Sunday, March 1, 2009

3/1/09: Guiseley AFC History

Received this email from the vice president of Guiseley AFC, Bruce Speller today:
Date: Sun, 1 Mar 2009 08:43:48 +0000

Hi there

Thanks for your interest on our website about Tuesday game here at Guiseley – we are all looking forward to the visit at our modest ground in Yorkshire.

I have attached a potted history of the club which might be of interest to you and your fellow fans – feel free to use it.

Best Regards
Bruce Speller
Guiseley AFC

Here is the attachment that Bruce sent on Guiseley AFC's history for those interested in our Tuesday opponent:

Founded in 1909 by a local group of enthusiasts the clubs first success came in 1913 when they won the local Wharfedale League.Following the end of the First World War the club switched to the Leeds League achieving little success until 1924 when another switch,to the West Riding County Amateur League,eventually brought success. A treble of league championships in the 1930’s plus two appearances in the last 16 of the old F.A. Amateur Cup, against South Bank in 1932, and Cambridge Town (now City) in 1934.

Another league title was gained in 1939 after which seventeen years were to elapse before the fifth title was achieved in 1956. This marked another switch to the West Yorkshire League,which heralded a remarkable run of success in the local Wharfedale Challenge Cup ,winning the trophy on nine out of ten occasions during the1960’s.

Higher status was gained in 1968 with club entering the Yorkshire League and after moderate success the 2nd Division championship was attained in 1976.Promotion to the First Division followed ,with a runners-up position being achieved in l980 along with a League Cup success over champions,Emley.Success was also achieved in the West Riding County Cup with a hat-trick of trophies being won in1979/80/81.1981 also saw the club have its fisrt taste of F.A.Vase mania,reaching the quarter-finals before losing at home to eventual finalists,Willenhall Town.

Following the set-up of the pyramid system in non-league football in 1982,the Yorkshire League merged with the Midland League to form the Northern Counties East League with Guiseley being placed in the Premier Division at its inception. Moderate progress was again made with third place being achieved in 1985 and again in 1986.Off the field, installation of floodlights in 1988, enabled the club to set its sights on achieving higher status.

The 1989/90 season proved to be the springboard for a very successful period for the club,with the signing of the former England international,Frank Worthington plus a first F.A.Vase Semi-Final appearance. Defeat against rivals Bridlington Town was soon forgotten as the following season saw the club go one better by not only reaching the famous Wembley twin towers but also featuring in a never to forgotten 4-4 draw with Gresley Rovers.Eventually the trophy was won three days later with a 3-1 replay victory at Bramall Lane, Sheffield.

Further success was also achieved that season with a League and Cup double together with promotion to the Northern Premier League.

Another milestone in the clubs history was reached in 1991 with the 1st Round of the F.A.Cup being reached for the first time,losing 0-1 away to Chester City at their temporary home at the time,Macclesfield.

A further visit to Wembley in the F.A.Vase sadly saw the trophy relinquished to Dorset side,Wimborne Town in another eight goal epic, losing 3-5.

Good progress was made in the N.P.L. with 4th place being achieved in the first two campaigns together with the First Division Cup being lifted in 1993. Under the guidance of Ray McHale, 1993/94 proved to be another exceptional season with the First Division title being won and along with it , promotion to the Premier Division.

A greater feat was to reach the semi-finals of the F.A.Challenge Trophy against Runcorn (then a Conference side), when a stoppage time goal in extra time of the 2nd leg cruelly robbed the club of a third Wembley appearance in four years.Consolation was gained by becoming the 1st First Division side to lift the N.P.L. President’s Cup,defeating Leek Town over two legs.

Elevation to the Premier Division saw the club gain a record breaking 93 points third position in its first campaign, as well as reaching the 1st round of the F.A.Cup ,where a home tie against Carlisle United, switched to Valley Parade,produced a club attendance record of 6,548.

The latter half of the 1990’s had been something of an anti-climax with just the West Riding County Cup being won in l996 and two N.P.L. President’s Cup final defeats in 1996 and 1998.

Following the appointment of Bobby Davison as Player/Manager during the second half of the 1997/98 season a fresh impetus was given to the side as a number of the clubs promising young reserve side players were blooded into the squad. A very creditable third place in the Premier Division of the Unibond League was achieved at the end of the 1998/99 season as well as reaching the final of the League Challenge Cup for the first time

Sadly fortunes took an unexpected turn for the worse the following season with relegation being suffered for the first time in the club’s NPL membership which resulted in Davison being replaced by his assistant,Neil Parsley.

In 2002/03 an excellent FA Cup run was enjoyed, when, despite languishing at the foot of the table, a fourth appearance in the First Round proper of the competition was achieved with a visit to Second Division,Luton Town. Although suffering a 0-4 defeat,the cup run boosted the clubs finances as well as providing some memorable matches,notably the 3-2 replay victory at Tamworth.

Season 2004-05 saw the club back in the Premier Division as a result of the re-structuring of non-league football and saw the club gain its first piece of silverware of the new millenium with the West Riding County Cup being won.

Last season saw the arrival of three new members to the board of directors, who have provided the financial support to move the club forward.

During November 2006 they appointed former Bradford City boss Terry Dolan as manager and the Unibond League Chairman’s Cup was won along with the Unibond League Fair Play award being lifted for the second successive season.

During 2007-08 season, Dolan was replaced by Steve Kittrick from fellow Unibond League side, Ossett Town.

Off the field the club has seen the tie up of local junior clubs bear fruition, with charter status to the FA community club status being achieved during early 2005. As a result of this, a new floodlit third generation surface all weather training area to replace the old tennis court area at the ground was opened in September 2006.


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