City of Liverpool FC (COLFC) was legally formed as a Community Benefit Society in September 2015 after a public open meeting gave the support needed from the community to form a supporter owned football club.
Unlike virtually all new football clubs, COLFC was not born out of a protest at any football club nor as a phoenix of a defunct club. The club was formed simply to fill both a supporting and infrastructure gap that existed in Liverpool.
Local supporters could go and watch either of the local Premier League clubs (if you can afford tickets and if you can firstly access them) or drop down an enormous eleven divisions of football to effectively park football with no spectator facilities.
Whilst we recognized that there were local non-league clubs in the adjoining boroughs to Liverpool; Sefton, Knowsley, Wirral, Halton, there was nothing actually in Liverpool.
Once we started trying to find somewhere to play football, it quickly became apparent why there wasn’t a non-league football club in Liverpool – there was no stadium or ground to accommodate them.
So, we set about changing that, both on behalf of our club and on behalf of this football mad city as a whole.
In December 2015 we secured a groundshare agreement with Bootle FC and made our application to join the National League System at Step 6. In February 2016 we had our first members meeting having sold over 400 annual share memberships already – so we knew that we had the support base in place.
In March 2016 we appointed Simon Burton as our first team manager, and he was tasked with pulling a squad together, so now all we needed was the nod from the FA to place us in the NWCFL for Season 2016/17.
After a failed presentation at Wembley we were placed at Step 7 of the pyramid in the Liverpool County Premier League, but at the very last moment Northwich Manchester Villa dropped out of the NWCFL and a place opened up.
We appealed and after a lengthy hearing back at Wembley we received the news that we had in fact been placed in the NWCFL for Season 2016/17.
We had a first campaign that will live long in many people’s memories, with very large crowds and a highly eventful season both on and off the pitch, which never saw us out of the top four of Division One, before eventually finishing fourth in the league and earning a place in the Play-Offs.
After a narrow 1-0 home win over Whitchurch Alport we went on to defeat local rivals Litherland REMYCA 3-0 away to secure promotion to the NWCFL Premier Division at the first attempt, in front of a massive crowd of 1,332.
Just prior to that we had won our first trophy with a 1-0 victory over Sandbach United in the First Division Trophy in front of another massive crowd of 1,205.
Our final game of the season was held at Highbury Stadium home of Fleetwood Town in the NWCFL Challenge Cup final, where we were to face Premier Division side Barnoldswick Town. In another highly fraught affair, we took an early 1-0 lead from the penalty spot, before being reduced to 10 men before half time.
Holding out gamely until the eighty-third minute, Barnoldswick finally got level from a well worked corner and took the match into extra-time.
The Purps were then reduced to 9 men before seeing out the 1-1 draw and taking the game to penalties, were we eventually ran out victors 5-4 to win an historic treble (including promotion) in our inaugural season.
All of the hard work had been vindicated. Our final four games had been Final, Semi-Final, Final, Final and we had won all 4!!
Season 2017/18 was quieter and was largely decimated by bad weather but began with us winning the NWCFL Champions Cup with a 3-2 penalty shoot win (again with 9 men!!) away at Atherton Collieries.
A highly creditable fourth place finish did not match the highs of the first season (but what could), but it was at this point that we decided to part ways with Manager Simon Burton by mutual agreement.
The club appointed Craig Robinson and again this turned out to be an inspired choice by the Board of Directors.
Unbeaten in the league until December, The Purps sailed into an astonishing lead in the league that looked unassailable, but an unbelievable run of 19 wins on the bounce by local rivals (and landlords) Bootle FC chipped away at the lead until we reached an Easter Monday showdown at Vesty Road between the clubs, which had the Purps 3 points ahead going into the game, but crucially Bootle had the better goal difference.
A 1-0 defeat for COLFC in an extremely tense and tight affair saw Bootle leapfrog us and go into top spot in the league with just one game remaining for both clubs, for the first time that season. COLFC had been top of the league since September and now it looked to have been wasted.
The following Saturday The Purps travelled to Irlam and Bootle hosted Northwich Victoria.
Yet another fraught and frantic matchday was played out and after we had secured a 2-0 win and a crucial three points, the news filtered through to Silver Street that Bootle had only managed a draw and their 20 game winning streak had come to an end. The Purps were Champions and a massive celebration ensued!!
We had earned our second promotion in three seasons and would now ply our trade in the Northern Premier League (NPL) in Season 2019/20, which would be just our fourth as a non-league club.
Before exiting the NWCFL, we sadly failed to win an historic double, suffering a narrow 1-0 defeat to 1874 Northwich in the Challenge Cup Final, but gaining revenge of sorts in the NWCFL Champions Cup final by beating the same side 1-0.
We had secured our sixth trophy in the NWCFL and in doing so had become the joint most successful club in league history by trophies won (6), sharing that title with Warrington Town (although we won our 6 a lot quicker!!).
Our debut season in the NPL was certainly a tough introduction, which saw the club sitting sixteenth in the league (including a 6 point deduction) when the global pandemic struck and the season was ended early and ultimately declared null and void.