LITTLE Lever and Radcliffe will revive their Lansdale Trophy match this year.

The game was played on an annual basis between the two sides from 1966 to 2012.

Now after a gap of five years the two clubs have agreed to play for the old trophy again at Radcliffe’s Racecourse ground on Sunday, April 15.

Radcliffe captain Michael Farley contacted Little Lever with the suggestion they should revive the game and the Bolton League club were keen on the idea.

The original idea for the game belonged to Little Lever’s William Lansdale – hence the trophy’s full title, the William Lansdale Challenge Trophy – as there was some rivalry among workers at local engineering companies such as Dobson and Barlow and Mather and Platt where players and members of the two clubs worked.

The Lansdales are a stalwart family of Little Lever and its sporting scene – especially the cricket club – with Alan still playing table tennis for the club in his eighties and his son Ian also involved with a lifetime affiliation to the club.

And current captain Josh Gent is delighted to see the return of the Lansdale Trophy match, and wants to win it for Alan.

"I'm glad it's back," he said.

"I have a lot of time for the Lansdales. As a junior coming through the ranks Alan always spent a lot of time with me personally, throwing balls to me and such like.

"He also preferred to watch the second team because he liked to see which youngsters were coming through the ranks who would be the future of the club.

"Ian was captain of the second team at that time and he put in endless effort with the young players in the side, so much so that there were nine under-18s players and two seniors – him being one of them.

"We reached the Birtwistle Cup final and finished second in the league that year.

"The Lansdale family has had an unbelievable impact on the club over the years and for that reason I'm very happy the trophy is back.

"I'm also pleased to have the pleasure of playing against a Radcliffe team that seems to be on the up.

"It will be the first time I will have captained Little Lever in the trophy and hope we can get a win which would be a nice present to Alan from the team."

The trophy was originally used for a fishing competition, but when the fishing team disbanded who used to compete for it, it was reconstructed with cricket figures.

The match used to be played in the middle of the season and was well supported with teams fielding their professionals.

In later years it was moved to pre-season.

Little Lever won the first game in 1966 and the two teams won it alternately for the first nine years.

Radcliffe then won it for four successive years and have the better overall record with 23 wins to Little Lever’s 17.

Farley grew up watching and then playing in the games and has wanted to see it return for some time.

“When I took over as captain last year this was one of the things I wanted to do,” he said.

“It was a big thing when I was growing up, people talked about playing for the Lansdale Trophy and they were always good games and well supported.

“They were good games to play because it was always nice to play against a team from a different league – we were in the Central Lancashire League and Little Lever were in the Bolton League.

“It’s great the game is going to be played again and that the old trophy will be played for.

“It’s a pre-season friendly but one with a trophy to play for.”