Rough guide to
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'05-06 season index
Rough guide to... Shrewsbury Town
1 July 2005
Who cannot think of Shrewsbury, Gay Meadow and all that it conjures up without thinking of The Field Mice – the legendary late 80s, early 90s indie pop group, who shone spectacularly for a while against the grain, before disappearing down the hole from whence they came. Just like a... erm... shrew. Phew.
Disappointing to say the least. Even more disappointing than Town, in fact, and there's not many teams that can say that. The Shrews finished 21st with 49 points, 11 points off the relegation places. However, they did take four points off Town and with just two wins from the first 15 league games, they didn't do half bad, really. A 2-0 away loss at non-League Histon put paid to any hopes of FA Cup glory, but at least they whupped the ass of Darlington, 4-0 – and that's always to be celebrated.
It's been a mixed bag of peaks and troughs – hills and dales, if you will. After relegation to the bottom division in 1997, Kevin Ratcliffe came in and inspired the great escape in 2000. The next season only a last-day defeat at Luton prevented the Shrews reaching the play-offs. But such is the giddy nature of the fourth division that the next season they were booted out of their hutch and into the Conference. And in the midst of this was an FA Cup win over Everton Of The Champions League. They regained League status by winning the Conference play-off final in 2004, and will hope to be nibbling on the straw of League football for some time to come, no doubt.
Do we like them?
Why not. I remember in the mid-80s having something of a crush on Shrewsbury. Like Town, they were punching above their weight in the second division and finishing quite high up, ta very much. Since then we've not played them that often – the last notable time was when Town thrashed the Shrews 4-0 in an FA Cup replay.
Personally, I like them because the name of their ground gave me hours of teenage fun. And, indeed, still does. Gay Meadow! Pffttt... ahaahahahaa! Sorry, sir.
Shrewsbury's board members have the best names in the world. Step forward, Keith Sayfritz. Take a bow, Roland Wycherley. Makes Fenty sound like John Smith. Not the dead Labour Party leader, though. That would be crazy. Although it might explain a few things.
The thing that's getting the Board het up at the moment is the proposed moved to New Meadow (cuh, spoilsports, what about Nu-Gay Meadow? I feel a campaign coming on), which seems to be a saga with an even longer shelf life than Town's house move, and is only marginally more interesting. Save Gay Meadow! Hehehe... 'gay'...
Nobody really shone last season, but with habitual ship-jumper Mark Stallard now at Gay Meadow, this could all change. Despite having the demeanour of a comatose scaffolder, Stallard is surprisingly decent at this level, and could easily knock in 20 goals against defences for whom the phrase "hold the line" means they can't quite afford cocaine on fourth division wages. Freshly ejaculated from Notts County, Stallard will inevitably score against Town with a header from six yards at some point during the season.
Gary Peters doesn't seem to have much of a squad at the moment, but the signing of Stallard should give fans hope. If Scunny can finish third from bottom of the league and win promotion the next year with a fuckpig like Laws in charge, then why not Shrewsbury?
Why don't you just switch off from the football and go out and do something less boring instead?
Charles Darwin was born and braised in Shrewsbury, dontcha know? No, me neither. Shrewsbury Castle and Abbey look quite nice if you ever find yourself at a really loose end one Sunday, and beer has mysteriously vanished from the face of the earth, and the south Shropshire hills look like fun in a Wuthering Heights kinda way. All in all, Shrewsbury looks quite posh. Not like Peterborough. That's a shithole.