Northampton Town Club Profile
Northampton Town : Quick Links
Click on the links below to go directly to the relevant parts of the guide :|
We've Met Before;
Directions To The Ground;
Food And Drink;
Northampton Town : Club Background
Outside Sixfields - the Coventry City banner will have now been removed!
Northampton Town Football Club was formed in 1897. After a couple of years playing in local leagues the club turned semi-professional in 1901 and joined the Southern League. In 1905-06 and again in 1906-07 they finished bottom of of the SL Division One, but on neither occasion were relegated to Dision Two. The arrival of a man who would go on to become a football legend, Herbert Chapman, saw a major change in fortunes and they won the title in 1908-09. Thereafter they were contenders right through to the First World War, though without landing another Championship.
The Cobblers were elected to the Football League as founder memebers of the Third Division in 1920 (which became Third Division South in 1921). And that is where they stayed, only coming close to promotion on a couple of occasions, but neither ever needed to seek re-election. As solid citizens for so long in Division Three South they were a little unfortunate to have a poorer spell just as the reorganisation to end regionalisation occurred. They missed the cut and ended up in Division Four for 1958-59.
They remained in the basement for three years but the appointment of Welsh international Dave Bowen as player-manager in 1959 was the catalyst for an unprecedented run of success for the Cobblers. No, it's true. Bowen took the Cobblers to third place in Division Four and promotion in 1961, and in 1963 they won the Third Division title, scoring an impressive 109 goals in the process. Two years later in 1965 Bowen led Northampton to runners-up spot in Division Two, and the club that had spent four decades stuck in the lowest reaches of the Football league had suddenly screamed through to the top flight of the English game in five seasons.
However as spectacular as their rise had been, their subsequent fall was just as eye catching. Only the one season was spent in Division One before relegation, which then took on a momentum all of its own - and it was the same period of five years before the Cobblers were back in the basement of the Football League once again. They had gone from Division Four to Division One and down to Division Four again all crammed in to the Sixties.
It couldn't get worse, could it? Yes, it could. The following season and Northampton were famous again, this time for being the team George Best scored six goals against in an FA Cup tie v Manchester United; and in the league the Cobblers were doing their best to live up to their nickname by being forced to apply for re-election for the first time in their history in 1972. They needed to rely on the chairmens' votes again in 1973.
The '75-'76 season brought a measure of relief with promotion as runners-up to Division Three, but almost inevitably the Cobblers came straight back down a year later. A decade of mediocre and worse seasons in the basement followed, with another two re-elections required, until a revival under the leadership of Graham Carr saw them Division Four Champions 1986-87. This time the Cobblers managed to stay in Division Three for three seasons, but financial pressures meant the club's best players had to be sold and they were relegated yet again in 1990.
The Cobblers were entering their darkest days, with those financial problems coming to a head in 1992. With the club going into administration and 10 players being sacked to save money and replaced by youth team players, unsurprisingly the Cobblers struggled. The following season was even worse, and in 1993-94 worse still as they finished bottom of the Football League for the first time ever. This was the period when the Football League was seeking any and every excuse it could to deny Conference teams promotion, and Northampton were saved when Conference Champions Kidderminster's ground wasn't deemed to be up to standard.
That was the lowest of the low points. Things began to take a turn for the better thereafter. The club's delapidated and three-sided County Ground was abandoned and Northampton moved into the brand new, custom built and council-owned Sixfields Stadium. Ian Atkins was appointed manager and if his brand of football didn't please the purists, the results he got at least began to move them in the right direction. In 1996-97 they got to the play-offs and a claimed 32,000 Cobblers fans celebrated promotion to the now Second Division at Wembley as Northampton beat Swansea City 1-0; and they were all back there again twelve months later for the Second Division play-off final - this time the Cobblers lost however, 1-0 to Grimsby Town.
That was as good as it got, and the following season they were relegated, Atkins losing his job in the process. They went straight back up again through the play-offs but three seasons of struggle and the inevitable relegation caught up with them in 2002-03. Finances were on the rocks once more, and Cobblers fans raised over £200,000 to help keep the club afloat. A boadroom takeover eased the crisis, but didn't save the club from appointing Terry Fenwick as manager. Seven games and seven losses later Fenwick was shown the door, former chief scout Martin Wilkinson taking over, but too late to save the club from the drop. Yet another consortium took over and started spending money like they were the Third Division Chelsea. Cobblers? No, it's true. After a slow start to the 2003-04 season Martin Wilkinson paid the penalty and Colin Calderwood was brought in. A very late run saw them into the play-offs, but no further. It was the play-offs again the following season, and again they failed to progress. In 2005-06 they decided not to chance it a third time, so came up to League One through automatic promotion as runners-up to Carlisle United.
The South Stand at Sixfields - housing away supporters
All in the garden seemed rosy as Northampton Town prepared for life back in League One, Nottingham Forest came calling and Colin Calderwood disappeared up the M1. The Cobblers made what most saw as an unexpected decision and appointed John Gorman to replace him. Unexpected because in the previous campaign Gorman had been flying in Northampton's division with Wycombe Wanderers, who looked nailed-on certainties to go up until Gorman had a bereavement. Club and manager disagreed as to what effect the loss of his wife was having on the manager, but whoever knew the truth the result was the same : Wycombe's season disintegrated.
Gorman didn't last long - half a season to be exact. On December 20th 2006 he resigned for "personal reasons", still suffering the after-effects of his wife's death, admitting that he was suffering stress-related problems, although Northampton's 18th place in League One and a poor home record had been putting pressure on him from other angles. Former Southampton boss Stuart Gray took over in January 2007 and although he managed initially good finishes of 14th and 9th, the 2008-09 campaign was a bad one, and Northampton were relegated into League Two - a level they've occupied since then.
Gray was dismissed shortly after that drop, and although his replacement Ian Sampson lasted around 18 months, they'd entered a cycle of doom'n'gloom in which they were getting progressively worse. Sampson was removed in March 2011 and in came Mr Gary Johnson esq. He may be popular in South Somerset, but Sir Gary's reign at Sixfields didn't go down well. His eight month spell straddled two seasons in which he tried to arrest that slide, and although he kept them up during the 2010-11 campaign, finishing 16th, a poor start to the following season meant he went out the door. Adrian Boothroyd replaced him, having one sticky season (20th) followed by a surprisingly good following campaign in which they qualified for the play-offs in 6th - ultimately losing at Wembley Stadium in 2012-13. The following year saw them revert to type though as they slid down to 21st and Boothroyd was sacrificed.
During the 2014-15 campaign they finished 12th under new boss Chris Wilder, but off the pitch all was not well. A new stadium development at Sixfields had been aimed at providing a £10.25 million refit of their East Stand facilities, and the Cobblers obtained a loan from the borough council to carry out the work. However, the development has only been partially completed, with the contractor involved standing down after Northampton failed to pay them money. The Cobblers had put the land into a separate company to manage that development, meaning that when the contractor pursued then for their losses, that company was put into administration and the stand was repossessed by the Council under the terms of the loan.
The Council have demanded to know where the money has gone, and at the moment nobody knows - the police were called into Sixfields to seize documents as part of an ongoing investigation. On top of that, staff have gone unpaid, whilst HMRC has a winding up order for £166,000 worth of unpaid tax hanging over the club's head - the court case related to that has been deferred until Friday, meaning that theoretically the club could end up in administration or be wound up on that day. The prospect of that happening though has been made far less likely by the news this week that David Cardoza - sitting uncomfortably in the centre of this scandal - has agreed to sell his shares in the club to former Oxford United owner Kelvin Thomas. Thomas was unveiled as their new owner on Thursday 26th November 2015 and that should head off the horses in the high courts. That may not be the end of it though - someone has got to work out where that 10 million quid has gone.
The unfinished East Stand at Sixfields - the centre of their recent woes
Photo © 2015 Sky Sports
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|Northampton Town : We've Met Before|
|Previous Results for Yeovil Town First Team vs Northampton Town
|05/12/1998||Home||FAC2||W||2-0||5218||Thompson 14, Patmore 82|
|25/08/2007||Away||CCL1||W||2-1||4555||Cochrane 26, Owusu 90|
Results Summary For Yeovil Town First Team vs Northampton Town
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Northampton Town : Club Statistics
|12/03/2019||Newport County||Home||EFL2||W||1-0||4064||Powell 88|
|23/03/2019||Cheltenham Town||Away||EFL2||L||1-3||3513||Bowditch 89|
|30/03/2019||Port Vale||Home||EFL2||L||1-2||5651||Hoskins 5|
|06/04/2019||Notts County||Away||EFL2||D||2-2||7129||Powell 44, Hoskins 50|
|13/04/2019||Mansfield Town||Home||EFL2||D||1-1||5905||Foley 69|
|19/04/2019||Northampton Town||v||Macclesfield Town|| ||EFL2|
|Kevin van Veen||7||1||0||1||0||9|
|Timi Max Elsnik||1||0||0||0||0||1|
Highest League Attendance: 6963, vs Milton Keynes Dons, 29/12/2018
Lowest League Attendance: 4064, vs Newport County, 12/03/2019
Average League Attendance: 5118
CURRENT LEAGUE SEQUENCE STATISTICS
|Games Without A Win: ||5
||Games Without A Home Win: ||2
|Games Without An Away Win: ||3
||Games Without Defeat: ||2
|Games Without A Home Defeat: ||1
||Games Without An Away Defeat: ||1
|Games Without A Draw: ||0
||Games Without A Score Draw: ||0
|Games Without A No-Score Draw: ||4
||Games Without Scoring: ||0
|Games Without Conceding: ||0
||Home Results Sequence: ||LDWWLD
|Away Results Sequence: ||DWWDLD
||Overall Results Sequence: ||WDLLDD
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Northampton Town : Club Information
Click here for map
Telephone Number : 01604 683700
Fax : 01604 751613
Chairman : Kelvin Thomas
Fixtures Secretary : Nick Ancel
Customer Services Manager : Wendy Lambell
Stadium Safety Officer : Roger Buckley
Head of Media : Gareth Willsher
Manager : Chris Wilder
Capacity : 7,653 (reduced due to East Stand development work)
Seated : All-seated
Covered Terrace : n/a
Record Attendance : 7,557 v Manchester City, Division 2, 26th September 1998
Colours : shirt - claret with white and yellow trim; shorts - white with yellow trim; socks - white
Nickname : Cobblers (no, it's true!)
Ticket Prices :
Away fans are housed in the South Stand (850 capacity). Away fans were also being given an overflow area in the East Stand but that's under development at present - not that we'd have needed that anyway. Tickets are on sale from the Huish Park Ticket Office at the following prices:
Adults: £20.00; Over-65s and Adult Disabled: £16.00; Under-18s: £8.00; Under-7s: FREE.
All ticket prices increase by £2.00 if purchased on the day of the game, with the exception of the Under-7s tickets. In the past, we've had to purchase tickets from a small portacabin situated close to the away turnstiles.
Any further enquiries to Sixfields Box Office on 01604 588338.
Disabled Info :
Nine spaces for away wheelchair users are situated in the South Stand at ground level, assistant sits beside. The South Stand contains an adapted toilet and accessible snack bars. No special arrangments for ambulant disabled, but there are 6 headsets available providing Hospital Radio commentary for registered blind people. Outside there are 10 dedicated parking spaces available for away disabled supporters.
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Northampton Town : Directions To The Ground
The North Stand at Sixfields - home supporters behind one goal
Northampton is a large (c.200,000) singularly dull town just off the M1. Sixfields Stadium is situated on a new leisure complex a couple of miles west of the town centre.
From the South:
If going to the stadium directly, come off the motorway at Junction 15A and follow the signs to the A43 dual carriageway. The ground will become visible on your right after a couple of miles and is well signposted.
If you plan to visit the town centre first, come off the M1 at Junction 15 and follow the A508 in.
From the North:
Exit the M1 at Junction 16 and take the A45 towards Northampton and you will come to the ground on your right.
At the stadium there is the choice of the North and South car parks. The North is tarmaced, the South is not but is more convenient for the away stand, but both charges are the same at £4.00. For a newish leisure complex the design is utterly dismal and exit times after the match horrendous.
You are strongly advised to be cautious about parking elsewhere on the leisure complex as some businesses have a standing £10.00 charge for football supporters on match-days, and others operate wheel clamping schemes.
Further away from the stadium - around a ten to fifteen minute or so walk - there's more parking on the edge of the complex, this shared with Northampton Saints Rugby club. Also pay and display, and we think around the same price, the disadvantage is the longer walk, the advantage is you may well get away quicker post-match despite the walking distance.
As for free parking: unless you are extremely lucky that will entail a long walk as there's no on-street anywhere near the stadium. Expect a minimum 15 minute walk, probably longer.
Northampton Station is served by London Midland with regular trains running from Birmingham New Street or London Euston. The station is 30-40 minutes walk from the ground, depending on your fitness, so you may wish to take a bus or hire a taxi (both below).
The simplest route from Yeovil is out of Yeovil Junction via Waterloo and Euston, with journey times of between four and a quarter and four and a half hours. Post match, giving yourself time to get to the station, the 18.02, 18.32 (requires an additional change at Milton Keynes) and 19.02 departures will get you back to Yeovil on the night.
Stagecoach run buses from Greyfriars bus station. The D1/D2/D3 services run from Bay 12 (15 and 45 mins past each hour) to the bus stop by the Sixfields roundabout. The 22/22A run from Bay 14 (10 and 40 mins past the hour) to the bus stop by the Study Centre on Edgar Mobbs Way. The number 5 from bay 14 (56 and 26 mins past the hour) runs to the bus stop by Sainsburys. The 9/9A runs from Bay 13 (every 10 minutes) but you have to walk from the Weedon Road. A Day Rider tickets costs £3.40 and gives you unlimited Stagecoach travel within the town for the day.
A selection of Northampton taxi companies can be found here.
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Northampton Town : Web Resources
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Northampton Town : Food & Drink
Sixfields is one of those retail/leisure/sports parks - all plastic, glass and chrome, and nothing but identikit multi-national chains present. The food is almost entirely MacburgerKing/DeepHut Pizza/Rib* Pasta* Chicken* Cardboard* (delete as applicable) Shacks, and any combination of that sort of ilk. There are a number of pubs/bars - all generally unwelcoming to the average away supporter, and that's before you've even seen the sh*te they serve up pretending to be drinkable alcohol. Prices are steep, and the whole place reeks of attracting the lowest possible common denominator of consumer with no taste whatsoever. Most football fans wouldn't be seen dead in the place......except unfortunately we have to go there because there's a football match on.
The drinking establishments go by the names of:
Magic Tower (formerly Chevys) - big gorillas on the door grilling fans and booting out any who might vaguely resemble away supporters.
Sixfields Tavern - slightly more tolerant gorillas, but they don't like away colours; has one thing in its favour should you get in - it's from the Hungry Horse chain, which means some tolerable alcohol and large meals.
Old Orleans - faux Americana, with alcohol and food to match, which clearly would prefer not to have nasty football fans in at all.
The Sports Bar - part of a large complex, containing bowling alleys, pool tables, and large screens.
A TGI Friday: went in one near Watford once as someone was holding a party there. Utterly beyond me why anyone would be seen dead in the place, let alone hand over good money.
Franky and Benny's - another restaurant/bar on the site, but quite some way from the ground.
In short the whole enterprise is a hideous monstrosity designed to peddle garbage to the undiscriminating and rack up the biggest profit margin possible. Our advice is to arrive at Sixfields as close as practically possible to kick-off (allowing for finding a legitimate parking space in the middle of the complex). You'll need little encouragement to leave on the final whistle. Except you can't, because what one would have thought would be the only advantage in a development such as this - easy access - has been screwed up. You'll be lucky if you're not still sitting in the car park half an hour later. However if you have the temerity not to use their specially designed vehicle trap it's a £10 fine at best and wheel clamping at worst. Welcome to Sixfields!
Club Bar :
Away fans can use the Carrs Bar at the stadium. This didn't used to be accessible to away fans when it was first open as the Carlsberg Bar, but it was refurbished by their Supporters Trust in 2012 and reopened, when we presume the policy was changed. It's situated by the West Stand, so won't be accessible once you've entered the stadium. It's named after Graham Carr, a former player and manager.
Local Pubs :
Foundrymans Arms: Stopping off point for those arriving by train and heading from the station to Sixfields along the A428. Shortly before the junction with the A4500 and Franklin Gardens, home of Northampton Rugby Club.
On the lengthy hike from the station to the stadium.
© Hugh Gleave
Foundrymans Arms, St. James Road, Northampton, Northamptonshire, NN5 5LE. Tel: 01604 751830. Map: Click Here.
Malt Shovel Tavern: Just off the inner ring road, and an easy walk from the train station but not exactly on the best side of town for the stadium unfortunately. Despite this, and the fact one can see the Carlsberg Brewery from the pub, this is our hostelry of choice in Northampton. Tetley, London Pride, and the local Frog Island Natterjack are regulars, with plenty more guests on too amongst the 14 handpumps. There is also a cider, a large range of Belgian draught and bottled beers, lots of unusual gins and fifty single malts. A couple of years ago they launched their own micro-brewery under the name of The Great Oakley Brewery. Wot's Occurring and Harpers are regularly on sale, Tailshaker, Gobble and Delapre Dark more occasionally as brewed. Food is at lunchtimes only, from 12.00 noon until 2.00 p.m., but children are allowed in the pub up to 7.00 p.m. in the evening. Opening hours 11.30 a.m. - 3.00 p.m. and 5.00 p.m. - 11.00 p.m. Monday to Saturday, 12.00 noon - 3.00 p.m. and 7.00 p.m. - 10.30 p.m. Sunday. Pleasant courtyard at the back for smokers...... and anyone else of course. Wednesday evenings the pub doubles as one of the top blues venues in the area.
Our favourite Northampton pub, but a half hour walk from the ground - cobblers!
© Hugh Gleave
Malt Shovel Tavern, 121, Bridge Street, Northampton, Northamptonshire, NN1 1QF. Tel: 01604 234212. Website: Click Here. Map: Click Here.
|Racehorse Inn: Another hostelry just off the inner ring road, on the eastern side of town. 12.00 noon - 12.00 midnight (1.00 a.m. on Saturday), music and beer pub - no food. Regular ales are Hampshire King Alfred's and Richard the Lionheart, plus a constantly changing selection of four or five guests at any one time. No children allowed in the pub, though they are welcome in the garden.|
Racehorse Inn, 15, Abington Square, Northampton, Northamptonshire, NN1 4AE. Tel: 01604 631997. Map: Click Here.
|Romany Hotel: Towards the north of the town about a mile and a half from the centre between the A508 and the A43 (bus routes Nos. 8 & 25). Opening hours are 11.30 a.m. to 11.30 p.m. Monday to Saturday, 12.00 noon to 11.00 p.m. on Sunday. The pub is games/music orientated, with pool tables, darts and Northants skittles - no idea how that differs from the West Country variety - and live bands on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday nights. There are no regular ales but a constantly changing selection of nine guests, many from local breweries, and Westons cider and a perry. CAMRA members get a 10% discount on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. Has a designated smoking area, not just the street.|
Romany Hotel, Trinity Avenue, Northampton, Northamptonshire, NN2 6JN. Tel: 01604 714647. Map: Click Here.
|The Melbourne Arms: A few yards further away from Sixfields than The Squirrels, also in Duston.|
The Melbourne Arms, Melbourne Lane, Duston, Northampton, Northamptonshire, NN5 6HS. Tel: 01604 752837. Map: Click Here.
|The Rose & Claret: Was The Viking, so presumably has had a make over along with the name change. For those taking the A43 towards Sixfields from Junction 15A this pub is in the development around Hunsbury Hill on the right. There's no access from the A43 - at the first roundabout take the exit onto the A45 going east (not the A45 exit going up to the stadium), and then right into Camp Hill.|
The Rose & Claret, Hunsbury Hill Road, Camp Hill, Northampton, Northamptonshire, NN4 9UW. Tel: 01604 677004. Map: Click Here.
|The Squirrels Inn: Closest pub as such outside the Sixfields complex - north of the A45 in the Northampton suburb of Duston - about three-quarters of a mile away.|
The Squirrels Inn, 33, Main Road, Duston, Northampton, Northamptonshire, NN5 6JF. Tel: 01604 751930. Map: Click Here.
Likelihood the Natives Will Understand You :
They'll understand your abuse of Ru$hden & Diamonds easily enough, and you'll quickly find friends.
One of our least favourite away trips: dull stadium; dull leisure park; dull town.........though we don't have too bad a record there, apart from our last visit.
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Northampton Town : Local Amenities
Local Guesthouses and Hotels
Go to A1 Tourism's Online Guide
to find Guest Houses/Hotels in the town and surrounding areas.
Other Points Of Interest
Northampton isn't Ru$hden, which is about the only point in its favour. It used to be the shoe-making capital of England (Cobblers! No, it's true*) and claims to be the largest town in the UK. Click here for more fascinating facts.
* - sorry, we promise not to say that again, honest.
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