Team Talk: Oxenhope Recreation 1966

The Keighley area has a rich history of local football. 
There might have been a lack of ‘big’ teams in relation to regional competition in the past but there have been plenty of successful (and not so successful!) teams who have made their mark over the years.
A topical picture this week, looking back at the last Oxenhope team to lift the Keighley FA Challenge Cup.

It is not quite once in a lifetime for Oxenhope Recreation and their long-awaited district cup success but it is certainly once every other generation.
Last Friday’s thrill-laden 7-4 victory over Crosshills at Silsden was Rec’s first win in the senior competition since 1966.
On that occasion one goal was enough to beat Keighley Central for the only other time the cup has resided in the village.
And there is a link between the two teams. Playing his part in the winning team 46 years ago was full-back Ronnie Bowden, the grandfather of Oxenhope’s 2012 team’s central defender Jason Walton.
The village side, who are celebrating their centenary year, return to their spiritual home next season after their Marley exile and will be hoping the wait to lift the cup again is not quite as long next time.
Despite the 100-year history of the club, they have made only four other appearances in the Keighley FA showcase final – as Oxenhope United in 1925 when they lost 3-0 to Morton, in 1960 when Keighley Central ended their hopes 2-1, against Cowling in 1997 when they fell 3-1 and four years ago when Crosshills were 2-0 victors.

Above are Oxenhope’s winning team from the 1966 semi-final. They made just one change to the line-up for the final.
Pictured are: E Thompson, C House, B Steele, D Hopkinson, A Wormald, R Butterfield, G Hogan; J Gillson, D Greenwood, D Frazer, R Brown, R Bowden; front Thompson.
Oxenhope’s 2012 vintage, below, comprises: Nick Hudson, Luke Scott, Scott Nelson, Mark Bentham, Jason Walton, Ben White, Chris Day, Dave Nelson, Dan Moriarty, Michael Garnett, Ollie Metcalfe, Nivard Trowers, Sean Quinlan, Grahame Ellis, Rob Pullan and Chris Newman. (Picture: David S Brett).

  • Can you add first names to the 1966 line-up? What are your memories of Oxenhope’s other final appearances?

  • Add your comments below or send an email to Keighley Kicks
  • Many pictures of old teams will appear in Rob Grillo’s forthcoming ‘Keighley’s Soccer History’ book. It is due to be published next month and will include details of the town’s footballing heritage from the very earliest days right up to the current season. Read more about it, here.
  • It is the last chance this week for Keighley Kicks readers to pre-order the book and save £2 before June 1. The discounted cost will be £12 plus £2 postage for the book, which will stretch to well over 300 pages. You can order online at

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