Our Programme Editor, Gary Done, takes a look at this weekends FA Vase opponents Padiham.
This Saturday our Buildbase FA Vase escapades continue with a visit from Padiham of the North West Counties Premier Division. Padiham sits to the west of Burnley and like much of the Northern League, its economy historically relied upon the coal mining industry, as well as weaving.
The club was formed in 1878, making them even older than our beloved gatekeeper Gordon Wilson and in 1883 theyrecorded their most successful run in the FA Cup, when they reached the 3rd Round.
Their original ground was sited on the banks of the River Calder and they were a force to be reckoned with in their early days, regularly recording heavy defeats on local rivals Burnley and drawing four figure crowds to Wyre Street, where they plied their trade in the Lancashire Combination and local leagues, until the outbreak of the First World War.
Sadly in 1916 the club folded and they were forced to leave their home during the curtailment of league football. It wasn’t until after the Second World War that the club became active again. This coincided with their move to a new stadium known as the Arbories Memorial Sports Ground. A bumper crowd of nearly 1800 coming along to watch their debut in the Lancashire Combination on the 20th August 1949.
Padiham were founder members of the North West Counties League where they spent eight seasons, becoming runners up of the Third Division in their second season there. In 1990 they moved to the West Lancashire League, were they had previously won the Second Division in 1971-72 and 1976-77as well as being finalists in the Lancashire Amateur Cup. In 1999-2000 they went one better however, taking the First Division title, gaining promotion and a return to the North West Counties League.
In 2008-09 Padiham finished as runners up in the Second Division and in 2012-13 they won the First Division and promotion to the Northern Premier League. After two seasons in the Northern Premier League the club were relegated and found themselves back in the North West Counties League once again where they have played ever since.
The club have invested heavily in ground improvements over the last 20 years and it’s a favourite away day for many a club’s fan, commanding fantastic views from the ground, so a small part of me is hoping for a replay, as I never got there during my time travelling the North West Counties.
Whilst it looked like Padiham had an off season last time out, a Runcorn Town pal tells me that Michael Morrison has built a very good squad which should be a force to reckon with in the coming seasons, so we should be in for a good game.
Tickets are likely to be sold out by the time you read this, so if you’ve been lucky enough to bag one, enjoy the match and hopefully we’ll be in the next round come 17:00.