Helsby Football Club was originally formed as long ago as 1895 under the name Helsby Town F.C.
Local records show a victorious Helsby returning to the village railway station after winning the Liverpool County Cup in 1905.
BICC (British Insulated Callenders Cables) established a manufacturing site in Helsby during the 1920’s, and Helsby Town then merged with the cable works team to become Helsby BI.
Helsby BI were admitted to the West Cheshire League in 1936, and the team made an immediate impression, completing the season in 3rd place and reaching the final of the prestigious Pyke Cup. After a drawn first game against Buckley Town, Helsby emerged triumphant in the reply. Helsby finished the next two campaigns in 5th and 6th position in a league of 14 teams.
After a break for World War II, Helsby reappeared in the West Cheshire League in 1951 when we were voted straight into Division One, remained there for 2 seasons, and then resigned.
Another return in 1976, as Helsby BICC, saw us spend three largely uneventful years in Division Two before leaving the WCL again to join the South Wirral League.
A poor 1996/7 season saw them finish second from bottom of the South Wirral First Division, but this league then restructured during the summer and Helsby retained their place in the top flight, rallying to end 1997/8 in a comfortable mid-table position.
Keen to progress, when a West Cheshire League Third Division was re-formed in 1998 after a gap of some 93 years, Helsby successfully applied for election. This was the catalyst for a glorious period in the history of Helsby FC, as they made a rapid and silver-laden rise through the League.
Following the appointment of manager Frank Cannon, the 1998/9 season proved an amazing season as Helsby found scoring easy. They netted no fewer than 149 goals in only 36 matches, and in the process became Third Division Champions, winners of the West Cheshire Shield and also of the Runcorn Senior Cup. The Cheshire Cup also had its moments with the run only ended in the last eight.
This was just a prelude to a truly amazing 1999/2000 season, when Helsby won every competition they entered. The goals tally went up to 169 as Helsby won no fewer than 38 and drew 4 of the 46 games they played. After success in the Bill Weight Memorial Trophy, they completed a 2nd Division League & Cup double, retained the Runcorn Cup and then lifted the Cheshire Amateur Cup for the first time, beating mid-Cheshire League champions Barnton in a cracking final. A South Wirral Challenge Cup final victory by Helsby Reserves made it a six-trophy haul for the club.
During the summer of 2000 the longstanding affiliation with the BICC company ended and Helsby dropped that part of their name. At the same time, their second team was elected to Division Three. As Helsby FC they more than held their own in Division One, completed a hat trick of Runcorn Cups and, representing the Cheshire County FA, won the Northern Counties Championship, beating sides from Cumberland, Northumberland and Westmorland in the process. The Reserves achieved a respectable league placing of eighth come the end of their initial campaign in the WCL.
2001/2 proved to be something of a watershed, and with life in Division 1 proving to be pretty tough, Helsby parted company with manager Cannon and eventually all the players who had brought them so much silverware. Though Helsby were runners-up in the Pyke, losing in the final to Cammell Laird, they finished the season in the lower reaches of the league and only a couple of vital victories kept them up. The fortunes of the second team were even worse, as they finished bottom of Division 3 and then failed to secure re-election at the league AGM.
2002/3 was a rather ignominious affair, Helsby having to rely on a squad of very young and inexperienced players under the tutelage of their former Youth Team manager, Steve Askey. They lost every game, conceding 140 goals and scoring just 12. But a strange sequence of events in the league saw Helsby retain their position in Division One, and they entered the new season with hopes revived.
The 2003/4 campaign started encouragingly, and after 4 games they had taken six points. But yet another exodus of players left Helsby exposed to the high quality of WCL Division 1, and after an embarrassing Runcorn Cup exit to FC Trannie, Askey departed to be replaced by Matty Jones. The season ended with Helsby accumulating just 10 points as they finished some way adrift in bottom place. This time there was no escaping relegation and they were demoted to Division Two.
The 2004/5 season saw Helsby FC start a Youth Team, an U13’s side competing in the Ellesmere Port & District Junior League. They produced a solid campaign, eventually finishing in fourth position with plenty of promise having been shown. The Seniors, meanwhile, struggled to shake off that losing habit. Despite dropping a division to West Cheshire 2, by the turn of the year they were propping up the table with a solitary victory under their belts. But a change of form and fortunes came after Christmas, several vital wins over higher placed teams helping them to safety – just – and a third from bottom finish. Helsby did, though, make it to the Runcorn Cup Final where they lost out to promoted Mond Rangers by the odd goal in five.
2005/6 started promisingly with a 5-0 away victory at Christleton Reserves, but early optimism waned after a rocky autumn and winter. Once again too many goals were shipped in by a porous defence, but Helsby found the net often enough to keep them out of serious trouble and they ended up in a respectable 10th in the league. Helsby’s cup form was decent throughout, and they lost narrowly 2-1 to eventual winners Poulton Vics Reserves in the semi of the West Cheshire Bowl. They came even nearer to winning the Runcorn Cup, a 120th minute extra time winner giving Div One Runcorn Town the trophy in a re-run of the previous year’s final. But Helsby saw silverware at last, the U14’s bringing home the District Cup and also the Ellesmere Port Memorial Cup.
In 2006/7 Helsby fielded a Reserve senior team in the Chester & District League, and added an U13’s team to its youth ranks, who won their division in the Eastham Junior League at the first time of asking. The Reserves had a steady season, finishing 4th in Division 2 of the Chester League and narrowly losing 1-0 in the final of the Tom Geraghty Trophy, just edged out by rivals Sutton Way Villa.
For the First XI it was fairly standard fare in the league, a mixture of good and bad seeing the team finish in 12th position, safely clear of the drop zone in West Cheshire Two. But it was third time lucky in the Runcorn Cup.
Having lost the previous two finals by the odd goal to Runcorn Town, this time the final tie saw "The Green Machine" pitted against Halton. A tremendous performance saw the team pull off a 3-0 victory, to bring a senior cup back to Chester Road after a six year absence.
In 2007-8, Helsby started 2 mini soccer sides at U7 and U9 level. Both acquitted themselves well in their first seasons, playing in the Chester & District JFL. The U14's had a tougher time of it, struggling in the top flight of a very strong Eastham JFL and finishing in the bottom two.
On the senior front, Helsby Reserves consolidated in the First Division of the Chester League, finishing 4th and just outside the promotion places. The First Team were always comfortable in West Cheshire Two, a mid-table finish in 9th. They pulled off the shock of the Cheshire Amateur Cup, knocking out West Cheshire champions West Kirby in the third round, but then exited themselves in the last 16 after a defeat at Stockport Georgians. Helsby also made it to the Runcorn Cup Final for a fourth consecutive season, but could not repeat the previous year's expolits and were beaten 3-0 by Runcorn Town.
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