Walsall
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Walsall Odds

As a member of the English Football League, Walsall odds are commonly bet on. As a member of League One, a division renowned for its nature of being hard to predict, Walsall relegation odds are equally as popular as odds on Walsall to get promoted.

In matches of great significance, like promotion clashes, relegation battles or matches against rivals, many bookmakers offer a variety of promotions for Walsall matches. For example, odds on Walsall v Shrewsbury Town can be enhanced for a particular side to win, allowing bettors to make more profit or win free bets when betting on these odds. Bookmakers such as Paddy Power and SkyBet offer enhanced odds or price boosts regularly.

Walsall betting odds are common in terms of match play, with both pre match and inplay betting popular, but there are also bookmakers who offer odds on what happens behind the scenes. Walsall transfer odds and Walsall manager odds are two of these ‘off the pitch’ markets available on a regular basis.

History

Walsall are a professional football club located in the town of Walsall in the West Midlands. Known as the Saddlers, the club are one of few sides who have never played top flight English football. The 2018/2019 season saw Walsall start in the country’s third tier, League One.

The history of Walsall Football Club starts in 1888. Two existing football clubs in the town of Walsall, Walsall Town FC and Walsall Swifts FC, merged to form Walsall Town Swifts. Both Town and Swifts played their home matches at the Chuckery, and the merged team continued to play there.

Walsall Town Swifts began playing in the Midland Association League for the 1888/1889 season, before moving to the Football Alliance for the following campaign. The club spent three years playing in the Football Alliance, before becoming founder members of the Football League Second Division in 1892.

The club moved from the Chuckery to the West Bromwich Road stadium the following year, and finished in tenth place in the Second Division. However, the following season they finished third from bottom in the division, and their application for re-election was refused. The club returned to the Midland League for the 1895/1896 season.

The club changed the Walsall stadium location again during this period, moving to Hilary Street which later became Fellows Park. In 1896, the club changed its name too, renaming themselves as Walsall Football Club, how we know them today.

The club were eventually re-elected to the Football League for the 1896/1897 season, and rejoined the Second Division. At the turn of the century, though, the club lost its place in the Football League and once again were turned down in their bid to be re-elected.

The club rejoined the Midland League for a third time, before moving to the Birmingham District League for the 1903/1904 season. Walsall remained in this league for eight seasons, before election to the Southern League in 1910. After returning to the Birmingham District League, the club then became founder members of the newly created Football League Third Division North in 1921.

In total, the club spent 31 seasons in the Third Division, alternating between the Third Division North and the Third Division South. For the 1959/1960 season, the Football League divisions were reorganised and the Third Division North and Third Division South became a Third Division and Fourth Division, with the teams involved in each not dependant on geographical location. Walsall were awarded a place in the Football League Fourth Division.

The following season, Walsall eased to the Fourth Division title, in the process securing promotion to the Third Division. Back to back promotions were achieved when a second place finish saw Walsall return to the Second Division for the first time since 1901.

The club’s time back in the Second Division was short lived however. In the 1962/1963 season, after just two seasons in the second tier, the club succumbed to relegation, returning to the Third Division.

Walsall spent sixteen consecutive seasons in the third tier. During this period in the Third Division, the club rarely threatened the clubs at the top of the table, instead spending much of their time fighting relegation. Just as the club looked like they were starting to find some improvement, with three top eight finishes in four seasons, Walsall finished in 22nd place in the 1978/1979 season, culminating in relegation back to the Fourth Division.

Walsall immediately bounced back, though, finishing in second place. Two close calls with relegation followed, but Walsall managed to keep their place in the Third Division.

The 1980’s saw Walsall become an established Third Division side. The club also reached the semi finals of the League Cup in the 1983/1984 season, narrowly losing out to Liverpool. 

In 1986, there were plans to relocate the club to Birmingham, with a groundshare with Birmingham City part of these plans. Terry Ramsden bought the club and his investment meant Walsall could stay in their home town.

Walsall earned promotion in the 1987/1988 season, beating Bristol City in the Third Division playoffs to seal a return to the Second Division. However, the following season serious financial problems hit the club, almost forcing Walsall to fold. The businesses of owner Terry Ramsden collapsed and Walsall were almost folded, but were saved by Barrie Blower and a number of local businessmen.

Following this near miss with becoming defunct, Walsall suffered two relegations in two seasons. Finishing bottom of the table in both the Second Division in 1989 and the Third Division in 1990, the club returned to the Fourth Division for the 1990/1991 campaign.

In 1990, Walsall moved home once again, to the newly constructed Bescot Stadium which is the home of Walsall Football Club today. 

Walsall spent five seasons in the Fourth Division, during which time the Football League divisions were renamed. Following the introduction of the Premier League for the 1992/1993 season, the Second Division became Division One, the Third Division Division Two and the Fourth Division Division Three.

In the 1994/1995 season, a second place finish in Division Three saw the club promoted. This promotion was followed by a further promotion in the 1998/1999 season, sending the club up into Division One.

The club were immediately relegated, but bounced back straight away. Walsall, however, struggled to adapt to life back in Division One, with an 18th and 17th place finish preceding a 22nd position finish resulting in demotion to the third tier. This relegation was a surprise, Walsall had started the season in great form but after the turn of the year, Walsall’s form dramatically dropped, and the club were relegated by just one goals.

In 2004, the Football League divisions were rebranded once more. Division One became the Championship, Division Two League One and Division Three League Two. As such, Walsall started the 2004/2005 season in League One.

A further relegation hit the club the following season. After finishing bottom of the League One table, the club were demoted to League Two.  However, once again Walsall bounced back immediately, winning the League Two title.

Walsall have spent the previous nine seasons in League One. The club came very close to earning promotion to the Championship in the 2015/2016 season, but were defeated by Barnsley in the playoff semi final. The 2018/2019 season saw Walsall take part in League One.

Crest

The current Walsall football crest features a swift flying upwards, contained in a red and black circle. The club’s name is printed around the top left of the circle. 

This Walsall football badge was introduced in 2007. The previous badge was a shield shape, and featured an image of a swift with the team name and date of the club’s formation printed in banners above and below this bird.

The swift has always been associated with the club, although the club nickname is the Saddlers, representing the leather industry of the town of Walsall. In previous versions of the Walsall badge, the swift has been shown flying in a downwards direction, and in 1995 the swift was shown flying up.

Colours

Walsall colours are traditionally red and white. However, the club have worn a variety of colours and styles since they were formed in 1888.

In Walsall Town Swifts first season, the kit consisted of a red and white striped shirts, worn with white shorts and red shorts. For the following campaign, the club wore chocolate brown shirts, worn with white shorts and chocolate brown shorts.

In 1892, the Walsall kit colours changed again. Now the kit featured a half red half white shirt, worn with dark blue shorts and dark blue socks. This kit was worn until 1896, although on occasion the shirt was changed to a half red half blue design.

In 1896, the club shirt colour changed to white. From 1897 to 1901, the Walsall kit colours consisted of white shirts, black shorts and black socks.

The Walsall kit was changed completely again in 1901. This Walsall kit consisted of light blue shirts with white shorts and dark blue socks.

From 1903 to 1909, the Walsall players wore blue and yellow striped shirts, with white shorts and dark blue socks.

The club reverted to red shirts in the 1909/1910 season. This shirt featured an image of a white swallow. Black shorts and black socks were worn until the following campaign. The Walsall shirt changed to red with white sleeves, worn with white shorts and red socks.

From 1920 to 1950, Walsall Football Club adopted the colours of claret and blue. Claret shirts with blue sleeves, white shorts and black socks were worn from 1920 to 1928, when the sock colour changed to claret and blue hoops. In 1939, Walsall players wore claret and blue hooped shirts, with black shorts and claret and blue hooped socks until the colours of red and white returned in 1950.

From 1950 to 1965, the Walsall kit consisted of red shirts worn with white shorts and predominantly white socks that featured on occasion red and white hoops.

In 1965, the kit colours were reversed. The Walsall players wore white shirts with red shorts and white socks, in a kit design that lasted until 1977 when red shirts were reintroduced.

From 1977 to 1987, the Walsall kit consisted of red shirts with white shorts and white socks, though green and blue featured occasionally on the kit. An all white kit was introduced in 1987, and replaced with a red shirt white shorts red socks design in 1989.

In 1992, the colour black was reintroduced. First used as the socks colour, it became the shorts colour also in 1994.

Walsall began to wear an all red strip in 2001. This kit lasted for four years. White was brought back as a shorts colour in 2005.

The 2018/2019 Walsall kit consists of a red shirt, worn with red shorts and red socks.

Walsall Stadium

The Walsall stadium is called the Bescot Stadium. Built in 1990, the Walsall stadium capacity is currently 11,300.

The Walsall stadium layout features the Tile Choice Stand, formerly known as the Gilbert Alsop Stand, the Homeserve Main Stand, the WFC Community Stand and the Family Stand.

For sponsorship reasons, the Bescot Stadium is also known as Bank’s Stadium.

The Bescot Stadium is the fourth home in Walsall stadium history. The first was the Chuckery, used from 1888 until 1893. Then, the club moved to West Bromwich Raod and in 1896 Walsall moved to Fellows Park. Fellows Park hosted Walsall home match for 94 years, before the move to the Bescot Stadium in 1990.

Supporters

The majority of Walsall supporters hail from the town of Walsall and other parts of the West Midlands. There are various Walsall supporters clubs, including the Walsall Football Supporters Trust.

Walsall supporters enjoy rivalries with fellow West Midlands side Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Bromwich Albion. Rivalries with Shrewsbury Town and Port Vale have also grown throughout Walsall history.

Ownership

The current Walsall owner is Jeff Bonser. Bonser has been a controversial figure amongst Walsall supporters, and due to supporter criticism Bonser didn’t attend any home fixtures for over five years. Jeff Bonser bought the club in 1992, saving it from receivership.

Other members of the Walsall board of directors are Richard Tisdale, Roy Whalley, Nigel Bond, Peter Gilman, Stefan Gamble, Leigh Pomlett, Daniel Mole and Robert Bonser.

Stats

The list of Walsall stats start with the club’s all time record appearance maker. That accolade goes to Jimmy Walker, who made 534 appearances for Walsall over two spells at the club, firstly from 1993 to 2004 and then from 2010 to 2012.

The clubs all time record goalscorer is Alan Buckley. Buckley scored 202 goals for Walsall across two spells at the club, between 1973 and 1978 and then again from 1979 to 1984.

Gilbert Alsop holds the record for both most goals scored in a single season and most hattricks scored as a Walsall player. Alsop scored 40 goals in both the 1933/1934 and 1934/1935 seasons, and netted 22 hattricks in his Walsall career.

Walsall’s record victory is 10-0, a result achieved against Darwen in the Second Division in 1899. The club’s record defeat came in the Second Division in 1892, when Small Heath beat them 12-0.

The highest home attendance a Walsall side has played in front of is 25,453. This number of spectators watched Walsall play Newcastle United in the Second Division in 1961, when Walsall played at Fellows Park. The record at the Bescot Stadium is 11,049, a crowd figure achieved in 2004 in Division One against Rotherham United.

Walsall’s record transfer signing is Andreas Makris. Makris cost the club £300,000 from Anorthosis Famagusta in 2016. The highest transfer fee Walsall have ever received is £1 million, a fee paid by Coventry City for Scott Dann in 2008.

Walsall Players

The current Walsall players list consists of 31 members of the first team squad, supported by the Walsall Youth and Reserves teams.

The current Walsall player of the year is Joe Edwards.

Notable ex Walsall players include Gilbert Alsop, Bill Guttridge, Tony Richards, Colin Taylor, David Kelly, Michael Ricketts, Adrian Viveash and Anthony Gerrard.

Walsall Manager

The current Walsall manager is Dean Keates. Keates took over the Walsall manager position in March 2018, replacing Jon Whitney. Whitney had been caretaker boss of the club from November to December in 2015, before Sean O’Driscoll was appointed on a permanent basis, and took the job permanently after O'Driscoll left the club.

The longest serving man in Walsall manager history is Bill Moore. Moore took charge of 332 matches from 1957 to 1963.

The Walsall manager with the highest win percentage is C.H. Aislo. Aislo held the position of secretary manager from 1895 to 1896, winning 19 of his 31 matches in charge giving him a win percentage of 61.29%.

Honours

The Walsall honours list consists of two fourth tier title (1959/1960 and 2006/2007); two third tier runner up positions (1960/1961 and 1998/1999); two third tier playoff wins (1987/1988 and 2000/2001); four Birmingham Senior Cup wins, four Staffordshire Senior Cup wins and one Walsall Senior Cup win. 

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