Writing their way into ‘the’ history book

Keighley Town 1945/46, one of many pictures in Rob Grillo’s excellent book.

Two more local leagues kick-off this weekend with hopes of rewriting the record books.
The West Yorkshire League and Bradford Sunday Alliance join the North West Counties League in getting their campaign under way but, when it comes to making an entry in the history books, there’s only one volume Keighley area clubs will be wanting to feature in.
Alas, it is too late for the newly-released edition of Rob Grillo’s excellent Keighley’s Soccer History.

Tomorrow, WIN a copy of Keighley’s Soccer History, only on Keighley Kicks

The local football historian’s latest tome chronicles the ups and down of the round ball game across the area – from its earliest days when Keighley FC and Keighley Airedale were the teams to follow from the 1880s right up to last season’s long-awaited triumph for Oxenhope in the Keighley Cup and Crosshills’ magnificent league double.
In between, Rob tells the story of all the district’s clubs, from the first Keighley Charity Cup in 1904, when entrants included Worth Village, Cullingworth Juniors, Keighley Celtic, Hermit Hole, Haworth Midland, Silsden, Ingrow St John, Keighley Trade School, Sutton United, Keighley Cavendish Street and Thwaites Brow, and bang up to date with the likes of Steeton, Cononley and Cowling.
Silsden, Sutton and Crosshills have led eventful histories and Rob investigates them in full, as well as telling the tale of the various Keighley Towns and abortive attempts to get the town represented at a higher level in the non-League pyramid.
Many other teams feature, with pictures of line-ups representing the likes of Victoria Park, Keighley St Annes, Morton, Hattersleys, Guardhouse, Kildwick Athletic, Keighley West Yorkshire Road Car Co, Dean Smith & Grace, Central YC, Prince Smith & Stells, Greenhead and Cross Roads, as well as more prominent recent teams such as Haworth, Shamrocks, Phoenix, Wilsden and Oxenhope through the years.
As well as the teams, there is a strong focus on some of the top players, in which Birmingham City play an integral part.
Local legends Trevor Hockey, Jeff Hall and MIke Hellawell all made their mark at the Midlands club and there are features on all three, as well as John Hellawell, Geoff Smith, Willis Walker, Maurice Lindley, Peter Jackson and the Storton brothers – Stan, Trevor and Neil – plus more recent pros Lee Duxbury and Tommy Lee.
There are also chapters on Sunday football, women’s soccer and the lost grounds of the district in a comprehensive guide.
Packed with mono and colour pictures, and complete with a plethora of tables and cup final results, this really is a must-have book for anyone who has ever played or watched football or just lived in the Keighley area, covering plenty of social history.
Copies of the 300-page publication are available direct from Rob’s website. They cost £14 plus £2 postage. Click here for details of how to order.

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