Bangor Football Club is an intermediate Northern Irish football club playing in the NIFL Premier Intermediate League. The club, founded in 1918, hails from Bangor and plays its home matches at Clandeboye Park. Club colours are gold and royal blue.

Bangor
Bangor FC logo.svg
Full nameBangor Football Club
Nickname(s)The Seasiders
Founded1918
GroundBangor Fuels Arena, Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland
Capacity1,895 (500 seated)
ChairmanStephen Ogden
ManagerLee Feeney
LeagueNIFL Premier Intermediate League
2019–20NIFL Premier Intermediate League, 4th

HistoryEdit

Early historyEdit

The first Bangor FC was founded, according to local legend, in 1914 in a rowing boat on Bangor Bay. When The Great War was declared in the August of that year, football was abandoned in Bangor as many young men rushed to join up and the then leading junior teams in the town, Bangor Rangers and Clifton Amateurs, folded. Soon, however, two enthusiasts, Bob Lindsay and Jimmy Savage, found they could not face the prospect of a winter without football and so the idea of a "Bangor FC" was born as they discussed the situation when out for a row in the bay.

Back on dry land, a committee was formed and the new Bangor FC played at the Recreation Ground off the Brunswick Road, as a successful member of the Irish Football Alliance. However, in August 1918, Bangor FC wound up its affairs as there was a feeling amongst some members that it was wrong to be playing sport while young men were being slaughtered in the carnage of Flanders. Others were convinced that life should continue as normally as possible and within a matter of days a "new" Bangor FC was born, taking over the fixtures and many of the players of the "old" Bangor FC.

Encouraged by early success, Bangor joined the then Intermediate league where they played until gaining admission into the Irish League in 1927. Their first senior match was a local derby against Ards at Castlereagh Park on 20 August 1927.

The late twenties and thirties were times of economic depression, money was scarce, gates disappointing and the club had to be run on a shoe-string. Against this background, Bangor were able to field a team which was able to keep its head above water, though often to be found in the lower half of the league.

At that time Bangor FC played at the Ballyholme Showgrounds where they had moved from their second home in Castle Street in 1923. The Showgrounds were situated just behind the Ballyholme Esplanade and, being sand based, had one of the best and robust surfaces in the Irish League. In 1934, the club was given notice to quit as the ground was required for building houses ; Sandringham Drive now occupies the site.

After a season when all games had to be played away from home and which almost saw the demise of the club, Bangor moved in 1935 to their present home at Clandeboye Park, which was provided by Bangor Borough Council.

Recent historyEdit

Bangor enjoyed the most successful period in its history during the 1990s when the club qualified for Europe for the first time in its history after finishing second in the Irish League. This success was followed by winning the Irish Cup in 1993 after two replays against bitter rivals, Ards. Paul Byrne, who scored the winning goal with the last kick of the game, moved on to Celtic.

In October 2007, the club announced that a deal had been struck with property developers to sell land at the rear of the ground and use this to clear all debts. On 13 May 2008, it was announced that Bangor had secured a place in the new 12-team IFA Premiership for the 2008/09, season despite only having finished third in the IFA Intermediate League First Division in 2007/08.

Unfortunately, their stay in the Premiership only lasted a season as midway through the campaign the Club decided not to re-apply for the Domestic Licence that was required to compete at this level. On 1 February 2009, the club announced that it would not be renewing its domestic licence for 2009–10 and would therefore resign from the IFA Premiership at the end of the season due to financial reasons and low attendances at matches.[1] Connected with this announcement, manager Marty Quinn resigned and was appointed as manager of Glenavon.[1] As a result, Bangor FC were relegated at the end of the season and in season 2009/10 they competed in the Championship 1 league. The first season back in Intermediate football proved quite difficult with a hastily arranged, young squad. A draw in the penultimate match of the season against Ballymoney United ensured that they avoided the ignominy of relegation to Championship 2 by a single point.

Marty Quinn was replaced by Colin McCurdy who guided Bangor through their first season back in Intermediate Football. Colin McCurdy resigned from his position on 18 September 2010 and former player Frankie Wilson was appointed.

A trio of Bangor players were selected for the Northern Ireland Junior International Squad for a Regions Cup qualifying mini-tournament in Macedonia. Defender Brian Hylands, striker Barry Bloomer and goalkeeper Graeme McKibbin played an active part in Harry McConkey's Regions Cup squad.

Frankie Wilson was announced as Colin McCurdy's replacement on 30 September 2010. A talented midfielder, Frankie began his Irish League playing career at Ballyclare Comrades in November 1991. He later had spells at Carrick Rangers and Omagh Town before joining Bangor in December 2001. Frankie made 35 starting appearances and scored seven goals for Bangor before returning to Omagh Town in the summer of 2003.

In his first full season in charge, Frankie Wilson guided the side to its first trophy since 2005 when they won the Steel & Sons Cup. This was secured on Christmas Eve, 24 December 2011 when they defeated Larne 2–1 in front of a large crowd at Seaview in Belfast. Gareth McLaughlin and Man of the Match, Garth Scates were the scorers.

After a poor run of results which saw Bangor plunge to the bottom of Championship 1 at the end of 2012, Frankie Wilson stood down as manager and was replaced by Garth Scates. During the 2014–15 season Garth Scates stepped down as manager due to not holding the appropriate coaching badges for the club to obtain a Championship Licence, Jeff Montgomery took over as manager and Garth Scates remains as 1st Team Coach. Spike Hill was named as first team coach in October 2016 after Garth Scates and Jeff Montgomery resigned during a league game away to Limavady United. Kyle Spiers joined Spike Hill as Director of Football at the club at the same time as Spike's arrival. Following the club's relegation from League football, both Hill and Spiers tendered their resignations and former Albert Foundry manager Hugh Sinclair was appointed.

The club were involved in a pulsating promotion race in the 2014-2015 season with Carrick Rangers and bitter rivals Ards with Carrick eventually scooping the title and promotion to the NIFL Premiership with the Seasiders entering a play off with Premiership Warrenpoint Town to whom they lost on penalties In the second leg to keep The Point In the premiership for another season.

In February 2016, the club was issued a winding up order from their contractors who installed their 3G Pitch which the club managed to get over turned. During this process, they missed the Championship club licence deadline meaning they could not take Part in the NIFL Championship 1 In the following season and were demoted to Premier Intermediate League as a result.

Bangor were relegated to the Ballymena & Provincial Intermediate League at the end of the 16/17 Season after finishing bottom of the NIFL Premier Intermediate League. Bangor won the BPIL league, winning 27 of 28 league games (1 draw) in the 18/19 Season, to comfortably win the league title and secure promotion back to league football for the 19/20 season.

ColoursEdit

The official club colours are gold and blue, although in recent years the gold has been replaced by yellow as this is the shade more commonly used by kit manufacturers. The original colours were blue shirts and white shorts but the club changed these to gold and blue before the Second World War as a mark of thanks to Bangor Borough Council who donated them the land on the Clandeboye Road where Clandeboye Park now stands.

Gold and blue are traditional Bangor colours with the gold representing sand and the blue representing the sea.

For the 2008/09 Premier league season, Bangor introduced an all yellow kit, which they retained for a few seasons before reverting to yellow shirts and blue shorts in season 2010/11.

For season 2011/12, Bangor introduced a yellow and blue striped shirt for their home kit and a new white away shirt with yellow and blue trim. The kit was supplied by ONE.

Season 2012/13 saw Bangor revert to the popular yellow shirts with blue shorts, supplied by Nike. The main logo on the front of the shirt is for the RVH (Royal Victoria Hospital) Liver Support Group charity.

StadiumEdit

After much negotiation during 2012 and the early part of 2013, Bangor FC's application to Sport NI for grant aid was successful. With a matching loan from UCIT (Ulster Community Investment Trust) Bangor were able to proceed with their plan to lay a new 3G pitch at Clandeboye Park. Greg Seeley Consulting were appointed as Designers & Project Managers, while TAL Civil Engineering Limited were selected as the main contractors.

Aligned to the laying of the pitch, Bangor FC entered into an agreement with Shared Access Ltd which led to New Floodlights being put into place to complement the development of the ground. Work started on 24 June 2013 and the new ground was opened without much fanfare on 12 October 2013 when Bangor beat Knockbreda 2-0 in a Northern Ireland Football League Championship 1 match.

The new FIFA Approved 3G surface is 99 metres x 63 metres with a run off area of 2.5 metres. The playing surface is surrounded by a steel fence (replacing the old concrete wall) and a two-metre-wide (6.6 ft) tarmac walkway. The development allows spectators to access all sides of the ground for the first time in many years. The 3G facility is available for hire by the public and members of the local community.[2] Early in 2014, Bangor FC became the first club in the Irish League to sell the naming rights of their ground, with Clandeboye Park becoming officially known as The Bangor Fuels Arena. This received a mixed response from the club's fans but an announcement from the club confirmed that the sponsorship deal with local business firm Bangor Fuels would be in place for the next five years. The deal includes shirt sponsorship, advertising around the ground as well as the naming rights.[3]

Bangor FC has restored their stadium name to Clandeboye Park on Thursday 16th September 2021 after 8 years of affiliation with Bangor Fuels.


Current SquadEdit

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
GK   NIR Ben Nicholl
GK   NIR Darren Gibbons
GK   NIR Matthew Anderson
DF   NIR Dylan Hume
DF   NIR Dylan Snodden
DF   NIR Gareth Beattie
DF   NIR Gerard McMullan
DF   NIR Isaac Fletcher
No. Pos. Nation Player

European recordEdit

OverviewEdit

Competition Matches W D L GF GA
UEFA Cup
2
0
0
2
0
6
European Cup Winners' Cup / UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
4
0
1
3
2
8
TOTAL
6
0
1
5
2
14

MatchesEdit

Season Competition Round Opponent Home Away Aggregate
1991–92 UEFA Cup 1R   Sigma Olomouc 0–3 0–3 0–6
1993–94 European Cup Winners' Cup QR   APOEL 1–1 1–2 2–3
1994–95 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup QR   Tatran Prešov 0–1 0–4 0–5

Non-playing staffEdit

  • Chairman: Reuben Bradshaw
  • Vice-Chairman: Jim Russell
  • Company secretary: Peter Vannucci
  • Directors: Nicky Davidson, Jim Russell, Graham Bailie, Gerry Watson, Neil Watson, Simon Stuart
  • President: Billy Palmer
  • Treasurer: Peter Vannucci
  • Patron: Lord Bangor, William Ward, 8th Viscount Bangor
  • Club Chaplain: Gary Faulkner
  • Groundsman: Gary Greer
  • Team Manager: Lee Feeney
  • Assistant Manager: John Douglas
  • First-team Coaches: Michael McClelland, Dean Gordon, Carter Dawson
  • First-team Physio: Stephen Mawhinney
  • Reserve Team Manager: Dean Gordon
  • Ladies Team Manager: Mark Duff
  • Football Secretary: Gerry Watson
  • Safety Officer: Mitch Morgan
  • Community Relations: Simon Stuart
  • Press Relations / PA Announcer: Roy Kitson
  • Photographers: Gary Carson, Joe McEwan
  • Video Team: Gary Greer and Joshua Greer
  • Club Ambassador : Keith Gillespie
  • U19’s ambassador : Pete Snodden
  • Club Dinner Man & Legend - Gareth Beattie

Managerial historyEdit

Tenure Manager
1920–? Tommy Stevenson
1934–?   Tony Weldon
? Joe Clennell
?-1938 Ben Jones
? Gerry Wright
? Billy McDevitt
? Andy Wylie
? Joe Duff
?   Haydn Green
? Lincoln Hyde
? Gibby McKenzie
? Chris Duffy
1955–? Sammy Smyth
? Billy Hanna
1962–1964 Clancy McDermott
1964–1965 Charlie Tully
1965–1968 Ralph McGuickan
1968 Dave Hickson
1968–1971 Charlie Tully
1971–1972 Alfie McMichael
1972–? Bertie Neill
? Billy Neill
? Jim Emery
?   Billy Johnston
? Bertie Neill
?-1985 Eric Halliday
1983–1985 Billy Humphries
1985–1988 Ronnie McQuillan
1988–1992 John Flanagan
1992–1994 Nigel Best
1994–1995   Roddy Collins
1995 Paul Malone
1995–1996 Andy Dougan / George Dunlop
1996–1997   Stephen McBride
1997   Colin McCurdy
1997 David Chisholm
1997–1999 Alan Campbell
1999–2001 Alan Fraser
2001–2003 Lee Doherty
2003–2005 Eric Halliday
2005–2007   George Dunlop
2007–2008   Paul Millar
2008–2009   Marty Quinn
2009–2010   Colin McCurdy
2010–2013   Frankie Wilson
2013-2016   Garth Scates
2016-2017   Spike Hill
2017-2020   Hugh Sinclair
2020- present   Lee Feeney

HonoursEdit

Senior honoursEdit

Intermediate honoursEdit

† Won by Bangor Reserves

Junior honoursEdit

  • Beattie Cup: 1
    • 1907–08†

† Won by Bangor Reserves

Notable former playersEdit

• Phil Gibney - Everton Football College Coach

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Quinn appointed Glenavon manager". BBC Sport. 2 February 2009. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  2. ^ "Bangor FC 3G at Clandeboye made available for public hire".
  3. ^ Daily Mirror, 21 January 2014

External linksEdit