Plymouth Argyle F.C.

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Plymouth Argyle F.C.
The initials "P.A.F.C" underneath a shield featuring a ship called the Mayflower in full sail.
Full name Plymouth Argyle Football Club
Nickname(s) The Pilgrims[1]
Founded 1886; 132 years ago (1886), as Argyle F.C.
Ground Home Park
Ground Capacity 17,800
Owner James Brent
Chairman James Brent
Manager Derek Adams
League League One
2016–17 League Two, 2nd (Promoted)
Website Club website
Current season

Plymouth Argyle Football Club is a professional football club based in the city of Plymouth, Devon, England. The club competes in League One, the third tier of the English football league system, following promotion from League Two in the 2016–17 season. It is one of two clubs in Devon currently competing in the Football League, the other being Exeter City, Argyle's local rivals.

Since becoming professional in 1903, the club has won five Football League titles (one Division Two and two Division Three), five Southern League titles and one Western League title. The 2009–10 season was the club's 42nd in the second tier of English football. The team set the record for most championships won in the third tier, having finished first in the Third Division South twice, the Third Division once and the Second Division once.

The club takes its nickname, "The Pilgrims", from an English religious group that left Plymouth for the New World in 1620. The club crest features the Mayflower, the ship that carried the pilgrims to Massachusetts. The club have predominantly played in green and white throughout their history, with a few exceptions in the late 1960s and early 1970s when white was the colour of choice. A darker, drab shade of green described as 'Argyle green' was adopted in the 2001-02 season, and has been used ever since[2]. The city of Plymouth is the largest in England never to have hosted top-flight football. They are the most southerly and westerly League club in England.



Outside view of the Devonport Stand

Home Park is the 37th biggest stadium in England.

The original ground of the professional club at Home Park was destroyed by German bombers during the Blitz on Plymouth in World War II. Having been rebuilt after the war, Home Park was largely demolished as part of an extensive process of renovation, and the first phase of a new stadium built by Barrs plc was completed in May 2002. The new Devonport End was opened for the 2001 Boxing Day fixture with Torquay United. The other end, the Barn Park End, opened on the same day. The Lyndhurst stand reopened on 26 January 2002 for the game against Oxford United. Plans are currently under discussion regarding the completion of the refurbishment of the ground with the replacement of the Mayflower stand. The ground is situated in Central Park, very near to the residential area of Peverell. Towards the end of the 2005–06 Championship season, the club decided to buy the stadium for £2.7 million from Plymouth City Council, releasing the ground from a 125-year lease. This purchase was concluded in December 2006.

In the summer of 2007, the club, having failed to persuade the UK authorities[3] of the case for retaining a standing terrace, decided to add 3,500 temporary seats to the Mayflower enclosure,[4] dropping the capacity to just under 20,000 from 20,922 (an exact figure is not yet available). In December 2009 it was announced that the stadium was to be one of 12 chosen to host matches during the World Cup 2018, should England's bid be successful.[5] The then Argyle chairman Paul Stapleton stated that work on a new South Stand at Home Park would start in 2010. However, England failed to be chosen for the 2018 tournament, and Plymouth Argyle entered administration in March 2011. After selling the stadium back to the council on 14 October 2011 for £1.6 million,[6] this project was in serious doubt.

The club was then taken over by local business owner James Brent, who submitted fresh plans to build a new Mayflower Grandstand with a 5,000 seating capacity, and an associated leisure complex. The plans include an ice rink with 1,500 spectator seats, a 10 screen cinema complex with an iMax screen, a 120 bedroom hotel and 4,200m sq retail units. Planning permission for the project was granted on 15 August 2013. The development was due to commence in September 2013, with demolition of the old stand planned for late October 2013 after the Portsmouth home match. As of June 2015 the plans have been withdrawn, though planning permission still remains.

The family section of the stadium was moved from block 1 of the Devonport End to the 'Zoo corner' between the Lyndhurst Stand and the Barn Park End, with a kids activities zone in the concourse.[7]

In January 2017, director Simon Hallett invested £5,000,000 into the club, along with all other directors exchanging previous loans into equity, with the intention on using the money for renovating the Mayflower Grandstand. No immediate timeframe was put on the renovations, but chairman James Brent indicated work is planned to start in 2018, finishing in 2020 ahead of the Plymouth 2020 Mayflower celebrations.[8]

Later that month, temporary seating was once again put in place on the Grandstand, this time as a one-off for an FA Cup 3rd round replay vs Liverpool.[9] The seating was kept in place for the next home match, a League 2 game vs Devon rivals Exeter City, but tickets were not on sale to the general public. Shortly after this game, the seating was removed.[10]


The club's traditional rivals are fellow Devon sides Exeter City and Torquay United; other rivalries exist with Bristol City, Bristol Rovers and Portsmouth. The rivalry with Portsmouth was heightened in May 2016, when the two teams met in the League 2 play off semi final, of which Argyle prevailed. The play-offs have also sprung up a mutual disliking of Wycombe Wanderers, after the 2014–15 play off loss.[11]

Although the rivalry with Exeter City has been blunted for a while due to a difference in divisions, Argyle's relegation into League One, coupled with Exeter City's survival, reignited the tensions. A distinct rivalry arose between Argyle and Luton Town after inflammatory comments made by Joe Kinnear who was manager of the Hatters during the 2001–02 promotion season, although this mutual antipathy has now somewhat abated.[citation needed] Similarly, after the departure of Ian Holloway to Leicester City in November 2007 a noticeable mutual dislike arose, culminating in Argyle's 0–1 victory at the Walkers Stadium in early February 2008 although this mutual antipathy has now similarly subsided.[12]

In the 1990s, Argyle had a rivalry with Burnley as the Clarets beat them in a Division Two (now League One) play-off semi-final in 1994, and relegated them on the last day of the season four years later. However, the rivalry has subsided over the past few years, especially after Burnley's promotion to the Premier League in 2014.


Current squad

As of 13 March 2018[13]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Netherlands GK Robbert te Loeke
2 Scotland DF Gary Miller
3 England DF Gary Sawyer (vice-captain)
4 Cameroon DF Yann Songo'o
5 England DF Ryan Edwards
6 Scotland MF Jamie Ness
7 England MF Antoni Sarcevic
8 England MF Lionel Ainsworth
9 Wales FW Simon Church
10 Republic of Ireland MF Graham Carey
11 Portugal MF Rúben Lameiras
14 England MF Moses Makasi (on loan from West Ham)
15 England DF Sonny Bradley
16 Jamaica MF Joel Grant
No. Position Player
17 Scotland DF Aaron Taylor-Sinclair
18 England DF Oscar Threlkeld
19 England FW Ryan Taylor
22 England DF Zak Vyner (on loan from Bristol City)
23 England GK Luke McCormick (captain)
24 England MF David Fox
25 Wales GK Kyle Letheren
26 England DF Jordan Bentley
27 England FW Alex Fletcher
30 Northern Ireland MF Paul Paton
31 England GK Michael Cooper
33 England MF Cameron Sangster
34 England GK Remi Matthews (on loan from Norwich City)

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
13 England FW Nathan Blissett (at Macclesfield Town until 1 June 2018)[14]
21 Scotland MF Gregg Wylde (at Morecambe until 1 June 2018)[15]
28 England DF Callum Rose (at Dorchester Town until 1 June 2018)[16]

Retired numbers

Reserves and Development squad

The club's reserve team, up to the end of the 2010–11 season, played in the Football Combination. The club also entered a team in the South Western League, but withdrew from that competition after one season in 2007. The club confirmed their withdrawal from the Football Combination on 27 June, alongside 18 other Football League clubs. The club will now arrange reserve fixtures on dates of their choice, rather than follow a fixture list.[18] Argyle had earlier withdrawn from the Combination in mid-season in 1981–82, for financial reasons.

The reserves' honours include the Southern League Championship in 1922, 1926, 1929, 1934 and its League Cup in 1933, 1934 and 1936; 1934 was the first Southern League Double.[19]

For the 2015–16 season, Argyle entered a team into the South West Peninsula League Division One West, with matches played at Seale-Hayne, dubbed 'Hodges Park' after club legend Kevin Hodges, outside Newton Abbot.[20] The side consists mainly of U-18 players, but occasionally includes senior players who are not getting first team football or who are returning from injury.[21]

After applying for promotion and finishing 2nd behind Mousehole, the reserves side were promoted to the Premier Division for the 2016–17 season. The team started playing their games at the home of the Devon FA, Coach Road, in Newton Abbot[22] and finished 6th in 2016–17.

As of 9 October 2017[23]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
31 England GK Michael Cooper
39 England GK Max Childs
England DF Harry Downing
England DF Elliott Crawford
England DF Harry Hodges
England DF Ryan Law
England DF Aaron Taylor
33 England MF Cameron Sangster
England MF Tom Purrington
No. Position Player
England MF Michael Peck
England MF Matt Ward
England MF Dan Rooney
England MF Rio Garside
England MF Adam Randell
England FW Alex Battle
England FW Luke Jephcott
England FW Billy Craske
England FW Aaron Goulty

Player of the Year

Noted former players

For details on former players who have a Wikipedia article, see: Category:Plymouth Argyle F.C. players.

Team of the century

For the centenary celebrations, an all-time best team of Plymouth Argyle players was chosen by fans of the club.[24]

1 England GK Jim Furnell
2 England DF Gordon Nisbet
3 England DF Jack Chisholm
4 Republic of Ireland DF Graham Coughlan
5 England DF Colin Sullivan
6 England MF Kevin Hodges
7 England MF Johnny Williams
8 England MF Garry Nelson
9 England FW Tommy Tynan
10 England FW Paul Mariner
11 Scotland MF Sammy Black

Manager: Scotland Paul Sturrock

World Cup players

The following players were chosen to represent their country at the FIFA World Cup while contracted to Plymouth Argyle.

Club officials

Boardroom positions

Position Name Nationality
Chairman: James Brent England English
Vice-Chairman: Simon Hallett England English[25]
Chief Executive: Martyn Starnes England English
Director: Richard Holliday England English
Director: Tony Wrathall England English
Director: John Morgan England English


Club officials

Position Name
Head of Operations: Jon Back
Head of Commercial Operations: James Greenacre
Head of Communications: Rick Cowdery
Club Secretary: Zac Newton
Executive PA: Sue Vallins


Coaching positions

First Team

Position Name Nationality
Manager: Derek Adams Scotland Scottish
Assistant Manager: Craig Brewster Scotland Scottish
First Team Coach: Paul Wotton England English
Goalkeeping Coach: Rhys Wilmot Wales Welsh
Head Physio: Paul Atkinson England English
Physiotherapist: Vicki Hannaford England English
Kitman: Neil Lunnon England English
Chief Scout: Greg Strong England English
Football Analyst: Matt Neil England English

Youth Team/Academy

Position Name Nationality
Academy Director: Kevin Hodges England English
Academy Manager: Phil Stokes England English
Head of Academy Coaching: Kevin Nancekivell England English
Professional Development Phase Coach 17–21: Shaun Taylor England English
Professional Development Phase Coach 17–21: Dan Thompson England English
Academy Goalkeeping Coach: Rhys Wilmot Wales Welsh
Academy Physiotherapist: Tom Hunter England English
Youth Administrator: Pete Bellamy England English

Managerial history


Plymouth Argyle's list of honours include the following.[28]

Honour Number Years
Football League Third Division South / Third Division / Second Division Champions (tier 3) 4 1929–30, 1951–52, 1958–59, 2003–04
Football League Third Division South / Third Division Runners-up (tier 3) 8 1921–22, 1922–23, 1923–24, 1924–25, 1925–26, 1926–27, 1974–75, 1985–86
Third Division Champions (tier 4) 1 2001–02
Football League Two Runners-up (tier 4) 1 2016–17
Football League Third Division Play-off winners (tier 4) 1 1995–96
Southern Football League Champions 1 1912–13
Southern Football League Runners-up 2 1907–08, 1911–12
Western Football League Champions 1 1904–05
Western Football League B Runners-up 1 1906–07
South West Regional League Champions 1 1939–40
Domestic Cups
FA Cup Semi-finalist 1 1983–84
Football League Cup Semi-finalist 2 1964–65, 1973–74


Club records


Most appearances

# Name Argyle career Appearances Goals
1 England Hodges, KevinKevin Hodges 1978–1992 620 87
2= Scotland Black, SammySammy Black 1924–1938 491 184
2= England Wotton, PaulPaul Wotton 1995–2008
491 66
4 Scotland Craig, FredFred Craig 1912–1915
467 5
5 England Williams, JohnnyJohnny Williams 1955–1966 448 55
6= England Hore, JohnnyJohnny Hore 1965–1975 441 17
6= England Jones, PatPat Jones 1947–1958 441 2
8 Republic of Ireland Evans, MichaelMichael Evans 1990–1997
432 81
9 England Leslie, JackJack Leslie 1921–1934 401 136
10 Wales Russell, MosesMoses Russell 1914–1915
400 6

Most goals

# Name Argyle career Goals Appearances Goal/game ratio
1 Scotland Black, SammySammy Black 1924–1938 184 491 2.668
2 England Carter, WilfWilf Carter 1957–1964 148 275 1.858
3 England Tynan, TommyTommy Tynan 1983–1985
145 310 2.137
4 England Leslie, JackJack Leslie 1921–1934 136 401 2.948
5 England Tadman, MauriceMaurice Tadman 1947–1955 112 253 2.258
6 England Vidler, JackJack Vidler 1929–1939 103 256 2.485
7 England Burch, FredFred Burch 1906–1915 92 239 2.597
8 England Hodges, KevinKevin Hodges 1978–1992 87 620 7.126
9 England Bowden, RayRay Bowden 1927–1933 85 153 1.800
10= England Dews, GeorgeGeorge Dews 1947–1955 81 271 3.345
10= Republic of Ireland Mickey Evans 1990–1997
81 432 5.333
12 England Bickle, MikeMike Bickle 1965–1971 71 179 2.521


The club's current sportswear manufacturer is Puma.[29] The club's main sponsor is Ginsters.[30] Shirt sponsorship was not introduced by the club until 1983.[31] Beacon Electrical were the first company to have their name on the shirt of Plymouth Argyle, but it lasted just one season. Ivor Jones Insurance was the next sponsor and their agreement with the club lasted for two seasons. National & Provincial (now merged with Abbey National) were sponsors for the 1986–87 season before the club signed an agreement with the Sunday Independent which would last for five seasons. Rotolok Holdings plc became the club's major sponsor in 1992, which was owned by then Pilgrims chairman Dan McCauley. This lasted for six seasons before the club linked up with local newspaper the Evening Herald. Between 2002 and 2011 the club was sponsored by Cornish pasty-makers Ginsters.[32] In 2011 with the club still in administration, local timber merchant WH Bond Timber sponsored Argyle's kits at first for the 2011–12 season and until the end of the 2013–14 season. Local construction access company LTC Group87 then sponsored Argyle from the start of the 2014–15 season, having their LTC Powered Access branch's logo on the shirts. Cornwall-based company Ginsters then came back for a second spell as main sponsor in the 2016–17 season.[33]

Period Sportswear Sponsor
1975–1976 Umbro None
1976–1978 Pilgrim
1978–1980 Bukta
1980–1982 Adidas
1982–1983 Pilgrim
1983–1984 Beacon Electrical
1984–1986 Ivor Jones Insurance
1986–1987 National & Provincial
1987–1990 Umbro Sunday Independent
1990–1992 Ribero
1992–1996 Admiral Rotolok
1996–1998 Super League
1998–1999 Errea Evening Herald
1999–2002 Patrick
2002–2003 Ginsters
2003–2005 TFG
2005–2009 Puma
2009–2011 Adidas
2011–2014 Puma WH Bond Timber
2014–2016 LTC Powered Access
2016 – Present Ginsters

See also

References and notes

  1. ^ "Plymouth Argyle". The Football League. 10 June 2011. Archived from the original on 2 March 2012. Retrieved 23 February 2012. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ No Standing Room | Plymouth Argyle Archived 15 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  4. ^ Sit, See and Hear | Plymouth Argyle Archived 26 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  5. ^ "Plymouth wins bid to host World Cup matches". This is Plymouth. 17 December 2009. Archived from the original on 5 May 2013. Retrieved 27 March 2012. 
  6. ^ BBC News | Plymouth Argyle Home Park stadium deal agreed Retrieved on 2 November 2011,
  7. ^ "Family Zone For All". Plymouth Argyle. 16 May 2013. Archived from the original on 11 February 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017. 
  8. ^ "Board Statement – Stadium Development". Plymouth Argyle. 5 January 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017. 
  9. ^ "Plymouth Argyle to install thousands of new seats making Liverpool match biggest for nine years". The Plymouth Herald. 13 January 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017. 
  10. ^ "Plymouth Argyle explain why temporary seats at Home Park won't be used for Devon Derby". The Plymouth Herald. 9 February 2017. Archived from the original on 9 February 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017. 
  11. ^ Fanning, Evan (28 January 2008). "Portsmouth 2 Plymouth Argyle 1: James keeps Pompey's hopes afloat". The Independent (London). Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  12. ^ Fanning, Evan (11 February 2008). "Leicester City 0 Plymouth Argyle 1: Holloway mulls legal action over Plymouth comments". The Independent (London). Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  13. ^ Profile, Player. "Plymouth Argyle FC Player Profiles". 
  14. ^ "Three New Signings for Macclesfield Town". 15 January 2018. Retrieved 15 January 2018. 
  15. ^ "Gregg Wylde: Morecambe sign midfielder on loan until the end of the season". 30 January 2018. Retrieved 30 January 2018. 
  16. ^ "Plymouth Argyle defender Callum Rose extends loan spell at Dorchester Town". 27 November 2017. Retrieved 31 December 2017. 
  17. ^ "Number 12". Plymouth Argyle. Retrieved 18 September 2010. Archived 28 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  18. ^ "Reserve withdrawal" Archived 30 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine.. Plymouth Herald. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
  19. ^ Edwards, Leigh (1993). The Official Centenary History of the Southern League. Halesowen: Paper Plane Publishing. p. 54. ISBN 1-871872-08-1. 
  20. ^ "Peninsula League approve Plymouth Argyle reserve ground switch"[permanent dead link]. Devon Live. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  21. ^ "Argyle home SWPL games at Bickleigh Barracks" Archived 26 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine.. Plymouth Herald. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  22. ^ "Plymouth Argyle reserves promotion hopes rest on finding new ground". 3 February 2016. [permanent dead link]
  23. ^ Profile, Player. "Plymouth Argyle FC Player Profiles". 
  24. ^ "Plymouth Argyle's Team of the Century". BBC. Archived from the original on 18 August 2004. Retrieved 18 August 2004. 
  25. ^ "Q&A with Simon Hallett". Plymouth Argyle. 18 May 2016. 
  26. ^ "Argyle Board of Directors". Plymouth Argyle. 22 July 2017. 
  27. ^ "Club Contacts". Plymouth Argyle. 
  28. ^ Achievements. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  29. ^ Adidas Agreement Archived 5 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  30. ^ "Sky's The Limit For Ginsters". Plymouth Argyle. 2 August 2016. Retrieved 24 October 2017. 
  31. ^ Historical Kits. Historical Kits. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  32. ^ "Ginsters extend Plymouth Argyle sponsorship". Football Shirt Culture. 19 April 2009. Retrieved 9 August 2015. 
  33. ^ "More Power to Argyle". Plymouth Argyle. 3 June 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2017. 
  • Official website
  • Plymouth Argyle archive
  • Plymouth Argyle at the Football League official website
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