How us and Fleetwood Town kept ourselves apart for so long is a bit surprising – but, in truth, it’s simply a case of bad timing. As the Fishermen got promoted to the Blue Square Premier after the 2009-10 season, we’d made tracks for League Two. Two years later, we were in League One when the Fylde coast side were promoted to the Football League themselves. And, yet another two years on, we were on our way down as they stepped up to the third tier. Like ships in the night or something…
The Fishermen stuck around in League One for a number of seasons after that. Meanwhile, we couldn’t get ourselves out of League Two. Well, we nearly went out the wrong end. But that’s by the by. So, what we got with promotion to League One at the end of the 2022-3 campaign was a first-ever, almost long-anticipated meeting against Fleetwood Town. And with it came a brand-new ground to visit too. Just need the results to go in our favour at the same time. In the name of making a good first impression, you understand.
Fleetwood Town: The Facts
Park Avenue, Fleetwood, Lancashire, FY7 6TX
OK, this took a bit of breaking down – but we think we’ve got there now. The current Fleetwood Town are young. In fact, they’re very young; founded in 1997 to replace a Fleetwood Town who formed in 1977 and ultimately went under due to money worries. Before that, there were two other clubs too. The first of them dated back to 1908, with the second following in 1928. So, there’s all the context we’re giving you. All you really need to know is that The Fishermen are one of the youngest clubs on the circuit.
The club’s rise is a quick one. In the start, they were known as Fleetwood Wanderers and were members of North West Counties Football League Division One. In the blink of an eye, a sponsorship deal led to the club changing its name to Fleetwood Freeport or Freelove Freeway or something. It wasn’t until 2002 that Fleetwood Town returned to the footballing map. Not long after that, Andy Pilley took over as chairman; a milestone that saw a cash injection that helped fuel their rise up the Northern Premier League ladder.
In 2008, the Fishermen secured promotion to Conference North. It only took them two seasons to make the next step up; becoming a Conference National team in 2010; the same year that Boro’ were heading on up to League Two. And it only took another two seasons for them to clinch the title and – with it – the honour of Football League membership. As the club liked to do things in two-year blasts, it should come as no surprise that League One status was attained two years later; the same year we came down.
How to get to Fleetwood Town – Travel Information – Distance: 222 miles
OK, so this trip to the north west coast is like many others in this general direction; asking any Boro’ fans travelling by car to head up on the M6. It is neither here nor there if you choose to use the M6 Toll or not. Either way, you’ll be spending a fair whack on the M6 as the exit you want comes to you at Junction 32 – the M55. You don’t have any option upon leaving the M6 here but to follow the M55 in the direction you’ll want anyway.
Head along to Junction 3. You’ll be coming off the motorway here; taking the third exit at the roundabout for A585. After 3.5 miles, get yourself in the left two lanes so that you can make the left turn to remain on the A585. You’ll have several roundabouts along the route after this. But, at each one, keep on the A585 bound for Fleetwood. Only when you come to the roundabout with The Three Lights pub ahead of you to the right do you need to do anything. And that ‘anything’ is to take the first exit left.
As the road kicks around the right, keep following it and then head straight up for about a third of a mile. When you’re opposite Fleetwood Car Centre (on the right), take a sharp left into Radcliffe Road. Not long after, turn right into Peel Road and the stadium should be more than visible ahead of you.
The ground is light on parking itself, so you can rule this out as an option for a start. That said, the official FTFC website says you can park on nearby streets. Just keep an watch out in case that’s changed and/or there are any parking restrictions in place.
Station: BLACKPOOL NORTH
Services to: LEEDS (for STEVENAGE)
The rail option is not the easiest one. Blackpool North (or Poulton-le-Fylde) are regarded as the nearest to Highbury Stadium. But both are several miles away, which means you’ll either need the local buses or taxis to help you complete the journey.
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