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Walsall Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Walsall, West Midlands, England. The team compete in League Two, the fourth tier of the English football league system. The club's nickname, "The Saddlers", reflects Walsall's status as a traditional centre for saddle manufacture. Walsall moved into their Bescot Stadium in 1990, having previously played at nearby Fellows Park for almost a century. The team play in a red and white kit and their club crest features a swift. They hold rivalries with nearby Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Bromwich Albion, as well as farther away but more regularly contested rivalries with Shrewsbury Town and Port Vale.

Logo is 2007–2016
Full nameWalsall Football Club
Nickname(s)The Saddlers
Founded1888; 131 years ago (1888)
(as Walsall Town Swifts)
GroundBescot Stadium
ChairmanJeff Bonser
ManagerDarrell Clarke
LeagueLeague Two
2018–19League One, 22nd of 24 (relegated)
WebsiteClub website
Current season

The club was founded in 1888 as Walsall Town Swifts, an amalgamation of Walsall Town and Walsall Swifts. The club moved to the Football Alliance from the Midland Association the following year, before being invited to help found the Football League Second Division in 1892. They failed re-election in 1895, but were elected back into the Football League after one season in the Midland League. They failed re-election again in 1901 and this time spent two decades outside the Football League, primarily in the Birmingham & District League. Invited to help form the Football League Third Division North in 1921, they would remain in the third tier for the next 37 years before becoming founder members of the Fourth Division. Walsall won the Fourth Division title in 1959–60 and then secured promotion out of the Third Division the following season, though were relegated in 1963 and again in 1979.

Walsall won promotion out of the Fourth Division in 1979–80, but suffered two successive relegations after winning promotion into the Second Division at the end of the 1987–88 campaign. Promoted in 1994–95 and again in 1998–99, they spent four of the next five seasons in the second tier, punctuated by a successful third tier promotion campaign in 2000–01. Two relegations in three years left Walsall back in the fourth tier in 2006, but they secured an immediate promotion as 2006–07 League Two champions. Their first match at Wembley Stadium came in the 2015 Football League Trophy Final, which they lost to Bristol City, and they ended an 11-year stay in League One with relegation in 2019.



Formation and early yearsEdit

The Walsall team pictured in 1893

Walsall were formed as Walsall Town Swifts in 1888 when Walsall Town F.C. and Walsall Swifts F.C. amalgamated.[1] Walsall Town had been founded in 1877 and Walsall Swifts in 1879.[1] Both clubs had played at the Chuckery, and the new club remained at the same ground. Walsall Town Swifts' first match was a draw against Aston Villa. Two players from this early era received international caps. In 1882, Alf Jones won the first two of his three caps (against Scotland and Wales) while with Walsall Swifts, and in 1889 Albert Aldridge received the second of his two caps while playing for Walsall Town Swifts. The club were first admitted to the Football League in 1892, as founder members of the new Second Division. They moved to the West Bromwich Road ground in 1893. After finishing 14th out of 16 teams in 1894–95 the club failed to be re-elected to the Football League.

At the start of the 1895 season the club moved to Hilary Street, later renamed Fellows Park. In 1896 they changed their name to Walsall F.C.[1] and joined the Midland League. A year later, they returned to the Second Division, three teams having failed re-election in 1896. The team finished in sixth place in 1898–99, but once again failed re-election two years later, dropping back into the Midland League. A move to the Birmingham League followed in 1903, and in 1910, the club were elected to the Southern League. With the expansion of the Football League after World War I, Walsall became a founding member of the Third Division North in 1921.

Walsall's highest "home" attendance was set in 1930, when they played in of front of 74,646 fans against Aston Villa in the FA Cup Fourth Round[2] Although a home match for Walsall, the tie was played at their opponents' Villa Park ground, and it remains the highest attendance that Walsall have ever played in front of.

In 1933, Walsall won 2–0 in the FA Cup against Arsenal at Fellows Park. Arsenal went on to win the First Division that season, and the cup defeat to Third Division North side Walsall is still regarded as one of the greatest upsets in FA Cup history.[3]

Post-war eraEdit

In 1958, following a reorganisation of the Football League, Walsall became founder members of the Fourth Division. Under the management of Bill Moore, the club achieved successive promotions, scoring 102 goals on their way to winning Division Four in 1959–60 and finishing as Division Three runners-up in 1960–61 to reach the second tier of English football for the first time since the early 1900s. Players such as Bill 'Chopper' Guttridge, Tony Richards and Colin Taylor were intrinsically important to the success of the side. After just two seasons in the Second Division, the club were relegated back to Division Three in 1962–63, and remained there until a further demotion to the Fourth Division, in 1978–79.

The club has always had a rich history of producing players who go on to play at the top level. Allan Clarke went on to win the League Championship under Don Revie at Leeds United after beginning life at Fellows Park. Bert Williams and Phil Parkes both became England goalkeepers in the years after they progressed from their roots in Walsall. David Kelly had a long career at the top level after leaving Walsall in 1988, representing the Republic of Ireland at the very highest level of international football. More recently, Michael Ricketts represented England after blossoming at Bolton Wanderers. In recent years, Matty Fryatt and Ishmel Demontagnac have both represented England age-groups.

1980s: League Cup scalps, financial turmoil and the fourth tierEdit

Walsall in action in 1982

The 1980s were a period of considerable activity for Walsall. In 1983–84 they defeated First Division club Arsenal in the League Cup at Highbury, and advanced to the semi-final, where an estimated 10,000 Saddlers saw a 2–2 draw against Liverpool at Anfield, however a second leg 2–0 defeat in front of 19,591 at Fellows Park saw Walsall lose the tie 4–2 on aggregate. This cup run saw Walsall famously only 90 minutes away from playing in Europe, which was once the name of a Fanzine, unfortunately no longer running. Walsall narrowly missed out on promotion to the Second Division in the same season.

In 1986 plans were announced to move Walsall to Birmingham, to groundshare with Birmingham City. The town rallied behind Barrie Blower, who led a campaign to save the club. Walsall were subsequently bought by millionaire entrepreneur and racehorse owner Terry Ramsden and with his money came high-profile signings and the attention of the national media. In 1986–87, under new manager Tommy Coakley, Walsall narrowly missed the play-offs, but made considerable progress in the FA Cup as they defeated First Division Charlton Athletic and Birmingham City and took Watford to two replays in the fifth round.

Walsall earned promotion through the old Division Three play-offs in 1988, beating Bristol City in a replayed final at Fellows Park, 13,007 where there to see it. 1988–89 saw the club relegated from Division Two and Ramsden's business empire collapsed alongside the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Walsall were minutes from being taken over by Japanese administrators and folded, but survived, again through the actions of Barrie Blower and local businessmen.

Further relegation followed at the end of 1989–90 as Walsall were consigned to Division Four.

1990s: move to Bescot, Hibbitt's foundation and promotionsEdit

The club moved to the Bescot Stadium in 1990. At the time it was a state-of-the-art arena, and was only the second new Football League ground since the 1950s. The arrival at Bescot Stadium saw some stability brought back to the club after two successive relegations. Ex-Wolves star Kenny Hibbitt managed the club for four years, setting the groundwork for a golden era for the club that would follow soon after his dismissal in September 1994.

New manager Chris Nicholl led the club to promotion in his first season, building the nucleus of a strong and under-rated team. Two seasons of stability followed, the team finishing 11th and 12th, before Nicholl resigned in 1997.

Ex-Ajax and Danish international Jan Sorensen took the helm after Nicholl`s departure. Whilst 'The Saddlers' finished a lowly 19th in Division Two that season, the club reached the 4th Round of the League Cup, as well as rampaging through the early rounds of the FA Cup. Lincoln United were dispatched in the first round, before league newcomers Macclesfield Town were beaten 7–0 away and a victory over Peterborough United in the 3rd Round was rewarded with a glamour tie away at Manchester United, which Walsall lost 5–1. However, despite the club's cup exploits, a poor finish in the league signalled the end of Sorensen's time at Walsall after just one season.

In 1998–99, ex-Aston Villa winger Ray Graydon took over as manager and led the club to a runners-up spot in Division Two, beating Man City to automatic promotion by 5 points.[4]

2000s: From the second tier to League Two, "Dickie Dosh" and anticlimaxEdit

After an unlikely promotion to the second tier Walsall found life difficult at a higher level, but battled right until the final day of the season, when their fate was finally sealed. A 2–0 defeat at Ipswich coupled with West Brom's home victory over Charlton meant Walsall returned to the third tier, despite derby wins over local rivals Wolves, Birmingham and West Brom earlier in the campaign.

The Saddlers returned to the second-tier of English Football at the first attempt, defeating Reading 3–2, after extra time, in a thrilling play-off final at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.[5] After a promising start to the season, the form began to slip away over the winter period. However, the signings of Fitzroy Simpson and Don Goodman added much needed steel to the side and spurred them on to reach Division One once again.

Despite all the success he had delivered, it soon became clear that Ray Graydon had reached the end of the road at the club. Following an abject performance and 2–0 defeat, live on Sky Sports against local rivals West Brom, Jeff Bonser dismissed Graydon. His replacement, ex-Wolves manager Colin Lee polarised supporters, but ultimately proved to be a success. The style of football improved and Lee's signings improved the team dramatically. Relegation was avoided thanks to vital away wins against Nottingham Forest and Sheffield United.

Chart of table positions of Walsall in the Football League.

2003–04 proved to be one of the most remarkable seasons in the club's history. Up until Christmas, Walsall were flying. West Bromwich Albion and Nottingham Forest were both destroyed 4–1, as new-signing, the ex-England and Arsenal star, Paul Merson, seemed to be repeating some of the magic that had led Portsmouth to promotion the previous season. Following a Boxing Day victory at Cardiff City, the club sat just four points off a place in the play-offs.

However, 2004 saw a spectacular slump in form. The new year began with a disappointing FA Cup Third Round defeat away at Millwall, and an embarrassing 6–1 home defeat against fellow-strugglers Coventry City. The following weeks saw further costly defeats, and it took until 13 March for the club to win their first league game of 2004. Colin Lee was sacked on 16 April 2004 after a shambolic display at Gillingham, though the reason given for his dismissal was his decision to speak to Plymouth Argyle about their vacant manager's position.

Lee was replaced on a temporary basis by Paul Merson, who was assisted by Simon Osborn. Despite the rallying cries of the ex-England international, and the backing of the town, Walsall were ultimately relegated, agonisingly by a single goal, despite a 3–2 victory over Rotherham Utd at home, on the season's final day.

Despite the club's relegation and no previous managerial experience, Merson was immediately appointed as full-time manager of the club in May 2004. Although initially a popular choice, a poor season almost ended in successive relegations. However, an inspired loan signing Julian Joachim spurred the team on to winning all five of their final games of the 2004–05 season and 14th place in League One, restoring some faith in his management ability.

Although the 2005–06 season started promisingly, it turned into a disastrous one for Walsall. After increasing supporter pressure following a string of bad results, culminating in a 5–0 defeat at Brentford, Merson's reign as Walsall manager came to an end on 6 February 2006.

Later that month, former Birmingham City captain Kevan Broadhurst was appointed as Paul Merson's replacement. However, Walsall were relegated on 22 April 2006 after losing 3–1 to Huddersfield Town. Broadhurst was sacked the next day. On 3 May 2006, the team appointed their third permanent manager of the season in former Scunthorpe manager Richard Money.

Richard Money's reign started with a bang as Walsall lost just once in the first 20 League games in League Two, including maximum points from their first seven home ties. An impressive start to the season was maintained throughout, and despite a mini-blip in February, Walsall remained in the top three for almost the entire season. Walsall were promoted into League One on 14 April after beating Notts County 2–1 away from home. On the final day of the season, Walsall drew 1–1 with Swindon Town at the County Ground thanks to a last-minute goal by Dean Keates in front of 3,419 travelling fans, to secure the League Two title.[6][7]

Walsall (in red shirts) playing Gillingham in 2009

Walsall's form continued into the new season, as the club performed strongly in 2007–08, including a run of 17 League matches without defeat. However, a January transfer window that culminated in the sales of important first team players Daniel Fox and Scott Dann (both to Coventry City) caused a drop in form throughout 2008. The club's play-off challenge was ended after a run of poor results in March leading to Richard Money resigning as manager in April. Jimmy Mullen took over as caretaker manager before being given the job on a permanent basis after the club finished in 12th place.

Walsall endured an inconsistent start to their League One campaign in 2008–09, with a number of home defeats leading to the sacking of manager Jimmy Mullen in January 2009. Mullen was replaced by former Walsall player Chris Hutchings. Hutchings started his reign with a 1–1 home draw with Hereford United. His first win as Walsall manager came against Leeds United on 31 January 2009 at Bescot Stadium, with Troy Deeney's first half goal proving enough in a 1–0 win.

2009–10, Hutchings's first full season as Walsall manager, was again inconsistent. At the start of December, Walsall were 7th and only a point outside the play-offs. However, the start of 2010 brought a slump in form and by the beginning of April, Walsall were 13th with only one win in seven League games. The last eight games brought a striking change in form, only losing once to seal a top 10 finish – their highest since being relegated in 2004.

The end of the 2009–10 season saw some of the darkest days in the club's history. Roy Whalley stepped down at the end of that season[8] and Jeff Bonser has not attended a Walsall game since the end of that season. The innocent supporters were eventually unbanned but no formal apology was either received or presented to either the supporters or individuals concerned. The retirement of Roy Whalley and Jeff Bonser's exile was the start of a new era at Walsall. Stefan Gamble took over the reins as Chief Executive and the club has not looked back since.

2010s: The Great Escape, the Dean Smith era and declineEdit

The 2010–11 season started poorly and by the beginning of October, Walsall were rock-bottom of the table and facing a relegation battle. On 3 January 2011, after a 4–1 defeat against Peterborough United, Hutchings was sacked. Head of Youth, and ex-Walsall player, Dean Smith was placed in temporary charge. On 21 January he was announced as permanent manager of the club until the end of the season.[9]

On 29 January 2011, Walsall recorded their best League result since 1986 by beating Bristol Rovers 6–1. This was Smith's first win in charge, and sparked an upturn in form seeing Walsall gain ground on their relegation rivals. A 1–0 win over promotion chasing Southampton on 1 March 2011 saw Walsall climb out of the relegation zone for the first time since October. A points haul of eight in April was enough to ensure Walsall were one point clear of the drop zone going into the final set of fixtures. Despite losing 3–1 to Southampton, and accumulating only 48 points, Walsall survived relegation by one point ahead of Dagenham & Redbridge, who lost on the same day to Peterborough United.

The 2011–12 season once again saw Walsall flirt with relegation from League One. However, a 1–1 draw at home to Huddersfield Town on 28 April 2012 guaranteed Walsall's survival in League One at the expense of Wycombe Wanderers, Chesterfield, Exeter City and Rochdale, who were all relegated.

The 2012–13 season began with a 3–0 home defeat to Doncaster Rovers on 18 August 2012, though Walsall gradually began to improve after their initial setback, reaching 5th place in the League One table after a 2–1 win over Portsmouth at Fratton Park on 15 September 2012. However, a winless run of 16 games followed from early October until 22 December 2012, when the Saddlers defeated Colchester United 1–0 at home. Following this, the club began to prosper in the New Year, only being beaten three times in 24 games until the end of the season and emerging as a serious contender for the play-offs. Despite falling just short, they finished 9th in the table, marking a significant improvement following two seasons of struggling.

On Tuesday 9 December 2014 Walsall drew 2–2 against Tranmere Rovers in the Johnstone Paint Trophy Area Semi-Final in which they ended up winning 5–4 on penalties to reach the Area Final[10]

On Wednesday 7 January 2015 Walsall played the Area Final first leg against Preston North End, winning 2–0 by scoring twice within the 80th to 90th minute with Tom Bradshaw playing a key part. After a stalemate second leg Walsall reach the Football League Trophy final and for the first time in their 127-year history play at Wembley Stadium where they were beaten 2–0 by Bristol City on Sunday 22 March 2015. Topping a disappointing season for the club where they managed to become clear of relegation just two games before the end of the season, a 3–3 draw with promotion play-off side, Swindon.

Walsall started the 2015–16 season well, with Smith being named as League One Manager of the Month and Rico Henry named youth player of the month for August as the club ended the month at the top of the table.[11] Walsall rejected an approach for Smith from Rotherham United in October, describing him as "fundamental to our future plans".[12] Smith signed a new 12-month rolling contract on 16 October. However six weeks later he left Walsall for Brentford with the "Saddlers" fourth in the table; at the time of his departure he was the fourth longest serving manager in the Football League.[13]

On 18 December 2015 Walsall turned to Sean O'Driscoll as head coach. O'Driscoll, previously Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers' assistant, had become available following Rodgers' sacking.[14] O'Driscoll made it clear that he did not intend to make any major changes. Going into the new year Walsall were top of the table on goal difference after winning all three games since O'Driscoll took the reins.[15] After 16 games in charge, Walsall were placed fourth but on a six-game winless run. On 6 March 2016 it was announced that Walsall had parted company with O'Driscoll.[16]

A timeline of Walsall's historyEdit

  • 1888 – Founded as Walsall Town Swifts
  • 1892 – Founder Members of the Football League Second Division.
  • 1896 – Renamed Walsall F.C.
  • 1896 – Move into the new Hillary Street Ground, which will later become known as Fellows Park, Walsall's home, on and off, until 1990.
  • 1901 – Failed to gain re-election to the Football League.
  • 1921 – League football returns to Walsall after 20 years as the club become Founder Members of the Football League Third Division North.
  • 1933 – Beat Arsenal in the FA Cup, a result still regarded as one of the greatest FA Cup upsets of all-time.
  • 1960 – Win the Fourth Division title. The club's first league win in their history.
  • 1961 – Win second successive promotion to reach Second Division.
  • 1963 – Relegated back to Third Division where the club would spend 24 out of the next 25 seasons.
  • 1972 – Club rescued from financial oblivion by new owner Ken Wheldon.
  • 1975 – Defeat Manchester United and Newcastle United in the FA Cup on the way to the fifth round.
  • 1978 – Defeat Leicester City in the FA Cup on the way to the fifth round.
  • 1979 – Sign striker Alan Buckley back from Birmingham City, for a what was a club record of £175,000 until 2016.
  • 1984 – Reach the League Cup semi-finals, defeating Arsenal at Highbury in the fourth round.
  • 1986 – Racecourse owner Terry Ramsden buys the club.
  • 1988 – Promotion to the Second Division is achieved through the play-offs.
  • 1989 – Relegation to Third Division after just one season in the Second Division.
  • 1990 – A second successive relegation to the Fourth Division in time for the move to Bescot Stadium, a few hundred yards from Fellows Park.
  • 1992 – Jeff Bonser buys the club, which again was minutes away from entering receivership.
  • 1995 – Win promotion to Division Two as runners-up.
  • 1998 – Reach the fourth round of the League Cup and FA Cup under Jan Sorensen, who lasts only one season and is succeeded by Ray Graydon.
  • 1999 – Win promotion to Division One as runners-up ahead of Manchester City.
  • 2000 – Relegated back to Division Two, being pipped to survival by local rivals West Bromwich Albion.
  • 2001 – Promoted to Division One at the first attempt, winning the Division Two play-offs.
  • 2004 – Relegated from Division One on goal difference.
  • 2006 – Two relegations in three seasons sees the club fall to League Two.
  • 2007 – Win the League Two title at the first attempt and are promoted back to League One.
  • 2015 – Reach the Football League Trophy final, play at Wembley Stadium for the first time in their history but lose 2–0 to Bristol City.
  • 2019 – Relegated to League Two.


A 2013 survey revealed Walsall fans consider Black Country neighbours Wolverhampton Wanderers to be the club's main rivals.[17] However, meetings between the teams are relatively rare, with Wolves having spent most of their existence in the top two tiers of English football. Only 16 competitive fixtures have been played between Walsall and Wolves, with the most recent occurring in 2014. Meetings with the Black Country's other professional cub, West Bromwich Albion, are similarly rare, with the Saddlers and the Baggies having clashed just 14 times.[18]

More regularly-contested rivalries exist with Shrewsbury Town and Port Vale. Both clubs are roughly 30 miles away from Walsall, meaning they are often the Saddlers' geographically-closest fixtures. Walsall have the upper hand in both rivalries, having won significantly more fixtures than they have lost.[19][20]


The ChuckeryEdit

This multi-purpose sports ground was situated in a district near to the Walsall Arboretum. It comprised some 12 football pitches and four good-sized cricket squares. It was the first ever home ground for Walsall F.C. from 1888 until 1893.

West Bromwich RoadEdit

The new ground in West Bromwich Road, which had a capacity of just over 4,500, proved to be a lucky omen for The Saddlers between 1893 and 1896.

Fellows ParkEdit

Fellows Park was a former football stadium in Walsall, England. It was the home ground of Walsall F.C. from 1896 until 1990, when the team moved to the Bescot Stadium.

Bescot StadiumEdit

Bescot Stadium, currently also known as Banks's Stadium for sponsorship purposes,[21] is the home ground of Walsall Football Club. It was built in 1989–90 at a cost of £4.5m, replacing the club's previous ground, Fellows Park, which was located a quarter of a mile away. The ground was opened by Sir Stanley Matthews.


Current squadEdit

As of 18 May 2019.[22]

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

No. Position Player
1   GK Liam Roberts
4   MF George Dobson (3rd captain)
7   MF Adam Chambers (captain)
9   FW Andy Cook
14   DF Kory Roberts
15   MF Liam Kinsella
16   FW Morgan Ferrier
19   FW Mitchel Candlin
No. Position Player
21   DF Callum Cockerill-Mollett
28   DF Cameron Norman
29   FW Josh Gordon
32   MF Alfie Bates
35   DF Dan Scarr
  MF Stuart Sinclair
  DF James Clarke

Reserves and youthEdit

For the Development and Youth Academy squads, see Walsall F.C. Youth and Reserves.

Former playersEdit

For a list of former players, see Category:Walsall F.C. players.

Players of the Year[citation needed]

Anthony Gerrard (Player of the season 2005–06 & 2007–08)
Ian Roper (Player of the season 2002–03)
Name Season
  Andy Cook 2018-19
  Joe Edwards 2017–18
  Jason McCarthy 2016–17
  Adam Chambers 2015–16
  Richard O'Donnell 2014–15
  Sam Mantom 2013–14
  Will Grigg 2012–13
  Andy Butler 2011–12
  Andy Butler 2010–11
  Troy Deeney 2009–10
  Clayton Ince 2008–09
  Anthony Gerrard 2007–08
  Dean Keates 2006–07
  Anthony Gerrard 2005–06
  Matty Fryatt 2004–05
  Paul Ritchie 2003–04
  Ian Roper 2002–03
  Jimmy Walker 2001–02
  Jorge Leitão 2000–01
  Gino Padula 1999–00
  Jimmy Walker 1998–99
  Jeff Peron 1997–98
  Adrian Viveash 1996–97
  Adrian Viveash 1995–96
  Kevin Wilson 1994–95

Top goal scorers[citation needed]

Tommy Mooney (Top Scorer 2007–08)
Michael Ricketts (Top Scorer 1999–2000 and 2008–2009)
Player Goals Season
  Andy Cook 18 2018-19
  Erhun Oztumer 17 2017–18
  Erhun Oztumer 15 2016–17
  Tom Bradshaw 20 2015–16
  Tom Bradshaw 20 2014–15
  Craig Westcarr 16 2013–14
  Will Grigg 20 2012–13
  Alex Nicholls and   Jon Macken 10 2011–12
  Julian Gray 10 2010–11
  Troy Deeney 14 2009–10
  Michael Ricketts and   Troy Deeney 12 2008–09
  Tommy Mooney 12 2007–08
  Dean Keates 13 2006–07
  Matty Fryatt 14 2005–06
  Matty Fryatt 15 2004–05
  Jorge Leitão 9 2003–04
  Júnior 16 2002–03
  Jorge Leitão 10 2001–02
  Jorge Leitão 21 2000–01
  Michael Ricketts 11 1999–2000
  Andy Rammell 20 1998–99
  Roger Boli 24 1997–98
  Kyle Lightbourne 20 1996–97
  Kyle Lightbourne and   Kevin Wilson 15 1995–96
  Kyle Lightbourne 23 1994–95
  Dean Peer 8 1993–94
  Wayne Clarke 21 1992–93
  Rod McDonald 18 1991–92
  Stuart Rimmer 13 1990–91
  Stuart Rimmer 10 1989–90
  Stuart Rimmer 8 1988–89
  David Kelly 20 1987–88
  David Kelly 23 1986–87
  Nicky Cross 21 1985–86

Club managementEdit

Club officialsEdit

Board officials

Name Role
  Jeff Bonser Chairman
  Stefan Gamble Chief Executive
  Clive Welch Director
  Nigel Bond Director
  Peter Gilman Director
  Richard Tisdale Director
  Roy Whalley Director
  Leigh Pomlett Director[23]
  Mick Kearns Ambassador

First team staff

Name Role
  Darrell Clarke Manager
  Marcus Stewart Assistant Manager
  Brian Dutton Assistant Manager
  Maik Taylor Goalkeeping Coach
  Mark Bradley Strength & Conditioning Coach
  Calum Hayes Performance Analyst
  Tom Bradley Kit Man

Youth Team Staff

Name Role
  Graham Biggs Academy Manager
  Kyle Kirby Lead Coach for Youth Development Phase
  Mark Bradley Academy Strength and Conditioning Coach

Medical staff

Name Role
  Marc Czuczman First Team Physiotherapist
  Dr Chris Minton Club Doctor
  Colin Hill Sports Psychologist

Managerial historyEdit

Only competitive matches are counted. Wins, losses and draws are results at the final whistle; the results of penalty shoot-outs are not counted.[24]

Name From To P W D L Win% Honours Notes
  H. Smallwood s 01 Aug 1888 01 Aug 1891 89 45 11 33 050.56
  A. G. Burton s 01 Aug 1891 01 Aug 1893 49 14 6 29 028.57
  J. H. Robinson s 01 Aug 1893 01 Aug 1895 62 22 3 37 035.48
  C. H. Aislo s 01 Aug 1895 01 Aug 1896 31 19 6 6 061.29
  A. E. Parsloe s 01 Aug 1896 01 Aug 1897 33 12 5 16 036.36
  L. Ford s 01 Aug 1897 01 Aug 1898 30 12 5 13 040.00
  G. Hughes s 01 Aug 1898 01 Aug 1899 35 15 12 8 042.86
  L. Ford s 01 Aug 1899 01 Aug 1901 79 25 24 30 031.65
  J. E. Shutt s 01 Aug 1908 01 Jul 1912 144 69 28 47 047.92
  Haydn Price s 01 Jul 1912 01 Aug 1915 114 57 19 38 050.00
  Albert Groves 01 May 1920 01 Aug 1921 36 19 6 11 052.78
  Joe Burchell 01 Aug 1921 01 Feb 1926 199 74 36 89 037.19
  David Ashworth 01 Feb 1926 01 Feb 1927 42 16 9 17 038.10
  Jimmy Torrance 01 Feb 1927 01 May 1928 61 17 12 32 027.87
  James Kerr 01 May 1928 01 Apr 1929 39 13 12 14 033.33
  Sid Scholey 01 Apr 1929 01 Oct 1930 61 21 10 30 034.43
  Peter O'Rourke 01 Oct 1930 01 Feb 1932 63 21 10 32 033.33
  Bill Slade 01 Feb 1932 01 Oct 1934 114 55 21 38 048.25
  Andrew Wilson 01 Oct 1934 01 Apr 1937 133 47 32 54 035.34
  Tommy Lowes 01 Apr 1937 01 Sep 1939 105 33 22 50 031.43
  Sam Longmore 01 Sep 1939 05 Aug 1944 166 54 34 78 032.53
  Harry Hibbs 05 Aug 1944 30 Jun 1951 230 85 57 88 036.96
  Tony McPhee 01 Jul 1951 01 Dec 1951 21 7 3 11 033.33
  Brough Fletcher 01 Mar 1952 01 Apr 1953 52 9 8 35 017.31
  Frank Buckley 01 Apr 1953 01 Sep 1955 112 24 28 60 021.43
  John Love 01 Sep 1955 01 Dec 1957 113 38 26 49 033.63
  Bill Moore 01 Dec 1957 01 Nov 1963 332 132 68 132 039.76 1 Division Four (Champions)
1 Division Three (2nd place)
  Alf Wood 01 Nov 1963 01 Oct 1964 3 1 0 2 033.33
  Ray Shaw 01 Oct 1964 01 Mar 1968 166 67 35 64 040.36
  Dick Graham 01 Mar 1968 01 May 1968 13 5 4 4 038.46
  Ron Lewin 01 Jul 1968 01 Feb 1969 28 8 10 10 028.57
  Bill Moore 01 Feb 1969 16 Oct 1972 179 65 52 62 036.31
  John Smith 16 Oct 1972 23 Mar 1973 27 8 5 14 029.63
  Jimmy MacEwan 23 Mar 1973 01 Jun 1973 9 3 2 4 033.33
  Ronnie Allen 06 Jun 1973 20 Dec 1974 23 4 9 10 017.39
  Doug Fraser 01 Jan 1974 07 Mar 1977 151 54 43 54 035.76
  Dave Mackay 09 Mar 1977 05 Aug 1978 61 23 25 13 037.70
  Alan Ashman 23 Aug 1978 17 Feb 1979 18 6 6 6 033.33
  Frank Sibley 01 Mar 1979 05 May 1979 15 2 4 9 013.33
  Alan Buckley p 27 Jun 1979 01 Jul 1981 93 36 33 24 038.71 1 Division Four (2nd place)
  Alan Buckley p &
  Neil Martin
01 Jul 1981 01 Jan 1982 18 9 5 4 050.00
  Neil Martin 01 Jan 1982 01 May 1982 24 3 8 13 012.50
  Alan Buckley p 01 May 1982 01 Jun 1986 201 87 48 66 043.28
  Tommy Coakley 01 Aug 1986 27 Dec 1988 141 60 36 45 042.55 1 Division Three (Play-off winners)
  John Barnwell 17 Jan 1989 01 Mar 1990 54 10 18 26 018.52
  Paul Taylor 01 Mar 1990 15 May 1990 18 4 4 10 022.22
  Kenny Hibbitt 16 May 1990 01 Aug 1994 201 69 55 77 034.33
  Chris Nicholl 01 Aug 1994 21 May 1997 157 71 41 45 045.22 1 Division Three (2nd place)
  Jan Sørensen 25 Jun 1997 05 May 1998 62 26 13 23 041.94
  Ray Graydon 05 May 1998 22 Jan 2002 199 79 49 71 039.70 1 Division Two (2nd place)
1 Division Two (Play-off winners)
  Colin Lee 24 Jan 2002 16 Apr 2004 116 38 30 48 032.76
  Paul Mersonp 16 Apr 2004 06 Feb 2006 94 32 23 39 034.04
  Kevan Broadhurst 22 Feb 2006 24 Apr 2006 11 1 4 6 009.09
  Richard Money 03 May 2006 22 Apr 2008 103 44 33 26 042.72 1 League Two (Champions)
  Jimmy Mullen 22 Apr 2008 10 Jan 2009 29 10 5 14 034.48
  Chris Hutchings 20 Jan 2009 04 Jan 2011 98 31 24 43 031.63
  Dean Smith 04 Jan 2011 30 Nov 2015 260 84 96 80 032.31 1 Football League Trophy (Runner-up)
  John Ward c ^ 30 Nov 2015 18 Dec 2015 3 1 2 0 033.33
  Sean O'Driscoll 18 Dec 2015 06 Mar 2016 16 6 5 5 037.50
  Jon Whitney 07 Mar 2016 12 Mar 2018 109 38 29 42 034.86
  Dean Keates 16 Mar 2018 6 Apr 2019 52 16 11 25 030.77
  Martin O'Connor c 8 Apr 2019 10 May 2019 5 1 2 2 020.00
  Darrell Clarke 10 May 2019 Present 0 0 0 0 !
s Pre-WWI the Club Secretary picked the team on matchday.
c Caretaker manager.
p Player-manager.
Served as caretaker manager before being appointed permanently.
^ Initially assisted by John Ward and Neil Cutler in a managerial trio.

Correct as of 20 April 2019.

Honours and achievementsEdit


Football League Third Division / League One (3rd tier)

Football League Fourth Division / League Two (4th tier)

Football League Trophy

Birmingham Senior Cup

  • Winners (3): 1896–97, 1897–98, 1993–94

Staffordshire Senior Cup

  • Winners (4): 1922-23, 1926-27, 1928–29, 1967–68

Walsall Senior Cup

  • Winners (3): 1888–89, 2014–15, 2016–17

Club recordsEdit



  • Highest League Attendance (at Fellows Park): 25,453 v. Newcastle United. Second Division (now Championship), 29 August 1961
  • Highest League Attendance (at Bescot Stadium): 11,049 v. Rotherham United. First Division (now Championship), 9 May 2004
  • Highest Third Division (now League One) Attendance: 19,589 v. Notts County, 18 March 1950
  • Highest Fourth Division (now League Two) Attendance: 15,403 v. Carlisle United, 10 September 1959
  • Highest FA Cup Attendance: 24,045 v. Fulham, 4th Round Replay, 30 January 1962
  • Highest League Cup Attendance: 21,066 v. Liverpool. 4th Round, 17 February 1968
  • Highest Football League Trophy Attendance: 10,038 v. Preston North End. Area Final Second Leg, 27 January 2015
  • Highest Average Attendance (at Fellows Park): 15,711, 1947–48
  • Highest Average Attendance (at Bescot Stadium): 7,853, 2003–04


  • League Win: 10–0 v. Darwen. Second Division, 4 March 1899
  • League Defeat: 0–12 v. Small Heath. Second Division, 17 December 1892
  • Cup Win: 7–0 v. Macclesfield Town. FA Cup 2nd Round, 6 December 1997



  • Most Games Won in a Row (7): 1959, 2005
  • Most Games Lost in a Row (15): 1988–89
  • Most Games without Defeat (21): 1979–80
  • Most Games without Victory (18): 1988–89


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  2. ^ "Aston Villa v Walsall, 25 January 1930". Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  3. ^ Porter, Steve. "Walsall 2–0 Arsenal". Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  4. ^ "Up where we belong! Graydon upsets the odds to take Walsall into Division One". Birmingham Evening Mail (England). 19 May 1999. Retrieved 5 July 2008.
  5. ^ "Walsall break Reading hearts". BBC Sport. 27 May 2001. Retrieved 5 July 2008.
  6. ^ "Swindon 1–1 Walsall". BBC Sport. 5 May 2007. Retrieved 5 July 2008.
  7. ^ "Promoted Walsall's open top tour". BBC Sport. 8 May 2007. Retrieved 5 July 2008.
  8. ^ "Walsall Chief Exec fans the flames of protest - Football Supporters' Federation".
  9. ^ "Dean Smith gets Walsall job until end of season". BBC Sport. 21 January 2011. Retrieved 21 January 2011.
  10. ^ "Tranmere Rovers v Walsall". 9 December 2014 – via
  11. ^ "Dean Smith named Manager of the Month". Express & Star. 4 September 2015. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  12. ^ "Dean Smith: Walsall turn down Rotherham approach for manager". BBC Sport. 7 October 2015. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  13. ^ "'Disappointed and shocked': Fans react as Dean Smith leaves Walsall FC". Express and Star. 30 November 2015. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  14. ^ "Sean O'Driscoll: Walsall name new head coach to replace Dean Smith". BBC. 18 December 2015. Retrieved 19 December 2015.
  15. ^ "Walsall 2–0 Peterborough". BBC. 28 December 2015. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  16. ^ "Sean O'Driscoll: Walsall part company with head coach after 16 games". BBC. 6 March 2016. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  17. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  18. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  19. ^ "Walsall football club: record v Port Vale".
  20. ^ "Walsall football club: record v Shrewsbury Town".
  21. ^ "Walsall rename ground Banks's Stadium". Football Shirts. 11 May 2007. Retrieved 11 May 2007.
  22. ^ "First Team". Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  23. ^ [1]
  24. ^ "Soccerbase".

External linksEdit