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Non league club who dissolved in 2014 are making a long awaited return

A non league club who dissolved in 2014 are set to make a long awaited return to the English football scene, as confirmed by Hugh McAuley.

Hugh is a former footballer, who was named after his Dad, also named Hugh, and played full time football for 15 years, now the 44 year old is in the property and finance field, but has set his sights on bringing Formby Football Club back to life.

On the 7th of August 2020, an interesting tweet emerged from the landowner of the Altcar Road site on which Formby FC played prior to their demise. It showed a stunning artist’s impression of what the new look ground could look like ready for the club’s return, fair to say it’s pretty appealing.

Hugh wrote via his Twitter account: “After 12 months working together with our architects Zara Moon, we have designed the new Sports Complex for Altcar Formby. This will be the home for the new Formby Football Club and many sporting activities. Planning application will be submitted soon!”

He has since updated, saying:I am really Privileged to be partnering with

@StellarAM_ on our development of a ‘Sports Zone’ in Formby, Merseyside. The ten-acre site, which will become the new home of Formby FC, with boys-girls teams starting from under 5s to adult football.


The Pre-Application for Phase 1 was submitted to Sefton Council’s planning department on Monday 22nd February 2021.


After being asked when it would be completed, he replied hopes for that the ground will get the nod from Sefton Council this year and the build will start early 2022, so looking at end of 2022, with the club up and running again come that time.

As written by JamesF on nonleaguematters: “Some background: the land upon which Formby’s ground was built back in the early 2000s is designated as greenbelt. There were a great number of restrictions associated with how the site could be developed, and as such only the most basic facilities were installed. Hugh Mcauley, who in addition to owning the plot was also a director of the club at the time of its folding, has long had intentions of erecting a grand sport and leisure complex in place of what currently stands – which would in turn would double as home for a revived Formby FC. He submitted a similar plan back in 2016, but this was effectively sunk when authorities refused to consider stripping the site of its greenbelt status. The existing ground has been in pretty much constant use over the last few years, predominantly by youth and Sunday sides.

“However, there appears to have been further movement recently (I really don’t know any details of the politics), and he is now confident enough to issue a new proposal. Clearly, this will take many years to come to fruition – if indeed it does. The hypothetical new club cannot be assured of an instant placement at Step 6, so may have to look towards the West Cheshire or Liverpool County Premier as its starting point.”

The highest level of football the club got to was the North West Counties Football League First Division, years prior to it’s disbandment.

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Formby’s average attendance was a high as 72 , so it would seem they have big hopes and expectations for much higher crowds coming through the turnstiles once the new ground is completed.

Another club that was rumoured to be making a return to non league football was East Ham United, team from Greater London, formed in 1933 but ended up dissolving after merging with Barking to form Barking & East Ham United.

Photo Credit: Tim Lancaster on Facebook

The Hammers completed their last campaign in the Essex Senior League in 2000/01 season winning 12 of their 30 games finishing in 11th place of 16 clubs.

After two good seasons since joining the league in 1978, the club struggled, only finishing in the top ten three times in the next 21 seasons.

The merged club also went under in 2006 and whilst Barking were reformed and still play in the Isthmian League today, East Ham remained defunct.

Well on January the 27th 2020, a Twitter account named under the defunct club had surfaced before tweeting that they were set to rise from the dead.

This captured the attention from fans within the non league community with many wishing them luck on their return.

The East Ham United pin crest

The admin behind the account said that they, East Ham, had plans to get themselves back into the English football pyramid for the 2020/21 season.

Essex Senior League replied to their tweet, revealing they were keen to help them out.

The club’s tweet got over 1,000 likes as well as plenty of shares and comments, many of which ‘East Ham’ replied to sharing their excitement in returning.

Then weeks later, the account and viral tweet mysteriously vanished despite getting thousands of followers since emerging on the site.

Since then, nothing more has come to light, meaning time will tell whether the club will rise again, we certainly hope they do!

Fans gave their reaction after seeing non league club Formby FC who dissolved in 2014 set to make a long awaited return, with the owner responding to a few questions…

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