COLFC IN THE COMMUNITY ENJOY ANFIELD EXPERIENCE

COLFC in the Community enjoyed the experience of playing at Anfield on Thursday 27th May, as they participated in a friendly match with Liverpool Homeless FC.

Our Community arm took a team of twenty participants from the Football For Everyone refugee integration scheme and Social Footy session, both of which run weekly at the Purple Hub.

The fixture saw Liverpool Homeless win 5-3 in an end to end game, and COLFC’s goals were scored by Andrew Harnick (2) and Liam Catling.

COLFC in the Community volunteer Michael Meadows said, “It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for our participants, especially those who are Liverpool fans!”

“We’re grateful to LFC and COLFC for arranging the fixture and allowing us to play, it’s certainly something none of us will ever forget.”

“It was amazing in particular to share the experience with some of our refugee footballers who are a huge part of what we do. Seeing them running out at Anfield in their new home city was a brilliant moment for us all.”

“To think that we have played in front of The Kop when we originally started out with an informal kick about in Princes Park is frankly mind blowing, but it shows how far we have come as an organisation.”

“It was a fantastic experience for our Social Footy members too, who in the past few years have built a community of lads who’ve made friends through mutual love of football.”

“The kit we wore on the day was designed in collaboration with our refugee footballers and included the words ‘LoveFootballHateRacism’. As an inclusive club, we were proud to show our solidarity to fighting racism whilst fielding a diverse squad of comprising of various ages, abilities and backgrounds at one of the most iconic grounds in world football.”

City of Liverpool Squad: Chris Davies, Albashir Omar Altyup, Sam Pearson, Allen Weston, John Colfar, Khalid Hussein Hamid, Josh Skarratt, Wade Reid, Andrew Harnick, Tom Rogan, Dave McKnight, Adam May, Graham May, Sean Lindblad, Michael Meadows, Colin Gardner, Patrick Manning, Liam Catling, Tony Cassidy, Matthew Spencer, Mo.

Photo Gallery:

SHAUN KELLY SIGNS

City of Liverpool FC are delighted to announce the signing of defender Shaun Kelly from Bala Town.

The 32 year old Scouser brings with him a wealth of experience and excellent footballing CV from both the EFL and abroad.

Kelly started his career coming through the youth ranks at Chester City and had a brief loan spell at Vauxhall Motors, before returning to The Deva Stadium and progressing into the First Team.

Kelly impressed and became an important player for The Seals, who were at the time a League 2 outfit. In total, Kelly represented Chester City 43 times before leaving the club following their relegation and eventual expulsion from the Conference.

After departing Chester in early 2010, Kelly initially had a trial spell with Port Vale where he impressed opposition manager Paul Peschisolido in a fixture against his Burton Albion side. Kelly’s performance earned him a move to the League 2 team until the end of the season and in total he went on to make four appearances for The Brewers.

In July 2010 Kelly left Burton to head for Wales, having a one-year spell at Bala Town before leaving Maes Tegid to relocate to Australia.

Whilst in Australia, the commanding defender had a short period at Shepparton United before joining NPL Victoria team South Melbourne as a mid-season signing. Shaun actually managed to win the club’s Golden Boot despite playing at centre-back!

In July 2012, Kelly returned to England on loan with Conference side Halifax Town during the Australian off-season, before heading back to Melbourne for the start of their 2013 campaign.

Ahead of the 2015 season, Kelly joined NPL Victoria team Port Melbourne S.C and earned the club captaincy before signing for NPL 2 Victoria side Dandenong City alongside his brother James in 2016. Whilst at Dandenong he was awarded their Player of the Year accolade and was a league runner up.

Shaun later went on to re-join Bala Town after returning to the UK, where he played alongside Purps midfielder Nathan Burke.

Described as a natural leader who is strong on the ball, Kelly has all the hallmarks of a player who Purps fans will love.

Manager Michael Ellison is understandably delighted to attract a player of Kelly’s calibre, explaining, “Shaun is a great signing for us. He brings with him a wealth of experience and after meeting with him it was clear he would fit into what we’re trying to do.”

“Shaun had a number of clubs chasing him and I’m delighted he has chosen the Purps.”

Kelly explained what attracted him to join the club, “I met with Ello last week and was really impressed with what he had to say and the plans for the club going forward.”

“The aspirations to keep building on previous success and moving up the leagues was a massive selling point for me.”

“Hopefully I can bring experience and leadership to the group and help the club achieve even more this season.”

Welcome to the Purps, Shaun.

BURKE SIGNS FOR 2021/22

City of Liverpool FC is pleased to confirm that Nathan Burke has committed to the club for the forthcoming 2021-22 season.

The former Liverpool, Warrington Town and Bala Town midfielder joined last summer from FC United of Manchester and was a key member of the Purps side throughout the season until it was curtailed by the pandemic.

Burkey featured 14 times during the 2020-21 campaign, scoring 5 goals, including a crucial brace in manager Michael Ellison’s first match as the Purps won 5-2 away at Brighouse Town.

 

Ellison explained, “I’m delighted Burkey has committed for another season. Along with his performances on the pitch, his mentality, professionalism and the standards he sets are second to none.”

“He’s been a pleasure to work with in the short time we’ve been here and I’m looking forward to working with him in the season ahead.”

Burke added, “I have enjoyed my time so far with the Purps. I am looking forward to this season and having spoken to Ello I can see that the club means business.”

“I can’t wait to get started.”

Purps Legends and Mersey Fire support Owen McVeigh Foundation.

City of Liverpool FC’s Legends side played out an entertaining fixture at The Purple Hub on Sunday against Mersey Fire and Rescue, with the Purps running out 3-2 winners.

The Legends team was announced in July 2020 but the team was unable to play any fixtures until now due to COVID restrictions. However, with regulations now eased, COLFC and Mersey Fire and Rescue joined forces to raise vital funds for The Owen McVeigh Foundation.

The match was played out in rainy conditions, which didn’t put off around 50 hardened Purps who attended to cheer on their Treble winning heroes. Amongst a plethora of returning idols, the Purps were pleased to welcome back Danny Dalton for his first game back since picking up a serious achilles injury in September 2019’s FA Cup tie against Warrington Town.

After a cagey opening, The Purps went ahead when Phil MacDiarmid hammered a left footed effort from fully 30 yards into the top corner, leaving the Mersey Fire keeper with no chance. It was fitting that the first goal for the Purps Legends was straight out of the top drawer.

Former Purps player and coach MacDiarmid made it a quick-fire double shortly afterwards, slotting home low inside the area, this time with his right foot, which the visiting keeper was unlucky not to keep out.

As the half closed out, treble season penalty hero Stephen Longrigg picked up an innocuous injury and had to be replaced in the net by reluctant keeper Allen Weston. Declan Gregson entered the fray to replace Longy, fresh from playing for The Canada earlier in the afternoon.

After the interval, Mersey Fire grew back into the game and got a deserved goal with a free kick bent expertly around the wall and low past Weston into the net.

The Purps wasted a number of good opportunities on the counter-attack, and Mersey Fire made them pay, scoring a well taken equaliser from close range.

Mersey Fire continued to threaten the Purps goal and nearly stole a winner late on but for a brilliant point-blank range save from Allen Weston, who pushed the ball around the post for a corner as the crowd expected the net to ripple.

Just as the game was coming to an end Weston rushed up from goalkeeper as the Purps had a corner deep into injury time. Weso had eyes on replicating Liverpool keeper Alisson Becker, but the whipped corner from the left narrowly evaded him, to the delight of his team-mates who knew they’d never hear the last of it if he scored!

As an even game looked destined to end in a draw, Phil MacDiarmid hammered a left footed effort from 25 yards which flew in off the post to complete a deserved hat-trick. The Purple Pirlo ran the show all afternoon and picked up the match-ball with the last kick of the game, to the delight of a drenched but vocal home faithful.

A special mention should go to referee Keith Jones, who kindly volunteered to officiate the fixture as the last match of his 48 year refereeing career. Keith is a Purps fan and well known face at the match, who we congratulate on a fantastic career of dedication to grassroots footy.

The real winner on the day of course was The Owen McVeigh Foundation, as supporters and players alike gave generously to support a fantastic cause.

Any Purps who were unable to make the match but would like to make a donation should head to https://www.owenmcveighfoundation.co.uk/donate/

The foundation’s website is also a great place to check out the wonderful work they are doing supporting children with cancer and their families across Merseyside.

Player-manager Tom Spearritt was delighted to see his side playing in front of the Purps fans again, “Massive thanks to all who braved the weather and turned up to support the lads and The Owen McVeigh Foundation.”

“In difficult conditions I thought both teams played some great football, especially Todd and Phil in the middle of the park. It was great to see Danny back playing after his long spell out of the game through injury too. Big thanks also to Lee and the Mersey Fire lads for getting a team together.”

“We are looking forward to doing it all again soon and hoping for better weather for our next match in July – watch this space!”

COLFC LEGENDS SQUAD: Stephen Longrigg, Tom Spearritt, Allen Weston, Danny Dalton, Franny Foy, Todd Blayney, Phil McDiarmid, Daley Woods, Aaron Rey, Billy Webb, John Connolly, Declan Gregson, Jamil Campbell-Joseph.

Man of the Match: Phil MacDiarmid. It couldn’t be anyone else really could it? A virtuouso performance from MacDiarmid who delivered a masterclass in long range shooting and deservedly got his hat trick late on.

 

MATCHDAY GALLERY:

COLFC Launch new womens social football sessions

COLFC in the Community are delighted to announce the launch of their Womens weekly social football sessions.

All ages and abilities are welcome, but particularly beginners, those returning to the game and those women who have been denied the chance at playing football when they where younger.

Run similar to our regular mens social football sessions we aim to create an environment that is safe and welcoming to females who want to play football in a welcoming and inclusive environment for women to play football, create friendships and keep fit.

COLFC Community’s Sean Lindblad said today “Women’s football has been something we have been looking to establish before lockdown and we feel now is the perfect time to launch the sessions.”

“There is a whole generation of women out there who weren’t allowed to play at school or where stopped from playing once they reached a certain age. We hope we can give those who may have not been able to play the chance to get into football and enjoy everything it has to offer. The sessions will be open to everyone and in particular women who feel they want to play football, but not in a competitive environment”

Want to join us? Sessions takes place every Wednesday starting from 26th May 7-8PM at The Purple Hub, Longview Lane, Huyton, L36 7UN.

Purps announce Isle of Man friendly

City of Liverpool FC are delighted to announce that we will be visiting the isle of man for a friendly match with Isle of Man FC on Saturday 24th July 2021 – Kick off 6pm.

Club chairman Paul manning said “ This is the first time that the club has travelled “abroad” to play a fixture and everyone associated with the club is very excited at the prospect of doing so.”

“Isle of man FC have had a difficult time in fulfilling fixtures in the pandemic and therefore we are happy to make the journey and play what we are sure will be a very competitive game of football”

The official party will be travelling on Friday 23rd July with the isle of man steam packet from Liverpool, departing at 11:15AM and returning on Sunday the 25th July at 5:00PM.

Members and supporters are free to make there own travel arrangements however COLFC in the community CIC does own a travel agency ( www.myconciergetravel.co.uk ) and would be delighted to handle bookings for travel and / or accommodation.

All enquiries regarding travel to the game should be directed to quoteme@myconciergetravel.co.uk.

Walking Football Returns At The Purple Hub

City Of Liverpool FC in the community are delighted to announce that our popular walking football sessions are now returning and will be hosted at our own venue, the Purple Hub! 
 
Walking football offers you the chance to play the beautiful game, albeit at a slower pace and is one of the fastest growing activities for people in the UK and our group. which was formed in 2018, offers you the opportunity to:
  • Get fitter & lose weight
  • Enjoy a feeling of well being
  • Socialise and have a bit of a laugh with like minded folk
  • Rediscover the joys of football!

Register below for more information

The Sessions: We meet every Monday Night at 7:00PM at The Purple Hub, Longview Lane, Huyton, Liverpool, L36 7UN. Participants are encouraged to arrive by 6:45PM where we can warm up, have a friendly chat and selected evenly balanced teams ready to start promptly at 7:00PM.

We also have a midweek session on Wednesdays at 11:00AM also at the purple Hub. All of our sessions can be booked at the following link. https://cityofliverpoolfc.co.uk/colfc-community-booking/

Registration: Please ensure you read and sign a registration form before your first session. Footwear & Clothing: We recommend wearing astro football boots or trainers but not studs, and shin pads. We also suggest you bring water and clothing suitable for the current weather conditions.

Rules: Very similiar to 5 a side football except no running or jogging and minimum physical contact which includes no from behind or slide tackling. Full rules will be explained at your first session. Socials:

As our group expands we will be setting up social events as well as fixtures, tournaments and other football related events.

Cost: £4 Per Session

All of our sessions can be booked at the following link. https://cityofliverpoolfc.co.uk/colfc-community-booking/

Groundshare Update

When the FA announced that Season 2020/21 was to be curtailed, it brought about the end of our groundshare agreement with Bootle FC after 5 highly successful years.

Relations between the two clubs had frayed against the backdrop of the pandemic and by their actions Bootle made it abundantly clear that we had outstayed our welcome, but prior to this the two clubs had enjoyed good relations off the field and a healthy football rivalry.

The feeling was largely mutual as a significant amount of our supporters and volunteers expressed a desire to leave Vesty Road. Consequently, we never opened discussions for a renewal of the agreement and Bootle never offered terms.

We had 5 great years there and have made memories that will last a lifetime and we will be reminiscing about the good times over the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, we wish Bootle FC the best of luck in their future endeavors and with an FA re-organisation looming, it looks like the promotion to the NPL that had eluded them these last few seasons will come to fruition and we will be seeing them again sooner rather than later!

In November 2020, discussions began with Prescot Cables about the potential for us groundsharing there for season 2021/22. The discussions were cordial and positive, and we moved forward into the New Year thinking that we would be playing at Hope Street next Season.

All clubs in the National League System must have what is known as “security of tenure” in place for the following season by 31st March of the current year. In our case currently this means a Groundshare Agreement.

We continually touched base with Cables to assess the position and were never given any cause to think there was a problem. On the 8th February we received an e-mail offering terms for a Groundshare for Season 2021/22. These terms were accepted by us immediately.

With the curtailment of the season in February, Bootle FC announced publicly on the 3rd March that our Groundshare Agreement had ended. At 9pm that same night we received a phone call from Prescot Cables informing us that they had had a change of heart and had now decided that the Reserves team would be playing on the pitch instead.

We were both astonished and angry at this turn of events, which left us with 28 days to secure a groundshare agreement with the suitable grading for the NPL or be relegated. The timing of this phone call / decision has left a very sour taste in our mouths.

There are only 5 grounds at our level locally that have that ground grading, 4 of which are Marine (who already have a tenant), Bootle (see above!), Prescot Cables (see above!) and Runcorn Linnets. We had a cordial if uninspiring meeting with Linnets to discuss the possibility of going there, but it was clear to us that there was no appetite for us playing there. We left Runcorn certain that we needed to keep looking.

We discussed Melwood with Torus Housing Association (not possible), Prenton Park with Tranmere Rovers (out of our league financially!!) and Walton Hall Park with Everton Ladies, which after some positivity from Everton sadly couldn’t come to fruition.

We also spoke to several clubs in and around the area whose grounds “might” have the required grading and held discussions with them, but 1 by 1 each of these options came to naught.

However, the 5th facility in our area that we were certain had the grading was Vauxhall Sports & Social Club near Ellesmere Port. It is a National League level ground and facility and, after speaking to the Chairman Tony Woodley, we knew we had someone who we would enjoy working with.

In a little over a week, we had viewed the facility, agreed a deal, had a ground gradings visit and signed a 2-year Groundshare Agreement and in doing so maintained our place in the Northern Premier League, which was our key strategic goal.

Having earned our position in the NPL the hard way (by winning the NWCFL Premier Division) we were determined not to lose this status.

Vauxhall Sports & Social is an outstanding football facility and is 11 miles from the Pier Head along the A41, although we appreciate that there is a big River to get across as well!!

Arrangements are already in place to provide a shuttle bus service from the City Centre to ensure our supporters can continue enjoying The Purps and watching Michael Ellison’s exciting new squad follow on from its good start in this curtailed season.

We have supporters all across the City Region and appreciate that this move will be further away for some and closer for others, but we know that all Purps will understand the predicament we were placed in and will get behind the club, for what is hopefully 1 season (more on this to come shortly).

We’d like to go on record in thanking each and every club who took the time to speak to us and explore the possibility of us groundsharing with them, as well as the representatives of the NPL who worked with us every step of the way to ensure our continued membership of the league.

Thank you most of all to Mr Woodley and Vauxhall Sports & Social Club. We are looking forward to playing at your excellent facility!

 

COVID Update – 04/01/2021

For the notice of members/supporters who may not already be aware, the NPL is currently suspended with fixtures up to and including 12th January 2021 postponed.

Discussions with all stakeholders and relevant parties will be ongoing and the Club will keep supporters informed as and when any further communications are released.

Members/Supporters can visit www.thenpl.co.uk or @NorthernPremLge on Twitter to view the latest league communications regarding the suspension/postponements.

 

RIP Mr Bootle

The news of the passing of Frank Doran has saddened everyone connected with City of Liverpool FC. On behalf of all connected with the club, the Directors pass on deepest condolences to the Doran family at this most difficult of times.

We are especially thinking of Lena, Joseph and Olivia, who we know personally, on the loss of their Dad and Grandad. We also extend sincere sympathies to Frank’s extended football family at his beloved Bootle FC and beyond.

Football can divide us, but the game also has a massive ability to unite us. It is through football, and his position right at the heart of the game’s community in Merseyside, that most of us have had the honour and pleasure of getting to know Frank.

To our older supporters, young at heart like Frank, he is the Langton player. For most of us, he is the unmistakeable and ever-present figure laughing, joking and winding us up whenever we entered Bootle’s ground.

It is common knowledge that we have experienced a strong footballing rivalry with Bootle FC. That is how it should be, we are both local clubs competing to go as far as we can in non-league football. Frank, as the embodiment of Bootle Football Club, played a massive part in that rivalry and he carried it off with a wit and an authority that made all who met him respect him to the full.

We didn’t know Frank as long as other people, obviously, but in the 5 or 6 years we did know him, we found him to be an absolutely great feller.

The City of Liverpool FC twitter feed praised Frank as a “a man’s man in the truest sense of the word”.  He could always be found in our volunteers’ hut before our home games. Frank would take a seat, settle in, get his cup of tea, then would have us in stitches as he tore us apart for just about everything.

Laughing about one of our defeats or writing off one of our wins as “lucky”, reminding us “you haven’t even got a ground” and ending with “when are you moving out?” Week after week for four seasons! We will miss those pre-match visits and those laughs.

Literally any day you turned up at Bootle’s ground, be it a matchday or any other day of the week, Frank would be there, pottering around doing a variety of jobs. He still travelled to most, if not all, of Bootle’s away games and standing around waiting for his lift in the Car Park (usually meaning a Purps’ home game) was yet another opportunity to give and take some stick with the great man.

Frank would take our abuse of his beloved Bootle FC on the chin, chuckling away, before shooting back with something else about COLFC – he was sharp as a needle, even at his advanced years. We should all pray that we are in his kind of physical and mental shape into our 9th decade – he was unbelievable.

Frank told us about his difficult start in life growing up in Huyton and his days as a Docker, as well as of the run-ins he’d had with every individual or football club he come up against in his 70 years in football. He was no fan of league or match officials either, he let them have it with both barrels when he felt it necessary. By comparison, COLFC got off lightly!

Of course, while the whole of Merseyside football will mourn and miss Frank Doran, this is a devastating loss for the Doran family. We hope it is of comfort to them to know that Frank will be fondly remembered as a legendary figure in the local amateur and Non-League football scene and will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him.

With Love From City of Liverpool Football Club