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Nantwich Town

impsTALK.co.uk >> 2008/09 >> Rough Guide > Nantwich Town

Club Details
Send hate mail to: The Weaver Stadium
Water Lode
Nantwich
Cheshire
CW5 5BS

Telephone: 01270 621771
   
Matchday prices: Adults - £8
Concessions - £4
 
Who the hell are Nantwich Town?
Telling you that Nantwich are ‘on a roll’ would be a bit of an understatement. Imagine, instead, a rocket-propelled snow plough with a couple of Rolls-Royce jet engines attached to the roof, some alloys and blue neons on the undertray and you’re close to the meteoric rise experienced by this lot.

Two successive promotions and a move to a shiny new pad means Nantwich arrive in the Northern Premier League brimming with confidence. Unlike Bradford, it’s a gracious confidence laced with dignified optimism. Of course, you could argue that the emergence of FCUM has overshadowed the rise of Nantwich and you would, to a certain degree, be right. But FCUM, as their fans keep reminding us, are ‘different’ – a little bit, y’know, ‘special’. Nantwich, on the other hand, are old. Very old. A matured, frayed-round-the-edges, vintage non-league club with a long and distinguished history.

And how old? Well, Nantwich were formed back in 1884, playing their first competitive games in the Shropshire and District league. They hit the ground running, finishing as runners-up in their first season. In October 1892, Nantwich played host as Liverpool made their debut in the FA Cup. The visitors emerged as easy winners, by four goals to nil, as a number of young scallywags rifled through the homes of the Liverpool players back in Merseyside.

Nantwich played in a variety of leagues before settling down in the Cheshire County League after the First World War. This spell saw the club pick up the odd county cup before they made the sideways step to the Mid-Cheshire League after the Second World War.

Someone upstairs thought it would be a marvellous idea to enter into the FA Youth Cup but were swiftly encouraged to revise that after being drawn against Manchester United – a team that could call upon the likes of Duncan Edwards. 90 minutes and 23 [TWENTY THREE] goals later, the cup dream was over.

These days, Nantwich are enjoying altogether more successful times, thanks mainly to their current manager Steve Davies. After his appointment in 2004, Davies wasted little time in leading his new charges to FA Vase glory in 2006. In 2007, Nantwich finished third in the North West Counties and won promotion to the NPL South. They followed that up with a second successive promotion last season – albeit one after finishing a massive twenty points behind NPL South champions Retford in, yes, third place. Insert pun about ‘third time lucky’ here.

Claims to fame
In their early years, Nantwich were honoured to call A.N. Hornby as their President. Hornby captained England at rugby and cricket and, as well as being President, turned out for the club on a number of occasions.

The club gave Freddie Worrall his first chance in senior football in April 1927, the youngster going to become a pre-war England international as well as playing in two FA Cup finals for Portsmouth.
 
The last three seasons
2007/2008 - 3rd in Northern Premier Div One South (Promoted)
2006/2007 – 3rd in North West Counties Div One (Promoted)
2005/2006 – 4th in North West Counties Div One
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Aerial reconnaissance


After 123 years at their comfy old Jackson Avenue ground, Nantwich Town moved to play at the new Weaver Stadium in 2007. Aerial reconnaissance reveals a very simple affair: a railing around the pitch and one big main stand and a bit of covered terracing. Of course, if the pitch was actually playable, the ground might be even better (cheap, bitter dig – ed)

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Aquamarine
As the ‘wich’ (or, wych) part of the town’s name suggests, Nantwich’s origins can be traced back to its importance as a producer of salt for Roman garrisons.

Romans used salt for everything. They built forts, defensive walls and roads out of salt. Their solders carried shields made of salt. Their body armour was made of salt. Their helmets? Salt. Roman swords? Salt, my friend. Where do you think the old phrase about ‘rubbing salt into the wound’ originated from? Getting slashed by a three foot blade was demonstrably more painful in Roman-era Cheshire than anywhere else, at any time, in recorded history.

But great empires, just like Leeds United, inevitably crumble into dust. The Romans eventually vanished and although the salt industry was still going strong as recently as the 16th century, nothing now remains of it. The last salt-house closed over 150 years ago, a couple of decades after Newcastle United last won a major trophy.

Nantwich has been the victim of a number of unfortunate incidents over the centuries, incidents such as The Great Fire of Nantwich. With a name like that, you’d be right in thinking this wasn’t a case of someone raising the alarm after slightly burning their toast. The Great Fire of Nantwich was in fact a blaze that raged for TWENTY days in 1593, reducing the vast majority of the town to a pile of glowing, popping cinders. Perfect for fire walking and toasting marshmallows, but not so great for living in.

It wasn’t the first fire to level the town, as Norman arsonists had presided over the first many centuries earlier, but the town was much bigger in the 16th century thus the damage was far more extensive. So extensive, in fact, that even Cate Blanchett lookalike Queen Elizabeth 1st was moved to dip into her considerable funds to aid the reconstruction.


An artist's impression of the Great Fire of Nantwich

With its sweeping, wind-fuelled hell storm levelling the town, the Great Fire ranks only behind the pre-season visit of Hereford United* several years ago in the ‘cataclysmic disaster’ stakes – but then the town is accustomed to oddballs from across the border embarking on sprees of wanton violence. The town was repeatedly attacked by raiding bandits after the first fire in Norman times, attacks that continue to this day if Welsh football fans ever catch sight of a local lad prancing down the street clutching an iphone.

Links
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Anything to add?
Tell us more about Nantwich, recommend a pub or try and obtain our bank details by E-MAILING us.
 
*We have no idea if Hereford have indeed played Nantwich in a pre-season fixture, but we had to shoehorn a joke about the Welsh in somewhere on this rough guide, even if it meant abandoning our otherwise impeccable researching standards.

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