There was a time when Halifax Town were one of five Football League clubs to have an “X” in their name.
Along with Exeter City, Oxford United, Wrexham and the one everybody forgot in Crewe Alexandra, the West Yorkshire club were a lower division mainstay for anyone who ever waited for news of their club’s results to come through on a Saturday afternoon.
Since the start of the 21st century, four of the five have spent time in non-league football and sadly in the case of Halifax Town, one has crashed out of existence before another rose from the wreckage to take their place.
Founded in 1911, The Shaymen played in the Football League from 1921–1993, again between 1998–2002; and in 2005-06 were moments away from a return to League Two.
This shirt by Erreà was one of the last to be worn in Halifax Town’s near 100 year history and although they wore the logo of Grand Central trains that day, this was the design worn by the Shaymen in the 2005-06 Conference Play-Off final at Leicester City’s Walkers Stadium.
Halifax, managed at that time by current Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder, were 10 minutes away from promotion before losing 3-2 to Hereford United after extra-time.
Unfancied at the start of that campaign, Town lost just one home game all season and finished the season 4th in the Conference as a buoyant team spirit in Wilder’s camp gave a fans a team to rally behind.
We believe the shirt we hold has been signed by Town’s then number ten, Lewis Killeen, who scored a cracker that day at Leicester, but we did have it on some decent authority that the autograph belonged to Chris Wilder himself.
Sadly following financial difficulties, Halifax Town were dissolved in 2008, but quickly returned to The Shay as the reborn FC Halifax Town, and are now back in English football’s fifth tier having begun their new life at the 8th level of the game.
Despite that agonising defeat in the Play-Off final, Halifax fans have fond memories of the side that wore this Erreà kit and its unconventional blue and white stripes.
As Twitter accounts like Charity Shop Finds will tell you, there’s a world of vintage football shirts available on your high street, and all for a good cause.
We picked up this Halifax Town shirt at our local hospice charity shop and immediately started trying to piece together the story behind it.
Whilst we must confess that the XXXL sizing is big even by our slightly more rotund than last year’s standards, intrigue got the better of us and we just couldn’t leave this one behind on the peg!
Tell us what bargains you find on your high street!