History

Walney Island Football Club formerly known as Nautical Football Club was formed in 1970 by a group of lads who frequented the Barrow Nautical Club situated on Walney Island. Founder members of the club were Ronnie Sharp, Frank Holmes, Jack Taylor, Ray Corner, and Billy Shannon among others. Both Ronnie and Frank are still to this day committee members and Trustees of the football club.


To get the club up and running the club applied to enter the Barrow North Western League and we were accepted in 1970 playing home fixtures on Biggar Bank pitches owned by the local council. The inaugural seasons proved difficult for the team until in 1973 Don Parkinson (who later became the first team manager and secretary) introduced his Brickworks United Under 18 football team, who had great success in the junior league, to the Nautical Football set up. Success in senior football soon followed winning league titles and cup competitions.


In 1981 a new league called the Furness Premier League (FPL) was formed in the Barrow area that required all its members to have their own pitches and changing facilities. As we didn't own or lease our own pitch we weren't able to enter the league at this time and therefore continued to play in the North Western League. As most of the progressive clubs moved in to the FPL, the standard of the football in the North Western league dropped and as a result Nautical realised for us to progress we had to move in to the FPL.


In 1983 we went to great expense and effort to acquire our own ground, Tummerhill Football Pitch and changing rooms, by obtaining a lease from Cumbria County Council. Therefore in 1983 our first team entered the FPL and we left our reserves in the North Western League. In 1984 the FPL expanded in to two leagues with the lower division being primarily for reserve teams and it was at this time our reserve team joined the league. From the outset of us joining the Furness Premier League, Nautical FC were a force to be reckoned with, winning league titles and cups as well as having great runs in the Lancashire shield.


In 1995 the club had the opportunity to acquire the full area of Tummerhill playing fields and as our junior set-up were using football pitches and changing rooms allocated to them by the local junior league at this time it was decided that we should lease the full area of Tummerhill so we could bring the junior set-up to Tummerhill, providing a pitch and changing facilities for them. This was a great step forward for the club as we are now all based at Tummerhill the home of Walney Island Football Club.
In 2001due to lack of sponsorship and disillusionment with the parent club, it was decided that the time was right for the football club to move on. The junior set up was increasing and a sponsorship was a priority. Therefore it was decided that due to the number of players both junior and senior that live on the island, the appropriate thing to do was to change the name of the club to Walney Island F.C. When it became apparent that the football club were looking for a move from the host club numerous clubs and pubs were interested in us joining their clubs. One of these clubs was the Vickerstown Cricket Club who invited our committee to have a look around their premises with a view to sponsorship. After a short meeting our committee decided that Vickerstown Cricket Club was the place for us to be based with them also offering to supply and sponsor kits, footballs and pay league fees etc. Therefore Nautical FC changed their name to Walney Island Football Club and has continued to be successful under the new name winning the double under the management team of Gary Bassett and Harold Samms.


Over the years we have had many good teams at the club, winning many honours but because we have remained in the local league many of our players have left the club to play for other local clubs to play in a higher standard of football. In addition to this with our strong junior set-up, our under 16's for the last four seasons have been league runners-up 3 times and champions once, we believe we should be offering them the opportunity to progress through our ranks in to the first team and play in the highest level of football possible. Therefore the committee decided for the club to progress it was the right time to apply for admission in to the West Lancashire League to take the club to the next level; this application has since been accepted.