Rylands Recreation Club were formed as a local works (wire manufacturer) team in 1911. In their early days they played in the Liverpool County Combination before joining the Warrington & District League where they enjoyed considerable success. Establishing themselves throughout the 1950’s they won successive Premier Division Championships from 1955 to 1959. Added to the league in 1958 was Warrington Districts’ prestigious Guardian Cup and to complete a hat-rick of trophies the club also lifted the Liverpool Junior Cup.
Steady progress throughout the 60’s prompted the club to look for new mountains to climb and in 1969 the club joined a relatively new league, The Mid-Cheshire League. The step up in standard saw a barren trophy cabinet for a number of years, but in 1979 they won their first trophy by defeating Barnton in the League Cup final, which led to a successful period at the club. Rylands won the Mid-Cheshire League championship in 1981 and were again champions in 1984 when Joe Rudge’s side lost only once all season. 1983/84 was also the season that Rylands thought they were on their way to Wembley when they entered the last 32 of the FA Vase with wins over Blackpool Mechanics, Maghull, Atherton LR and Rainworth MV. But it was against the latter that saw an appeal against the length of the pitch and when it was found to be just over a yard short, a replay was ordered which Rainworth won 1-0.
A barren run of years, a time when the club resigned the Reserves from the Mid-Cheshire League, was ended when a newly formed youth team lifted the Warrington & District Youth Cup with an extra time win over local rivals Warrington Town. This provided the springboard for senior honours in 1993. The Reserves were reinstated and went on to win the Division Two League Cup with an extra time win over Knutsford. Prior to the start of the 1996/97 season the club formed a link with a local junior club – Beechfield – and these youth sides continued to bring trophies in to the club. Warrington & District Youth Cup in 1997, Wigan & District League Runners-up in 1998 and in 1999 both the Warrington & District League and Cup. These young players rejuvenated the club and in 1999-00 the first team reached the Mid-Cheshire League Cup Final only to lose out to Knutsford in a penalty shoot-out after being reduced to nine men with twenty minutes of extra time left. Season 2001/02 would see a surprise end to the campaign. An undefeated run of nine games saw the first team snatch runners-up spot on goal difference.
In 2003, Rylands again reached a Mid-Cheshire Cup final – The Presidents Cup – but lost out to Styal. The club then fell on hard times and in 2008 amalgamated with Crosfields to form a new club, Crosfields / Rylands FC. Under the new name both the first and reserve teams reached Mid-Cheshire League Cup Finals, unfortunately losing in both and their anguish would continue when the firsts lost out to Woodley in 2010 and the reserves to Pilkington the season after.
Prior to the start of the 2012/13 season, the club resumed the name of Rylands FC with the backing of a new sponsor, Triple S Sports & Entertainment Group – led by former Rylands player Paul Stretford. The first team went on to win the Warrington Guardian Cup in 2015, whilst also coming Mid-Cheshire League Cup runners up in 2013, 2014 and 2018.
After restoring stability to the first and reserve teams, the club decided to grow. An under 21 team was formed in 2015 that entered the new North West Under 21 Development League, before the Rylands merged with local junior club, Fife Rangers, bringing seventeen teams and over two hundred players under the Rylands Football Club banner in 2016.
Alongside the stability and growth of the club on the pitch, year-on-year investment off the pitch was also made in to developing the facilities at Rylands Recreation Club with the aim of meeting ground grading criteria for promotion, which came to fruition in the spring of 2018 when the club was successfully admitted in to the North West Counties Football League Division One South for the 2018/19 season – the first season in its 107-year history that Rylands first team will compete at Step 6.