The first Burscough Association Football Club was formed in 1880, playing in Liverpool & District League football before folding in 1900.
In 1905 Burscough Rangers were founded and moved to the present Mart Lane ground in 1908. They established many of the traditions carried on by the current club, playing in green and known as the Linnets. In the 1920s they had tremendous success winning the Liverpool County Combination Championship three times.
In 1926 Rangers purchased a grandstand from Everton and erected it on Victoria Park. The following year they joined the Lancashire Combination but never experienced the same level of success and began to run into financial difficulties, finally folding in 1935.
Following the Second World War the present Burscough club was founded in 1946, starting life in the Liverpool County Combination and by the end of the decade had made a major impact in the non-league soccer world. In only their second season, 1946/47, they achieved a unique treble, winning the Lancashire Junior Cup, George Mahon Cup and the Liverpool Challenge Cup.
Two years later they again claimed the Junior Cup and also won the County Combination title for the first time. In 1952 they won the Liverpool Challenge Cup for a second time.
In 1953/54 Burscough joined the Lancashire Combination winning the Second Division Championship in their first season and scoring 155 goals in the process. 1955/56 saw arguably the club’s greatest ever achievement as they won the First Division Championship of a league containing giants of the non-league world such as Wigan Athletic. Another milestone was reached in 1959 when they reached the First Round Proper of the F.A. Cup for the first time before going down 3-1 to Crewe Alexandra in front of a 4,200 gate at Victoria Park.
Another trophy winning spell commenced in 1966/67 season under manager Bobby Langton, the former England winger, as the club completed a hat trick of Junior Cup successes against South Liverpool at Wigan. The Lancashire Combination First Division title was regained in 1969/70 season.
In 1970/71 Burscough joined the Cheshire County League, finishing runners-up to Rossendale United. The following season they won the Liverpool Non-League Senior Cup and in 1974/75 the Cheshire League Cup was lifted. The Linnets also reached the F.A. Cup First Round Proper on three other occasions. In 1977, a 1 -0 defeat at Blyth Spartans, in 1979, a 3-0 defeat at Sheffield United in front of 14,000 spectators and in 1980, a 2-1 defeat against Altrincham.
In 1982 the Club became founder members of the North West Counties Football League and had the distinction of becoming the Leagues first ever Champions under Bryan Griffiths. A new grandstand seating 250 was built in 1986 to replace the old wooden stand which had stood for 60 years and no longer met ground safety regulations.
In 1989/90 season Burscough were to suffer their first ever relegation, however, the appointment of Russ Perkins as manager in 1991 was to bring about a change in the club’s fortunes as Burscough reached the League Cup Final and gained promotion back to Division One.
In 1992/93 Burscough lost 2-1 to Conference bound Southport in the Liverpool Senior Cup Final at Goodison Park before 2,000 spectators. Success was achieved by winning the League Challenge Cup with a 2-1 victory over Nantwich Town. 1993/94 was one of the most eventful seasons in Burscough’s history as three players, Gary Martindale, Kevin Formby and Alex Russell, joined Football League clubs for substantial fees. Further covered standing accommodation for 500 spectators was erected at Victoria Park during the close season.
In May 1995, Burscough appointed John Davison as Manager. In his first season Burscough went on to win the League Challenge Cup for the second time, beating League Champions Flixton 1-0 at Bury. In 1996/97 season the club celebrated its Golden Jubilee with a dinner attended by nearly 200 former players and officials and also published a 320 page club history, ‘Green Village Heroes.’ Frank Parr completed 50 years with the Club and was presented with The Football Association 50 Year Long Service Award.
The following season after finishing runners-up in the North West Counties League the club made history by being promoted to the Unibond League. They also won the League Floodlit Trophy and reached the final of the Liverpool Senior Cup against Liverpool.
Promotion to the dizzy heights of the Unibond League Premier Division in 1999/2000 season exceeded most supporters wildest dreams as Burscough went through the season unbeaten away from home and lost only two games in total. In 2000/01 season the Linnets won the Liverpool Senior Cup for the first ever time after beating Conference side Southport.
The club has a youth development programme second to none in the non-league game and one graduate, 19 year old Lee McEvilly, signed for Rochdale in December 2001 for a club record £20,000 fee. Within 116 days of signing McEvilly had won full international honours for Northern Ireland against Spain.
Following the resignation of John Davison the club appointed Shaun Teale as player/manager in May 2002 and the ex-Aston Villa defender went on to sensationally lead the club to its greatest ever achievement as Burscough became the smallest club to ever win the FA Trophy following a tremendous 2-1 victory over Tamworth at Villa Park on Sunday 18th May 2003.
Played in front of a crowd of 14,296 spectators and televised live on Sky it was the Linnet’s twelfth game in an unforgettable cup run that had included one incredible result as the 400-1 outsiders shocked the non-league world by beating runaway Conference winners Yeovil Town 2-0 at Huish Park in the quarter-finals.
There were incredible scenes as almost 2,000 fans welcomed the team home to Victoria Park that evening but celebrations were dampened less than six weeks later as the club found it necessary to relinquish Teale of his managerial duties. Former Liverpool, Galatasary and West Ham United midfielder Mike Marsh was appointed manager but after a poor start to the season Marsh resigned and ex-Southport defender Derek Goulding took over in October 2003.
An incredible end to 2003/04 season saw Burscough finish with a remarkable run of victories that saw them claw their way out of the bottom three into the play-offs for Conference North. Despite playing all their games away from home the Linnets went on to reach the play-off final where they only went down at Bradford Park Avenue following extra-time.
During the summer Frank Parr stepped down after 30 years as chairman with local businessman Chris Lloyd taking over at the helm. The following season ended in controversy as the Linnets were denied a play-off place following a widely ridiculed decision to award three points for unplayed games against Spennymoor United who could not complete their fixtures.
Season 2005/06 was another historic one for Burscough F.C. as they went on to reach the Second Round proper of the F.A. Cup for the first time in their history. In reaching that milestone they defeated League One side Gillingham 3-2 on a never to be forgotten day at Victoria Park. Further excitement was to follow as a postponed 2nd round tie at Burton Albion allowed Burscough to appear in the Third round draw. That draw, should they have overcome Burton Albion, would have given the Linnets a home tie against the mighty Manchester United. Sadly that further dream never materialised as Burton Albion overcame the Linnets in the re-arranged tie.
Having started the season impressively, with Burscough being amongst the favourites for promotion, the season unfortunately never quite reached the heights of the F.A. Cup run and long term injuries to key players meant the team finished 7th. Derek Goulding`s tenure as manager ended in June 2006 when he was replaced by former Southport manager, Liam Watson. The 2006/07 season was Burscough F.C`s Diamond Jubilee and one of the ways the club marked the event was by playing in a predominantly white kit with a specially designed badge.
The season was one of the most succesful in history when the Linnets won the Unibond Northern Premier Division and the Lancashire Co-Op Trophy, formerly the Lancashire Junior Cup, for the first time in 40 years when neighbours Marine were defeated. The league success was only confirmed after a thrilling climax. On the last day of the season the Linnets won at A.F.C. Telford United in front of nearly 6,000 fans.
The victory meant they overhauled the New Bucks Head side at the top of the table and won the title on goal difference by just 1 goal from Witton Albion. Further and final success came when Unibond First Division champions Buxton were defeated 3-1 in the Peter Swailes Memorial Shield to round off a great season and confirm Burscough as Treble Winners.
In their first season in Conference North, Burscough finished in a very creditable 8th position but manager Liam Watson and many of the players departed during the close season. Assistant manager Joey Dunn took over as manager.in July 2008, but was replaced by Andy Mutch at the beginning of October. Burscough finished next to bottom of the league and were relegated back to the Unibond Premier with Andy Gray taking over as manager for the start of the 2009-10 campaign.
The season was completed under difficult circumstances after chairman Chris Lloyd stood down and withdrew all funding. The Supporters Club accepted the raising of funds to complete the seasons fixtures, and were successful in this objective.
During the close season the ground was sold to Chequer Properties Ltd who in turn leased the ground back to the football club at a peppercorn rent, at the same time the property company purchased Chris Lloyd’s majority shareholding, but did not wish to be involved with the day to day running of the football side of the business, and asked Frank Parr to return as chairman and form a committee to carry out these duties. New Chairman Gary Wright appointed this year to oversee the temporary move to groundshare with local neighbours Skelmersdale United.