At the risk of turning to a lazy cliche, we’d have to say the rise of Salford City in recent years is what you may call ‘meteoric’. You’re welcome to disagree, of course. But you only have to go back to 2015 to find the Ammies playing in the Northern Premier League Division One North. In just four years, they soared through the National League; earning their place in the Football League for the first time. Now, you might well attribute much of that to the the ownership of Peter Lim and some wealthy ex-footballers you may have heard of. All we know is that Boro’ have found it hard going against them. Five straight defeats was our record against them – until a first-ever victory in May 2022.
It looks like the accepted consensus is that our story here starts in 1940; the Ammies coming to life under the name Salford Central Mission. If you want to know why the strange name, it’s because it comes from the church where the club was founded. It remained this way until 1963 when the name changed to Salford Amateurs. But that wasn’t their end of the identity crisis. The ‘Amateurs’ suffix got canned in 1978; the year in which they also moved to their current Moor Lane home. Two years later, they merged with Anson Villa and joined Cheshire County League Division Two.
In 1982, the club became founder members of North West Counties League; remaining members of this competition for the best part of quarter of a century. One of the most notable milestones in this period was the adoption of ‘City’ at the end of their name to mark the start of the 1990s. It didn’t have a huge uptick in their fortunes; the club tending to bumble along at the bottom end of NWCL Division One. Mind you, that would change at the turn of the century. In fact, there were just two seasons during the 2000s where they weren’t competing at the right end of the table.
By coming second at the end of the 2007-8 North West Counties League Division One campaign, the time had come for the Ammies to move on. For the next season, they’d compete in the Northern Premier League. It was another slow start for them. But things really sparked into life in 2015. As champions of NPL Division One North, they secured their promotion to the Premier Division. And they weren’t about to hang around long in this division either. A playoff victory at the expense of Workington saw them move into National League North for the first time in their history.
Why do we know the Ammies?
By now, the Ammies were backed by the Class of 92 and had real momentum behind them. They really weren’t far off another straight promotion in 2017; FC Halifax Town beating them in the National League North playoffs on penalties. It’d only be a one-year delay to their ambitions, however. And there was no let up in their rise. They won the National League North title in 2018, before securing back-to-back promotions (yet again) by coming out on top in the 2018-9 National League playoffs. It meant yet another milestone had been reached – the Football League. And the first-ever match they’d play in the fourth tier? Yep – us at home; making us look very average on Sky Sports too.
Salford City Travel Information – Distance: 190 miles
You do have one or two options for your road trip to Salford – the first being the quickest and the second being the shortest. There’s also a third way, but it’s not the shortest or the quickest normally. So, why bother? Here, we’re going to take you on the quickest route as you probably don’t want to spend much more than the three-and-a-quarter hours in the car.
Head north on the A1(M) as far north as the big power station at Ferrybridge. Take the westbound M62 from here towards Manchester. You’ll be on the M62 for just shy of 50 miles, at which point you’ll want to continue onto the M60. It won’t be long, however. Barely a mile later, you’re coming off (Junction 17) for the A56.
Take the first exit at the roundabout onto the A56 and head on down through Prestwich. After about two miles, there’s a right turn onto Moor Lane and the ground is 0.3 miles down here.
Strict parking rules are in place around the stadium. If you’re not a resident, parking there is likely to get you into a spot of bother. The club, however, says there’s a park and ride service you can use. This is from the old IT Lab car park on Agecroft Industrial Estate (pop M27 8SJ into your sat nav). It’s £2 per car to use this.
Station: MANCHESTER VICTORIA
Services to: LEEDS (for STEVENAGE)
This doesn’t look like the easiest train trip to make, mainly ‘cos we can’t see a station in the immediate area. After travelling north to Leeds and crossing the Pennines with Transpennine Express, the easiest and least stressful option takes you to Manchester Victoria. You can walk it in from here up the A56, but it’ll take you about an hour on a good day.
So, you might want to catch the 97 bus to Moor Lane and stroll the final stretch.
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