Leigh Genesis: A Cautionary Tale


Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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3 Responses

  1. Nick says:

    Wow, this takes me back to a post i wrote back in 2008. Back then, most seemed optimistic about Genesis. So much so that my post was quite heavily criticised. Sad to see the demise of any club – even the original Franchise FC.

  2. Rob says:

    devasted to here this for those in still involved in the club. Remember watching Leigh winning the unibond at a canter in 2000 under Steve Waywell (this was miles better than holding Keegans Fulham at Craven Cottage). They played terrific football that season but crowds never peaked past 400. First year in the conference Waywell reverted to what can only be described as 8-1-1 with Steve Jones (who went on the play for Crewe and N.Ireland) winning the penalties for Tony Black to score them. Leigh finished 5th the year before the play offs were introduced and if there had been play offs they probably would have been promoted. Even then crowds were only boosted by the away supporters that came to watch their team.

    The big problem was that the people of Leigh didn’t want them and didn’t want to watch them, one time they played one after an other, the football fans didn’t stay to watch the rugby and the rugby fans didn’t turn up early to watch the football, and when the LSV was built Leigh council didn’t want them.

    Most of my favourite non-league memories came at Hilton Park.

  3. Theman says:

    Its a shame that the club has finally fallen. I spent alot of time at grundy hill and hilton park during my early years.

    I think its easy to forget that Horwich would not have survived either without the move. The ground wouldnt allow them to play at a higher level, and although many say otherwise support was dwindling.

    The move to leigh was a must and was done with heavy hearts. Crowd sizes aside, the club prospered on the field and enjoyed some great successes. This was done with the help of realistic financial outlooks. It made the success even sweeter.

    Steve Waywell worked miricles with what at times can only be described as threadbare resources. Shrewd purchases such as Steve Jones again kept the club running.

    Its wasnt nice to see the club rebranded. I was scepticle of Speakmans dedication to the club and why someone would want to pour money into a struggling non league side. Early signs were promising though.

    The people of Leigh are league fans and most chose to ignore the football club, bar a few. Its a shame some of them forget that Horwich RMI werent the only ones who needed money at the time the clubs relationship began.

    Even though its a shame the club folded, i cant help but sit back and look at how the changes under speakman distance not only myself but many Leigh fans.

    Many good times were had.

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