Bronte Wanderers’ decision to pull out of the West Riding County Amateur League leaves Haworth without any local football representation. ROB GRILLO looks at the history of the sport in the village (Part 4 – 1950s-2012).
Haworth boasted three seniors teams as recently as 1991. Now they have none.
Pictures: Keighley’s Soccer History, by Rob Grillo.
Another attempt at establishing Haworth was also unsuccessful, this time between 1961-63 when a side, again playing out of Butt Lane, now the only suitable venue in the village, struggled badly in the Craven League before throwing in the towel.
Luckily there was a Haworth Youth Club side ready to take over the mantle of senior club in Haworth, with two open-age teams being fielded in the Bradford Red Triangle from 1963 (Division D & Division E to be precise).
No doubt several of the former Haworth FC players were utilised, but this time a much better attempt was made to form a club that could compete again with the best in the district.
There was a return to the Craven League in 1965, with the Youth Club dropped from the club’s title and after a relatively successful spell for the first team in the Bradford competition.
Bronte Wanderers’ decision to pull out of the West Riding County Amateur League leaves Haworth without any local football representation. ROB GRILLO looks at the history of the sport in the village (Part 3 – 1924-1950s).
Haworth FC 1925. Three years earlier the club had been founder members of the West Riding County Amateur League.
Pictures: Keighley’s Soccer History by Rob Grillo.
Haworth FC’s rise from nowhere after the Great War had seen them lift the Keighley League title and become founder members of the County Amateur League in 1922.
Life in the County League was tough, although there was a sixth place finish in 1924 and fourth in 1929, only two years after having picked up the wooden spoon.
Local cup success was also hard to come by, with just two Charity Cup wins, 2-0 against Parkwood in 1927, and 3-1 in a replay against Cowling four years later.
Bronte Wanderers’ decision to pull out of the West Riding County Amateur League leaves Haworth without any local football representation. ROB GRILLO looks at the history of the sport in the village (Part 2 – 1919-1923).
The 1921 Keighley FA Charity Cup final replay between Haworth and Cullingworth attracted a crowd of 3,500. Pictures: Keighley’s Soccer History by Rob Grillo.
The need for a suitable drinking water supply to Keighley provided the impetus for local football prowess in Haworth.
Following the building of Ponden and Watersheddles reservoirs, work on Lower Laithe reservoir at Stanbury began after the Great War, attracting navvies from as far away as Ireland and Scotland.
It is likely that the Sladen Bridge FC that appeared in 1919 was indeed linked to the reservoir works and this side took its place in the top division of the Keighley League for the 1919-20 season.
Bronte Wanderers’ decision to pull out of the West Riding County Amateur League leaves Haworth without any local football representation. ROB GRILLO looks at the history of the sport in the village (Part 1 – 1884-1915).
Bronte Wanderers, final season 2011/12
Even though Bronte never actually played in Haworth, they were based in the village and regarded as ‘belonging’ there, even though they were forced to play at Marley.
The fact they didn’t have a home, was always a sticking point, and that is such a shame when you look back at football in Haworth and the number of pitches that have been used.
Now, only the Butt Lane one remains, sadly too small for senior use and plagued by drainage problems.
The oval game was first to arrive in Haworth with rugby being recorded there in 1884. It was another 20 years before anything like a properly organised ‘soccer’ team appeared.
Back in the dug-out: Glyn Smith has moved up the valley
Unlike Neil Lennon’s grief with the Rangers/Celtic rivalry and Wayne Rooney’s Scouse/Mancs problems, Glyn Smith is hoping he will not need a new identity and bodyguards after switching allegiance across the great divide.
The experienced coach has joined Oxenhope after a lifetime of being associated with the village’s keen rivals from slightly further down the Worth Valley in Haworth.
Glyn will be assisting the West Yorkshire League club’s reserve team manager Tony Trowers and made his debut in the dug-out on Friday in the pre-season match against Oakworth.
But the Keighley Kicks columnist admitted the move up the valley had caused him some sleepless nights.
Bronte celebrate their 2007 Keighley FA Cup success.
Pictures: David S Brett
Happier times: Steve Bainbridge with the Keighley FA Cup five years ago.
Bronte Wanderers have dropped a bombshell just weeks before the West Riding County Amateur League season starts.
The Marley-based Haworth club have pulled both their teams out of the league and will not be fielding any teams during the 2012/13 season.
Club spokesman Steve Bainbridge said: “Following the departure of almost the entire first-team squad, along with the non-appearance of many other squad members at pre-season training, Bronte have taken the regrettable decision not to enter a team in the County Amateur League this season.”
Bronte Wanderers Reserves have been moved up from Division Three of the West Riding County Amateur League, despite finishing bottom last season.
But it is purely down to a redistribution of teams with the competition losing a full division and now having only 43 members.
All seven of last season’s Division Three teams have been elevated to a new 15-strong Division Two, which also includes Steeton Reserves. No new teams have been admitted to the league.
Bronte’s first team stay in Division One, while Steeton are the area’s only representatives in the Premier Division. The top two divisions stay with 14 teams in each.
A new season starts for Bronte Wanderers on Wednesday, July 4, when pre-season training starts at Marley, 7pm.
Old and new players are welcome and the West Riding County Amateur League club’s press officer Steve Bainbridge said: “It’s important that we get people there to start off right, and also that people do their best to get others down.”
Steeton and Bronte Wanderers have both been demoted in non-League football’s structure.
The Football Association has decided the West Riding County Amateur League does not meet the minimum criteria for official feeder league status and has withdrawn its Step 7 provisional ranking.
Steeton are one of fewer than 40 per cent of Premier Division clubs with the necessary grade.
It is good news for Oxenhope Rec though, the West Yorkshire League has been marked up to full Step Seven status and, with the Central Midlands League, Humber Premier League and Sheffield & Hallamshire County Senior League also feeding into the Northern Counties East League, it means Yorkshire finally has a fully integrated system of promotion and relegation.
John Butcher came away from Bronte Wanderers award evening with two titles.
As well as top scorer for the West Riding County Amateur League side, Butcher was also named players’ player of the year.
But he did not complete a clean sweep of the honours, with James Bailey named manager’s player of the year and Danny Makinson getting the overall player of the year title.
Rye Bailey was top scorer for the reserves and players’ player was Simeon Brown.
Danny Dar was named manager’s player of the year, while the off-field achievement award was won by John and Gill Woodhurst.
Season’s review – Bronte Wanderers
West Riding County Amateur League, Division One
by Steve Bainbridge
Bronte Wanderers finished the season in much better form than they started it and those positive results were enough to see them finish the season comfortably above the relegation zone.
More significantly, it saw Bronte retain their all-important Division One status.
The season may be over but Bronte Wanderers are still be searching for treasure.
As part of the Haworth-based West Riding County Amateur League club’s presentation day on Sunday, they are running a treasure hunt around the village.
The day’s activities start at noon with an inter-club match at Marley before meeting at the Bronte Hotel for a staggered start to a treasure hunt from 2pm.
It is a team event and friends and partners are welcome to join the players in their quest, which will involve visiting many of Haworth’s other hostelries along the way.
It ends at The New Old Sun Hotel from 5pm for trophy presentations.
Tingley Ath Res 5 Bronte Wdrs Res 1
Shoaib Rehman scored Bronte’s consolation in a low key finish to the West Riding County Amateur League season, which sees them finish at the foot of the Division Three table.
Bronte Wanderers 2 Hunsworth 3
Bronte beat the weather but not their opponents on a sodden night at Marley this evening.
John Butcher scored twice for the hosts in a West Riding County Amateur League Division One match reduced to 35 minutes each way to beat the gloom.
The odds are good on a night out in Haworth on Saturday.
Bronte Wanderers are hosting a race night at the Old Sun and everyone is welcome.
Just turn up for a night of race action and see if you can pick any winners.
Hall Green United Reserves 3 Bronte Wanderers Reserves 0
Bay Athletic Res 0 Bronte Wanderers 2
Bronte took a giant leap towards safety and put a spoke in the wheels of the hosts’ promotion hopes from Division One of the West Riding County Amateur League.
James Bailey struck before half-time after good work by John Butcher.
And the same combination made the points safe when Bailey struck from the penalty spot after Butcher had been brought down.