THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

Notable kits of yesteryear

leighrmi15017 January ~ Leigh RMI had been founded in 1896 as Horwich Railway Mechanics Institute, one of two Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway works teams. The other club played at Newton Heath and later went on to become Manchester United. In 1995 Horwich RMI relocated to become Leigh RMI, moving into the 10,000 capacity Hilton Park, home of Leigh Centurions rugby club. In 2000 they reached the Conference and survived, against the odds, for five seasons at that level.

This shirt was worn during their 2003-04 campaign, in which they finished second-bottom of the pile. A slight diversion from their normal red and white stripes, the shirt was designed by Branded and sponsored by Body Image Fitness Centre from Wigan. Unlike Leigh RMI, the health club still exists today. The club should have been relegated at the end of that 2003-04 season but were reprieved when Margate failed ground grading. The escape was short lived as demotion to the Conference North was unavoidable the next season. Leigh RMI declined an opportunity to merge with the newly formed FC United of Manchester and over the next few years the demise set in.

Relegation to the Northern Premier League ensued in 2008, at which point the club's name was changed again when they became Leigh Genesis. The traditional club colours were discarded, in favour of white and black, in an attempt to make Genesis stand out from many other Lancashire clubs who sported red. But the rebranding of the club failed to stop the rot; competing for support in the Manchester hinterland, in the shadow of bigger clubs and at the heart of rugby league country, took its toll.

A move away from Hilton Park eventually saw them homeless and a further drop down the pyramid followed. In the summer of 2011 they took the decision to resign from the National League System. Leigh Genesis reformed in May 2012 as a Sunday League side. Andy Ollerenshaw

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