The rise and rise of Fleetwood Town – what next for the Cod Army?
If you want to talk about a 21st Century revolution, then look no further than Fleetwood Town.
At the turn of the millennium, the Cod Army were only three years into their latest incarnation, and had just won promotion to level nine of the football pyramid.
They were five promotions away from the Football League, crowds rarely exceeded 300, and their Highbury home had changed little since moving there back in 1934.
Today, the Lancashire outfit have risen to the third-tier, mixing it with comparative giants like Sheffield United and Bolton, have overtaken Blackpool as the Fylde coast’s top team, and harbour very realistic ambitions of reaching the Championship next season.
The Cod Army now bring in over 2,500 fans week-in, week-out, and boast a state-of-the-art main stand.
Since Andy Pilley became owner of the club back in 2003, Fleetwood have soared through six divisions, re-writing and forging their own history along the way.
There have been trips to Wembley, there have been Guinness World Records, there’s been a major part in the Jamie Vardy story and even a nomination in FIFA’s Puskas Awards.
And the Cod Army have stayed true to their roots through it all.
The Grandfather of current chief executive Steve Curwood used to play in goal for the club, while president Jim Betmead was instrumental in bringing the club back from the ashes in 1997.
Then there’s Vice President Ted Lowery, who has supported the club for 39 years.
In that time he’s seen Fleetwood go through several reinventions and made two trips to Wembley – 30 years apart.
And at the start of this season, Fleetwood paid tribute to Lowery’s loyalty and commitment, when he lead out the two teams with the match ball for the club’s first home game of the campaign.
Go back 15 years and few knew much about Fleetwood Town. But today, thanks to an extraordinary amount of dedication and commitment, the Cod Army are firmly on the map.
It remains to be seen how far Fleetwood can climb, but there’s no reason they can’t step up to the Championship.
Under Uwe Rosler, the Highbury outfit sit fourth in League One and have scored in 29 of their 30 league games this season.
Currently on a 13-game unbeaten streak, the Cod Army’s bid to reach the Championship continues this weekend, when Rochdale make the trip to Highbury.
It’s set to be a cracker with Dale also chasing a play-off spot, but our odds of 6/4 favouritism suggest the good times are set to continue for Fleetwood Town.
And given what they’ve achieved so far, who would bet against the Cod Army securing another promotion at 13/2?
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing