The Northern Premier League
Linnets Legends
Welcome to the Linnets Legends section. These players and managers helped make the Linnets a force in Non-league football, and it's hoped that these pages will help job memories of fan's who were around at the time, or prove of interest to younger fans who weren't.

You might also be interested in our "Where are they now?" section.
John Williams John was a player and a manager, and will go down in history as the first manager to take the Linnets to Wembley.
Eddie Moss Eddie played well over 400 games for Runcorn and scored over 130 goals in that time. He partnered two of the greatest goal scorers in the history of the club in Alan Foster and Alan Ryan.
Ossie Smith Ossie Smith was an outstanding captain and a fine player. It is no coincidence that the club enjoyed so much success with John Williams in charge and Ossie as his captain.
Alan Ryan Alan Ryan was a shipping clerk when he became a Linnets Legend on 9 December 1967. Ryan was just 20 years of age, scored the winning goal against Notts County in the First Round of the FA Cup, and went on to score 66 goals that season, a remarkable achievement.
Jim Cumbes Jimmy Cumbes was probably the best goalkeeper Runcorn ever had. He played for us for a spell from 1964 -1965 and returned for a short period to help out in 1977.
Mark Carter "Spike" Carter is another of those players who would fit most fans definition of a Linnets Legend and who also played and managed the team during his association with the club.
Brian Pendlebury No series of articles on Linnets Legends would be complete without the late Brian Pendlebury. "Pengy" was a local lad who kept goal for Runcorn from the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s.
Steve Joel Born in October 1955 and was 5 feet 7 inches of pure pace. Sometimes he was almost too quick for himself! Not only did he possess outstanding pace but he also had one of the longest throws you could see in football. It was often better than a corner!
Peter Duff Peter Duff was a quiet, unassuming man who dedicated his football career to Runcorn FC. Peter is a player whose loyalty and devotion to the club, as well as his medals tally, quite rightly earn him the title of Linnets Legend.
Alan King Alan King had already had a good career at Tranmere Rovers when he arrived at Runcorn in 1973 and he played for the Linnets right up until 1980. He was a natural leader and an inspirational figure on the field.
Stan Storton Stan was a very successful manager, not just at Runcorn but at other top non-league clubs. He joined us in the latter part of 1972/73 and managed the club for six years until his departure in 1979.
Barry Howard Barry was a really quick left winger, 5′ 8″ and 11st 10oz, who also proved to be a great goalscorer.
Barry Whitbread Barry Whitbread will probably best be remembered as a player at Runcorn, even though he did have a spell in charge as manager between 1988 and 1990, when John King left us.
Jack Boothway Boothway was born in Manchester in 1919 and played amateur football for Rusholme and Sedgeley Park. He came to Runcorn in 1961 and remained until 1971, making Jack the longest serving manager since the war (and possibly of all time?).
Alan Foster It is always difficult to think of Alan Foster without reference to Eddie Moss, who was one of our earlier Legends. If Moss was the provider, then Foster was most definitely the goal scorer.
Jock Cunningham Jock was the rock upon which Jack Boothway built his successful team of the 1960s and of course the pinnacle of that success was winning the Cheshire League Championship in 1963. Cunningham, Foster, Moss, Pendlebury, all Linnets Legends in the team that Jack built.
Bobby Fraser Bobby Fraser started his career with Runcorn during the John Williams era. He joined us in 1980 from Winsford, one of the band of players who had played there under Williams. He started life as a centre forward but will probably be remembered best as a quality centre half.
Ray McBride McBride was a 6′ 2″ keeper who had played his football in the West Cheshire League for clubs such as Vauxhall, Port Sunlight and Christleton. He was apparently no mean centre forward either in his early playing days!
Ian Woan To many fans over recent years, Ian Woan would probably stand out as the most outstanding player the club as had and certainly the one who went on to achieve success at the highest level when he left us to go to Nottingham Forest, at that time one of the top teams in the country.
Gary Brabin No series on Linnets Legends could be complete without one of the club’s characters. Occasionally in a club’s history, a player arrives who captures the hearts of the fans and Gary Brabin was one such player. Brabs holds a special place in the hearts of the Runcorn fans, not because he was necessarily one of the best players we ever had, but because he was a character and all teams need players like him.
Jack Search When we talk about legends at football clubs we usually mean players who have been an important part of the club’s history, so surely no one group of players has earned that right more than the famous team which is now part of Linnet’s folklore which took on the existing cup – holders Preston North End at Canal Street on 7th January 1939 and in that team was the one man who more than any other in the history of this club since 1918 has earned the right to be the all – time Linnets Legend, Jack Search.
Norman Brown Norman was a well known person around Runcorn for his great sporting achievements but the one for him was Runcorn Linnets! He turned down professional football for them, which showed his great commitment to the club!
Trevor Finnigan Trevor Finnigan was a Runcorn player for just less than two seasons but made himself a cult hero of supporters, not least for his scoring exploits in the 1975-76 season which went a long way to securing the first of the club’s two Northern Premier League titles.
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