Northampton Town

Nicknamed ‘the Cobblers’, Northampton Town have been in football for well over a century and have experienced all the highs and lows you could imagine in sport. Today, the club plays in League One (the former Second Division) at Sixfields Stadium.

History


Early years

Northampton Town Football Club was formed in 1897 after a meeting in the Princess Royal Inn between a group of school teachers and local solicitor AJ Darnell. The club was originally named Northampton Football Club but Northampton Town was deemed a better option after the Northampton Rugby Football Club objected to the lack of distinction between their names.

They played in the Northants league for just two seasons before winning the Northants Championship and joining the Midland League. Around that time, Northampton received their first transfer fee of £50 from Derby County for Frank Howard, but it wasn’t until almost twenty years later that the club was promoted to the professional league.

After signing a number of professional and ex-professional players to their team during the pre-war years, and playing well in the Southern League, the Cobblers entered the Third Division in 1920, winning their first league game 5-2 at Gillingham on Christmas day that same year. Following their inaugural victory, further success was not forthcoming and the Cobblers didn’t win another match until two years later.


Ups and downs

In response to this obvious slump, during 1922-23 the club became a public company and funds were raised throughout the decade to build a large stadium and to sign a number of new players to the team including William Shaw from Barcelona, the club’s first international transfer. Results subsequently improved and, in 1927-28, the Cobblers picked up their performance, finishing second place in the league and memorably beating Walsall 10-0. That same year the club saw their largest crowd to date when they lost a third round FA Cup game against Sunderland.

In 1929, half of Northampton’s stand was destroyed by a fire, believed to have been started in the ‘away’ dressing room after a match against Bournemouth, but no-one was hurt and the stand was rebuilt two months later. Between 1920 and 1958, Northampton avoided relegation or promotion and the team were widely regarded as a mid-table Third Division team. Much to their fans disappointment, however, 1958 saw the tide turn and, despite winning a third round FA cup match against Arsenal that same year, they finished 13th in the league and were elected for relegation to the fourth division.

Following their relegation, Dave Bowen transferred from Arsenal to be Northampton’s ‘Player Manager’ and, after just three seasons in the bottom league, the team found themselves back in the third division. In 1961 the Cobblers’ star player Laurie Brown was bought by Arsenal for a hefty £35,000 and that same year a club record was achieved when Cliff Holton scored a total of 36 league goals.

In 1962-63, Northampton’s new found strength was celebrated when they won the Third Division championships for the first time in history. The Cobblers were promoted to the Second Division, finishing a respectable 11th place in their inaugural second tier season. The following year, Northampton won the majority of their matches and ended the season in second place, just one point behind Newcastle United, the league champions.

As a result, for the first time in history, Northampton were promoted to the top league of English football, but their days at the top were numbered and, within two seasons, they were back down to the fourth division. Astonishingly the team had moved from bottom to top and back to the bottom within a decade. This embarrassing period was compounded in 1970 when the Cobblers met Manchester United in the fifth round of the FA Cup, losing the match 8-2. Six of Manchester United’s goals were scored by George Best and at the end of the match Northampton presented the star player with a signed match ball in honour of his performance.


Recovery and looking to the future

With the exception of a brief promotion to the Third Division in the mid-1970s, Northampton remained in the bottom tier of the domestic structure until 1996-97 when, under new manager Ian Atkins, the Cobblers beat Swansea in a play-off final to earn promotion to Division Two (what was formerly the Third Division). Two years later, the club had moved back down a level but, with new manager Kevan Broadhurst, they quickly earned promotion again and the Cobblers sat comfortably in Division Two until 2006.

Since the turn of the new millennium, Northampton have gone from strength to strength and, in 2006, the team were promoted to Football League One after beating Chester City 1-0. The club is currently being managed by former Southampton chief Stuart Gray, who has so far kept the team away from the relegation zone and the current squad is one of the strongest Northampton has seen in years.


Honours

  • Southern Football League Champions – 1908-09
  • Third Division Champions – 1962-63
  • Fourth Division Champions – 1986-87
  • Division Three Play-off Champions – 1996-97


Tickets

Tickets for home and away matches can be bought online or through the box office on 01604 683 777 at the following prices:

West Stand

  • Adult: £19
  • Senior Citizen/ Student: £15
  • Under-16s: £12
  • Under-7s: Free
  • Disabled adult: £13 (carer free)
  • Disabled junior: £10 (carer free)

Dave Bowen Stand

  • Adult: £19
  • Senior Citizen/ Student: £15
  • Under-16s: £12
  • Under-7s: Free
  • Disabled adult: £13 (carer free)
  • Disabled junior: £10 (carer free)

Jewson Stand

  • Adult: £19
  • Senior Citizen/ Student: £15
  • Under-16s: £12
  • Under-7s: Free
  • Disabled adult: £13 (carer free)
  • Disabled junior: £10 (carer free)

Alwyn Hargrave Stand

  • Adult: £18
  • Senior Citizen/ Student: £13
  • Under-16s: £10
  • Under-7s: Free
  • Disabled adult: £13 (carer free)
  • Disabled junior: £10 (carer free)

Note: All ‘gold’ matches are subject to an additional £3 charge.


Contact

For information about matches or for general enquiries see the official Northampton Town website or contact the main office on:

Northampton Town Football Club
Sixfields Stadium
Upton Way
Northampton
NN5 5QA.
Tel: 01604 683 700
Fax: 01604 751 613


Travel

Northampton play home matches at the Sixfields Stadium, approximately 2 miles away from the town centre. Directions to the stadium are as follows:

By Car

From the M1 (south), leave the motorway at Junction 15a and take the A43 towards Northampton. The stadium will soon become visible on the right-hand side. From the M1 (north), leave the motorway at Junction 16 and take the A45 towards Northampton. The stadium will soon become visible on the right-hand side.

By Train

Northampton train station is served by national and regional services. The station is 2 miles from the stadium so it is advisable to get a taxi from outside the station.