Football in the town of Buckley can be traced all the way back to 1860. Around this time the club was then known as Belmont Swifts and would later become know as, Buckley Victoria. Victoria played their home games at Mill Lane and were soon playing against the likes of, Mold Athletic, Wrexham Victoria and Rhyl Athletic.
Buckley Victoria were a successful team, they won their first trophy in the 1896-1897 season by beating Llandudno Swifts Reserves in the final of, The North Wales Coast Junior Cup. The following season Victoria reached the 3rd round of The Welsh Cup, losing 2-1 to Chirk. They reached the North Wales Coast Final only to lose 4-2 against Bangor.
The 1899-1900 saw the team go one round better in The Welsh Cup, reaching the 4th round only to be beaten by the wonderfully named, Carnarvon Ironopolis. They again reached the final of The North Wales Cup, losing 3-0 against Llandudno Swifts.
In the 1900-1901 season Buckley Victoria played in The English F.A. Cup, losing 3-0 in the first qualifying round too Birkenhead. They also reached The North Wales Coast Final for a third consecutive season only to be defeated 9-1 by Bangor.
Buckley Victoria were eventually superseded by the Buckley Engineers who continued to build upon the success enjoyed by Victoria. This included three cup final victories in The Welsh Amateur Cup. The Engineers most famous team included ten colliers and one plumber.
During the same era of Buckley Victoria and Buckley Engineers, Buckley Town were founded. Town won The Wirral & District League in 1898 and won The Pike Challenge Cup during the same year. They joined the Welsh League in 1925 and went onto win The North Wales Amateur Cup in 1937.
During the 1930’s, Buckley Town and other organised clubs in the area started to fall apart. By 1949, Buckley Wanderers and Buckley Rovers were the only two teams playing competitive football fixtures in the area.
Rovers struggled in the lower divisions of Welsh football, while Wanderers joined The Welsh National League Division One. In their very first season they finished as runners up to Chirk AAA and
again runners up in the 1953-1954 season, this time to, Overton St. Mary’s. Wanderers eventually won the league in the 1955-1956 season, scoring over 100 goals in the process.
During the 1960-1961 season, Buckley Rovers joined Buckley Wanderers in The Welsh Football League First Division. Both teams established themselves well in the top flight. Wanderers finished as runners up to Chirk AAA by only two points whilst Rovers finished in 9th place. In the 1963-1964 season, Rovers were relegated only to be promoted back to where they once were the following season.
From 1974, Buckley Rovers became the dominant team in the area. They came runners up in both the 1974-1975 and the 1975-1976 seasons. The following season saw both of the towns teams finish in the bottom half of the league. This season also saw the end for both clubs as separate identities, both merging together for the 1977-1978 season to form what is now Buckley Town Football Club.
Buckley Town in their current form have won many honours, these are shown as follows:
NEWFA Challenge Cup Winners: 1979/1980, 1980/1981, 2000/2001, 2001/2002, 2002/2003, 2004/2005, 2005/2006 2009/2010 2012/2013
Cymru Alliance Cup Winners: 2003/2004
Cymru Alliance Champions: 2004/2005
Buckley Town currently play at the impressive Globe Stadium, having previously played at Hawkesbury Road in front of the Elfed High School. Pictured below is Hawkesbury Road and the site of where I believe the old ground to have been situated.
Buckley Town currently sit top of The Welsh National league Premier Division on 59 points, two points clear of nearest rivals Brickfield Rangers. Town have reached the semi-final stage of the Premier Division Cup this season and also reached the 3rd round of The Welsh Cup, beaten 1-0 at home against Flint Town.
The Globe Stadium
What a fantastic ground The Globe Stadium is. The first thing that I noticed was how clean tidy everything was, both inside and outside the ground.
There is parking available on site and also parking on the road directly outside the ground. You enter the ground by entering through some neat turnstiles, the next thing I noticed was a table by the turnstiles which was selling lots of Buckley Town merchandise. I thought this was a brilliant idea and not something that I have seen before at this level of Welsh Football.
A picture of the entry to the ground is shown below:
For those spectators who wish to stand to watch the game, there is hard standing right the way around the ground. The ground is also fenced in with lovely trees behind the goal and down the touchline (dugout side) I was told by a club official that this is because league rules dictate, as you progress up through the Welsh Football Pyramid that nobody should be able to view the game from outside the ground. It is clear to see that Buckley Town comply with this ruling.
The stadium comprises of two very nice seated, covered stands. The bigger one of the two (200 seats approx.) is called the Koomax Stand, Koomax I believe are an Australian Company that have sponsored this stand for the club.
The picture below shows the Koomax Stand:
On the opposite side of the ground is a small covered terraced area next too the smaller of the seated stands. This stand is called the Redrow Stand and is where the bulk of the home support watch Buckley Town Games from.
Please see picture below:
For me, the highlight of the ground was the delightful Mike Williams and Jeff Bradshaw Pavilion
The pavilion gives great views of the whole of The Globe Stadium, as shown below:
In and around the pavilion area you will find – The Snack Bar, Committee Room, Toilets, changing rooms and The Clubhouse. I went ventured into the Clubhouse for a look and was intrigued by the club memorabilia that is housed inside. There are pictures of the club’s former teams, some of the pictures date back nearly 100 years. The first thing that I noticed was a copy of a programme from a game that Buckley Wanderers played in some years ago, and also a nice, looking shield which shows that Buckley Town played host to a Wales U-17 international fixture against Sweden U-17 in 2011.
This was a new ground visit for me, my 34th in total and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. I was made to feel very welcome by the club, I arrived at the ground at 1:30pm and the nice chap operating the turnstiles asked if my name was, Gareth. I confirmed this, he said that Alan (chap I had been talking to twitter) had asked him to keep a programme to one side so that I could have one in case they run out. I met Alan at the snack bar after I had completed my customary walk around the ground. Alan kindly invited me to have a cup of tea in the committee room at half time. I took Alan up on this kind gesture and enjoyed tea and cake with other club officials.
Buckley Town look like a club that are forward thinking with lots of hardworking people at the club. I wish them every success for the near future. I am likely to make a return visit in the future, I enjoyed myself so much.
I was also very pleased to meet a chap by the name of Mike Dodd. Mike is a ground hopper of more than 30 years who has visited more than 3000 grounds, an amazing amount. Mike had travelled by train all the way from Surbition, Surrey to attend the game.