Historical Football Kits

 

Workington

Formed 1884: wound up in 1911
Re-formed 1921

Elected to Division Three (North) 1951. Failed re-election 1977.

Kit History

 

 

 

Workington

 

1884-1911

 

Club wound up

workington afc 1884

1884-1888 h

Knickers might be navy
workington fc 1888

1888 a

Knickers might be black

1902-1903 b

1903-1911

 

 

 

Workington

 

1921

 

Re-formed as a new club

workington afc 1921-22

1921-1922 h

1922-1932

workington fc 1932

1932-1934 b

workington fc 1934

1934-1935 b

1935-1949

workington fc 1949

1949-1950 b

workington afc 1950-51

1950-1951 h

workington afc 1951-52

1951-1952 h

1952-1954 b

workington fc 1954

1954-1956 b c

workington fc 1956

1956-1957 b h

1957-1960 b

1960-1961 b

1963-1964 b

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workington fc 1964

1964 Aug-Nov g

workington fc 1964

Nov 1964-1965 b

1965-1966 b d

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workington fc 1966

1966-1967 b d h

workington afc 1967-68

1967-1968 h

1968-1969 b

1969-1970 e

workington fc 1971

1970-1972 b g

1972-1974 b e

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Bukta
workington fc 1974

1974-1975 b

Bukta
workington fc 1975

1975-1976 b h

Bukta
workington fc 1976

1976-1977 b f

 

Background

workington AFC 1960-61Situated on the far north-west coast of Cumbria, Workington is one of the most remote towns to have had a team play in the Football League. Furthermore, the area is a rugby stronghold and the Reds faced strong competition from the local rugby league side, Workington Town. There have in fact been two Workington AFCs: the first club was formed in 1884 by Sheffield emigres who came to the area to work in the steel industry. Workington played in the Cumberland Senior League for seven years before joining the Lancashire Combination. Because of the high travel costs they incurred, the club joined several different leagues in an effort to economise but in 1911, while members of the North-Eastern League, they went into voluntary liquidation.

A team called Workington Central was formed immediately afterwards but went out of business in 1914 while another club, Workington Athletic played at Lonsdale Park, Workington AFC's former ground, between 1914 and 1916 when they too closed down.

In 1921, a new club was formed and elected to the North Eastern League. They had a modestly successful career and in 1951, they made a successful application to join the Football League, replacing New Brighton. Their 16 page brochure made light of their isolated situation ("derby" games against Carlisle and Barrow involved a round trip of 70 and 132 miles by train respectively) stating, "We are not in an area where we would rob any other League clubs of their present supporters."

The Reds were lucky to survive having to apply for re-election in their first two seasons. In 1953-54 it seemed they would wind up in the re-election zone once again and surely lose their League status but the appointment of Bill Shankly as manager proved a turning point. Shankly lifted the team who finished two places above the re-election positions and in the following years they finished comfortably in mid-table.

workington afc crest 1966When the regional divisions were scrapped, Workington were placed in the Fourth Division but in 1964 they finished in third place to win promotion to the Third Division. After only two seasons, they were relegated back to the Fourth Division and faced re-election the following year. A fashionable monogramme made an appearance on the all-red strip worn in 1966-67.

The early 1970s brought severe economic decline to the area and as the club's lacklustre performance continued, average attendances dwindled to around 1,100.

workington afc crest 1974In 1974 the town of Workington became the county seat of the new Allerdale Borough Council, formed as a result of local government reorganisation. The Reds adopted the coat of arms of the new borough on their shirts for the 1974-75 season.

workington afc crest 1976Workington applied for re-election at the end of four consecutive seasons between 1974 and 1977. After finishing last in 1977 with only four wins, the patience of their fellow League clubs was exhausted and Workington lost their place to Wimbledon. During this final season of Football League competition, the team wore a stylised monogramme in the centre of their shirts.

Despite everything, Workington survive to this day, rising to the Blue Square Conference (North) where they reached the play-offs in 2006-07 and 2009-10.

You are welcome to Contact Me with corrections and additions.

Sources