Flint Town United

Flint Town UnitedAFTER the second war, the amalgamation of Flint Town and Flint Athletic football clubs resulted in the formation of the club bearing the present title and which entered the Welsh League (North) for the 1949/50 season, finishing as runners-up to Holyhead Town. By this time, however, the club had already won the Welsh Amateur Cup, defeating Troedyrhiw 2-1 in the 1947/48 final and, during the following decade, enjoyed considerable success.
In league competition, Flint was runners-up again in 1951/52 and 1952/53 but succeeded in gaining a hat trick of Welsh League championships between 1955 and 1957. Those three golden seasons saw the Silkmen win 84 of their 102 fixtures and score a mammoth 433 goals! Thereafter, however, fortunes fell away and, within five years, the club had slipped into the lower reaches of the league culminating in relegation at the end of the 1961/62 season.
It was under the guidance of manager Billy Russell that Flint Town United became such a formidable side in the 1950s. Despite their league successes, the pinnacle of the club’s achievement was reached in 1954 when they won the coveted Welsh Cup. Inspired by Welsh international Billy Hughes, enjoying a glorious Indian summer to a career disrupted by war, Flint overcame Holywell Town, Oswestry Town, Rhyl, Llanelli and First Division Cardiff City, in a sequence of thrilling games, before defeating Chester 2-0 in the final at Wrexham with goals from Don Owen and Paddy Whelan.
The forerunner of the various clubs was known simply as Flint F.C. when founded back in 1886. They played at Strand Park on the Dee estuary and made an early impression by reaching the first Welsh Amateur Cup final in 1890/91, though losing to Wrexham Victoria. Founder members of the North Wales Coast League, Flint won the inaugural championship in 1893/94 piping Llandudno Swifts to the title by two points and remaining unbeaten in their dozen games. Runners-up in the succeeding two years, they left the league in 1897 to join the Flintshire League.
By the turn of the century, the town had three clubs: Flint Town, Flint Athletic and Flint UAC (United Alkali Company). In 1905, UAC and Flint Town amalgamated, taking the latter’s name. In 1909, as a Chester & District League side, Flint had won their first major cup by defeating Pwllheli 1-0 in the final of the North Wales Amateur Cup. During the early years of the twentieth century, many of the township found employment in the textile and chemical trades, which had replaced the former coal mining industry. Because so many players, officials and supporters were employed by textile giant Courtaulds, the nickname ‘The Silkmen’ was coined.
In 1924, Flint left Strand Park for a new ground at Holywell Road (where they played until 1993), better equipped to hold the large crowds (often more than 2,000) that were keen to see the semi-professional team play. Led by veteran captain Emlyn Jones, Flint reached the 1925 Welsh Cup final only to go down to Wrexham by a score of 3-1. Regular cup successes were to follow, however, as Flint won the North Wales Amateur Cup on six successive occasions between 1931 and 1936. Flint Town featured in the Welsh National League (North) throughout the 1920s and, in 1923/24, were runners-up to Oswestry Town.
Cae-y-Castell
Flint Town United play at Cae Y Castell.
Between 1937 and 1949 (apart from the war years) Flint Town played their football in the West Cheshire League, while Flint Athletic continued to ply their trade in the Dyserth League of which they were twice champions; in 1938 and again a year later. The subsequent merger of the two clubs led to the successful era between the early post-war years and the late 1950s.
Following the club’s decline in the early 1960s, they played in the Halkyn and Clwyd Leagues until returning the Welsh League (North) in 1980. During that lengthy period of exile, the Silkmen managed to win the North Wales Amateur Cup once more, in 1969. Between 1983 and 1987, Flint returned to local soccer but, having rejoined the Welsh League, they were crowned champions in 1988/89.
Founder members of the Cymru Alliance in 1990 (Flint were the very first champions) and the League of Wales two years later, Flint Town United FC enjoyed six years at that level, finishing in the top six on three occasions. The Silkmen are now battling to regain their place in the top flight of Welsh soccer following relegation from the League of Wales in 1998, but a proposed merger with neighbours Connah's Quay in 2009 failed to materialise.

Club histories and stats based on information compiled by David Rapson.