RUNCORN Football Club's history will be brought back to life in a book being written by fan, writer and local historian Chris Darlington.
The book, to be titled Gone But Not Forgotten, will document and illustrate the history of Runcorn FC at Canal Street.
The author has lived in Runcorn all his life and became interested in the club at the age of seven when his father first took him to a game - that was 43 years ago
But the family interest in Canal Street affairs goes back even further.
Chris' grandfather played for Runcorn rugby team, who dominated the scene until the First World War.
At the end of hostilities, association football succeeded the pioneers of the oval-ball game in the town.
In their first season, Runcorn FC became members of the Lancashire Combination and success quickly followed as they won the Lancashire Junior Cup, beating Blackpool RAMC in a replay at Anfield.
The following season, Runcorn were one of the founder clubs of the Cheshire County League and its first champions.
Runcorn FC became quite a dominant force as they won several titles at Canal Street, including the league and cup double in 1936-7.
They won Northern Premier League titles in 1975-76 and 1980-81 and in 1981-82 were champions at the first attempt of the Alliance Premier League, which was to evolve into today's Nationwide Conference.
Successes in more recent years led Runcorn to reaching the final of the FA Trophy at Wembley three times in 1986, 1993 and 1994.
The 1993-94 season saw Runcorn FC's financial battles intensify as Canal Street was gutted by fire.
The club had already forked out for extensive structural work to terracing and pitchside barriers after a perimeter fence collapsed during an FA Cup tie against Hull City.
The cost of rebuilding saw Runcorn's performance on the pitch suffer and they were relegated for the first time in their history in 1995-96.
By 1999-2000, confidence in the club had dwindled along with their crowds.
They sold their Canal Street home for housing to move into the 11,000-capacity Halton Stadium in Widnes as Runcorn FC Halton. But what little money they had left from the sale after paying off debts and a clawback to English Partnerships was used up in ground-rental bills they could ill afford.
At the end of last season, the now dormant club resigned from the UniBond League Premier Division after supporters had committed themselves to forming the breakaway Runcorn Linnets Football Club, now in the North West Counties League.
But Chris believes writing this book will help keep memories of glory years at Canal Street alive.
'I began writing this book more than a year ago in the belief that memories should be collected,' said Chris.
He hopes to finish the book in time for Christmas although he has not yet found a publisher.
Chris is still looking for people, including fans and ex-players who have special memories of Canal Street, to come forward and share their memories for the book which concentrates on the period from 1918 to 2000.
He believes the book should be 'a good read' and is appealing to the townsfolk, especially those with an interest in Runcorn FC.
He said: 'I have enjoyed doing this book. I have found out some good gossip on the team and seen some great photos.'
* The 1939 Runcorn team that played Preston North End in the FA Cup in front of 10,011 people were called The Dream FA Cup team and became known as the Runcorn Babes.
* In 1946-47 Runcorn FC players received the magnificent sum of £2 a week wages with 10 shillings for a win and five 'bob' for a draw.
The author added: 'Canal Street had a great atmosphere and character. It was a special place and big part of the history of Runcorn and I'm looking forward to it being preserved in this book.'
* Chris Darlington can be contacted on 01928 716361.