopping at the other end to keep Road in the game.

He made a double save to deny Stuart Rudd but could not do anything about the resultant corner which ended with the unmarked Rob Nugent scoring at the far post.

FC United chase double glory


By Liam Chronnell

KARL Marginson watched FC United seal promotion to the UniBond League and then said: We want the double.

The Rebels boss saw his side celebrate a second successful campaign with a 3-0 victory against derby rivals Maine Road on Easter Monday.

That came two days after the breakaway club had secured a top-three finish with a narrow 2-1 victory at Ramsbottom United.

But now Marginson wants his players, who top the NWCL Division One table by 13 points and are in the final of the League Challenge Cup, to add silverware to their success.

The Gigg Lane outfit need just two more victories to wrap up the title, though if closest rivals Curzon Ashton, who United also face in their first-ever final on May 3, slipped up at Formby last night then FC could win the league at Colne on Saturday.

"We're in a really strong position and it would be really unprofessional to take our foot off the pedal now," said the United manager.

"We can get to 114 points and that is what we will be aiming for. We're also in a cup final and, although it's a one-off game, we have every chance of doing the double.

"The goal when we started was to get two promotions in three years, so do it a year earlier is excellent. The players have been fantastic both seasons. Now we need to go on and get a bit of silverware."

Atherton Collieries, meanwhile, will be aiming for a fifth successive victory when they entertain Maine Road.

After a superb Easter period, which saw Phil Brown's in-form side win four times in eight days, Colls will be confident of overcoming sixth-placed Maine Road - two places and nine points above them in the table - at fortress Alder House.

Atherton LR have the weekend off while, in Division Two, Tommy Moore's Daisy Hill side travel to Eccleshall.

Red hordes set for second invasion

Source: North West Evening Mail

HOLKER Old Boys have pulled off a major coup by landing an end-of-season friendly with FC United of Manchester.

The Red Rebels — who last weekend clinched promotion to the UniBond League — will visit Rakesmoor Lane on Saturday, May 5.

FC United was formed in the summer of 2005 by fans unhappy at Malcolm Glazer’s takeover of Manchester United.

The club are famed for their large, highly vocal, travelling support.

Holker faced FC United twice in the North West Counties Division Two 2005/06 season.

Over 2,300 fans watched Old Boys lose 2-0 in a home game played at Barrow RL’s Craven Park ground.

The away game took place in front of more than 3,100 at Altrincham’s Moss Lane, FC United winning 4-1.

Close links between the two clubs were developed, and further strengthened when midfielder Dave Swarbrick transferred from Holker to FC United in February 2006.

Acting Holker chairman Dick John said: “This is great for the club. There are a lot of details to sort but it is going to happen.”

He added: “We’re not expecting over 2,000 fans. I’m thinking more around the 1,000 mark.

“Last time we got a capacity quote for Rakesmoor Lane was when we staged a rugby league game last year and it was 1,750.”

Holker’s official website says: “Both parties are really looking forward to a joyous event, with Rakesmoor resounding to the renowned signing of the FC faithful.

“Details will be firmed up over the next few weeks as discussions with key stakeholders, including the police in Barrow, take place.

“It is anticipated that a large number of FC United fans will spend the Bank Holiday in the Furness area, so this is also a great occasion for local attractions to look to support Holker and FC United in making this a weekend to remember.”

John is hopeful of arranging a kick-off time which will allow fans to watch both the game at Rakesmoor and the televised Premiership Manchester derby between United and City, being held at the Eastlands stadium on the same day.

Now Marginson wants the double


By Marc Higginson

KARL Marginson watched FC United seal promotion to the UniBond League and then said: We want the double.

The Rebels boss saw his side celebrate a second successful campaign with a 3-0 victory against derby rivals Maine Road on Easter Monday.

That came two days after the breakaway club had secured a top-three finish with a narrow 2-1 victory at Ramsbottom United.

But now Marginson wants his players, who top the NWCL Division One table by 13 points and are in the final of the League Challenge Cup, to add silverware to their success.

The Gigg Lane outfit need just two more victories to wrap up the title, though if closest rivals Curzon Ashton, who United also face in their first-ever final on May 3, slip up at Formby tonight then FC could win the league at Colne on Saturday.

"We're in a really strong position and it would be really unprofessional to take our foot off the pedal now," said the United manager.

"We can get to 114 points and that is what we will be aiming for. We're also in a cup final and, although it's a one-off game, we have every chance of doing the double.

"The goal when we started was to get two promotions in three years, so do it a year sooner is excellent. The players have been fantastic both seasons. Now we need to go on and get a bit of silverware."

United's march towards the league continued as they triumphed 3-0 against Maine Road in Manchester's mini-derby.

A crowd of 3,605 turned up at Gigg Lane to see the Rebels overcome Maine Road, set up by Manchester City fans, as they stretched their unbeaten run to a club-record 20 games.

FC took a 17th-minute lead when captain Neil Chappell turned Rory Patterson's low drive into his own net.

The visitors' Gareth Richards struck the post before Dave Brown glanced home Jerome Wright's free-kick in first-half injury time. Rob Nugent headed a third on 62 minutes to complete the scoring.

On Easter Saturday, a Jerome Wright goal and Nicky Platt's 61st-minute penalty were enough to guarantee the runaway leaders promotion for a second successive season at Ramsbottom United.

Red jibe that drove the Blues bananas


THE two halves of Manchester’s footballing divide have never seen eye-to-eye.

Now Blues and Reds are at each others’ throats again following the season’s second ‘mini-derby’ between FC United, the team formed by disillusioned Manchester United supporters, and Maine Road, which was set up by Manchester City fans.

After the match, which FC United won three-nil, an article appeared on the official Maine Road website predicting their rival’s bubble would soon burst and claiming that FC could find themselves playing on Sunday league pitches in Chorlton. It even branded the breakaway team, formed after the Old Trafford club was bought by American Malcolm Glazer, as FC of Bury - a sly reference to the fact that the Reds play their home games at Gigg Lane in Bury.

The author’s fury appears to have been aroused by a cheeky dig at the Blues by FC’s stadium announcer during the North West Counties League Division One game.

He told fans they could buy plastic fruit after the match, mocking Man City supporters’ habit of carrying inflatable bananas.

The article said: "FC’s foul-mouthed fans sang their way to a hard-fought victory.

"The PA annoucer attempted to goad Maine Road supporters with his ‘hilarious’ repartee.

"This, of course, will be the last mini-derby for a while but we look forward to playing FC of Bury in the not too distant future when the bubble has burst, the money has gone and they are playing their home games at Hough End."

Around 3,600 fans watched the game on Easter Monday.

Phil Power, FC United’s assistant manager, dismissed the article as ‘Blue bitterness’ saying Maine Road were jealous that FC’s home games were attracting an average of 3,000 people. He said: "I think because we get bigger crowds than anyone else and, because we have been successful, a lot of the teams have been jealous."

FC, who in the pre-season train on the sports grounds at Parrs Wood High School, were promoted to the Unibond League two days before the game after beating Ramsbottom.

The club now needs just six points from its last five games to become champions.

Maine Road, who were formed in the 1950s and play their home games at Brantingham Road, Chorlton, are lying sixth in the table.

Maine Road captain Neil Chappell hit back at FC United. "They’re too cocky for their own good," he said.

Nick Towle

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Two enthusiastic clubs find themselves movin' on up

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usSource; edited from The Guardian
Richard Williams
Tuesday April 10, 2007

AFC Wimbledon's success in getting their 18-point penalty reduced to three on appeal will have brought pleasure to those enjoying the rise of a club born of a dedication to the idea of a local club owned and run by its own people. Now comes the news of a second successive promotion for FC United, the club formed in protest against the Glazer's takeover at Old Trafford. "I haven't enjoyed my football so much in years," says the supporter who emailed. Their new chant, sung to the tune of Primal Scream's Movin' On Up, goes: "We're movin' on up, now / From the North West Counties / To the Unibond / To the Unibond / To the Unibond." Maybe to a league meeting with AFC Wimbledon.

Promotion party gets a kick from derby joy

Source: M.E.N.
Paul Gallagher
10/ 4/2007

FC United fans celebrated promotion in the sweetest possible way - with a victory in their own Manchester derby.

The Rebels revelled in a Bank Holiday battering of Maine Road FC, the non-league club set up 52 years ago by a group of City fans.

A crowd of 3,605 was in party mood from the kick-off at Gigg Lane and Rory Patterson, Dave Brown and Rob Nugent were all on target to keep the home fans singing.

It is only two years since the formation of FC United, but the breakaway Reds have already left their Blue counterparts behind as they head for the UniBond League.

Karl Marginson's team won promotion from the North West Counties League Division One on Saturday with victory at Ramsbottom, to claim a second step up in two seasons.

And the Reds - who are on a run of ten straight league victories - will claim a second successive title if they can win just two of their last five games. Only Curzon Ashton can pip FC United to top spot in the NWCL First Division.

And the 'Nash' also stand in the way of a possible double for the Reds, as the pair meet in the final of the Challenge Cup on May 3.

Monday, April 09, 2007

FC United Vs Maine Road

a 3-0 victory to FC, gallery here

Fans climb aboard to see side secure promotion

Source: Bolton Evening News
By Jane Lavender

IT was full steam ahead for fans of FC United of Manchester on Easter Saturday.

More than 300 fans boarded a steam train, dubbed the Rammy Rattler, to take them to the Riverside Ground in Ramsbottom for a crucial game against Ramsbottom United.

The special train was arranged by the Bury and District branch of the FC United supporters' club.

Their unusual transport proved a lucky charm as the North-west Counties League leaders beat their local rivals 2-1 on their own ground - and secured promotion to the Unibond Football League.

A total of 320 fans piled on to the Rammy Rattler at Heywood East Lancashire Railway Station at 11am on Saturday. The train arrived at Ramsbottom 45 minutes later.

Fans then packed into the Riverside Ground, which attracted a crowd of 1,653 supporters for the nail biting match.

FC United was formed in 2005 as a breakaway club by fans objecting to American businessman Malcolm Glazer's takeover of Manchester United.

FC United, who play home matches at Bury's Gigg Lane, are now seven promotions away from Manchester United in the Premiership

Full steam ahead for rising Rebels

Source: Manchester Evening News
Tony Glennon and George Oliver
9/ 4/2007

ECSTATIC FC United fans will stage a huge promotion party at today's big Gigg Lane showdown with Maine Road after the Rebels booked their ticket to the UniBond League with victory at Ramsbottom.

But manager Karl Marginson warned his players WON'T be joining in the celebrations unless they chalk up one of the three wins they now need to clinch their second successive title.

Ten-man FC fell behind to a Steve Maden strike and then had 41-goal top scorer Stuart Rudd sent off at Ramsbottom.

But they hit back to win 2-1 and seal promotion with goals from Jerome Wright and Nicky Platt.

FC United's latest milestone achievement sparked scenes of jubilation among the ranks of visiting fans in a crowd of 1,653, around 700 of whom had travelled to the game by steam train from Bury.

Hundreds more are expected to join them in celebration today, when Gigg Lane will once again be turned into a sea of red and white.

But, thrilled as he is to be on his way up once again, Marginson says he, his backroom staff and players will resist the temptation to get caught up in the party atmosphere - at least until after the final whistle.

"Winning promotion for the second year running is a fantastic achievement, but there's still a title to be won," Marginson said.

Platt's 61st-minute penalty almost brought the house down at Ramsbottom's Riverside Ground.


The goal resulted in a crowd surge that temporarily halted the game as touchline hoardings buckled.

Platt converted the spot kick after United captain Rory Patterson had been dragged down by Rams keeper Martin Campbell.

Wright had earlier equalised by beating his man and lifting the ball over the keeper.

"We still have to win three of our last six games to be champions - and we'll be looking for the first against Maine Road in what our supporters regard as the mini-derby."

FC's brave comeback win at Rammy means they can no longer be caught by second-placed Salford City.

That leaves Curzon Ashton, in fourth, as the only team with a chance of overtaking the Rebels in the run-in.

But, in spite of Marginson's warning, the NWCL First Division championship is as good as in the bag.

Meanwhile, Curzon's best hope of rocking the Rebels will come when the teams meet in the final of the NWCL's D-Zine League Challenge Cup at the Ashton-under-Lyne club's Tameside Stadium on May 3.

Steve Moore hit all their goals as they crushed semi-final opponents Flixton 4-1 to march through 7-2 on aggregate.

Facing the `Nash' in the final is an appealing prospect for Marginson, who numbers Curzon among his former clubs.

"We've had two great games with Curzon in the league this season and I'm sure the final will be just as exciting," added the Rebels manager.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Brighter at the Riverside

Source; edited from

Meanwhile things are brighter at the Riverside and it will be an Easter Saturday like no other at Ramsbottom United tomorrow (Sat).

More than 1,000 FC United football supporters will swamp the town to see the recently formed Reds take on the Rams.

The crowd limit is 1,750 and less than 500 tickets remained unsold this week.

They will be on sale today (3.30-4.30pm) and tomorrow morning and could soon be snapped up with FC United regularly attracting between 2,000 and 4,000 fans to their home games at Bury’s Gigg Lane.

Some FC United supporters will enjoy a day’s outing to the match on East Lancashire Railway’s Rammy Rattler and intend to travel through to Rawtenstall from Bury before returning to Ramsbottom for the game.

The match will considerably boost the coffers of the Riverside outfit, who feel they owe the opposition one after conceding a 2-0 lead in the final 20 minutes in the reverse fixture at Gigg Lane and eventually losing 3-2.

Ramsbottom will have an 25 extra stewards in attendance with a number enlisted from Leeds United.

The ground will be tightly packed and that should create a unique atmosphere.

Ramsbottom boss Lee Sculpher is looking forward to the clash.

Lee Sculpher said: ‘It sticks in the craw a bit that we were 2-0 up with 20 minutes to go and we normally would do a bit better than that.

‘It will obviously be different to the normal crowd. There will be less than 2,000 but they will only be a metre or two from the pitch so it will feel like 3,000.

‘The way we have played recently I am more than hopeful that we have enough about us to get something out of the game.’

Lee Cryer is struggling with a hamstring injury and is rated 50/50 but Matt Houldsworth should recover from a foot injury.

FC United fans then intend to watch the Portsmouth v Manchester United match in Ramsbottom pubs after the NWCL game.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Nelson 0 FC United 8


By Gary York

Nelson were thrashed 8-0 by FC United last night in North West Counties Division One.

It was one-way traffic from the beginning at Victoria Park, in front of a crowd of 640.

United stormed into a 4-0 half-time lead through Rob Nugent, Josh Howard, Rhodri Giggs and Jerome Wright.

Giggs, brother of Manchester United star Ryan, netted a fifth before Simon Carden, Stuart Rudd and Rory Patterson added goals after the break.

Nelson's best effort came from an Eddie Stanford free-kick.

Rebel Reds gearing up for promotion glory

By Staff Sports Reporter

FC United hope to clinch promotion to the UniBond League at Ramsbottom United's tiny Riverside ground on Saturday.

The game is expected to smash the Bury side's attendance record with a capacity 1,500 virtually guaranteed.

The Rebel Reds are in confident mood after an 8-0 victory at Nelson on Wednesday which extended their lead in the North West Counties League Division One to 13 points - with two games in hand on second placed Salford City.

But Ramsbottom have proved to be no pushovers this season. They go into the game in seventh and gave FC United a shock when they met at Gigg Lane on Boxing Day, leading by two goals before going down to a 3-2 defeat.

Atherton Colls face a difficult task as they look to continue their impressive season. Fresh from a superb midweek 2-0 home victory over the favourites for second place, Curzon Ashton, Colls travel to 12th placed Silsden.

Colls' neighbours, Atherton LR, also had a confidence-boosting midweek victory, 5-1 at St Helens Town who they leapfrogged into fifth bottom.

LR hope to reproduce that kind of form at Crilly Park when they entertain sixth placed Maine Road.

In Division Two, Daisy Hill look to continue their climb out of the lower reaches when they travel to 12th placed Cheadle Town.

Daisy, who drew 1-1 at bottom side Norton United on Tuesday, are four point clear of second bottom, with two games in hand, and close enough to the three teams above them to jump over them with a couple of victories.

Bears take FC United to the wire


By Ian Ross

LEAGUE leaders FC United edged out Congleton Town by the odd goal in seven on Saturday in a pulsating league cup semi-final.

The Bears went down 4-3 at Gigg Lane in the second leg, United squeezing through into the final 6-5 after the first leg ended 2-2.

Congleton made a dream start, taking the lead after two minutes, and led twice in the match, which was watched by a crowd of 2,138.

The Bears stunned United with their opener, Baker's clipped ball over the United defence finding Courtney running down the right.

Congleton's top scorer spotted United keeper Ashton off his line, and his lob cleared the keeper before bouncing into the far corner of the net.

The action was end to end, Jones' curling shot from 20 yards glancing the top of the United bar.

United equalised on 31 minutes when Giggs crossed into the Bears' box, and Rudd stole in at the back post to fire into an unguarded net from eight yards.

United took the lead three minutes later, Patterson releasing Rudd behind the Congleton defence.

He made no mistake as he raced onto the ball and slotted it past advancing keeper Forester.

United were reduced to 10 men two minutes before the break when a player was sent off for violent conduct.

From the free kick by Johnson Williams clipped the ball back across goal, and Andy Alston nipped in at the near post to prod the ball home.

Congleton took a 3-2 lead four minutes into the second half, Courtney curling a through ball into the path of Williams, who clipped the ball past Ashton into the net.

United fought back instantly, making it 3-3 from the restart.

Taylor was allowed to cut inside before laying the ball off to Patterson.

With the Bears' defenders backing off him he tried his luck, and lashed the ball home with a dipping shot from 35 yards.

Forester saved at his near post, and United keeper Ashton made a great save to keep out a shot from Johnson.

United piled on the pressure despite being down to 10 men, and scored the goal to take them through to the final on 70 minutes.

A ball played towards the far post was met by Nugent, who headed into the top corner.

The Bears beat Bacup 2-1 at home on Tuesday night, Jones and Smith scoring on 48 and 85 minutes, the visitors' goal an own goal in the last minute.

Congleton travel to Newcastle Town this Saturday in the league, and are at home to Nantwich Town next Monday.

Nelson 0 FC United 8

Source: M.E.N.

Stuart Brennan
5/ 4/2007

FC UNITED can clinch a second successive promotion with a win at Ramsbottom on Saturday.

The Rebels moved effortlessly to within three points of the UniBond League, scoring four times in each half to rattle up a record away win and equal the club's biggest winning margin.

After months of uncertainty, the FA's leagues committee confirmed on Tuesday that the splitting of the UniBond first division into two regional divisions will take place, and that means at least three teams will be promoted from the North West Counties League.

This week's events have handed Ramsbottom a headache, as all of the 1,250 FC allocation for Saturday's game has already been snapped up.

FC general manager Andy Walsh has advised fans without a ticket not to travel on Saturday, and says that, if promotion is secured, the celebrations will be held at Easter Monday's "mini-derby" with Maine Road at Gigg Lane.


Any suggestion that FC boss Karl Marginson might ease up against struggling Nelson were dismissed as he fielded what was close to a full strength team, and they cruised into a two-goal lead within nine minutes.

Defender Rob Nugent, who headed the Rebels into their first cup final on Saturday, repeated the dose after six minutes last night, rising high to nod in Nicky Platt's free kick.

And three minutes later Rory Patterson's free kick bounced awkwardly into the goalkeeper's chest and dropped for Josh Howard to knock in his 11th goal of the season.

With shots peppering the Nelson goal, the third came on 30 minutes when Simon Carden released Rhodri Giggs and he slipped it home.

Nelson defender Chris Ridehalgh then turned Jerome Wright's cross into his own goal on 34 minutes, but Marginson made three changes at half time and for a while the deluge was stemmed.

But FC finished with a flourish, Giggs pouncing to grab a fifth on 74 minutes, Carden crashing in his second on 82 minutes, sub Stuart Rudd scored his 42nd of the season on 86 minutes and Patterson headed in the record-breaker in the last minute.

Rebels look to extend lead


By Staff Sports Reporter

FC United return to league action tonight as they look to stretch their 10-point lead at the top of the table when they travel to struggling Nelson tonight.

Karl Marginson's side reached their first ever final at the weekend after defeating Congleton Town in the two-legged League Challenge Cup semi-final.

And the Rebels, unbeaten in 17 games, could put more distance between themselves and the chasing pack if they overcome the third-from-bottom Lancashire outfit.

Curzon Ashton provide the biggest threat to FC's title hopes, and they visit Atherton Collieries this evening.

But Colls will be no push over as they look to secure their second win in three days at Alder House against Curzon, who narrowly missed out on a dream Wembley final after going down at Truro in the FA Vase semi-final at the weekend.

Daisy Hill earned a 1-1 draw at bottom club Norton United last night. Danny Williams fired them into a first-half lead, but they were denied victory with an equaliser on the hour.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Rams expect record crowd


By Telegraph newsdesk

RAMSBOTTOM United are expecting a record crowd at the Riverside Ground when FC United visit on Easter Saturday.

A steam train, the Rammy Rattler, has been arranged and is fully booked with more than 300 fans.

Ramsbottom United chairman Harry Williams said it would be the biggest attendance in the club's history. He said: "We have a capacity of 1,750 and entrance is ticket only. It is a big day for the club, and has taken a lot of planning."

The Rammy Rattler has been arranged by Bury and District Supporters Branch for FC United, also known as the "Red Rebels".

Member Mark O'Rourke said: "The idea came from a chat over a pint last season when FC United looked likely to join Ramsbottom United in the North West Counties Football League Division One.

"We thought we couldn't let this local fixture pass without doing something a bit different to mark it."

The plan was to fill one 64-seat carriage but demand was so great the whole train sold out.

Rebels await FA verdict

Source: M.E.N.

Stuart Brennan
4/ 4/2007

FC UNITED could clinch promotion by Easter Monday if an FA decision goes in their favour.

The Rebels, who face Nelson away tonight, are awaiting news of the outcome of the League's Committee meeting being held at Soho Square, which is expected to give the green light to three teams from the North West Counties League moving up to the newly-expanded UniBond League next season.

Wins at Nelson tonight and at Ramsbottom on Saturday would seal a top-three finish for the alternative United.

There is even a possibility that FC could virtually secure promotion tonight, if the league's committee presses for four clubs from the NWCL to go up.

The league itself is likely to resist any such move, as it is concerned it would leave itself short of numbers.

Victory tonight would move FC onto 93 points, and only three clubs can overtake that figure. Trafford could match it, but their goal difference of 43 is a long way behind FC's difference of 92.


FC boss Karl Marginson says there will be no celebration until promotion, and the league title, are in the bag. "The aim is promotion, but we have got ourselves into a position where we would be disappointed not to win the title as well.

"Everyone is targeting top spot as that is the only place that will guarantee promotion at this stage, and that means winning every game.

"Monday's match against Maine Road could be a promotion decider and we need all the support we can get to give the lads a final push."

Strikers Stuart Rudd and Rory Patterson, who both picked up ankle injuries after scoring in the League Challenge Cup semi-final victory over Congleton at the weekend, are both fit for tonight's game and Jerome Wright returns after being cup-tied.

Monday, April 02, 2007

FC United 4 Congleton 3

Source: M.E.N.

Stuart Brennan
2/ 4/2007

SOLE survivor Rob Nugent headed ten-man FC United into their first cup final in a thrilling Challenge Cup semi-final second leg at Gigg Lane.

The trainee accountant is the only player left from the 11 which began the club's historic first game against Leigh RMI in July 2005, and he ended the club's cup hoodoo - they have lost in three other competitions to last-minute goals.

Manager Karl Marginson paid tribute to Nugent and the rest of his side, who battled back from 3-2 down despite losing defender Alex Mortimer to a red card just before half-time.

"It's fitting that Rob should score the goal," said Marginson, who had a wheel rolled at him by celebrating FC fans - just three days after a wheel came off his delivery van at 60mph on the motorway.


"He has FC in his heart. I knew nothing about him but what struck me straight away was that he knew what the club was about and his commitment ever since has been fantastic."

But it was strike pair Stuart Rudd and Rory Patterson who grabbed most of the glory, after Congleton had taken a second minute lead through Ged Courtney.

Rudd popped up at the far post to convert a Rhodri Giggs cross on 31 minutes and four minutes later ran on to Patterson's flick to rifle in the second. The Rebels seemed to be cruising but on 43 minutes Mortimer saw red for a stupid stamp on Tommy Baker and from the resulting free kick Bears' skipper Andy Alston equalised.

Scott Williams fired the visitors ahead on 49 minutes, but within a minute the irrepressible Patterson made it 3-3.

Nugent's golden moment came on 76 minutes, and FC will now face Curzon Ashton or Flixton. Curzon won the first leg 3-1.

Rebel Reds reach first final


By Liam Chronnell

TEN-MAN FC United created history by reaching their first ever cup final after edging out Congleton Town in a seven-goal thriller to keep their double dream alive at Gigg Lane.

With the tie evenly poised at 2-2 from the first leg, the Rebels had to come from behind and overcome the first-half sending off of Alex Mortimer to progress in the League Challenge Cup in front of 2,138 supporters.

Gerrard Courtney handed Congleton an early lead but the prolific Stuart Rudd struck twice, on 30 and 34 minutes, to put FC in front before defender Mortimer lost his head and was shown a straight red for stamping on 43 minutes.

Worse was to follow for the runaway Division One leaders when Andy Ashton bundled home from the resulting free-kick and they looked on course for their first defeat in 17 games when Scott Williams made it 3-2 four minutes after the restart.

But a spectacular 35-yard strike by Rory Patterson just a minute later pulled United level, and Rob Nugent's powerful header with 20 minutes left ensured Karl Marginson's side, who hit the woodwork three times as they searched for a winner, will now face either Flixton or Curzon Ashton in a May 3 showdown at the Tameside Stadium.

Atherton LR stretched their unbeaten run to three games with an excellent point at Trafford following a 2-2 draw.

But Division Two strugglers Daisy Hill's good run came to an end as they suffered a heavy 6-1 home defeat.

Tommy Moore's side, who had won their last three games, only trailed 1-0 at the break but, as legs tired in the second half, they shipped three more goals.

Simon Farrell reduced the deficit but the title-chasing visitors added two more before the end to complete a miserable day for the New Sirs outfit.

Atherton Collieries, without a game at the weekend, entertain Flixton on Monday night- the first of two home matches in three days for Phil Brown's team, who also take on Curzon Ashton on Wednesday.