Club history

WITH changes in the factory name the football team has followed suit, being known at various times as Vickers-Armstrong, de Havilands, Hawker Siddeley, British Aerospace, BAe Systems and Airbus UK. The club is now firmly established as Airbus UK Broughton and, until the end of the 2003/04 season, played its football in the Huws-Gray Fitlock Cymru Alliance, the second tier of the Welsh soccer pyramid.

The club was formed 1946 and has played in both Chester & District League and the Welsh National League (Wrexham area). Their last move, into the Welsh pyramid system, saw them canter to the Welsh National League (Wrexham area) Division Two title during the 1991/92 season winning it by a clear nineteen points from Gresford Athletic Reserves. In that season they won 28 of their 34 matches and scored a remarkable 130 goals, an average of almost four goals per game. They also reached the NEWFA Challenge Cup final losing narrowly to Gresford Athletic.

They then spent four seasons in Division One, the first two seasons finishing sixth then, in third season, two places better in fourth. Season 1995/96 saw a further promotion, finishing runners-up behind Wrexham Colts at the end of the campaign: enough to see them move into the Premier Division of the Welsh National League along with the divisional champions.

Once again they spent four seasons at that level, the first two witnessing steady consolidation, finishing seventh and sixth respectively. In 1998/99, the side pushed hard for the championship but could only finish runners-up once again, a mere two points behind eventual champions Corwen Amateurs.

At last, in 1999/2000, British Aerospace went one better and won the title with 21 victories from thirty matches, finishing their programme four points ahead of Ruthin Town and Penycae. This success meant promotion once again, into the Cymru Alliance league and to coincide with the promotion the club changed its name from British Aerospace to Airbus UK.

Their first season in the Cymru Alliance was something of a struggle, eventually finishing in a creditable eleventh place with ten wins and fourteen defeats. Unfortunately, the campaign was badly affected by the outbreak of ‘foot and mouth’ disease which disrupted much of life in Wales.

Continuing the pattern seen after previous promotions, the second term saw a steady improvement and in the 2001/02 Airbus UK finished in eighth spot with sixteen wins. The club was clearly ambitious and again showed signs of progress in the 2002/03 season, achieving their highest ever finish of fifth spot in the Cymru Alliance and reaching the NEWFA Challenge Cup final, losing narrowly on penalties.

2003/04 was tremendously successful when Airbus UK took the Cymru Alliance title with considerable ease, winning it by nineteen clear points from closest rivals Buckley Town, and thus gained promotion to the national competition, the Welsh Premier.

‘The Wingmakers’ as they are known carried out steady improvements to their ground sited just inside the massive Airbus Works in Broughton, near Chester. A new stand was built with a pavilion incorporating changing rooms being completed early in 2004 and this year another impressive stand has been constructed on the opposite side of the ground. The pitch has been enclosed and is surrounded by hard standing. Floodlights were installed in time for the beginning of the 2004/05 season in the Welsh Premier League.

In 1992, the club introduced a reserve side which still operates in the Welsh National League (Wrexham Area), and is well established in Division One, winning the Division One Cup in both 2000/01 and 2001/02 seasons.

The first two seasons in the Welsh Premier League were a bit of a struggle as Airbus UK came to terms with the higher standards. The club battled hard to avoid relegation and appointed the former Wrexham midfielder Gareth Owen as player-manager following two seasons at nearby Connah’s Quay Nomads.

Performances have gradually improved and The Wingmakers finished 12th in 2006/07 earning a spot in the FAW Premier Cup for the first time. Last season was the club’s best-ever in the Welsh Premier as eleven victories and 42 points saw them finish in 11th place.

Gareth Owen moved to Rhyl during the 2008 close season and the former Middlesbrough player Craig Harrison has taken over the managerial reins having previously been assistant to Owen at The Airfield.

Photo: How the Airfield looked in the club's final Cymru Alliance season.