were formed in 1903 as Park Villa, initially competing in local competitions
but, after just one season the club's name was changed to Mossley Juniors.
In 1909 they became Mossley AFC and moved to their present ground Seel
Park in 1912 from their previous site at Luzley.
The early years of Mossley
AFC were spent in the Ashton & District League culminating in a
superb season in 1914-15 when Mossley won the League, Manchester Junior
Cup and the Lady Aitken Cup, progressing to the South East Lancs League
in 1915, the Manchester Amateur League in 1916 and the Lancashire Combination
In 1919 Mossley became founder
members of the Cheshire County League, finishing runners up in the first
season in both League and League Cup, returning to win the League Cup
the following season beating Sandbach Ramblers in the final.
Apart from many successes
in the Ashton Challenge Cup and various Manchester Cup wins Mossley
had many lean years in the League, rarely finishing in the top half
of the table, although, in 1961 they won the Cheshire League Cup for
only the second time when they beat a strong Tranmere Rovers Reserve
side 6-3 at Hyde United's ground under the guidance of former Blackburn
Rovers star Eddie Quigley.
Mossley's most successful
season in their Cheshire League days was in 1969-70 when Don Wilson's
side finished runners-up in the League, reached the 1st Round Proper
of the FA Cup for the first time in 20 years, losing narrowly in a replay
to Stockport County and, made it to the quarter finals of the inaugural
F.A. Challenge Trophy going out to then Southern League giants Barnet.
After more than fifty years
in the Cheshire League, the Lilywhites were elected to the Northern
Premier League in 1972.
During the late 70's, Mossley
grew into a formidable force in non-league football. They won successive
League titles in 1978-79 and 1979-80 and finished runners-up in each
of the next three seasons.
With influential manager
Bob Murphy at the helm the club also saw it's greatest moment. May 1980
saw the Lilywhites at Wembley in the Final of the F.A.Challenge Trophy.
After defeating supposedly
bigger clubs like Altrincham, Blyth Spartans and Boston United on the
way, Mossley unluckily lost 2-1 in the final to Dagenham, their first
defeat in 31 games.
A crowd of 26,000 were at
Wembley, and a memorable day for the Club and town was captured for
posterity by Granada TV in their documentary “Mossley Goes To
Wembley.” At this time Mossley had the most formidable strike
force in non-league football with the legendary Leo Skeete, Dave Moore
and Ian Smith alongside first Eamonn O'Keefe (sold to Everton for a
club record £25,000 fee), and then Kevan Keelan.
The following season saw
Mossley take their only Football League scalp in the FA Cup when they
beat Crewe Alexandra at Seel Park. Other League clubs faced in the FA
Cup during the glory years were Rotherham United, York City, Mansfield
Town, Stockport County, Huddersfield Town and Darlington.
The great run of success
ended abruptly in 1984 when following financial upheavals the Lilywhites
finished bottom of the then one division NPL and had to seek re-election.
A gradual recovery took place
through the 80's with 1988-89 being the most successful since the glory
days. Under the guidance of Bryan Griffiths and the now Cardiff City
manager Dave Jones, Mossley won the NPL Cup, Manchester FA Premier Cup,
Reporter Floodlit Cup and at the start of the following season, the
NPL Challenge Shield.
After this, fortunes faded again following further financial problems
with the Club narrowly avoiding relegation in 1992. The following year,
after a calamitous series of results not even the return of the legendary
Bob Murphy could save the Club from the drop.
Over the next two years Mossley
saw no fewer than six managerial changes and the Lilywhites run of 23
years in the Unibond/NPL came to an end in 1995 when they were relegated
to the North West Counties League.
1995-96 saw Mossley make
a highly promising NWCL debut, involved in the promotion race for most
of the season they eventually finished 4th, reaching the final of the
NWCL Floodlit Trophy into the bargain.
The following season, after
a bright start, the team failed to stay the pace with the leaders and
finally finished in 7th position, but did have a great run in the FA
Carlsberg Vase, reaching the quarter finals.
In 1997 the Club parted company
with manager Kevan Keelan and installed another former Lilywhites player,
Benny Phillips as his replacement. Season 1998-99 then saw Mossley more
than unfortunate not to win the title, losing out in controversial circumstances
to Workington on the last day of the season. It was a bitter pill to
swallow after leading the table for the last three months which included
a club record 12 successive wins.
The Millennium season saw
Mossley again reach the quarter finals of the FA Carlsberg Vase, going
down 3-1 at eventual winners Deal Town and slip from the title race
after that blow to finish 4th. They did though reach the final of the
Manchester Premier Cup, unluckily losing by a last minute goal to Droylsden
at Oldham Athletic's Boundary Park.
2000-01 was a disappointing
one after a great start which saw the record 12 successive wins equalled,
but hampered by injuries and suspensions to key players Mossley eventually
finished in mid-table.
In November 2001 Benny Phillips
was replaced as manager by former Coventry City and Stoke City star
Ally Pickering and Mossley finished in 8th position.
Mossley finished their Centenary
Season 2002-03 in 3rd position, reaching the quarter finals of the FA
Carlsberg Vase for the third time and won their first silverware in
over a decade when beating Clitheroe 2-1 to win the NWCL Worthington
Trophy at Gigg Lane, Bury.
The 2003-04 season saw Jason
Beckford replace Pickering as manager just prior to the season and the
club fought tooth and nail to win promotion to the UniBond League, going
on a 21 match unbeaten run up to the new year. They were then hit by
a 3 point deduction due to an administrative error and form took a nosedive
as the team quickly crashed out of four cups and lost poll position
in the League. The drama continued to the end as Mossley where just
pipped to the title by Clitheroe on the last day of the season.
Promoted in second place,
2004-05 season saw Mossley consolidate back in the UniBond League, being
unfortunate to miss out on a place in the promotion play off's after
finishing in 7th place.
In the 2005/06 season Mossley
excelled by becoming Champions of the UniBond League Division One on
the last day of the season, finishing two points above Fleetwood Town.
This despite losing their last two games earned promotion to the Premier
Division where they had last competed in 1993.
Unfortunately, the joy was
short-lived as the Lilywhites were relegated at the end of the season,
returning to a newly reconstituted UniBond Division One they were placed
in the North Division. Beckford resigned followed quickly by the retirement
of the clubs Directors and main sponsors, the Rigby family after a ten
year period in control of club affairs.
A new Board of Directors
made up of club supporters was appointed in the summer and former Emley,
Altrincham and Ashton United boss Gerry Quinn was named as manager in
what was a hugely transitional time for the club.
Summer 2008 saw Quinn replaced
by former Mossley player Chris Willcock as club manager and the team
finished in a creditable 10th position also reaching the final of the
Manchester FA Premier Cup, unluckily losing 2-1 to Droylsden in the
final at Oldham Athletic's Boundary Park.
late December 2009 severe weather caused two of the 39 year old floodlights
to collapse and the remaining six pylons were condemned meaning midweek
home games were played at Ashton United's Hurst Cross for the remainder
of the season. A new floodlight system was installed in the close season
Willcock resigned in January 2010 to be replaced by his former assistant
John Flanagan and the team enjoyed a great run climbing to 7th position.
Unfortunately the popular Flanagan resigned at the end of the season
and he was replaced by former Stalybridge Celtic reserve boss Shaun
Despite a good FA Cup run to the final qualifying round Higgins reign only lasted until March 2011 when following a poor run of results and form he was replaced by former Woodley Sports boss Gareth McClelland, initially on a caretaker basis. McClelland impressed enough to be given the job for the 2011/12 season Mossley's 100th year at Seel Park.
McClelland resigned in January 2012 and former Accrington and Droylsden defender Steve Halford was appointed player manager and lifted the team to a comfortable mid-table finish. Mossley also reached the final of the Manchester FA Premier Cup but the final was never played as scheduled opponents Droylsden couldn't raise an eligible team and so the Lilywhites were awarded the trophy by default.
The 2012/13 season saw Mossley competing at the top end of the Evo-stik League Division One North throughout the campaign finally achieving a play off position on the final day of the season. However, the team were then desperately unlucky to lose to an injury time goal at Cammell Laird in the play off semi final. The Lilywhites did, however, retain the Manchester FA Premier Cup beating Salford City on penalties in the final at Stockport County’s Edgeley Park ground following a 2-2 draw.
Manager Halford departed to Ashton United just prior to pre season and Mossley appointed his former assistant Peter Band and ex Winsford United boss Lloyd Morrison as joint managers for the 2013/14 season and with a completely rebuilt team finished just below mid-table.
The 2014/15 season saw Mossley competing all season for a play off place only losing out in the last week of the campaign. That disappointment was waylaid by success in the Manchester FA Premier Cup as the Lilywhites beat Curzon Ashton on penalties in the final at Oldham Athletic's Boundary Park to win the trophy.
2015/16 was Band and Morrison's third season in charge and after being amongst the play off chasers for much of the campaign, the Lilywhites challenge petered out to a mid table finish. The season did have another great reward though as Mossley won the Manchester FA Premier Cup for the fourth time in five seasons with a fantastic 3-1 win over neighbours Stalybridge Celtic in the final at Hyde United's Ewen Fields Stadium.