Leigh RMI


Posted Image Leigh RMI

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History:

Leigh RMI FC formally known as Horwich RMI Football club was formed in 1896, this came about after the old Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway company had decided to construct a large locomotive works in Horwich.

Overnight a small village was transformed into a sizeable town, upto the works closing down a few years ago it had strong connections with British Rail and the Railway Mechanics Institute. (RMI).

In the early part of the century the Horwich club played their football in the West Lancashire League. They were Champions twice in 1910/11 1913/14 seasons and in 1915 were accepted members of the more senior League, The Lancashire Combination. They were Lancashire Junior Cup Winners in 1924/25, 1929/30 and were Combination Cup Winners in 1927/28.

The 152 goals in the 1928/29 season was the highest ever scored by a Lancashire Combination team. Horwich could not add to these successes in the 30’s and just after the second World War they suffered the indignity of a spell in Division Two. They were promoted back into the First Division in 1951 and had another good run of success.

In 1953/54 and 1956/57 they were Combination Cup Winners, finally in 1957/58 they were Combination Champions for the first time in their history. In 1968 they declined a place in the newly formed Northern Premier League, despite their qualifying, opting for a place in the Cheshire County League.

In the 70’s they went through a bad patch and were near the bottom of the league on two occasions, they were soon able to recover and a few years later were back as one of the leading Cheshire League Clubs. In the 1978/79 season they ran out Cheshire League Champions and Challenge Shield Winners, and in the 1981/82 season they qualified for the North West Counties League.

In their first season in this League they finished in the bottom half, but in the next season finished in third place and applied for a place in the Northern Premier League, which was successful. The first season in the Northern Premier League was a successful one for the club, they finished in eighth position, and gained a place in the Presidents Cup.

In the season 1987/88 RMI won the G.M.A.C. Cup, in reaching the Final, Horwich disposed of some of the notable clubs, i.e.. Altringham, Northwich Victoria, Enfield and in the Final Weymouth. During the 1994/95 season the the momentous decision was made to abandon the Grundy Hill ground with its notorious corner to corner slope, which would prevent any progress through the football pyramid.

The Hilton Park Stadium was purchased from the Receivers and agreement was reached for the playing of both Association Football and Rugby League on a ground share basis. With a 10,000 capacity it became the Club’s new home towards the end of season 1994/95 with Grundy Hill becoming a site for new homes.

Unfortunately events on the field did not go as planned and the team finished bottom and were relegated. A change of name was agreed by the Football Association and life in Division One in season 1995/96 began as Leigh RMI. It was not to be an immediate return to the Premier Division, but by taking the runners-up spot in only their second season in Division One, League history was made with RMI becoming the first relegated team to regain their place in the Premier Division.

Season 1998/99 saw RMI continuing their efforts to make a success of the move to Hilton Park, getting to the final of the UniBond Presidents Cup and lifting the title the following season. Many observers expected the club to struggle with life in the rarefied atmosphere of Conference football but the first season they finished a very creditable 5th placing and automatic qualification to the LDV Cup Competition.Season 2001/02 saw RMI struggle with injuries all season and severe financial restraints but again defied the odds to stay in the Conference.

Honours:
2000-2001 FA Cup 1st Round (Millwall 3 Leigh RMI 0)
2000-2001 Peter Swales Challenge Trophy (RMI 2 Lancaster City 1)
1999-2000 UniBond Premier Division Champions
1998-1999 FA Cup 1st Round (Fulham 1-1, 2-0)
1998-1999 UniBond Presidents Cup Finalists
1996-1997 Runners-Up UniBond First Division
1987-1988 G.M.A.C. Cup Winners
1984-1985 Lancashire Floodlight Trophy Winners
1984-1985 Lancashire Football Association Cup Winners
1983-1984 Lancashire Floodlight Trophy Finalists
1982-1983 FA Cup 1st Round (Blackpool 3 Horwich RMI 0)
1982-1983 Lancashire Junior Cup Finalists
1978-1979 Cheshire County League Challenge Shield Winners
1978-1979 Cheshire County League Div 1 Champions
1966-1967 Runners Up Lancashire Combination Div 1
1965-1966 Lancashire Combination Cup Winners
1962-1963 Lancashire Junior Cup Finalists
1957-1958 Lancashire Junior Cup Finalists
1957-1958 Lancashire Combination Div 1 Champions
1956-1957 Lancashire Combination Cup Winners
1955-1956 Runners Up Lancashire Combination Div 1
1953-1954 Lancashire Junior Cup Finalists
1953-1954 Lancashire Combination Cup Winners
1950-1951 Runners Up Lancashire Combination Div 2
1948-1949 Runners Up Lancashire Combination Div 2
1929-1930 Lancashire Junior Cup Winners
1929-1930 Runners Up Lancashire Combination Div 1
1928-1929 FA Cup 1st Round (Horwich RMI 1 Scarborough 2 Att:2109)
1927-1928 Lancashire Combination Cup Winners
1924-1925 Lancashire Junior Cup Winners
1911-1912 West Lancashire League Champions
1910-1911 West Lancashire League Champions

Sources:
Official Leigh RMI Site

Entry author: Deus