Club History

Club History

Widnes FC were formed in February 2003 as The Dragons AFC, later to be known as Widnes Dragons. The Club developed a fantastic reputation locally for their contribution towards the development of grassroots football in Halton and for providing opportunities to play football for over 200 players from the age of 6 to open age.

The Club put in a great amount of effort and worked tirelessly to run the club according to the best practices laid down by the FA, to that end the club achieved the FA Charter Standard award in December 2003, being recognised as the first club to achieve this award in Halton. In 2008, the Club later went on to be awarded the FA Charter Standard Development award for the continuous development of grassroots football.

In March 2012 Widnes Dragons started a consultation process with Widnes Vikings RLFC to become part of the Vikings Sports brand, a partnership that would enhance the clubs community status. A First Team was established with the short-term goal of being granted entry into the North West Counties Football League.

Later that year during the Club’s annual AGM, the Club’s members agreed to become part of the Widnes Vikings Group and agreed on a 12 month transitional period up to the end of the 2012-13 season. The club were proud to achieve the FA Charter Standard Community Club award in July 2012.

Steve Hill was appointed First Team manager in September 2012, and steered the Club to a 4th placed finish in its inaugural and so far only season in the West Cheshire League Third Division. During this season, the Club also submitted its application to join the North West Counties Football League for the 2013/14 season.

Prior to the season, Widnes’ application was successful and the Club began life in the North West Counties Football League Third Division with a 3-1 home defeat to Cheadle Town before winning their first game in the NWCFL with an emphatic 5-1 away win over Northwich Flixton Villa.
Hill eventually guided his side to a 14th placed finish in their inaugural season in the First Division with 36 points from 36 games.

The 2014/15 season saw the Club make significant progress in cup competitions. Widnes reached the last 16 of the Men United Cup before falling to eventual League Champions Glossop North End, and reached the quarter-final of the Liverpool Senior Cup, beating Prescot Cables before being knocked out in the last eight by eventual winners Skelmersdale United.

The season also oversaw the Club’s first foray in the FA Vase. Widnes were knocked out in the Second Qualifying Round following a 2-0 defeat at AFC Emley.

During the season, former player Connor McCarthy signed non-contract terms with Conference side Southport before earning a new contract with the Sandgrounders in the summer after an impressing in his short period of time with the club.

Following the season’s conclusion, winger Ben Tollitt became the first former Widnes player to play for a Football League club as he signed a one-year deal with 2008 FA Cup winners Portsmouth, after impressing on trial with Paul Cook’s side during pre-season. Tollitt’s performances earned the former Widnes man a one-year extension after scoring once in 16 games in all competitions for the SkyBet Football League Two club.

The following season saw the Club again reach the quarter-final of the Liverpool Senior Cup, coming up against an Everton XI managed by David Unsworth. The young Toffees excelled in the game and beat Widnes 8-0 despite an admirable performance from the home side.

After a 13th placed finish, Chairman David Day and Manager Steve Hill stepped down from their roles, allowing a new Board of Directors and management team to be appointed to bring some much needed new stimulus to the club.

David Day remained on the newly established Board of Directors, headed by incoming Chairman Ian Ross that bring the necessary expertise and drive to enable the Club to progress over the coming seasons.

Danny Meadowcroft and Brian Pritchard where appointed as joint managers heading into the 2016/17 season but later left the Club by mutual consent following an indifferent start to the season in September. Danny Salt was appointed interim manager, leading the side to a win and a draw in his two games in charge.

Former Burscough, Warrington Town and Runcorn Linnets manager Joey Dunn was appointed as new First Team Manager later that month.

During the season, Kevin Towey became the Club's new record goalscorer following a brace at Skelmersdale United in November.

The season ended on a highly successful note as Widnes were crowned Hallmark Security League First Division Champions with a game to spare following a 5-1 win away at AFC Blackpool, securing promotion to the Premier Division in the process.