Who are Macclesfield Town?
The Silkmen made it through to 149 years of existence by the time the curtain came down on them in 2020; wound up at the High Court after starting their Northern Premier League season. Of course, the reasons for relegation from the Football League meant the National League wouldn’t touch them. Hence, they had to go further down. But that’s all by the by here and we’ll kick on with the story. The 8th Cheshire Rifle Volunteers formed in 1873, merging with the Olympic Cricket club to create the football team.
In 1878, some more admin saw Macclesfield United FC join forces with Macclesfield FC – and that was more or less that. The Silkmen competed in The Combination from 1890 until financial problems forced their hand (and withdrawal) in 1897. Let’s just say there’s a precedent here. Into the 20th century, the side played in the Manchester League and Lancashire Combination – before focusing on the Cheshire County League, starting from 1919.
Now, it gets a little bit interesting for fans of continuity here. In the run up to World War Two, the attendance figures were on the decline and debts were moving in the opposite direction. The 1939-40 season saw them withdraw from the league as a result; settling those debts in 1946. By this time, Macclesfield Town Football Club Limited were formed and gave the club its name. Does this constitute a new club? Hmm – no. We don’t think so. Just formalities, innit.
The Silkmen stayed in the Cheshire County League until 1968. At this point, they became founder members of the Northern Premier League. In the first two campaigns, they were crowned champions; the second title accompanied by FA Trophy success at Wembley to seal a non-league double. The rest of the 1970s weren’t so amazing, however. By 1979, they were propping up the Northern Premier League – a time at which all the strongest sides were going into the new Alliance Premier League.
Why do we know the Silkmen?
The Silkmen did make it to the Alliance Premier League eventually; promoted as champions of the Northern Premier League in 1988. More often than not, they were at the right end of the table. Growing in confidence, they won the Conference title in 1995; the year that we first played in the division. Due to ground issues, the club weren’t promoted that year. But they did go up two seasons later when they reclaimed their title from – uh – Boro’. And that meant our three years together were at an end. It’d be 14 years before we’d meet again.
In that time, the Silkmen climbed into the second tier (as do many Conference champions) with their first go at League football. They came straight back down, however, and would stay in the fourth tier until we joined them in 2010. Of course, we went straight up ourselves and – by the time we came back down – the Silkmen ended up being relegated back to the Conference. It took them six seasons to return, which gave us another two seasons together before everything all went tits up for them in 2020.