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Getting To Know: AFC Fylde

8 November 2014

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AFC Fylde’s home is the Fylde Coast, a coastal plain in western Lancashire.

The Fylde is roughly a 13-mile square-shaped peninsula, bounded by Morecambe Bay to the north; the Ribble estuary to the south; the Irish Sea to the west; and the Bowland hills to the east.

AFC Fylde was formed in 1988 by the amalgamation of Kirkham Town and Wesham Football Clubs, and was known as Kirkham & Wesham before the club changed its name to the current one ten years ago. A previous club with the Fylde name played in the West Lancashire League immediately before the first world war.

The club badge contains four symbols represent major landmarks around the local area: the windmill seen on the promenade at Lytham; the mill representing the many historical mills in the area; the boat for Skippool Creek, near Poulton-Le-Fylde; and the aeroplane to represent BAE Systems based in Warton.

AFC Fylde have played their home matches since 2006 at Kellamergh Park, Warton, a village in the Borough of Fylde about six miles west of Preston and eight miles south east of Blackpool. The record attendance at the ground is 1,418 for a league match against FC United of Manchester in 2012.

After initially yo-yoing between Divisions One and Two of the West Lancashire League, Kirkham and Wesham dominated the newly-formed Premier Division between 1999-2007, finishing as champions seven seasons out of eight – they did not lose a match in 21 months between January 2003 and October 2004.

The motto of AFC Fylde is Gaudeat Ager, which comes from Psalm 96 and was used by the old Fylde Borough Council logo. The saying translates as “Let the field be joyful” or “Let Fylde Prosper”.

On 11 May, 2008, Kirkham & Wesham won the FA Vase, beating Lowestoft Town 2-1 in the final at Wembley in front of a crowd of 19,537. A goal down for most of the game, Kirkham & Wesham scored twice in the last six minutes, both goals coming from seventeen-year-old substitute Matt Walwyn, son of former Blackpool player Keith Walwyn, who played only the last 11 minutes of the game.

Last season, AFC Fylde won the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy and the Northern Premier League Challenge Cup, as well as gaining promotion to the Conference North by beating Ashton United on penalties in the play-off final. Goalkeeper Ben Hinchcliffe scored the deciding penalty.

AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor, the former Tranmere Rovers, Stockport County and Bury defender, once held the world record for the longest throw in football – 46.34 metres in a special challenge set-up at Prenton Park in 1998, beating the previous record held by Cardiff City's Andy Legg.

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