Nelson FC: 1982-2006
Feature by 'Buck' & 'The Sentinel'
Updated Monday, 5th June 2006
Nelson joined the Third Division of the newly created North West Counties League - an amalgamation of the Lancashire Combination and Cheshire County League - in 1981/82.During that era, Nelson also moved out of their old Seedhill ground, which had also been used for a variety of sporting events since the days in the Football League - including to host stock-car racing. The ground was sadly demolished to make way for the M65 motorway.
The club were transferred into the Second Division of the North West Counties League when the Third Division was dropped six seasons later.
After much hard work, the new ground at Victoria Park - known by the locals as "Little Wembley" - was brought up to scratch, and the club were re-admitted to the North West Counties League.
Since their return, Nelson have usually finished in the top half of the Second Division, and have been perilously close to promotion on more than one occasion.
A cruel end to the 2000/2001 season saw Nelson finish above Atherton LR in the third and final promotion place on the final day of the season, only to see the latter granted a replay of their final game as their opponents had fielded an ineligible player. Atherton won the replayed game to snatch away third spot from the Blues.
Former Blackburn Rovers coach David Hall took over the manager's role at the start of the 2004/05 season, and set about rebuilding a fresh young team. Hall was to leave after a poor start to the following season, but his assistant Graham Howarth took over and oversaw an incredible late run which propelled the Blues to a third place finish, bringing with it a first promotion for the Club for 83 years.