Manchester has had a long association with the sport of American Football in the UK. The first ever game between two British teams took place in October 1983 and featured the Northwich Spartans against the London Ravens. The following year, Northwich became the Manchester Spartans and along with other Mancunian teams the Allstars and Heroes, brought continued success to the city over the next few seasons.
The sport suffered decline in the UK during the 1990s and ultimately all 3 Manchester teams were forced to disband and American Football players in Manchester were forced to travel to play. It was to be the best part of a decade before the sport was to return to Manchester.
In 2003 this dark period was too end, inspired by the Film, Remember the Titans, the Manchester Titans were formed by local players frustrated at having to travel. They gained affiliation in 2003, playing at Old Bedians Rugby Club in Didsbury, and entered the league with a fledgling team. In this first season the team fought valiantly and achieved a 1-8-1 record.
In 2004, the Titans withdrew from the League so that the organisation could be re-structured, new coaches were brought in, new players joined the team and by the start of the 2005 season the team was ready to rejoin the league. A 5-5 record was good enough for 2nd place in Division 2 Central and a place in the play-offs. A defeat at the hands of the West Coast Trojans ended the team’s playoff progress but didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the players in their first year back in the League.
The Titans faced a tougher 2006 season, with high hopes for improving on 2005 that were dashed by several injuries to key players, the team still played well and finished with a 3-6* record. Despite the disappointing record the team was growing and for the start of the 2007 they moved to their new home at Broughton Park Rugby Club. The Team also had a change in image, the changed from playing in Red to a new White and Blue kit and started the new season on a high.
The 2007 season saw the BAFL re-align the divisions and in a very competitive Northern conference they achieved a 7-2-1 record, the teams best to date and entered the play-offs, a win against Central champions Nottingham Cesears saw the team progress but their play-off journey ended in the semi-finals with a loss against the Dundee Hurricanes. The 2007 season saw the Titans record 2 victories over the Lancashire Wolverines and a win and a tie against the Merseyside Nighthawks, establishing the Titans place as the North-Wests premier team.
In 2008 the Titans had high hopes of making another playoff appearance, and they posted another winning season finishing with a 6-4 record. Unfortunately their record was not quite good enough for them to reach the playoffs, as Lancashire finished with an identical record but won the head to head over their two games with the Titans by a single point.
2009 saw a record breaking season for the Titans ended much earlier than they would have liked. After going 10-0 through the regular season in which they added over 35 points a game while only conceding 5, their season came to an abrupt end when they were defeated 39-15 at home to the Leicester Falcons in the first round of the playoffs. As disappointing as this game may have been, the Titans are sure to learn from this loss as they prepare for the upcoming 2010 season.
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