Runcorn Linnets
RuncornLinnetsCrest.png
Full nameRuncorn Linnets Football Club
Nickname(s)The Linnets
Founded28 April 2006 (2006-04-28)
GroundAPEC Taxis Stadium
Capacity1,600
Coordinates53°18′58″N 2°40′14″W / 53.3161°N 2.6705°W / 53.3161; -2.6705Coordinates: 53°18′58″N 2°40′14″W / 53.3161°N 2.6705°W / 53.3161; -2.6705
ChairmanPeter Cartledge
ManagerDave Wild[1]
LeagueNorthern Premier League Division One West
2021–22Northern Premier League Division One West, 4th of 20
WebsiteClub website

Runcorn Linnets F.C. are an English football club based in Runcorn, Cheshire. The club currently plays in the Northern Premier League Division One West, and is a full member of the Cheshire County Football Association. The club is run by a trust which is a registered society under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014, and is registered with the Financial Services Authority.[2]

History

The club was formed on 28 April 2006 as a replacement for the town's previous club, Runcorn F.C. Halton, which had resigned from the Northern Premier League due to financial difficulties. The original Runcorn club's biggest success had been winning the 1981–82 Alliance Premier League title, although they failed to reach the Football League as the league's members had voted against them joining. The club is run by the Supporters Trust, which had been set up as "The Linnets Independent Supporters Trust", and the new club joined two levels further down the football pyramid, in the North West Counties Football League Division Two, having been accepted into the league on 17 June. A groundshare with Witton Albion was arranged at the start of the 2006–07 season, until a suitable ground could be found in Runcorn.[3] This was achieved in 2010, when the club moved into a newly built ground on Murdishaw Avenue and named it the Millbank Linnets Stadium as part of a three-year sponsorship deal.

Steve Carragher who had played for and managed Runcorn FC Halton, joined the club as manager,[3] with Mark Philips as his assistant player-manager. Several players from the old club also joined the Linnets.[citation needed] Their first game was a 4–0 away win against Ashton Town, followed by a 5–0 victory at home to Castleton Gabriels. Runcorn finished their inaugural season as runners-up, losing out on the league title to Winsford United on goal difference, and won promotion to the First Division. Thomas Lamb finished the season as top scorer, with 22 goals in all competitions.[citation needed]

In the 2007–08 season, Linnets spent most of their time in mid-table. They won their first ever FA Vase game against Daisy Hill, before losing to Salford City in the First round. After a string of poor results, the board decided that a change of management was needed and Steve Wilkes was appointed as manager in January 2008. They finished the season twelfth out of 20 clubs. During the close season, the league was restructured with the First Division becoming the Premier Division. In the 2008–09 season Linnets entered the FA Cup for the first time, winning their first game 3–2 at home to Rossington Main on 17 August 2008. In the next round they lost 4–0 to Curzon Ashton on 30 August.[3] Recently the club have announced a youth team in every age group up to the under 16s.[citation needed] In 2011–12 they were the only team from the NWCFL to get to the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Cup.[4]

After three consecutive seasons of finishing runners-up, Runcorn finished fourth in the 2016–17 season, which was their lowest in four years. In the 2017–18 season, Runcorn Linnets finished the season in first, four points ahead of second placed Widnes, who also gained promotion. Runcorn also went on to have the highest number of goals scored and the fewest goals conceded.

Runcorn finished 4th in the 2021–22 season. They beat Leek 4-1 in the playoff semi final. They lost 2-1 to Marine in the playoff final with a sellout crowd of 1,600 at the APEC Taxis Stadium.

Stadium

The club used to groundshare with Witton Albion at the Wincham Park stadium in Northwich. However, they had a stated aim to move back to Runcorn with a new stadium project – R2R (Return 2 Runcorn). A working party was established to work towards the move. The club had been in discussion with Riverside College about leasing a plot of land at the Runcorn Campus, but this proposal was rejected. The next plan involved a move to Halton Sports in Murdishaw, Runcorn for the start of the 2010–11 season, and this has now been completed, largely due to the backing of the local council. The club's aims were to build a ground that would meet the Northern Premier League standard, together with a Community centre which would be used as the clubhouse on matchdays. The club also want to include an all-weather pitch on the site for use by local sporting organisations and groups.[5] The opening match took place on 17 July 2010 and was a friendly against Witton Albion, partly as old rivals but mainly as an appreciation of their help in establishing a base for Runcorn Linnets F.C. in its foundation years.[6]

From the start of the 2020-21 season Runcorn Linnets will play on a state of the art hybrid grass pitch. The pitch will also enable the club to increase community engagement.

Honours

Players

As of 16 September 2020.[7]

Current squad

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
- GK England ENG Danny Taberner
- DF England ENG Ally Brown
- DF England ENG Sam Heathecote
- DF England ENG Tom Moore
- DF Republic of Ireland IRL Sean O’Mahony
- DF England ENG James Short
- DF England ENG Issac Turner
- MF England ENG Lewis Doyle
- MF England ENG Sidi Fofana Sanogo
- MF England ENG Macuauley Clifton
- MF England ENG Louis Hayes
- MF England ENG Josh Roberts
- FW England ENG Oladapo Olarewaju
- FW England ENG James Hooper
- FW England ENG Eden Gumbs
- FW England ENG Zack Clarke
- FW England ENG Jamie Rainford

Non-playing staff

As of 11 January 2021.[8]
Name Role
Peter Cartledge Chairman
Jeff Jago Vice-Chairman
Paul Eastup Club Secretary
David Bettley Trust Secretary
Dave Wild First Team Manager
Jamie Rainford First Team Assistant Manager
Billy Paynter First Team Coach
David Phillips First Team Goalkeeper Coach
Liam Hudson First Team Player Liaison
Josh Toal Club Senior Physiotherapist
Josh Christina Kit Manager
Ron Corn Mascot

Attendances

Averages

The average home league game attendance for the 2017–18 season was 374, placing Runcorn Linnets 1st for the division.

Past averages:

Source: Tony Kempster's site Non-League Matters NW Counties Football League site

League history

Season Division Position Significant Events
Joined the North West Counties Football League in 2006
2006–07 NW Counties Division Two 2nd Promoted
2007–08 NW Counties Division One 12th
2008–09 NW Counties Premier Division 11th
2009–10 NW Counties Premier Division 11th
2010–11 NW Counties Premier Division 12th
2011–12 NW Counties Premier Division 5th
2012–13 NW Counties Premier Division 6th
2013–14 NW Counties Premier Division 2nd
2014–15 NW Counties Premier Division 2nd
2015–16 NW Counties Premier Division 2nd
2016–17 NW Counties Premier Division 4th
2017-18 NW Counties Premier Division 1st Promoted
2018-19 Northern PL Div. One North 6th
2019-20 Northern PL Div. One North N/V

See also

References

  1. ^ "The Official Runcorn Linnets FC Web Site". www.runcornlinnetsfc.co.uk. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  2. ^ "Trust Information". Runcorn Linnets F.C. Retrieved 11 March 2009.
  3. ^ a b c "A History of Runcorn Linnets FC". Runcorn Linnets F.C. 25 August 2008. Retrieved 11 March 2009.
  4. ^ "FA Cup 1st.QR Replay – Runcorn Linnets 1 Squires Gate 0". NWCFL. 21 September 2011. Archived from the original on 25 March 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
  5. ^ "Return 2 Runcorn – Runcorn Linnets New Stadium Project". Runcorn Linnets F.C. Retrieved 9 November 2009.
  6. ^ "The Opening of the Millbank Linnets Stadium – 17th July 2010". Runcorn Linnets F.C. Retrieved 13 August 2010.
  7. ^ "The Players". Runcorn Linnets F.C. Retrieved 26 August 2011.
  8. ^ "Club Officials". Runcorn Linnets F.C. Retrieved 12 September 2010.