Liversedge F C

Farsley Celtic A.F.C.

Farsley Celtic Association Football Club are an English football club based in Farsley, in the City of Leeds. The club are known by the nicknames of the Villagers and the Celts; their colours are blue and white. Currently the club are playing in the Conference North having been relegated following a season in the Conference National.

Founded in 1908, the club have spent their entire existence to date in non-league football, where they have won several titles in Northern England. In the FA Cup, the club has reached the First Round twice to play league opposition. The club have plans to go professional in 2008, their centenary year.

History

Farsley Celtic was founded in 1908 by a group of local men from the village of Farsley. During their earliest years, Farsley competed in local leagues around the Leeds area and Hospital Cups. As the club moved into the 1920s they moved to a more permanent ground at Red Lane, opposite Farsley Cricket Club.

After the Second World War ended the club purchased their current ground of Throstle Nest from the local council, where they played their first match in 1948 against West Yorkshire side Frickley Athletic.

Yorkshire League

The Villagers moved up a level for the 1949-50 season, into the Yorkshire League Division Two where they finished 8th during their first season and scored 100 goals in 34 games, however they also conceded heavily. By the 1951-52 season Farsley Celtic were Yorkshire League Division Two champions and as thus, were promoted to the Yorkshire League Division One, which was its top level.

By the mid-1950s, Farsley had started to steady themselves in the upper half of the Yorkshire League. During the 1954-55 season they also had a notable run in the FA Cup, where they reached the Fourth Qualifying Round, going out to Wigan Athletic 3-1. After two consecutive seasons of finishing runners-up, Farsley were champions of the Yorkshire League in 1959-60; however the club were not promoted due to failing to measure up to ground regulations.

Through-out the 1960s the club were stable within the Yorkshire League, always finishing within the top 7 places. For the second time in their history, the Celts were crowned champions of the league in 1968-69 but again were not promoted to a higher level. They came runners-up twice in the early 1970s, proving themselves to be among the best in the league.

In the FA Cup, Farsley Celtic reached the First Round in 1974, the game was against Football League Division Three side Tranmere Rovers at Elland Road before a crowd of 11,000, it ended 2-0 to Tranmere. The rest of the decade for the West Yorkshire club was largely unremarkable, as they bounced between the Yorkshire League Divisions One and Two.

Northern Leagues: 1980s and 1990s

In 1982 the Yorkshire and Midland Leagues merged to form the Northern Counties East League. Celtic started in Division One North and for the first two seasons they finished 3rd, in 1984-85 they won the Division One North championship and were promoted to the Northern Counties East League Premier Division.

It didn't take the club long to rise up that league either, after only two seasons in the Northern Counties East League Premier Division, they finished as runners-up to Alfreton Town and were invited into the Northern Premier League as founding members of the Northern Premier League First Division. Farsley's first slew of seasons in the Northern Premier League First Division often saw the club near the bottom end of the table, this pattern continued on until the mid to late 1990s where they finished in the top six for three seasons in a row.

Upper regions of non-league

Farsley finished 3rd in the 2003-04 season and earned themselves promotion to the Northern Premier League Premier Division. Their stay in the Northern League Premier Division was short but productive, in their first season they finished 3rd and then the following season, after a fourth place finish they won promotion to the Conference North after defeating North Ferriby United 2-1 after extra time in the Northern Premier League play off final in May 2006.

Farsley reached the First Round proper of the FA Cup for only the second time in their history, during the 2006-07 season, after beating Cambridge City 2-1 in the 4th Qualifying Round. They were drawn against Milton Keynes Dons and held them to a 0-0 draw, before being defeated 2-0 in a heated replay at the National Hockey Stadium. In the Conference North, the club also performed well and reached the play-off finals after finishing in 5th, they played Hinckley United for the chance to be promoted into the Conference National. In a memorable match Farsley took the lead early on through Gareth Grant. However Hinckley hit back with a quickfire double to go in at half time 2-1 ahead. Farsley equalised through Damien Reeves late in the second half but again the Leicestershire outfit took the lead with a 3rd goal. All looked dead and buried until first a Ryan Crossley header then a Simeon Bambrook penalty for the winning 4th goal confirmed the Villagers promotion to the top flight of non league football for the first time in their history.

The promotion meant that for the first time, only two leagues separated them from locals Leeds United (just six miles away) and one league separated them from Bradford City who are four miles away from Farsley. However Farsley were relegated at the end of the 2007-08 season back to the Conference North, widening the gap once more, but Leeds United's possible promotion via the play-offs were ended with a 1-0 loss to Doncaster Rovers at Wembley Stadium, preventing the gap being widened even more so.

Possible Future Name Change

Farsley Celtic announced in July 2007 that they were considering changing their name to FC Leeds or Leeds Celtic because Farsley is not well known and so their fanbase is small. Farsley chairman Andy Firbank said: "If we need to change our name to take us up another level from a crowd support point of view then that's what we need to do." Farsley could have their name changed as early as the 2008-09 season. In January 2008, Firbank confirmed that the club still planned a name change at the end of the season with the name Farsley Celtic Leeds, which would then be shortened to FC Leeds, his personal choice for the new name. Providing the club maintain their Conference National status, they are planning to go full-time from 2008.

Players

Current squad

Notable former players

Notable former managers

Staff

  • Caretaker manager: Neil Parsley
  • Reserve Team Manager: Glenn Walton
  • Reserve Team Assistant Manager: Harvey Dean
  • Under-18s Manager: Mark Jackson
  • Goalkeeping Coach: Gary Stokes
  • Physio: Gary Liversedge
  • President: John Palmer
  • Chairman: Andy Firbank
  • Managing Director: Terry Deighton
  • Directors: Martin Carrington & Paul Glover
  • Club Secetary: Josh Greaves
  • Assistant Secretary: Alan Hirst
  • Commercial Manager: John Boyd
  • Accounts Manager: Caroline Carrington
  • Matchday Hospitality Manageresses: Edith Draper & Margaret Lobley
  • Programme Editor/Press Officer: James Grayson

Honours

References

External links

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