Runcorn Linnets are joining forces with the town’s amateur boxing club in a show of sporting solidarity.
Runcorn ABC are, like the Linnets, based in the Murdishaw district and the two organisations felt that they could be so much more than neighbours.
A partnership launched after a summer meeting of officials from the clubs took another step forward this week when a new advertising board for the boxing club was unveiled at The Millbank Linnets Stadium.
It is the latest part of a reciprocal agreement which had already seen the boxing club receive match tickets and a complimentary advert in the Linnets’ match prigramme to publicise their fight sessions.
In return, Linnets’ first team squad has been training regularly in the ABC’s gym in Mooring Close, which has been home to the boxers for three and a half years – since their long-standing HQ, Runcorn Boys Club in Boston Avenue, was destroyed by fire.
Linnets’ chairman, Derek Greenwood and Trust secretary, Dave Bettley – having represented the football club in initial discussions with Runcorn ABC coaches, Darren O’Sullivan and Chris Tilley – were guests at a successful open day hosted by the boxing club.
The tie-up followed an approach by Chris, himself a keen Linnets fan, to explore the possibility of the clubs working together for mutual benefit.
Chris Tilley explained the part played by the boxers and the dividends the association with the Linnets had already paid to both parties.
‘We train the Linnets first team one day a week, putting them through boxing-style routines for an all over body work out,’ he said.
‘In return, we have recieved free publicity with a regular space in the match day programme and now an advertising hoarding.
‘For a club like ourselves, this is a massive coup. We rely heavily on sponsorship to maintain the club’s existence.
‘We would like to thank everybody involved with the Linnets.
‘Ello and Crossy (manager Michael Ellison and assistant Matt Cross) have been brilliant, the players are putting in so much effort and we are delighted with them.
‘Finally, we as a club would like to give thanks to Derek and Dave for making all this possible.We hope to maintain this relationship for years to come.’
Runcorn Linnets, as successors to Runcorn AFC, took up residence at Halton Sports playjng fields in 2010, after spending their first four years out of town.
Chairman, Derek Greenwood says the similarities between the two clubs run deeper than being at the heart of the community and representing the same town in the North West and beyond.
Derek said: ‘Although still very much in its infancy, this relationship is already proving to be excellent. Darren O’Sullivan, Chris Tilley and all involved with Runcorn ABC have been very supportive and our players are really loving the training sessions in the boxing gym.
‘It is great to have this kind of close bond with another of our town’s sporting institutions – we already had a close association with Runcorn Golf Club. The link-up with the boxing club is ideal as, despite competing in different sports, we have so much in common.
‘They, like ourselves, have done really well to re-establish themselves so quickly in a new part of town and they are clearly enjoying their new lease of life just as much as we are’.