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26 Apr 2018 : Mersey Gateway to be lit yellow in green this Saturday in 100 years of football celebration

The Mersey Gateway is set to be illuminated green and yellow this Saturday to mark the centenary of town team football in Halton.

In 1918, the Highfield and Camden Tanneries Recreation Club was formed at Canal Street, Runcorn, and from it emerged Runcorn Football Club.

Founder members of the Cheshire County League in 1919, the Linnets (as they became known) were its first champions and in 1939 played FA Cup holders Preston North End in front of a crowd of 10,111 at Canal Street.

In their heyday, the Linnets were a leading semi-professional outfit, who won the top flight league in non-league football in 1982 and competed at three Wembley finals.

In later years, the club spent time playing at the Halton Stadium but when faced with it being wound up, fans determined to keep alive a passion for the football club formed Runcorn Linnets on the 28th April 2006.

Since then, Widnes FC has been formed and Runcorn Town has flourished, seeing Halton now have three teams competing in the North West Counties Football League Premier Division.

Council Leader Rob Polhill said: "Halton has a fabulous sporting tradition with both rugby league and football having played an important part in the lives of so many people in Halton over this last century. From quite humble beginnings as a tannery recreation club side, we now have three of the best non-league football sides in the region."

A century after football took hold in Halton, Runcorn Linnets are currently on the cusp of becoming champions of the Hallmark Security Premier Division, with the two other Halton teams in hot pursuit at the top of the league.

Runcorn Linnets chairman, Mark Buckley said: "Runcorn Football Club experienced mixed fortunes over the years and supporters of the old club are proud that the meeting we held exactly 12 years ago this Saturday, helped keep alive our passion for a famous old club and create a thriving successor which is owned and run by its fans.

"We have seen fierce competition this season with Runcorn Town and Widnes and it's a credit to Halton that we have our three teams all battling for promotion."

The Mersey Gateway will be illuminated green and yellow - the traditional colours of Runcorn AFC in their later years, now sported by Runcorn Linnets - on the evening of Saturday, 28th April.

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