The Changing Face of Worcester

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Worcester City Football team. C 1928 (J0902091E11)

J0902091E11.jpg Cripplegate Park. Date tbc (J0902091E42)ThumbnailsWorcester City Football team. C 1930 (J0902091E09)Cripplegate Park. Date tbc (J0902091E42)ThumbnailsWorcester City Football team. C 1930 (J0902091E09)Cripplegate Park. Date tbc (J0902091E42)ThumbnailsWorcester City Football team. C 1930 (J0902091E09)Cripplegate Park. Date tbc (J0902091E42)ThumbnailsWorcester City Football team. C 1930 (J0902091E09)Cripplegate Park. Date tbc (J0902091E42)ThumbnailsWorcester City Football team. C 1930 (J0902091E09)Cripplegate Park. Date tbc (J0902091E42)ThumbnailsWorcester City Football team. C 1930 (J0902091E09)

Worcester City Football Club was formed on 9 September 1902 when, following the liquidation of another local side, Berwick Rangers, Worcester Rovers amalgamated taking the present name of Worcester City F. C. taking over Berwick's fixture list in the Birmingham & District League. Initially they played on Pitchcroft on an enclosed area called Severn Terrace (behind the modern day Swan Theatre). They played there until the start of the 1905 season. It was in 1905 that they reached the first round of the FA Cup, losing 6–0 at home to Watford. In 1924–25 they won the league for the first time, and the following season reached the FA Cup first round again, losing 2–0 to Kettering Town in a second replay at St Andrew's. The club won back-to-back league titles in 1928–29 and 1929–30, also reaching the FA Cup first round in the former, losing 3–1 at Walsall.

In 1938 they joined the Southern League. In 1940 they won the Southern League Cup beating Chelmsford 7–3 over two legs under the guidance of former Fulham F.C. legend Syd Gibbons. During World War II the club returned to the Birmingham & District League for two seasons.

After the war Worcester rejoined the Southern League. In 1958–59 the club reached the first round of the FA Cup again. After beating Chelmsford City in a replay and then Millwall 5–2 in the second round, they were drawn against Liverpool. A 2–1 win saw Worcester qualify for the fourth round against Sheffield United. They were defeated 2–0 in front of a record home attendance of 17,042 at St George's Lane.

In 1973–74 the club were relegated to Division One North of the Southern League. They returned to the Premier Division as Division One champions in 1977, and in 1978–79 won the title. The following season they became founder members of the Alliance Premier League, finishing third in their first season. However, they were relegated at the end of the 1984–85 season.

The 1973–74 season saw City reach the quarter-final of the FA Trophy (reached 5 times in the club's history). They beat Taunton Town 1–0 away from home and then a 5–1 home win over Bletchley saw the club reach the third round. Having beaten Sandbach Ramblers 4–1, City progressed to the last eight where a 2–0 away defeat followed a goalless draw against South Shields ended their cup run. Also in 1973–74 Worcester played in the Welsh Cup for the first time, losing in the quarter-finals to Stourbridge In 1975–76 City were drawn against Shrewsbury Town in the quarter-finals at home and took them to a replay after a 2–2 draw, losing 3–0 in the replay. In the 1978–79 season, Worcester reached the semi-finals after beating Cardiff City 3–2 in the quarters. They again played Shrewsbury, this time losing 2–0 away.

The club remained in the Southern League Premier Division until 2004, when a fifth-placed finish earned them a place in the newly established Conference North. In 2008 they were moved to the Conference South after no southern teams were relegated from the Conference National. In 2009–10 they finished in the relegation zone, but were reprieved after several other clubs were demoted or folded – these clubs were all based in northern England so Worcester were transferred back to the Conference North.

Arguably the best result for over 50 years, possibly in their history while also considering the defeat of Liverpool in 1959, occurred on 9 November 2014. In the FA Cup first round Worcester went to the Ricoh Arena and beat Coventry City in a 2–1 victory. This earned them a second-round away tie against Scunthorpe United four weeks later. City secured a replay at Aggborough after a 1–1 draw, in which Daniel Nti equalised immediately after half-time with a strike into the roof of the net in front of the 2,200 travelling fans. The replay also finished 1–1 and, some 2½ hours after kick-off, Scunthorpe won 14–13 on penalties, setting a record for the longest shoot-out in FA Cup history.

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