Thursday, 18 January 2018

Red Kites are talk of the Town

HENLEY TOWN has changed its kit and club crest as part of a rebranding exercise.

HENLEY TOWN has changed its kit and club crest as part of a rebranding exercise.

The Lilywhites are to be renamed the Red Kites as their white shirt and black shorts will be replaced by a red kit with white bands.

A red kite has also been added to the badge, which has retained the image of Henley Bridge and St Mary’s Church but now includes the club’s name in a red font.

Members of the club’s committee voted for the change at its annual general meeting earlier last month.

Secretary Tony Kingston said the club were hoping for a change in fortunes after finishing bottom of the Hellenic League Division 1 (East) last season.

A new management team is in place after former Woodley Town boss Cyril Fairchild replaced Roy Hanley at the end of the season.

Kingston said: “We just fancied a change because we’ve got a completely new management team and we’re rebranding the club.

“We’ve had some good and bad times in our history. Last year was a very bad year but now we’ve got a new start. We’re very optimistic for the new season.”

Kingston also said the white shirts had been difficult to clean, adding: “You put them in a wash and after three games there are still stains in it.”

Explaining the name change, he added: “Red kites are big birds which are always seen hovering around the pitch and flying all day around the area.”

The new kit is believed to be based on the original colours of the club when it was formed in 1871.

Club president John Bailey said there were no records of the kit in the club’s first few seasons but it was playing in red and white by 1877 at the latest.

The Lilywhites were first born in the 1890s but changed to yellow circa 1955. The club reverted again in 1973 and has remained unchanged until now.

Bailey said: “Although they’ve been white for a long time it’s not been throughout the club’s existence and there are people like me who can remember them playing in yellow.

“In one sense it’s a shame not to be the Lilywhites anymore but that hasn’t always been the case. If it’s red and white they are probably going back to the colours they used when they were first founded.”

The club, which will have a reserve team in the East Berkshire Football League Premier Division next season, has also appointed Chris Faulkner as vice-chairman and Lynne Booker as treasurer.

It is looking to hire out its facilities to more people in the town and is offering corporate match day packages to local businesses.

Kingston said: “We want other people in the town to use the facilities we have. They are there to be used most of the week because they are usually empty.”

The club is also looking for more volunteers, including a match day reporter. Anyone interested should contact Tony Kingston on kingstontony6@gmail.com

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