Rebranded Radcliffe Borough are sporting a new club badge and hoping to officially shorten their name before the end of the 2017-18 EVO-STIK Northern Premier League season.
After unveiling a new crest to better reflect their proud history and place in their local community this week, officials at the EVO-STIK NPL First Division North club have applied to the Football Association to officially change their name to Radcliffe FC to match their new livery.
The rebrand follows a major review to modernise all aspects of the club led by chairman Paul Hilton following his appointment last summer. Although they must wait for the green light from the FA to officially change their name, a decision expected in good time for the start of the 2018-19 campaign, the proud chairman says they are already referring to themselves informally as Radcliffe FC and will be encouraging everyone connected with the club to follow suit.
Hilton said: “The official name change is a process of application through the FA, which we have begun and we expect to be completed in time for the start of the 2018-19 season. In the meantime, we will promote and refer ourselves in our new brand, but our fixtures may still show the Borough name until the following season.
“This is an historic move which draws a line in the sand representing our new beginning. Over the course of the 2016-17 season the board have undertaken a series of reviews focusing on various aspects of the club, and this outcome is one that we have come to for a host of reasons.
“The club wishes to better identify with its community and since the governmental changes to the district, Radcliffe is no longer a borough and has been absorbed into the Metropolitan Borough of Bury for some time now. Rendering the name of the club outdated, if not obsolete.
“The club is looking to modernise throughout, on and off the field, and in the way that we interact with supporters, and the wider community. We are community focused club and we want to emphasise that we represent Radcliffe.
“We want to associate and work with the other community sports groups in our locality, such as Radcliffe Juniors Football Club who are our near neighbours, and who we have a great working relationship with. We also want to work with other sports in the area in ways that will benefit us, them and the wider community.
“These clubs include our other neighbours Radcliffe Cricket Club, who we are building a great relationship with and also Radcliffe Athletics Club. This change aligns us with those organisations in a way that we can identify together.”
Hilton believes they have the right badge, pictured, to take the club forward with the new design incorporating a number of Radcliffe icons including the River Irwell which runs through the town and put Radcliffe on the map by powering mills like the Grade II listed Mount Sion Mill Water Wheel which is also featured.
Hilton added: “We will always be known as ‘The Boro’, and that has been represented in the new badge that we have great pleasure in unveiling. The various elements that make up the badge are icons of Radcliffe that help us further identify with the community we represent.
“We believe that our designer Chris Thorpe has done an amazing job in creating a modern, but classic badge that is extremely smart and will stand the test of time while sympathetically capturing the history of the town.”