Solihull Moors


Solihull Moors

As this club was formed from a merger of two previous clubs I will do the different histories separately. Firstly Solihull Borough then Moor Green.

Solihull Borough 1953 – 2007

The Football Club was formed in 1953 by current Life President Joe McGorian, along with other ex-servicemen. The first headquarters were in the Solihull suburb of Olton, and the Club was originally known as Lincoln FC. Joe became the first Chairman and Secretary of the Club, and served for over 30 years with the help of his mother Delia. In 1960 Jack Fox joined Joe and together they built the foundations of a successful football club.

Solihull progressed through the local leagues and won various trophies before joining the Midland Combination in 1969, where they spent 22 seasons, 20 of which in the Premier Division, finishing runners-up twice, in 1984/5 and in 1990/1, the latter resulting in promotion to the Southern League. In 1989 the club were forced to sell their Widney Lane ground to property developers and after a proposed relocation fell through, a ground-share was agreed with local neighbours Moor Green, this was to last for ten years. In July 1991 the club mourned the loss of its long standing Patron, Mrs Ella Anker, who was an outstanding worker for the club and who generously helped the club through it’s most difficult times.

Solihull immediately gained promotion to the Southern League Premier Division, winning the 1991/92 Midland Division Championship with a record-breaking haul of 97 points, under the tutelage of Ralph Punscheon. There three year stay, included a sixth place finish in 1992/93 which is still Solihull’s highest ever placing. The same season also saw the club progress to the FA Cup First Round Proper for the first time, losing out to VS Rugby in a replay. Honours came at regular intervals, the highlight of which, was winning the Birmingham Senior Cup under John Morris in May 1995, defeating 4 Football League sides in Birmingham City, West Bromwich Albion, Walsall, and ultimately Aston Villa in the Final at Villa Park.

Solihull, next reached the First Round Proper of the FA Cup again in 1997/98, now managed by former Albion player Paul Dyson when Football League side Darlington were held to a 1-1 draw at their Feethams ground, Borough bowed out in a penalty shoot out after a 3-3 draw, before a record crowd at the Moorlands. Striker Joey Dowling also finished as the F.A Cups top scorer that season. The Club also reached the First Round Proper of the FA Trophy for the first time and were within minutes of winning the Worcestershire Senior Cup Final against side Kidderminster Harriers.

In 1998 Redditch became another temporary home after plans for a new stadium at Tanworth Lane were rejected. Chairman John Hewitson and his Committee ended five years of hard work with the purchase of Damson Park in August 1999 and commenced playing at the start of the 2000/01 season. In January 2000 former Coventry City player David Busst was appointed as Manager. In his three years Borough progressed to the Semi Final of the Southern League Cup and the 4th Round of the FA Trophy, losing to Chester City in a replay. The pre-season visit of illustrious neighbours Birmingham City in July 2002 set a new Damson Park record crowd of 1,962. The summer of 2003 saw long serving Chairman John Hewitson sadly pass away and David Busst resign.

New Chairman Trevor Stevens and manager Paul Holleran began their tenure with the knowledge that a top seven finish would clinch promotion due to a reorganisation of the non-league pyramid. Holleran, however left for Halesowen Town with just eight games to go, assistant Guy Russell led Boro’ to a final day win at Cinderford Town to secure promotion. However, relegation after one season prompted the appointment of ex-Coventry City player Tony Dobson as Manager in the July 2005. An exciting run in the FA Trophy ended with a narrow defeat in the 2nd Round at Stalybridge Celtic. The 2006-07 season saw Micky Moore at the helm and he performed admirably under severe financial constraints to finish Borough’s final season in 14th place.

Damson Park is now established as one of the best venues in the West Midlands and is renowned for its excellent playing surface. In March 2003 the F.A. selected the ground to host the FA Sunday Cup Semi-Final between Travellers and Duke of York, and a month later the Birmingham Senior Cup Final was staged. Then in April 2004 Damson Park staged the FA Women’s Cup Semi-Final between Birmingham City and Charlton Athletic, watched by a crowd of 1,234. International football came to Solihull in May 2004 when the Club was honoured to stage the Women’s U19 International between England and Sweden. Then in March 2005 the ground staged two UEFA U18 European Championship fixtures between Republic of Ireland – Northern Ireland and Serbia and Montenegro – Northern Ireland.

Honours:

1969-70 Joined Midland Combination Division Two
1970-71 Midland Combination Division Two runner-up
Promoted to Division One
1983-84 Division One renamed Premier Division
1984-85 Midland Combination runner-up
1990-91 Midland Combination runner-up
1991-92 Joined Southern League Midland Division
Southern League Midland Division Champions
Promoted to Premier Division
1995 Relegated to Midland Division
1999-00 Midland Division renamed Western Division
2003-04 Promoted to Premier Division
2005 Relegated to Western Division
2006-07 Placed in Division One Midlands on league re-organisation

Posted Image Moor Green 1901 – 2007

Moor Green were formed in 1901 when the players of Moseley Ashfield Cricket club decided to amuse themselves during the winter by playing football. The first ground was on a part of a farm in Moor Green Lane, Moseley, but when the rent was increased from £2 after one season the club was forced to move on. A number of grounds were rented until 1930, when The Moorlands was acquired. The ground was situated in Hall Green, a suburb of south Birmingham. The ground was soon developed into one of the best stadiums in the Midlands. But in the 1980’s safety regulations and planning requirements enforced the demolition of several banks of terracing and the pitch to be turned through 90 degrees to allow floodlights to be installed and for increased car parking.

During the first 20 years of the Club’s existence, the Moors played mostly friendlies, but in 1922 they joined the Birmingham AFA and finished 4th in the first season. They remained in this league until, having won the Championship in 1936, they moved into the Central Amateur League, which they won in their first three seasons, until the Second World War caused league football to be suspended. During this period, Moor Green also won the AFA Senior Cup, a rare achievement for a Provincial club, met most of the local professional clubs in the Midweek League and began a series of European tours. The highlight was winning the Verviers Trophy in both 1933 and 1937. This was a forerunner of the European Cup, in which professional sides from Europe faced amateur teams from England. On the first occasion Moor Green surprised everyone by reaching the final and beating the mighty Eindhoven to bring the trophy back to Birmingham. In the 1938 competition Moors attracted their biggest ever crowd when over 15,000 watched them lose to Ajax in Amsterdam’s Olympic Stadium.

After the Second World War the club joined the Birmingham Combination League. However, this was a league where they would struggle as the Moors were an amateur side in a predominantly professional competition. So it was, that by 1966 the club had taken a step down and joined the Midland Combination League. However, they did enjoy some cup successes, and in 1958 became the first amateur team to win the Birmingham Senior Cup a feat repeated just recently in 2001. The Moors twice reached the quarter final of the FA Amateur Cup. Huge crowds came to see amateur football in those days. The Moorlands record was set in 1951 when 5,000 spectators witnessed a home draw with Romford and the replay drew 11,000 to the now defunct Brooklands Stadium, equalling the highest crowd for a cup-tie.

Moors reached the F.A. Cup 1st Round Proper for the first time in 1979 losing 3-2 to Stafford Rangers they then won the Midland Combination by 12 points in 1980/81, along with the League Cup, which led to election to the Southern League in 1983. Boxing Day 1985 became a significant day in Moors history as Bob Faulkner was appointed manager and went on to remain at the helm for over 21 years and 1,150 games, almost immediate success followed as Moors gained promotion to the Premier Division in 1987/88 for a six year stay. The Moors also tasted some cup success winning the Lord Mayor’s Cup in 1991 and 1998, The Midland Floodlit Cup in 1991 and 1992 and were losing finalists in 1993. Moors were achieving respectable finishes in the Premier Division by the turn of the millennium, finishing 9th in 2001, 7th in 2002, 12th in 2003 and 13th in 2004. Add to that a fine FA Cup run in 2002, which saw them reach the 1st Round Proper for the first time in 23 years where they bowed out 2-0 at Barrow and a Senior Cup double in 2001 winning both the Birmingham and Worcestershire Cups.

The Moorlands had gained a reputation for the quality of its playing surface and this was acknowledged in 2002 and 2003 by the award of Groundsman of The Year for Level 2 presented to Peter Allen. The 2003/4 season was a momentous one for The Moors gaining a place in the newly formed Nationwide North, reaching The Dr Martens League Cup Final and winning the Birmingham Senior Cup beating Wolves 1-0 at the Molineux.

The inaugural season of Conference North was to prove to be a traumatic one both on and off the pitch. The season will be most remembered for the devastation caused by two arson attacks at The Moorlands on 25th January 2005, the main stand and clubhouse was gutted leaving the club homeless. Moors became tenants at Damson Park and league survival was only secured with four wins from the final six games. The club bounced back on the field finishing 9th and 11th in the subsequent two seasons having been in play off contention to early April on both occasions, in their newly acquired home.

Amongst Moors most recent ex-players who have moved into the Football League are David Busst to Coventry City for £9,000, Ian Taylor to Port Vale for a club record of £90,000 and Stewart Talbot to Port Vale[now Boston United]

Honours:

to 1922 Played only friendlies
1922-23 Joined Birmingham AFA Division One
1927-28 Birmingham AFA runner-up
1929-30 Birmingham AFA runner-up
1935-36 Birmingham AFA Champions
1936-37 Joined Central Amateur League
Central Amateur League Champions
1937-38 Central Amateur League Champions (2nd time)
1938-39 Central Amateur League Champions (3rd successive time)
1954-55 Joined Birmingham & District League Southern Division
1962-63 League changed name to West Midlands (Regional) League
1965-66 Joined Worcestershire Combination Division One
1968-69 League changed name to Midland Combination
1974-75 Midland Combination runner-up
1975-76 Midland Combination runner-up
1979-80 Midland Combination runner-up
1980-81 Midland Combination Champions
1982-83 Midland Combination runner-up
1983-84 Joined Southern League Midland Division
1987-88 Southern League Midland Division runner-up
Promoted to Premier Division
1992-93 Escaped relegation by goal difference
1994 Relegated to Midland Division
1999-00 Midland Division renamed Western Division
Southern League Western Division runner-up
Promoted to Premier Division
2004-05 Joined Conference in newly-formed Northern Division

Sources:
Official Solihull Moors Site
Football Club History Database

Entry author: Deus