West Midlands Police

Tally Ho, Pershore Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B5 7RD

The West Midlands Police Football Club was formed in 1974, following the re-organisation of police forces countrywide. The core of the club was founded from the Birmingham City Police team whose competitive history began in the Wednesday League in 1928. Immediately following the Second World War the team moved to the Mercian League and remained there until 1953 whereupon they joined the Birmingham AFA Works League and enjoyed considerable success. They won both the Black and White and Aston Villa Cups before claiming three successive League Championship between 1961 and 1964.

The club moved to the Midland Combination in 1969 but success eluded them at first. However, the 1974 re-organisation of police forces gave the new team a larger pool of players from which to select and success was immediate in the 1974/75 season with a 2-1 win over Smethwick Highfield in the Challenge Cup Final. The following season saw the team claim the Tony Allden Memorial Cup a feat, which was repeated in 1994. During that 20-year period the team won the Worcestershire Senior Urn on three occasions and reached the final in all three competitions on a number of occasions.

The highlight of the club's twenty-five-year stay in the Midland Combination was winning the League Championship in 1990/91, an achievement that included a run of 27 games without defeat. West Midlands Police were consistently one of the top teams in the Combination and finished third on four occasions and runners-up in 1993/94, which was their final season in the Combination before becoming founder members of the Midland Football Alliance.

An important competition for police footballers is the Police Athletic Association Cup, which is competed for by the 50 plus police forces of the United Kingdom. The West Midlands have won the trophy on five occasions following on from the earlier successes of the Birmingham City Police. The team last collected the cup in 1991/92 when they defeated the Royal Ulster Constabulary at Highfield Road, Coventry. They were the losing finalists in 1993/94 and 1994/95 and have reached the latter stages of the competition on a regular basis in recent years. Season 2001/2002 saw the team knock out the Metropolitan Police in the semi-final, a major achievement, as they had been undefeated in the competition for six years culminating in a 3-0 defeat to Fife Police in the final at Glenrothes in Scotland in 2002.

Players also have the opportunity to play for the English Police and British Police representative teams. Many West Midlands players have done so over the years, including current squad members Paul Shaw, Darren Carmell, Ollie Latchford, Mark Bellingham, Andy Reece, Carl Hancox, Ian Millward, Mike Mason and Ben Smith.

We also have strong links with the Queens Royal Hussars with whom we compete annually for the Hyderabad Trophy, a trophy that also currently sits in our cabinet. This is a very proud connection we have with the Hussars and something that we wish to keep going for the future.

The club also enters the prestigious F.A. Vase, the highlight of which was a quarter-final appearance in the 1991/92 season. We also reached the Third Round Proper (last 64 clubs) of the F.A. Vase in the 1999/2000 season when we travelled north to visit Crook Town and on a snowbound pitch we lost the tie 3-1. We have also participated in the F.A. Cup for many years although we are not currently eligible to enter the competition. In 1994 we were proud to be inaugural members of the Midland Football Alliance, finishing eleventh in that first season. Our fortunes fluctuated throughout a seven-year stay with seasons 1997/98 and 1998/99 providing our best placed finishes of eighth and ninth respectively. The latter of those two seasons also saw us lose narrowly to Oldbury United in the final of the Midland Alliance League Challenge Cup.

Following relegation from the Midland Alliance in season 2000-2001, our form in the Midland Football Combination has been very inconsistent and our only notable achievement has been a semi-final victory over the Metropolitan Police in the 2001/2002 National Police Athletic Association Cup. We lost 3-0 away to Fife Police in the Final. At the end of the 2003/04 season the club saw the retirement of Manager, Jim Scott, Secretary, John Black and Player/Treasurer Peter Grimshaw.

Following Jim Scott's retirement Rob Sutton and Ron Harvey took over the First team together with ex players Dave Scriven (Secretary) and Gez Moore (Vice-Chairman) they tried in vain to keep the side in the Premier Division. Unfortunately the team finished bottom. With the reserves finishing mid-table in the Second Division the season 2005/06 saw the club fold the reserves and one team is to run in the Midland Combination First Division.

At the end of the 2003/04 season the club the team finished bottom of the Premier Division, resulting in relegation and the folding of the Reserves. It is hoped that in time the club will be able to attract the players available from the Police who currently play elsewhere and one day the team will be able to compete at a higher level.

WMPFC play their home matches at Tally Ho, an impressive complex in the shadow of the famous Edgbaston cricket ground.

More recently, there has been a fresh optimism with a new management structure in place and with a high quality of player recruited. The club finished in 7th position in a competitive division and we now have the drive and renewed passion to mould the new squad together for a successful season.

Previous club Captain Ben Smith has also represented the Midland Combination League in the FA National League System Final at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry where they narrowly missed out on penalties to the Southern Amateur League and the chance to represent England in the UEFA Nations Cup.

Sadly, the Club was disbanded in 2014

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