In the spotlight: FC Halifax Town

Fact File

Full Name: FC Halifax Town

Year Formed: 2008

Nickname: The Shaymen

Stadium: The Shay

Capacity: 14,401

2021/22 Finish: Fourth in the National League

Review of the 2021/22 season

Despite the loss of some quality players in the summer, FC Halifax Town set their sights on at least making the play-offs. Pete Wild’s side burst out of the starting blocks and were keeping pace with Boreham Wood, Chesterfield and Grimsby Town. A draw at the Technique Stadium at the end of 2021 kept them level on points with the Spireites at the top of the table. The Shaymen made it to the FA Cup second round as well as the FA Trophy fifth round – getting knocked out by Kidderminster Harriers and Notts County respectively. Halifax continued to stay within striking distance of first place until the last stretch of the season as Stockport County and Wrexham pulled away from the pack. Solihull Moors stole the last automatic play-off semi-final place on the last day of the season. They welcomed Chesterfield to The Shay, but Paul Cook’s side provided a top-quality performance to advance in the National League play-offs and knock Halifax out.

Manager – Chris Millington

Chris Millington had a brief playing career with stints at clubs around Manchester before transitioning into coaching. He used the early years of his coaching career once more having spells at Manchester-based clubs. After spending some time in Croatia, Millington joined Oldham Athletic as a coach in the academy. He became assistant-manager to Pete Wild at the Latics for 17 games during the 2018/19 season. He followed Wild to FC Halifax Town in 2019 and spent three years as his assistant at The Shay. Following Wild’s departure to Barrow following the conclusion of the 2021/22 season, Millington was awarded with the opportunity to manage the Shaymen – his first professional managerial job.

Chris Millington

Star Player – Matty Warburton

Matty Warburton is a player that many clubs in the National League system will be used to – especially in and around the Manchester area. After a two-year spell at Northampton Town, he joined FC Halifax Town in the summer of 2021. For an attacking midfielder, Warburton has always had very good goal to game ratio, and he looked to continue that at The Shay. After Jack Earing left for Walsall in that summer, Warburton showed why he can be one of the best players in the National League. The 30-year-old scored 14 goals in 48 appearances as Halifax made the National League play-offs – he also scored in both regular season league games against Chesterfield.

Matty Warburton

Overall Head-to-head Record

P9   W3   D2   L4

Chesterfield and FC Halifax Town have always taken part in closely contested games – with the three games last season providing a win for each side and a draw. Jack Clarke’s late equaliser saw the teams get a share of the spoils at the Technique Stadium. Goals from Jordan Slew and Matty Warburton gave the Shaymen the three points in Yorkshire. However, Danny Rowe and Jeff King sent the Spireites on their way to a vital 2-1 win in the National League play-offs.

Played for both – Jeff King

Jeff King is a player that has really endeared himself to both clubs during his spells at FC Halifax Town and Chesterfield. He joined the former in 2019 after stints in the Football League, non-league and Scottish Premiership. King played in a couple of positions including out on the wing and as a wing-back. The versatile player saw the best of his form at The Shay in his second season, scoring seven goals in 38 appearances as Halifax just missed out on the National League play-offs. He joined Chesterfield in the summer of 2021 and immediately became a fans’ favourite. King scored six goals in a successful season that saw the Spireites make the play-offs – he scored against his former club, Halifax, in the 2-1 eliminator win at The Shay.

Jeff King