Whitchurch Alport Football Club is now in its 75th year and can look back at three quarters of a century of history.

The club established in 1946 and named after Alport Farm, the home of World War Two soldier and local footballer, Coley Maddocks who was killed in action.

In the same year, they joined the Shropshire and District League participating for two years before joining the newly-formed Mid-Cheshire League in 1948.

The current club president, Peter Wainwright’s earliest recollection of WAFC was in 1948 when he started regularly going to games with his father. Not long after in 1950, Peter at the age of 10 was fully immersed in the club after his father’s promotion.

Peter said: “In 1950 he joined the club's committee and I was given an empty biscuit tin to collect the one penny it cost to sit in the stand. There were no proper seats in those days so you sat on old railway sleepers.”

Up until that point, the squad consisted of local players from Whitchurch.

Whitchurch Town - an ancestor of the current club.

Whitchurch Town - an ancestor of the current club.

However, the club’s next stage of recruitment took an unorthodox turn with their goalkeeper, Vic Platt bringing in players from the Crewe and Nantwich areas.

“Vic worked as an overhead crane driver in British Rails Crewe Locomotive Railway Works and it was from here and the Rolls Royce factory that these players came from,” said Peter.

Despite actually being a Shropshire side, Alport were able to compete in Cheshire-based competitions thanks to being a founder of the Mid-Cheshire League. This made them the first non-Cheshire club to win the Northwich FA Challenge Cup when they beat Barnton 2-0.

The feat was a part of the club's successful nine year period in cup competitions, winning a second Northwich FA Challenge Cup and four Shropshire Amateur Cups between the 1948/49 and 1957/58 seasons.

However, they would have to wait 12 years before their first league title in 1970 after beating Congleton Town on goal difference.

Arguably the most standout moment in the club’s history though was beating Cardiff College 2-1 in the 1974 Welsh Amateur Cup final, becoming the first Shropshire football club to win a national competition.

In acknowledgement of their outstanding achievement, the members of the team and club officials were accorded a civic reception by the Whitchurch Town Council.

Whitchurch Alport FC in the 1970s.

Whitchurch Alport FC in the 1970s.

The success didn’t stop there however, with Alport winning the Mid-Cheshire League Challenge Cup two years later in 1977 and then winning their fifth and sixth Shropshire Amateur Cups in 1978 and 1982.

But, a big dip in form soon came for Alport with the Whitchurch-based club finishing bottom of the table three times in five years and suffered relegation in 1988.

Alport bounced back in 1990, beating Morda United 3-2 to lift the Shropshire Amateur Cup.

After over 10 years of Mid-Cheshire League football, Alport returned suffered relegation in 2001 and stayed in Cheshire’s second division until their resignation from the now changed Cheshire Association Football League in 2009.

This left the club with a huge question mark over its future.

The decision was taken to join the Mercian League, where they played for seven years. However, it was still far from plain sailing due to reduced gates and subsequent income.

In an attempt to improve the standard of football and increase its supporter base, the decision was taken to apply for the North West Counties League (NWCL). Initially, the application was declined.

However, following an appeal, the FA’s Appeals Committee overturned the decision and in August 2015 Alport stepped onto the field to play at the highest level in their history.

Peter Wainwright to this day is belated Alport were given this chance.

He said: “Since then, both on and off the field, we have never looked back.

Yockings Park

Yockings Park

“We no longer have a football ground, we have a football stadium and quality players.”

The increase in support has been clear to see. It was only in April 2017 the club record attendance was set when 670 spectators watched a league clash against Litherland REMYCA FC at Yockings Park.

Since joining, Alport have climbed their way up the NWCL into the first division and recently added new trophies to their name. They won the Huddersfield Cup in April 2019 beating Market Drayton 4-2 on penalties and then five months later lifted the Shropshire Senior Cup against Shrewsbury Town 3-1.

Due to the vast amounts of money football is involved with these days, sometimes the community feel and rich history of the sport can get lost.

Bigger clubs may make the headlines but clubs such as Whitchurch Alport) are the foundation of local football.