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15 Dec 2019 : Linnets Legend John Williams donates his national title winners trophy to club

A special moment was captured on the meeting of two title-winning Linnets managers for an historic trophy presentation.

John Williams, who led Runcorn AFC to two successive championships in the early 1980s, was guest of honour at Runcorn Linnets' 2-1 victory over Trafford on Saturday.

In a terrific gesture, much appreciated by all at The Millbank Linnets Stadium, John handed the most treasured memento of his time at Canal Street - the trophy he received for winning the Alliance Premier League (now National League) in 1981-82 - into the club's safekeeping.

Accepting the special souvenir of the original Linnets' final title win was RLFC boss Michael Ellison, who orchestrated the successor club's first championship triumph - winning the North West Counties League Premier Division in 2017-18.

Although managing the Linnets in very different times, John and 'Ello' also share a bond of becoming manager on the back of long service as Runcorn players.

A tricky left winger, John spent five years at Runcorn AFC in two spells in the late 1950s and early '60s.

Former club captain and midfield anchorman 'Ello' has been with Runcorn Linnets since 2011 and with more than 200 appearances under his belt, he was appointed manager in summer 2016.

NWCL title success and promotion to the Northern Premier League followed three runners-up finishes for Ello as player and manager.

John Williams' first championship triumph at Runcorn was also in the NPL - then operating with just one division - in 1980-81.

His impressive haul of Runcorn managerial honours also included two wins each in the NPL Challenge Cup, NPL Challenge Shield, Bob Lord Trophy (The APL/Gola LeagueCup), APL/Gola League Challenge Shield and Cheshire Senior Cup.

He led the Linnets to the first of their three Wembley visits in 1986 for the FA Trophy final.

John was accompanied to the MLS by son Nigel, now living in Hong Kong but back in the UK for Christmas.

Their nostalgic visit had been arranged with the club by John's wife, Rena - the couple being particularly keen for Runcorn Linnets, formed by supporters of Runcorn AFC, to take possession of the keepsake trophy for perpetuity.

John said: "It was an amazing time in the history of the club and we think it would be better kept by the Linnets to allow new generations of supporters to see it and older supporters to remember that fantastic season."

Dave Bettley, Trust secretary of Runcorn Linnets, said: "John Williams achieved unprecedented success as manager of our predecessor club, setting a remarkable record of trophy wins. This only cemented the popularity he had enjoyed as a player at Canal Street and made him a true Linnets Legend.

"It was fantastic to see both John and Nigel again and we are extremely proud to gratefully accept this unique memento of a golden era in Linnets history."

The photo shows, left to right, Runcorn Linnets chairman Mike Bignall, manager Michael Ellison, John Williams, Runcorn Linnets club president Alan Jones, Peter Goodwin (former Runcorn AFC trainer) and Nigel Williams.

14 Dec 2019 : Runcorn beat Trafford 2-1

This news item has been added from the Live SMS feed powered by In the 35th minute Trafford substituted Tom Schofield for Chris Palmer. Trafford scored in the 54th minute. Ally Brown received a Yellow Card for The Linnets in the 70th minute. Jack Hinnigan received a Yellow Card for The Linnets in the 73rd minute. In the 77th minute Trafford substituted Sam Grimshaw for Keil O'Brien. In the 81st minute the Linnets substituted Tom Owens for Alex O'Neill. With a well-taken strike from just inside the area in the 86th minute Lewis McKinney equalised. Ross Davidson received a Yellow Card for Trafford in the 89th minute. In the 89th minute Trafford substituted Darius Palma for Jordan Johnson. In the 90th minute the Linnets were awarded a penalty. With a great goal Louis Corrigan scored for the Linnets in the 1st minute of added time of the second half. Lewis Walters received a Red Card for Trafford in the 2nd minute of added time of the second half.

Match Report

07 Dec 2019 : New Trust Board members at Runcorn Linnets

The club welcomed three new Trust Board members at its Annual General Meeting.

Ste Bignall, Pete Cartledge and Dave Jones are the newcomers to the board of Runcorn Linnets Football Club Limited.

James Eastup meanwhile returns for a second spell as a board member at The Millbank.

At Thursday's meeting, it was reported that seven nominations had been received for the seven board vacancies in the 2019 rotation.

With all applications being valid, election of all nominees was automatic.

Ste Bignall is a qualified electrician, who is now employed as a Mechanical & Electrical contracts and projects manager.

Younger brother of club chairman Mike Bignall, Ste runs the unofficial Linnets Updates twitter site and his volunteering roles at the club have included electrical work, writing match reports, operating the match day PA system and helping to oversee the installation this year of the club's borehole.

Pete Cartledge and Dave Jones are members of the Runcorn Linnets Football Supporters Group, Pete being its chairman.

The group has raised valuable funds for the football club, also organising and funding coach travel to longer-distance away games.

Dave's background is in accountancy and financial management while Pete has wide experience of IT systems management.

In consultancy roles at the club, both have been instrumental in the pending installation of new electronic finance and point of sales systems.

James Eastup is a graphics and marketing specialist who now combines his media responsibilities at Linnets with secretarial duties, working alongside his dad, Paul Eastup as joint club secretary.

James was formerly Linnets' club photographer and plays a leading role in our social media output.

Paul Eastup has been re-elected for a further term, having been a Trust Board member for a number of years.

A company managing director, he has previously served as club vice-chairman and like son, James took up his secretarial duties at the end of last season.

The remaining two board members elected this year are vice-chairman Rob Findlay and Paul Tandy.

Both opted to stand for election, having hitherto been externally co-opted members appointed by the board because of their individual skill set.

Rob, who works in the banking industry, joined the board in the summer and is the club's commercial manager. He has significantly increased the club's advertising and sponsorship revenue and looks forward to working with existing and future partners.

Paul Tandy's practical skills have served the club well in day to day stadium operation and maintenance while the other string to his bow is fundraising. Paul runs the Linnets' 200 Club.

Six of the newly-elected board will serve for two years and the other for one.

Five other members are now midway through their two-year term, these being Mike Bignall, Josh Christian, Hedley Edwards, Daz Law and Steve Pritchard.

The 12 elected members are joined on the board by club treasurer Phil Wainwright and James Sidwell, both externally co-opted members.

07 Dec 2019 : Runcorn beat Kendal Town 0-1

This news item has been added from the Live SMS feed powered by In the 16th minute a fabulous shot from inside the area by Connor McCarthy put the Linnets ahead. In the 62nd minute Kendal Town substituted Aaron Fleming for Joseph Dickson. In the 62nd minute the Linnets substituted Connor McCarthy for Alex O'Neill. Alex Parr received a Yellow Card for Kendal Town in the 72nd minute. In the 75th minute Kendal Town substituted Seydou Bamba for Elliot Moore. In the 76th minute Kendal Town substituted Alex Parr for Elliot Moore. In the 86th minute Kendal Town substituted Chris Wraighte for Michael Hodgson.

Match Report

03 Dec 2019 : Runcorn lost to Leek Town 0-1

This news item has been added from the Live SMS feed powered by In the 46th minute the Linnets substituted Connor McCarthy for Peter Wylie. In the 49th minute the Linnets substituted Connor McCarthy for Lewis McKinney. Declan McGivern received a Yellow Card for The Linnets in the 54th minute. In the 64th minute the Linnets substituted Reece Gaskell for Peter Wylie. Leek Town scored in the 76th minute. In the 85th minute Leek Town substituted Aaron Bott for Tim Grice. In the 89th minute Leek Town substituted Jacob Twyford for Matt Bell.

Match Report
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