Vauxhall Motors Football Club is an English football club based at Rivacre Park, Rivacre Road, in Hooton, sandwiched between Eastham and Ellesmere Port, Wirral, who play in the Conference North. It was originally the works team of the car manufacturer Vauxhall. It had a lot of success in its local leagues and fought its way up to be among the highest ranked amateur football teams in England and currently has a semi-professional status. It is generally regarded as the local team of Ellesmere Port, although another team, Ellesmere Port F.C. plays further down the pyramid in the West Cheshire League. It is currently managed by Carl Macauley.
Vauxhall Motors F.C. was founded in 1963, shortly after the opening of the new Vauxhall Motors car plant in Ellesmere Port, in Cheshire. Early in its history, it played in the Ellesmere Port League and the Wirral Combination, but it soon grew too strong for those leagues. By 1970, the club had achieved several promotions and played on the company-owned Hooton Park. By 1987 however, it had opened its own ground, Rivacre Park, where the club plays today. The opening of the new ground was especially important as then England manager Bobby Robson brought a number of former international stars for the opening game.
On the pitch, the club also started finding some success, winning its first West Cheshire League championship in the 1985-86 season. Soon after, they reached their first Cheshire Amateur Cup and triumphed in the Wirral Senior Cup. These accomplishments did not go unnoticed, as the club successfully applied to join the North West Counties League for 1987-88. They easily won the league's Second Division in their second season at that level, and finished fourth in the First Division in 1989-90. Despite expectations to challenge for the league title the next season, the team only finished fifth, but won the North West Counties League Cup in the process, defeating Darwen 2-0.
Soon after its fifth place finish, the board took the decision to move back down to the West Cheshire League where the club finished in third place in the two following seasons. However, in 1994-95, the club won both divisions of the league - only the third time any club had achieved that in the 103-year history of the league. Soon after, they were accepted back into the North West Counties League. Just as before, they easily won the Second Division of the NWCL, but did not have the best of seasons in Division One, although they did reach the semi-final of the Cheshire Senior Cup. It continued to play in Division One, and reached the final of the NWCL Cup, losing to Kidsgrove Athletic in a closely contested match.
The 1998-99 season was the team's best by far to that poiny, reaching the Fifth Round of the FA Vase and earning its best ever league position in third place, and won the NWCL Cup. However, the next season was even better, with the team reaching the semi-finals of the FA Vase and romping to the NWCL title, thus earning a spot in the Northern Premier League Division One. The reserves also enjoyed a successful season, winning a number of smaller trophies.
The club enjoyed considerable success in the Northern Premier League as well, earning promotion to the Northern Premier League Premier Division in just one season and finishing in second place in the league. The team continued to play well, with its high point coming when they defeated then Division Two (now League One) side Queens Park Rangers in their first appearance in the FA Cup First Round proper before losing in the next round in a televised match against Macclesfield Town. The season after, the club hired manager Owen Brown and they earned promotion to Conference North.
The team was managed by Andy Mutch earlier in the season. Mutch was formerly the assistant manager, and swapped roles with his new assistant Carl Macauley when Macauley stepped down as first team manager for family reasons. Following the clubs 6-0 home defeat to Kettering Town Carl decided he would switch back as manager. The club finished in 21st position in the 2007-08 season, which means that they were due to be relegated but due to Nuneaton Borough's liquidation and the Conference's decision to expel Boston United, Vauxhall Motors were reprieved from relegation.
Vauxhall Motors' colours are white with a strip of blue for the top and blue shorts with white socks. The away kit is all sky blue.
The team badge is the same as the logo of its parent company, Vauxhall Motors.
Rivacre Park has been the home of Vauxhall since the 1980s, the club having formerly played at Hooton Park. It has a capacity of 2,500 with covered stand and terracing, with space for 269 seated guests. There are plans to improve the ground to Football Conference standards. The refitting was to have taken place before the kickoff of the 2006-07 season. The stand has just been refitted with new seats along with a step in the terrace at the golf course end of the ground. A new toilet block, disabled toilet and a new turnstile block have also been added. To increase capacity, more barriers have been installed to the covered terrace. The club shop has since been re-opened after the roof was damaged in a storm and work is ongoing to get the ground up to the required league grading.
The ground also has a large sports and social club. This was originally for employees of the Vauxhall plant but is also open to the public on match days etc.
Their Reserve side still play in the West Cheshire League Division One.
Another Vauxhall Motors club, based in Luton, formerly played in the Isthmian League. This club has long since folded with the demise of the Vauxhall Motors factory. During the 1960s and 1970s, the Luton and Ellesmere Port factories played against each other for various trophies.