Formed 1881. Wound up 1936.
Founder members of Division Three (North) 1921. Failed re-election 1931.
Club historians believe that the original Nelson FC was formed after enthusiasts determined to form their own team after watching a local Lancashire derby between Burnley and Blackburn Rovers. In 1889, Nelson became founder members of the Lancashire League but in 1899 the club was disbanded following an enquiry by the Lancashire FA into disorder at an FA Cup match at Southport Central. A few months later the club was reconstituted and admitted to the North East Lancashire League. In 1916 this incarnation of the club went into liquidation after the bailiffs were called in.
When the Great War ended, Nelson reformed and joined the Central League where they competed against a considerable number of reserve sides from the Football League. When Division Three (North) was formed in 1921, Nelson were one of four Central League clubs invited to take part without having to apply for election.
In 1923 Nelson won promotion to Division Two, having won the Division Three (North) championship and, in celebration, organised a tour of Spain during which they beat Real Madrid 4-2!
After only one year playing at the higher level, Nelson were relegated. Over the next three seasons, the Blues finished in respectable positions but in 1928 they finished rock bottom and had to apply for re-election. They survived on this occasion but were not so fortunate in 1931. Having finished 11 points adrift at the foot of the table, Nelson tied with Chester on 33 votes in the first ballot only to be defeated in the second.
In August 1936, having incurred heavy losses playing in the Lancashire Combination, Nelson was wound up. A new club known as Nelson Town was immediately formed and played in local competition until the outbreak of the Second World War. After the war the club, now Nelson FC, returned to the Lancashire Combination and continued to play in non-League competition for the next 74 years.
After years of financial struggle, Nelson resigned from the North-West Counties League on 15 July 2010 and shortly afterwards, this fourth incarnation of the club was also wound up.
- (a) Nelson FC