The broad vision that brought the founding members together was one of a football club that was owned by our community and represented the community’s civic, social and cultural identity.
The first meeting that led to the formation of the club was proposed in October 2014 by Paul Manning and also present at that first meeting, were Peter Furmedge, Martin Jones, Kevin Morland and Nicky Allt. A number of names such as “Liverpool City FC” and “Merseyside FC” were considered before the club was officially established in May 2015 as “City of Liverpool FC”. The club chose to play in the colour purple due to it being the civic colour of the city and that the fact that the city’s two big Premier League clubs Everton F.C. wear blue and Liverpool F.C. wear red, blue and red makes purple.
Due to work commitments and other issues Allt and Morland had left the venture by December 2014 and in February 2015, Stuart Fitzgerald joined the remaining 3 committee members.
The club held an open public meeting in September 2015 by which time Martin Jones had left the organisation, at which the community voted to form the club as a CBS (a Community Benefit Society) on socialist principles, and the club then moved forward to making an application to join The North West Counties League for season 2016–17, in December 2015.
In February 2016 the club held its first member’s meeting at Jack Jones House in Liverpool City Centre.
Simon Burton, formerly of Runcorn Town, was appointed as the first manager of the club in March 2016.
The club applied to join the North West Counties Football League in early 2016 but their application was rejected by the FA in May and they were instead placed in the Liverpool County Premier League.
They chose to take up their option to appeal against the decision, particularly in light of the league being left with a vacancy following the resignation of Northwich Manchester Villa, and attended an appeal hearing at Wembley Stadium on 8 June 2016, attended by the two remaining directors, Paul Manning and Peter Furmedge, as Stuart Fitzgerald had left the board in April 2016. The appeal was successful, allowing the club to join the First Division of the North West Counties Football League for the 2016–17 season.
Season 2016–17: Debut season – two cup wins and play-off winners
The club played their historic first game away to Prestatyn Town of the Cymru Alliance on 9 July 2016 in a pre-season friendly, which resulted in a 3-2 win.
An unbeaten start throughout August in the NWCFL inaugural season bode well for the season, until a 2-1 defeat at Daisy Hill in early September brought the positive start to an end, however a 2-1 win away to Whitchurch Alport in November saw the team reach the top of the league and they remained in the promotion race until late into the season.
The club missed out on automatic promotion in the end, however, but secured a place in the playoffs after finishing 4th.
In December 2016 The club secured a 2.5-year sponsorship agreement with locally based Social Housing provider Regenda Homes.
The club also reached two cup finals in their maiden campaign, first defeating Widnes 4–0 on aggregate to reach the final of the NWCFL First Division Challenge Cup. and then overturning a two-goal deficit against Chadderton before eventually winning a penalty shoot-out to reach the final of the NWCFL League Challenge Cup.
They faced Sandbach United in the First Division Challenge Cup final on 1 May 2017 in Runcorn; Jamie McDonald scored the only goal of the match to see the club lift its first ever piece of silverware.
They defeated Whitchurch Alport 1–0 in the playoff semi-final and beat neighbours Litherland REMYCA 3-0 in the final they also faced Premier Division side Barnoldswick Town in the final of the League Challenge Cup in Fleetwood and won the game 3-2 on penalties, despite being reduced to 10 men and subsequently 9 men, after Matthew Williams was sent off in the 1st half and Kevin McEllin was sent off in the 1st period of extra time, after the match finished 1–1 aet. City of Liverpool FC became only the 2nd team in the history of the North West Counties League to win the historic Cup double after Cammell Laird did the same in season 2004-05.
At the NWCFL AGM held at the Imperial Hotel, Blackpool on 17 June 2017, Simon Burton was awarded the title of “1st Division Manager of the Year” and Stephen Longrigg was awarded the title of “1st Division Goalkeeper of the Year”. On 10 May 2017 the club was awarded the title of “Non-League Team of the Season” by the sports bookmaker Coral.
The Club held its 1st annual AGM in July 2017 at which the existing Board of Directors was voted to remain in place for a period of 3 years. The existing Board of Directors consisting of Paul Manning and Peter Furmedge had been augmented during the season by Peter Manning as Club Secretary and Gary Johansen as Media Director. At the AGM Cathy Long was also voted onto the Board.
Subsequently, a Member’s Council was formed and voted Sarah Comber as its Chairman, with initially Francis Stanton and latterly Andrew Lavin, elected as Secretary. Upon her election, Sarah Comber has taken up an automatic place on the Club’s Board of Directors, as Chair of the Member’s Council.
Season 2017–18: Another cup win and first FA Cup journey.
The 2017–18 started with another trophy, beating Atherton Collieries 4–3 on penalties after a 3–3 draw in 90 minutes, in the annual Champions Cup game between the Premier Division Champions and Challenge Cup winners.
On 5 August the club travelled away to fellow Premier Division side Padiham for the historic first-ever game in the FA Cup, which City of Liverpool won. In the second preliminary round, they played Northern Premier League side Prescot Cables.
After a 2–2 draw at Prescot in the first match, a new record home crowd attendance of 956 witnessed the club set the highest scoring game of the round as they defeated their opponents 8-2, to secure their place in the First Qualifying Round, and a home tie against Nantwich Town. On 1 September the first FA Cup run came to an end with a deflected 95th-minute winner handing Nantwich Town a 2–1 victory in front of a record crowd of 1022.
In the FA Vase, the club progressed to the 3rd round, before being beaten by Stockton Town of the Northern League, who themselves went all the way to the final at Wembley Stadium.
Season 2017–18 concluded with a creditable 4th-placed finish in the Hallmark Security league Premier Division.
In June 2018 Sarah Comber resigned her position as Chair of the Member’s Council and was subsequently replaced by Paul McGrady, who was co-opted onto the main board of Directors on an interim basis pending a full meeting of the Supporter’s Council, however following a nomination process, no other member was nominated for the role and Paul was duly elected unopposed.
In early July 2018 the club announced that it had parted company with Manager Simon Burton by mutual consent after two years in charge of the 1st Team and a very successful 1st season. 2 days later the club announced that it had appointed veteran Centre Half Craig Robinson as Player Manager.
Season 2018–19 – title win.
On 14 July the club travelled to Merthyr Town of the Southern League to play for the prestigious Supporter’s Direct Shield, losing 3-1 in what was new Manager Craig Robinson’s first full game in charge.
After an excellent debut season, Robinson led The Purps to its first title success, winning the North West Counties Football League Premier Division with 91 points. At various points of the season the title seemed to be a formality, but with rivals (and landlords) Bootle FC going on an unprecedented 20 game winning run in the league, culminating in a 1-0 victory over COLFC on Easter Monday in front of a record crowd of 1344, The Purps were relegated into 2nd place in the table with just 1 game to play (having been in 1st place since 27 September 2018).
However, a 2-0 away victory at Irlam on the last day of the season, as Bootle drew 1-1 at home with Northwich Victoria, saw the lead change hands again and The Purps crowned champions.
In the FA Cup the Purps reached the 2nd qualifying round, before losing to Chester FC of the Conference North in front of the club’s record crowd of 1834.
In the FA Vase a disappointing 0-4 away reverse at Hebburn Town in front of yet another record crowd, this time 1304, ended the club’s hopes in the 1st round.
Having beaten Avro FC 6–2 on aggregate in the Macron Cup Semi Finals, City of Liverpool FC met 1874 Northwich in the final on Saturday, 4 May at Altrincham FC, with the club looking to become only the 4th team in NWCFL history to win the Double and separately to become also one of four teams to have won the Challenge Cup twice, however in a dour affair, 1874 scored an 88th-minute winner and the double dream was over.
At the NWCFL AGM on Saturday 15 June, Robinson was named as Premier Division Manager of the Year.
On the same day, the club was officially accepted into the Northern Premier League for the 2019–20 season.
The club’s inaugural season in the Northern Premier League was largely disappointing as the club adapted to life in Step 4 of the National League Pyramid. At the Club’s annual AGM Sean Lindblad had been appointed to a place on the Board of Directors for “Community” and Mike Caulfield appointed as “Club Welfare Office” having been co-opted during the previous season.
The NPL North West Division was considered particularly difficult as due to a re-alignment in the FA’s ongoing re-structure, the makeup of the division was to include teams from the North East, making average travelling distances much greater.
In pre-season, the club once again won the NWCFL Champions Cup, inflicting revenge on 1874 Northwich with a 2-1 home win. This trophy was the club’s sixth in its three seasons in the NWCFL and equalled the trophy haul of Warrington Town and thus making the club the joint most successful club in NWCFL history based on trophies won, although the six wins came in only three seasons, whereas Warrington’s came in twelve seasons.
In the FA Cup wins over Campion FC and Skelmersdale Utd set up a first qualifying round game away at Warrington Town FC. The game saw a crowd of over 600 enjoy a 2-2 draw, with the Purps leading 2-1 due to two great strikes from Jack Hazlehurst well into injury time, before intense pressure from the hosts got them a very late equaliser and sent the tie to a replay the following Tuesday.
In front of a record Purps home crowd of 1099, the match was a disaster and ended 0-4 to the Yellows, with the opening goal coming in the first minute after defender Danny Dalton suffered a season-ending achilles tendon injury.
Both the FA trophy and NPL League Cup campaigns ended in first round defeats to Tadcaster Albion and Mossley respectively.
The club fared better in the Liverpool Senior Cup with a 5-1 home win (its first ever home tie in the LSC) over divisional rivals Widnes and a 2-0 win over Everton U23’s securing a home semi-final draw with Landlords Bootle.
In the league a seven match unbeaten run saw the club head the form table early in the season, but a series of heavy defeats to Ramsbottom, Tadcaster and Marine were soon to follow as the club hovered around lower mid table. A notable 3-0 win at home over Prescot Cables was a highlight in what was largely a dour and uninspired campaign as the squad struggled to find its feet at the level.
A discrepancy in a loan signing subsequently saw the club deducted six points in February, just before the entire season was scrapped due to the Covid-19 outbreak and subsequently declared null and void.
Season 20/21 started off very brightly with a 0-3 away win and brilliant team performance at Glossop North End in the FA Cup preliminary round, but quickly turned bad with successive home defeats to Marske in the league (2-4) and Morpeth in the FA Cup 2nd Preliminary round (0-3), before two further defeats away from home at Kendal Town (0-1) and Workington (2-5) brought about the end of Craig Robinson’s reign as Manager of the club, with the club sitting bottom of the league with 0 points.
The club installed Michael Ellison (ex of Runcorn Linnets) and despite only taking over on the Tuesday and with no training sessions able to be undertaken, the team put on an outstanding performance to win away at Brighouse Town 5-2. Still with no training sessions the team turned in an excellent performance to draw 2-2 with Prescot Cables (away) on the following Tuesday.
Trafford at home came next and the excellent start under Ellison’s tutelage continued with a hard fought 1-0 home win to make it 7 points gained from 3 matches.
Due to the Pandemic lockdown only 3 more league games were able to be played which saw a depleted Purps’ squad lose away at title contenders Colne and a 2-1 Boxing Day home derby defeat to Marine, interspersed by an excellent 4-1 home win against Pontefract Collieries and a creditable 10th position as the season was officially curtailed by the FA.
The club had an excellent run in the FA Trophy, beating Atherton Collieries (NPL Prem) 3-0 away (home fans only allowed) , before repeating the feat and going away to beat Buxton also of the NPL Premier Division 2-1 (Behind Closed Doors) before losing 0-2 in a highly creditable performance away at National League North side Darlington (Behind Closed Doors).
With the season curtailed the club’s groundshare agreement with Bootle FC came to an end and the club announced that it has secured a 2 year groundshare agreement with Vauxhall Motors Sports & Social Club at Rivacre Road, Ellesmore Port.
At the Club’s AGM both Cathy Long and Gary Walthew stood down as Directors. Earl Jenkins was elected unopposed.