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LITHERLAND REMYCA FC
CLUB HISTORY – 1959 to today
Litherland REMYCA Football Club started life in the Seaforth area of Liverpool as St Thomas F.C. (1959), playing in the Church of England League. Players were recruited mainly from Seaforth and Bootle, and the team later became known as Bootle C.L.B. (Church Lads Brigade).
The founder members of REMYCA Utd, Bill and Ken Edwards, acted as managers having recently given up their playing careers. The area, predominantly working class, provided an abundance of talented amateur players and links were formed with Bootle YMCA which provided a club base and facilities to train.
In 1967, the team again changed its name to REM Social as a local workingman’s club offered to finance the running of the club. One year later, REMYCA UTD F.C. came into being, the name derived from connections with both REM Social Club and Bootle YMCA. The team entered the Third Division of the I Zingari Alliance League and became Champions at the first attempt. Thereafter, successive championships followed culminating in acceptance into the I Zingari League that was regarded as a higher standard of football.
The First XI made steady progress through the divisions earning a reputation for playing open and attractive football. The I Zingari Challenge Cup was claimed in the 1975/76 season as REMYCA Utd began to establish itself as a force within amateur football on Merseyside. The formation of a Premier League led to the club being invited to become inaugural members. This demanded improved playing facilities and the club left its spiritual home at Moss Lane, Litherland to move to Maghull High School. A former player, Steve Smith, became manager and began building a squad capable of competing with the best amateur sides in the region.
REMYCA Utd became the I Zingari League Champions in the 1987/88 season and in 1991 became one of the few Merseyside Teams to win the all Lancashire FA Amateur Cup. The 1990's was a significant period in the club’s history, and the most successful, as both Premier League and Cup doubles were achieved in seasons 1993/94, 1994/95 and 1995/96 followed by again winning the Challenge Cup in the 1998/99 season. This period of dominance and success resulted in REMYCA Utd seeking entry to the Liverpool County Combination League to test itself at a higher level again.
REMYCA Utd are now based at Litherland Sports Park, which is one of the finest facilities within the region providing a wide range of activities for all ages and abilities, encouraging use by the local community and performance athletes alike. Our mid-long term aims though are to work with local councils to identify a site and build a community facility for all sides under the REMYCA banner as well as the local area.
In 2013, the Management Committee of REMYCA began exploring the potential to grow and develop the club. Social and cultural changes had impacted on grass roots football with many teams, clubs and even leagues folding due to lack of support. The basis for a sustainable club was clearly a community based model offering football opportunity with good coaching to all ages from 7 years upwards.
The first stage of the new development plan was to add Litherland to the club name so as to identify with the local area and enhance the community ethos of the club. A key appointment was Colin Begbie as head of youth development, who’s experience and network of football contacts has proven invaluable.
In line with aspirations to compete at the highest level, the club applied to be promoted to step 6 of the Football Pyramid and enter the North West Counties Football League. A tremendous amount of work was undertaken to finance and fabricate a 50 seater spectator stand at Litherland Sports Park. The club got the required league position for admission and entered non-league football for the first time in 2014.
An amazing year of development also witnessed the junior section grow and girls and open age women’s teams are now being introduced. There are currently 16 teams from under 7s to Veterans playing under the REMYCA banner, a fantastic achievement and testimony to the passion, commitment and hard work of a fantastic group of people.
In 2014-15 the Club achieved a number of firsts. Obviously, competing at Step 6 in the Non-League Pyramid immediately stands out, over the course of the season after a rocky start the club adapted well to its new surroundings and finished a respectable ninth in the NWCFL Division One table and came within a couple of points of a promotion play-off spot. In the same season we reached the semi final of the NWCFL Division One Cup Sponsored by Reusch. Sadly, we went up against the Division's form team Atherton Colleries at the time on a mudbath of a pitch, it just was not meant to be on the day but still very much a source of pride, one recognised by a small but important financial reward by the league at the end of the season.
In another first for us we took part in the Liverpool Senior Cup for the first time, an honour for any club with affiliation to the County FA as for the fans this was the first sight of us in a cup with the local big-boys. Ultimately, we went out against Skelmersdale United in the early rounds but it was still quite an achievement for us. The following season saw the REMY reach the semi final only to be beaten by Prescot Cables.
In 2015, Phil Stafford was given the job as first team manager following a successful stint at Maghull. In his second season, leading the team alongside Andrew Olsen and Paul McNally, he led the club to a thrilling battle for promotion in which the club unfortunately ended up empty handed in the playoff final. The club holds the largest record attendance in NWCFL history for that game, hosting 1303 supporters.
2016-17 was a step forward for the club, reaching the semi final of the Liverpool County FA Senior Cup for the second straight season. The REMY were beaten by Southport 3-2 in a thrilling encounter.
It was the previous round in which the Stafford's side claimed the biggest scalp in the club's history. The quarter final saw Everton travel to LSP and fall to a solid, containing REMYCA by a goal to nil. This game put the club on the map, and boosted their profile and reputation.
Ultimately, at the end of the season, Stafford decided it was time to move on along with Andy Olsen, and, after a search for a new gaffer, Paul McNally was handed the task of guiding Billy and Kenny Edwards creation in 1959 from the 2017/18 season.