After getting the green light from the Football Association in April to rebrand as Radcliffe FC from the start of the 2018-19 Northern Premier League season, the EVO-STIK League North club’s officials are celebrating the signing of a formal partnership with Radcliffe Juniors.
Already long-term friends and neighbours, in a joint statement ahead of this weekend's play-offs the clubs vowed to work “together as partners to make a positive impact on the town and build a brighter future for the footballers and football fans of Radcliffe”.
Boro changed their club badge early on in the 2017-18 campaign in preparation for rebranding this summer and Radcliffe Juniors followed suit at Stainton Park last month with a similar design when their youngsters were invited along to a 3-0 win over Ossett Town to meet the first team and pose for pictures on the pitch.
Senior style: Boro's new badge
Radcliffe FC chairman Paul Hilton believes the new partnership and aligning their brands will galvanise the approach of the two clubs to player development and inclusion from the age of four right up to adult football and the first team.
Hilton said: "This is a great day for Radcliffe FC, when we set out on our new journey as a club and reviewed our place in the town, it was clear that identifying with our community was paramount. Our brand and modernisation was only the first step.
"This partnership represents a huge leap in embedding our club into the heart of our community. We believe that our future is brighter together, that we can succeed together, grow together and bring our town together welcome aboard!"
Established in 1987 and an FA Chartered Standard club providing a safe and friendly environment for the children to play and enjoy their football, Radcliffe Juniors FC were in debt five years ago, fielding only four teams and on the brink of being dissolved before their fortunes were turned around.
Following suit: Radcliffe Juniors' new badge
Thanks to the commitment and hard work of their committee, managers, parents and players, the club now fields 19 sides in the Manchester League and are currently in the process of starting a girls team for season 2018-19.
The vast majority of youngsters have come through their successful soccer school on Tuesday nights and Radcliffe Juniors chairman Lee Chapman said "The club is always looking to keep on progressing and are excited to be working together with Radcliffe FC to ensure we give the players the best possible football experience we can."
Fans, players and officials were informally referring to themselves as Radcliffe FC throughout their last campaign after Hilton launched the ongoing review to modernise every aspect of the club almost a year ago. The drive was led by the unveiling of a new crest to better reflect the club's proud history and place in their local community since governmental changes back in 1974 saw Radcliffe absorbed into the Metropolitan Borough of Bury.
In use since last August, the new design incorporates a number of Radcliffe icons including the River Irwell which runs through the town and put Radcliffe on the map during the Industrial Revolution by powering mills like the Grade II listed Mount Sion Mill Water Wheel which is also featured.
Image courtesy of @radcliffeboro/Twitter
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