A rough guide to... Morecambe

Cod Almighty | Article

by Grant Maconachie

1 August 2016

Grant opens a new season of Cod Almighty rough guides with a look at Morecambe, our first Football League opponents.

Eric Morecambe statueHow are you?

Welcome to Morecambe Football Club. For many years Morecambe existed as Bartholomew FC until they renamed themselves after the town's favourite son Eric Morecambe. Somewhat ironically, they were able to use (nearly) all the right letters, but not necessarily in the right order. The rest, as they say, is history.

What have you been up to?

Morecambe bumbled along nicely as a minor non-League club for many years from 1921. Their first ever game took place against local rivals Fleetwood and 900 of their fans arrived by steam ferry. Perhaps the original "oh when the Town go steaming in"?

In 2007, the Shrimps finally made it into the Football League. Since then, mid-table mediocrity has been a regular occurrence, apart from once briefly dallying with the play-offs, and getting merrily hammered; and once narrowly avoiding the drop.

What kind of a season did you have?

After a storming (undefeated) pre-season – despite losing a promising striker and winger to a non-League outfit who play in black and white stripes – Morecambe achieved the ignominy of having the worst defensive record in the whole of the division. The one and only highlight of the season was a victory over Accrington Stanley in the second game of the season. Yes, that really was it. The reasons will be revealed later.

How are you feeling?

Quite simply, Morecambe would like to do better than last season, but would be more than happy to finish 12 points above the relegated team again.

Pre-season hasn't been much to write home about. The Shrimps have drawn with Burnley and York, and been hammered by Lancaster and Halifax to date. The season could well be over before it's even begun. The opening fixture against newly promoted Grimsby is followed swiftly by the visit of newly not-quite-promoted Portsmouth (on a Tuesday night!) entwined with local derbies against Blackpool and Accrington. The only relief in August could be the visit to Yeovil – the only club Morecambe achieved the double over last season.

Where are you from?

Omelette panMorecambe is a slightly browbeaten, English seaside resort on an estuary. It has a prom, a boating lake, some old-style bed and breakfasts, arcades and ice cream shops. It is Cleethorpes but with different tide times.

Morecambe does, however, have a cracking indoor market, open seven days a week, where you can buy the best omelette pans in the world. OK, so I may be slightly biased, but I do think of Morecambe every time I make an omelette.

The old ground, Christie Park, was named after the club chairman of the 1920s, JB Christie. He purchased the Roseberry Park ground and bequeathed the land to Morecambe council on the understanding that the club could play its home games there, and that should it ever disband or expand then the land would "become a playground for the children of the resort".

It's now a Sainsbury's supermarket. I guess the "children of the resort" will at least benefit from Active Kids vouchers.

You must be so... relieved to have finally beaten Accrington Stanley?

OK, imagine this. For 16 fixtures against your local rivals you fail to beat them. That would be eight whole seasons of Town failing to beat Lincoln. After gaining promotion to the Football League in 2007, it took until August 2015 for Morecambe to finally beat Accrington Stanley.

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