SOLIHULL MOORS CLUB HISTORY
A look at the history of Solihull Moors Football Club.
Solihull Moors FC is a merger between the former Solihull Borough and Moor Green football clubs.
Solihull Borough was formed in 1953 by Joe McGoriaH and the Club was originally known as Lincoln FC. Borough progressed through the local leagues before joining the Midland Combination in 1969, where they spent 22 seasons, eventually resulting in promotion to the Southern League. In 1989 the club was forced to sell it`s Widney Lane ground to property developers but after a proposed relocation fell through, a ground-share was agreed with local neighbours Moor Green - this was to last for ten years until the purchase of Damson Park in August 1999.
Moor Green was formed in 1901. The first ground was on a part of a farm in Moor Green Lane, Moseley. Their ancestral home, The Moorlands, was acquired in 1930, and was situated in Hall Green, a suburb of south Birmingham. The 2003/4 season was a momentous one for Moors gaining a place in the newly formed Nationwide Conference North; However the inaugural season was to prove a traumatic one with the devastation caused by two arson attacks at The Moorlands in January 2005, when the main stand and clubhouse were gutted leaving the club homeless. Moors thus became tenants of Solihull Borough at Damson Park
With both clubs struggling to secure gates big enough to sustain the two teams, the merger of both seemed an obvious way forward and formed in the summer of 2007, Solihull Moors Football Club became one of the youngest clubs in senior English football. The new club took the place of Moor Green in the Blue Square Conference North.
Bob Faulkner, the Moor Green manager was given the job to take the new club forward but Borough Boss Mickey Moore would return in the new club`s hour of need.
For their first season Bob Faulkner ran with much the same team as the last Moor Green outfit and the Moors first competitive game was a 1-1 draw at home to Barrow AFC on August 11th 2007, with a 90th minute equalizer from Darren Middleton, earning him the accolade of scoring the first league goal for Solihull Moors. The first win came two weeks later with a 3-1 home victory over Gainsborough Trinity, but the remainder of the campaign proved a struggle with the team rarely out of the bottom six in the league table. Survival was confirmed after the 40th league game of the season with a memorable 2-1 victory at Blyth Spartans on the penultimate Tuesday of the season. Andy Ducros was the goal scoring hero with a brace of goals. The Moors finished 17th in the league with 47 points. There was a decent run in the FA Cup, as the fourth qualifying round was reached. A 3-0 win at Soham Town Rangers, with Jason Moore scoring the first ever Solihull hat trick, and then an unforgettable 2-1 win at Blue Square North leaders Kettering Town. However, Moors failed to reach the first round proper of the FA Cup after a 5-0 defeat at ex Blue Square Premier outfit Rushden & Diamonds.
Eight new signings greeted the start 2008/09 season but it soon proved to be a struggle with only two points being gained from the first five games. In truth, it was the away form which kept the Moors sucked in at the wrong end of the table with only 16 points being collected away from Damson Park. Keeper Danny Crane, the enormous central defender Liam Daly and striker Jake Edwards did, however, suggest that the tide was turning but nevertheless Solihull finished in 16th position, with a better points total than the previous season, so progress of some sort was made.
Whilst the first team was battling at the wrong end of the table, the youth team were having a storming season. They finished as champions of the Midland Floodlit Youth League, finishing ten points clear of AFC Telford United and also reached the second round proper of the FA Youth Cup before finally bowing out 2-0 at home to Tranmere Rovers in a tense, close game. Earlier in the competition, Solihull had caught the attention of many people with a comprehensive 18-0 win over Wellington in a qualifying round. Five of the squad signed for the Senior club during the season.
The 2009/10 campaign saw another poor start despite summer signings which on paper looked good. By mid September Moors were languishing in 21st place. Bob Faulkner brought in 10 more players to stem the tide and a wonderful run between mid January and mid March saw the team up to a healthy 13th in the league. It was all to little avail, however, as by the end of a gruelling season Moors were again back in 17th position having gained only 3 more points in the final 7 games of the season. A total of 42 points
Birmingham and Solihull Bees became tenants of the club during the 2010 close season and would play their rugby matches on either Fridays or Sundays.
By the start of the 2010/11 season, our manager of 25 years, had put together the best by far Moors team we had seen. . Bob said that this team would need time to settle but would score goals. New goal keeper Jasbir Singh ably supported by a formidable defence lead by captain Theo Streete had none of the frailties of previous teams, whilst club stalwart Junior English, new boy Adam Cunnington and the master signing from last season, Ryan Beswick, were able to attack in a manner not seen by supporters for many years . Maintaining a healthy position for the first half of the season, we were all shattered when Bob Faulkner sadly passed away in February. Amazingly this galvanised the team and with Mickey Moore stepping up to fill the empty void the Moors went from strength to strength and with 8 games to go were in the play off places. It was emotional for us all and with a small squad, draining for the players - the momentum slipped and we missed out by 4 points.
During the summer break before the 2011/12 season Mickey Moore decided to take up an offer from Mansfield Town and Marcus Bignot, ex Crewe, Bristol Rovers, QPR and Millwall was announced as his replacement a week later. He inherited a youthful squad but the spark was missing and having won no pre season friendlies, we lost the first seven games of the season. Using his connections in the game, Marcus brought in several new players, and the tide began to turn, so much so that by January the possibility of the play offs seemed achievable. However, it proved impossible to maintain the momentum and by the end of the season the club finished just one point above the drop zone.
2012/13 saw a blend of youth and experience but with only one win the first six outings, manager Bignot brought himself out of retirement for the visit to Droylsden and Moors took all three points in a 4 - 2 score line. Things got a lot better in November when we recorded back to back wins against title chasing Guiseley and Altrincham and by mid season eyes were cautiously cast at the play off positions although by April we were four places adrift of the mark but a creditable ninth league position.
2013/14 saw the successful culmination of efforts to introduce a proper youth structure and ladies/girls section into the club. The number of teams grew from three to twenty seven! The club looked forward to growing it`s own local talent. Most of the previous team stayed and were joined by seven quality players from the Midlands for what was another good season. The team finished eighth in the league having been top at the half way stage whilst gates increased by 80%. Major changes in the basic structure were introduced as Solihull Moors transformed itself into a community interest club.
2014/15 Marcus Bignot decided to run with the nucleus of the previous seasons team bolstered by new signings in the shape of Liam Daly and Tony Breeden from Leamington and Owen Story from Brackley Town. The first half of the season saw Moors in the play off positions but just like the previous campaign results after Christmas were disappointing and the team finished 12th in the league with 55 points. On the Youth/ Community side vastly experienced Mark Fogarty was brought it as the momentum in this area was stepped up and Moors became an established name in the Borough for providing football opportunities for school children and members of society who for a variety of reasons could not find an outlet for their soccer skills. The club now attends 20 schools in the district with over 15 coaches whilst the new Disabled section goes from strength to strength
2015/16 saw 11 new signings with Vanarama National League experience and it was clear as early as the pre season friendlies that this could be the squad to take us up to the National League. We went on an unbeaten run that lasted into December and remained unbeaten away throughout the whole season. Having flirted around the top of the table throughout the first half of the season we started the second half as league leaders after taking six points off Nuneaton over the Christmas / New Year holiday period and there we stayed winning the title three weeks before the end of the campaign. The nucleus of that squad remains for this season although Marcus Bignot has brought in some quality signings and strengthened his coaching staff with the addition of Gary Whild from Kidderminster Harriers and Solihull old boy Mickey Moore back from Mansfield Town.
(Club History Courtesy of Solihull Moors Football Club)