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What’s in a name?

posted 2 May 2018, 05:57 by Roy McDonald   [ updated 2 May 2018, 05:57 ]

This article is slightly different for me. Rather than focusing on the history, it considers the recently announced name and image change for the visiting team from Radcliffe and whether Cables should consider something similar. It appeared in the programme for the last league game of the season on 28th April 2018.

The last match of the regular season, today, marks a significant milestone in the history of our visitors. This will be their last game playing as Radcliffe Borough Football Club.

The club has confirmed that it will drop the Borough from their name and adopt a new badge from next season. It has been part of the club’s identity since it’s formation in 1949.

This is an attempt to rebrand the club to make it fit for the modern age and a new demographic.

The Club says it “wishes to better identify with its community and… modernise throughout, on and off the field, and in the way that we interact with supporters, and the wider community. We are community focussed Club and we want to emphasise that we represent Radcliffe”. 

In these days of wall-to-wall football on the tv, it is easy to consider oneself as a stay-at-home fan of one of the big Premier League teams. Against this, it is vital that local non-league clubs do everything they can to make themselves relevant to their local community and turn “telly-fans” into true supporters. Therefore, anything which raises the profile of football in and around Radcliffe, and attract people through the turnstiles is to be applauded.

Fortunately, the club have decided not to follow the Rugby League and cricket fads of ridiculous appendages – Radcliffe Rotweilers, anyone?

However, football is a sport built on history and tradition. In a nod to this, the new badge still refers to The Boro, and you can be sure that many of the existing diehard fans will still refer to their club as “The Boro”, in the same way that many of our fans still watch their football at Hope Street.

We wish Radcliffe FC good luck for next season and the next chapter in their story.

So, should Prescot Cables consider a similar move to rename and rebrand our famous old club, to make it more modern?

Since the original club was founded in 1884, and it’s reincarnation in 1906, Prescot’s senior football club has undergone several name changes over the years, being known as Prescot Cables FC between 1928 and 1964, and again since 1980.

The club’s links with the Cable works have long since expired. Indeed, the whole Cable works has disappeared from the landscape of the town, with only an identikit retail park and a few street names to remind anyone of it’s past. So, it could be argued that our name is no longer relevant to the town?

However, the Prescot Cables name is well known and well regarded across the footballing world, and we have seen in articles in this programme, how it has been the nursery which has produced many players who have carved out successful football careers at the highest levels.

This season our home league attendances have increased to an average of more than 330, and with greater success on the field and increased social media exposure, the club is now attracting the attention of younger supporters.  We are moving forward, on and off the pitch, but I don’t think we need a name change to be part of that.

I think it is important that our new supporters recognise and embrace the rich history of our club.

Admittedly, Prescot’s official nickname as “The Tigers” is, perhaps, now less relevant as we no longer play in the amber and black stripes and it could be argued that a new nickname derived by shortening Cables to “The Bulls” is more appropriate.  Indeed, a whole new culture is beginning to grow around the contraction of the Prescot Cables name into “Pesky Bulls”. Gareth Coates has discussed that, in these very pages, earlier this season.

But Prescot Cables FC is a football institution. It is a strong brand. The Cables name is virtually unique in football and I think we would be foolish to even consider consigning it – and the heritage that comes with it – to the annals of history.

After all, it’s a gift for sub-editors looking for a headline!

More power to the Cables!

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