1905-1906 SEASON

The Keighley & District FA was formed in time for the 1905-06 season, and immediately set out to start up a Keighley & District league. Thirty teams played in two divisions, with Sutton United becoming the first champions after a titanic battle with Keighley Celtic. Celtic actually defeated their rivals 4-1 in the penultimate game of the season but then lost their final league match to Shipley Celtic, enabling Sutton United to lift the title. Celtic's second team won the second division title, other local sides in the new competition included Silsden, Ingrow St Johns, Wesley Place and Fell Lane United.

Keighley Celtic did however win the Keighley Charity Cup in its second season as a soccer competition (It had previously been competed for by local rugby clubs). They defeated holders Silsden 1-0 in front of a crowd of over 1000 at Lawkholme Lane in the April final. The only goal was scored by Leonard on a wet & windy day. Crowds of around 5000 would attend what was the towns premier soccer competition in subsequent years. Just up the road, Bingley FC gained promotion to the top division of the West Yorkshire league and in an epic cup run reached the first round of the FA Amateur Cup for the only time in their short history.

Celtic, who played home games at Stockbridge, went on to dominate the local football scene over the next decade, but they failed to re-emerge following the Great War. Sutton United, later to be based at Holme Lane, had their glory years either side of the second world war.

Local amateur rugby was in its death throes - by 1905 virtually all the amateur rugby teams in the town had become defunct, as soccer became the main sport in town. Only Haworth and Keighley Olicana were left, competing in the Bradford & District League. Olicana played at Lawkholme Lane on alternate weekends and they enjoyed a relatively successful campaign . Haworth struggled from the start and by March 1906 had become defunct. Their West Lane ground was taken over by a local soccer club and is now the village cricket ground. Olicana did not re-emerge the following year. Ironically, Keighley's professional club was enjoying a purple period, finishing fifth in a single 31 team single division behind Leigh, Hunslet, Leeds and Oldham, winning 19 of their 28 fixtures (the following season they went one better and reached the championship play-offs !)


1955-56 SEASON

The Keighley soccer league, by now one of the oldest in the county, celebrated its Jubilee Season. Although it was no longer as strong as it had been, competition was fierce, with Worth Village winning the title before moving on to the Craven League. Among the other teams in the league were Central Youth Club - who would become Keighley Central , one of the best known and successful teams in local football, and Sutton United. United were in their death throes following successful campaigns in the Bradford Amateur and County Amateur leagues, their swansong was an appearance in the Keighley league's Victory shield (league cup) final, losing 2-6 to Worth Village. Central meanwhile hammered Oakworth Albion 6-0 to win the league's special Jubilee Cup final with a young Stan Storton scoring five ! Storton, one of a set of footballing brotherswould go on to play for Bradford City and Tranmere Rovers in later years.

Wharfedale League champions Silsden edged out Steeton in a classic Keighley FA Cup final. They led 5-0 at one stage, with a hat-trick from Doidge before their local rivals made a game of it with three late goals ! The cobbydalers also won the Wharfedale league cup with a 6-1 rout of Guiseley in the final. Under 'chief tactician & schemer' Jack Elmsley, Silsden were going through a purple patch and had McCormack in fine form, netting a sackful of goals throughout the season.

In the world of rugby league, Keighley Albion product Terry Hollindrake represented Great Britain for the first time against New Zealand. The Keighley amateur rugby league competition was short of numbers and was forced into a merger with the Dewsbury & Batley league - thus Silsden, Victoria Park, Albion and Shamrocks had to travel to the likes of Dewsbury Celtic and Hanging Heaton for league fixtures. Silsden defeated Victoria Park 14-13 to win the 'Keighley championship' held in conjunction with the combined league. Keighley RLFC finished 16th in the Rugby league championship from 30 teams that competed the season (Belle Vue Rangers resigning during the season), winning half of their 36 fixtures.


1980-81 SEASON

Two 'big' names were revived in time for the 1908-81 campaign. Silsden reformed their Saturday team following a successful yet controversial era in the 70's , while former Welsh International Trevor Hockey returned home to reform Keighley Town FC, a side that had played in the old Yorkshire League just after World War II.

While Silsden began their new life in the Craven League, Hockey's intention was to guide Keighley Town into the Northern Premier League by the end of the decade. Based at Utley, Town were accepted into the West Riding County Amateur league's first division. Keighley Shamrocks were also in this league and they got the better of Town in league fixtures, but it was Hockey's men, lead by Andy Isherwood and Dave Hobson who won the league. However, their ground was deemed not acceptable for the league's premier division, promotion going to the runners-up, Shipley side Civil Service, who actually had several Keighley faces in their line-up, instead.

Town defeated Shamrocks 3-1 in the Keighley FA Cup final, before going on to beat Silsden 2-0 in the revived, yet short lived, Keighley Charity Cup final at the end of the season. In the years that followed, Town would win the County Amateur league premier title, and would be joined by Silsden in that league - yet by the end of the decade both Town and Silsden would again be defunct, Town's demise around the same time as Hockey's untimely death.

Sunday kings Magnet had a frustrating season. Ventus United pipped them to the Wharfedale League title on goal difference, but the Keighley side were rightly aggrieved that three fixtures against struggling teams had not been played and the awarding of league points was not enough as they had lost their chances of improving their goal difference. Magnet reached the County Sunday cup for an unprecedented third time, but went down 0-2 to Leeds side Aireville in the final. They did however win the Keighley Sunday Cup, defeating Silsden 2-0 in a replayed final. Bradford side Robin Hood missed the registration deadline for their local Sunday leagues, but were accepted into the Keighley Sunday Alliance - promptly winning the title ahead of Grapes in their only season in the competition. They also defeated Timothy Taylors in the Jeff Hall Cup final, although Taylors gained revenge in the league cup before defeating Keighley Grinders in the final of that competition. Spare a thought for Keighley Alliance side Pak Kashmir who lost 0-23 and 0-31 to Robin Hood and Grapes respectively in league fixtures. Amazingly they managed to avoid bottom spot in the league by the season's end.

Alan Bancroft and David Ingham, after falling out with a reformed Silsden, founded a new, albeit short-lived, amateur rugby league club in town. Oakworth Wanderers, playing home fixtures at Wide Lane, adjacent to the local cricket club would last just two seasons. Worth Village were the top team in town, defeating Keighley Albion 14-7 in the Tommy Holmes Shield final, and losing 6-13 to Mixenden in the Halifax Cup final. Albion's Under-17 team were rampant - winning everything they played for, including the Halifax and Bradford Cup competitions. Keighley RLFC finished seventh in the Rugby League's second division, with York edging out Wigan and newcomers Fulham at the top.