The Lytham St Annes YMCA Football Club is the longest established junior soccer club in the Blackpool and Fylde Coast area having first fielded teams back in the late 1920s. The club's base has always been at St Albans Rd in St Annes On Sea, initially in a wooden hut when founded in 1922.
In the mid 1960s a brand new brick building was built to replace the wooden hut then in 2000, with the help of a lottery grant, a fantastic £3.4m facility was opened. The YMCA acquired its William Pickles Sports Ground at Seafield Rd Lytham in the late 1960s with a superb pavilion being built and officially opened in 1972. Lytham YMCA on Mythop Rd is also a venue used by the club.
Over the years the YMCA Football Club has produced many youngsters who progressed into the professional game. Even though the FA Premiership was formed less than 20 years ago, no fewer than four ex YMCA boys have played at this top level. Three of them made 1st team appearances for Everton, Gavin McCann, John Hills and Jamie Milligan. The other was former Leicester City skipper Steve Walsh and all four played their entire youth careers at the YMCA. Gavin McCann went on to play for Sunderland, Aston Villa and Bolton Wanderers making over 300 games appearances in the Premiership altogether and he also gained international honours for England. No fewer than 17 former YMCA Juniors have played at 1st team level for professional clubs in England.
The YMCA FC achieved FA Charter Mark status in 2004 and is now the largest club in the Blackpool & Fylde area. It currently has 9 boys' teams from Under 7s upwards with three girls' teams also and the club has nearly 200 children registered with youth leagues. The club has a Disability Team as well which plays regularly in tournaments around the county.
There is a wealth of experience at the helm of the club. 'Lozz' Rose has been secretary since 1972 and Deputy Chairman Lyndon Moore has been connected with the club for 38 years now. President Mark Cowburn, a former Football League referee for over 10 years has had 45 years of continuous involvement since he played for the club as a 10 year-old boy and Vice President Steve Spencer has had a 20-year connection with the YMCA including 7 years as a junior player. Development Officer Keith Drury has also been involved with the club for nearly 20 years. Club Chairman Phil Sullivan, who was instrumental in the introduction of girls football teams at the YMCA is in his 8th season as a club official.
The YMCA Football Club has staged tournaments in various forms regularly for over 40 years. It held indoor 5-a-side competitions every Christmas for 27 years in the sports hall at St Annes YMCA until they ceased in 1999 and also 2-day tournaments over May-Day Bank Holiday weekends for the past 20 years at its Seafield Rd sports ground.
The YMCA FC is members of four youth leagues, the Blackpool & Dist Youth Football League, the Poulton & Dist Primary 7-A-Side League, the North Valley Girls League and the West Lancs Girls league. The club used to have open-age teams in the West Lancashire League for many years up until the late 1970s and also fielded open age teams in the Blackpool & Fylde Sunday Alliance in the past.
The Club has won six Lancashire FA County Cup competitions over the past 30 years at various age groups. The Under 14 Youth Cup was won in both 1992 and 2010, the Under 13 competition in 2009, the Under 18 County Cup in 2008, the Under 16 Youth Cup in 2006 and the Under 14 One-Day Competition trophy in 1982. No other club in the Blackpool area has been as successful in Lancs FA County Cup competitions as the LSA YMCA FC has been and the club continues to thrive.