Like Rovers, Morecambe are relative newcomers to the football league, gaining promotion to League 2 for the first time in their history in 2007 under the management of Sammy McIlroy. Although the club were formed in 1920, they spent their first 48 years in the Lancashire Combination before starting the slow rise into the football league. They reached the League 2 play-offs in 2010 but, apart from this, have never finished in the top 10 in League 2.
However, this season may be one of hope for Morecambe fans. The club are sitting 4th in the league (just 2 points behind Rovers, having played one more game), having beaten some strong opponents. The season started brightly then was followed by a lull which included a 2-1 win for Rovers at Morecambe in October (Rovers went behind to a Leitch-Smith goal on 19 minutes before strikes from Jamille Matt & Jake Young in the 79th and 83rd minutes won the game).
Another strong spell for Morecambe in December and January has seen them win 9 of their last 16 games (losing 4 and drawing 3 during the same period). Their last outings have seen them beat Carlisle 3-1, Crawley 3-1 and Salford City 2-1 (all home games) and an away loss to Mansfield 1-0. Morecambe can boast away victories at Exeter, Cheltenham & Tranmere this season and so, clearly, can’t be underestimated. Morecambe’s defence may be a bit leaky (they’ve conceded 44 goals so far this campaign) but they have scored 47 times this season to offset this.
Morecambe have a run of games from early March which is likely to define their season. They began with the home win against Carlisle on March 6th, followed by the trip to Nailsworth on the 9th, then Newport (h), Harrogate (a), Cheltenham (h) & Cambridge (a). If they can negotiate this blizzard of fixtures against some of the league’s stronger sides, they then have 8 ‘easier’ games to finish their run-in.
One of Morecambe’s most influential players so far this season was on-loan Burnley midfielder, Adam Phillips. Phillips led Morecambe’s scorers with 10 goals and 7 assists this campaign. But Phillips moved to nearby Accrington Stanley (also on loan) at the beginning of February, so the current leading Morecambe marksmen are Carlos Mendes Gomes (11 goals), Aaron Wildig (8) and Cole Stockton (7).
Arguably, the appointment of manager, Derek Adams, in 2019 has been one of the biggest factors behind Morecambe’s resurgence. Adams took over with the club sitting rock-bottom of League 2. The appointment was a surprise, given that Adams had previously managed Plymouth Argyle and had overseen Plymouth’s promotion to League 1. A former Scottish PFA manager of the year in 2011 when in charge of Ross County, Adams seems to be doing a good job with Morecambe.
Morecambe have the distinction of never having been relegated in the history of the club. Even throughout the lower leagues Morecambe have never felt the heartache of dropping down a division. On some occasions, as part-timers, it wasn’t possible for them to be relegated in certain divisions, but it is still an impressive achievement! It’s an achievement they share with AFC Wimbledon of all the clubs in the top 4 divisions.
Morecambe suffered from a case of ‘cat-napping’ when they moved from their old stadium, Christie Park, to their new one, the Mazuma Stadium (formerly the Globe Arena), in 2010. They forgot their mascot, Christie the Cat, named after the old stadium. He was left locked up in a first aid room. A month after the move a man walked into the club shop offering to sell them the mascot costume! In the end, Christie was returned in good faith and has continued to perform his duties ever since.
Morecambe sits on the Lancashire coast, between Blackpool and the Lake District. Morecambe Bay is famous for its local delicacy – Morecambe Bay potted shrimps. Not surprising how the club got its nickname! The Bay is a huge sandy bay covering 310 square kilometres, making it the second largest bay in Britain after The Wash. Not only is it huge in size, Morecambe Bay is one of the most important wildlife sites in Europe, boasting abundant bird life and diverse marine habitats.
The town of Morecambe is an adopted home to one of boxing’s biggest names – Tyson Fury. Apparently it’s not uncommon to see Fury in Morecambe with his family, interacting with local residents.
Two of Morecambe’s most famous sons include actress Dame Thora Hird and the comedian Eric Morecambe. Morecambe was the home town of John Eric Bartholomew, who became known by his stage name of Eric Morecambe and who, with partner Ernie Wise, became the country’s most famous comedy double act until Morecambe’s death in 1984.