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A reproduction of the "Lights on in Leamington" article taken from the Leamington Courier
 


Halesowen Town and Leamington players gather with Nigel Murray, Brakes' sponsors and officials to mark the switching on of the floodlights.

 
Hundreds of fans joined sponsors and club officials at the New Windmill Ground on Tuesday night to switch on Leamington FC's floodlights.
 

Paralympic gold medalist and lifelong Brakes fan Nigel Murray (see picture below) ceremonially threw the switch at half-time in a friendly with Halesowen Town.

A firework display completed the spectacle, which marks another major milestone in the ambitious club's successful comeback.

The 30,000 refurbished lights were bought from Doc Marten's Premier Division Halesowen, who agreed to a friendly as part of the deal.  Fans helped with painting and repairs before volunteer Adrian Barton wired up the system.

Brakes deputy chairman Vic Sheperd said "As a board we were delighted with the way everything has gone and how the sponsors and supporters have backed us".

Supporters' group the Friends of Leamington FC played a major part in the fundraising effort, with sponsors putting their names on the eight pylons.  Its is another triumph on the long road back from the brink of extinction, led since 1988 by chairman Mick Brady and former company secretary David Hucker.

The lights have been repaired and refurbished and comfortably exceed the standard laid down by the Midland Combination.

Without the lights Brakes would have been barred from taking their place in the Midland Combination Premier Division.  They will also stand the club in good stead for the radical shake up expected outside the professional game. 

Mr Knibb said "Looking at the reorganisation of non-league football being planned by the FA, the lights and the ground development will stand us in good stead.

"With the momentum we've got we need to be in a position to take every chance to move forward".

A crowd of 433 watched Tuesday's match and ceremony.  Although slightly down on Brakes' average league gate it was a good turnout for a friendly and bodes well for the new season.

"I believe the people and the town deserve a football club.

"We'll give them a club they can be proud of as long as they continue supporting us" Mr Knibb said.

The eight floodlight pylons have been sponsored by On Centre Surveys, Miles of Tiles, Automotive Products, Rex W Payne Building Contractors, Best Times, Expo Management, MJT Crane Hire and Arriva Vauxhall.

 

Bright Show on pitch too

Brakes produced a rousing second-half performance against higher division opposition in their first match under the New Windmill lights on Tuesday.

Doc Marten's Premier Division Halesowen pounced on their slow starting hosts with two goals in the first 12 minutes.  But Jason Cadden and Barry Proctor's side recovered well, pulling a goal back.

The conceded a third before the break, but turned in a much-improved second half display.  It augurs well for their Icis Midland Combination Premier Division campaign, which kicks off against Meir KA.

New signings Andy Crabtree and Amrit Sahal both had chances after the break, but Glen Webb's header against the bar was Brakes' best opening.