Airbus UK Broughton F.C.
Airbus UK Broughton Football Club (Welsh: Clwb Pêl-droed Airbus UK Brychdyn) is a football team based in Broughton, Flintshire, Wales. They had their origins as the works team of the Airbus UK aerospace factory where the wings of the Airbus airliner are produced, and are consequently nicknamed The Wingmakers or The Planemakers. They currently play in the Cymru North.
|Full name||Airbus UK Broughton Football Club|
|Ground||Hollingsworth Group Stadium|
|Capacity||1,600 (500 seated)|
|Owner||Broughton Wings Sports and Social Club|
|2019–20||Cymru Premier, 12th (relegated)|
The club was promoted to the Cymru Premier for the first time in 2004, and play at The Hollingsworth Group Stadium (previously known as The Airfield), Broughton (capacity 1,600, of which 500 are seated); however as their pitch could not be brought up to Cymru Premier standards in time following their promotion, for their first two games they shared Conwy United's ground. The Airfield features three unusual retracting floodlights as it is adjacent to an operational runway. In 2014, the grass surface was replaced with a 3G synthetic pitch. At the end of the 2016–17 season the club were relegated to the Cymru Alliance having finished bottom of the league.
Formed in 1946, the club has known several different names as the ownership of the factory has changed over the years. Originally called Vickers-Armstrong, it has variously been named de Havillands, Hawker Siddeley, British Aerospace, and BAE Systems.
The club's early years were spent in the Chester & District League and the Wrexham area leagues. The club won the Welsh National League (Wrexham Area) Division Two title during the 1991–92 season, when they won 28 of their 34 matches and scored 130 goals to finish 19 points ahead of their nearest rival. They then spent four years making steady improvements in their position in the Welsh National League (Wrexham Area) Division One before being promoted to the Welsh National League Premier Division at the end of the 1995–96 season when they were runners-up in Division One. They spent four years in the Premier Division before winning promotion to the Cymru Alliance at the end of the 1999–00 season, when they won 21 of their 30 matches. To coincide with this promotion the club changed its name to Airbus UK.
Once again they spent four seasons in their new league, successively finishing in 11th, 8th, and 5th positions before winning the league title by 19 points in 2003–04 to earn promotion to the top level of Welsh domestic football for the first time.
Airbus' first season in the Premier League was a torrid time, with the team acquiring only 21 points in the first 32 matches and being in next-to-last position with only a few matches remaining. Their manager, Rob Lythe, who had led them to promotion, resigned in February 2005, citing "not having enough time" to do the job. The Wingmakers eventually avoided relegation in their debut season after a victory over local rivals Connah's Quay Nomads and a 1–0 defeat at Caersws on the last day.
Airbus made a promising start to their second season in the WPL, reaching the semi-final of the League Cup eventually losing out to TNS Llansantffraid over two legs.
For the start of the 2007–08 season, the club changed its name once more, adding the village name to become "Airbus UK Broughton F.C.". Owing to UEFA's rules over sponsorship, when competing in European competition the club is known as "AUK Broughton".
During their time in the Cymru Premier, Airbus UK Broughton went from relegation strugglers to a club that challenged regularly for honours. They qualified for Europe for the first time in 2013 as Cymru Premier runners-up, repeating the feat the following season and appearing in the Europa League for a third consecutive time as third-place finishers in 2015.
In May 2016 the club reached the Welsh Cup final for the first time, losing 2–0 to The New Saints at Wrexham's Racecourse Ground. They just failed to qualify for Europe again, losing 1–0 in the Play-off final to neighbours Gap Connah's Quay. A difficult summer saw the majority of players recruited by other Welsh Premier clubs and director of football Andy Preece leaving the club by mutual consent three days before the start of the next campaign, to be replaced by former player Andrew Thomas.
The 2016–17 season produced only five wins and saw first round exits from both the League Cup and Welsh Cup, ending with the Wingmakers finishing in bottom place and being relegated back to the Cymru Alliance ending 13 seasons in the Welsh top flight. In the 2018-19 season, Airbus won the Cymru Alliance title for a second time after a 4-0 victory over Holywell Town and won promotion back to the Cymru Premier as well as completing a double by defeating Holyhead Hotspur 5-1 in the League Cup final.
- Welsh National League (Wrexham Area) Division Two:
- Winners: 1991–92
- Welsh National League (Wrexham Area) Division One:
- Runners-up: 1995–96
- Welsh National League (Wrexham Area) Premier Division:
- Winners: 1999–00
- Winners: 2003–04, 2018-19
- Winners: 2018-19
|2013–14||UEFA Europa League||First qualifying round||Ventspils||1–1||0–0||1–1 (a)|
|2014–15||UEFA Europa League||First qualifying round||Haugesund||1–1||1–2||2–3|
|2015–16||UEFA Europa League||First qualifying round||Lokomotiva||1–3||2–2||3–5|
As of 21 July 2020[update]
- Manager: Steve O'Shaughnessy
- Assistant Manager: Mark Allen
- First Team Coach: Jamie Crowther
- Goalkeeping coach: Ben Wynne
- Academy Director: Lee Starkey
- Development squad manager: Richard Chapman
- Football in the Community: TBC
- Sport therapist: Katherine Hopwood
- Assistant/trainer: Paloma Gaioa
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 1 March 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "History". Airbus UK Broughton F.C. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
- Williams, Aled (1 July 2013). "Europa League: Bala Town, Airbus UK and Prestatyn Town's hopes". BBC Sport. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
- "British Aerospace (Broughton)". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
- "Airbus UK". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
- "Airbus UK Broughton". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 11 December 2018.