Tuesday’s meeting with Leamington saw Farsley defender Adam Clayton make his 300th appearance for the Celts.
Clayton, who has made more appearances than anyone else for the current Farsley club, is in his eighth season at the Citadel, a remarkable achievement at any level of football, let alone in non-league.
The 36-year-old has been a part of two promotion-winning sides as the Celts rose from step four to the National League North in three seasons, and also has two West Riding County Cup triumphs to his name.
If not for the two COVID-disrupted campaigns, ‘Clayts’ would have flown past the 300 mark some time ago, but in his fourth season back in the National League North, he is showing no signs of slowing down.
To celebrate his achievement, we take a look back at some of the significant milestones in his Celts career.
Clayton’s first appearance for Farsley actually came over a decade ago, in a Doodson Sport Cup tie in December 2012.
The centre-half had joined the club temporarily from Bradford (Park Avenue) to gain match fitness following a knee operation, and he started our 4-1 victory over Clitheroe.
However, that would be his only appearance as he was immediately recalled by our West Yorkshire neighbours.
It would be almost three years before his next Farsley appearance, joining Neil Parsley’s side permanently in October 2015 from Park Avenue, making his ‘debut’ in a 1-1 draw with Spennymoor Town.
The Celts had experienced a difficult start to that season, sitting third from bottom when Clayton joined, and many Farsley supporters will point to his arrival, alongside Paul Walker just a fortnight earlier, as transforming our fortunes.
‘Clayts’ would secure his first promotion in Farsley colours in 2017, when the Celts triumphed in the playoffs to secure their place in the Northern Premier League.
It would take a dramatic 4-2 extra-time victory over local rivals Ossett Town to get the job done, with Clayton scoring the opener on that memorable day at the Citadel.
In fact, goalscoring was something that he had become adept at that season, finding the back of the net on 12 occasions in 26 games during the second half of the season from centre-half.
NORTHERN PREMIER LEAGUE CHAMPIONS
Whilst promotion had brought a change of manager, with Adam Lakeland replacing Neil Parsley, Clayton continued to be a central figure, and after a playoff semi-final defeat in our first season at that level, the Northern Premier League title would arrive in 2018/19.
He would start 52 games that season, forming a formidable centre-half trio alongside Jack Higgins and Danny Ellis that would help the side earn promotion to the National League North.
200TH FARSLEY APPEARANCE
After helping the club secure two promotions in three years, Clayton would become the third player to reach the 200-appearance mark in January 2020, following Ryan Serrant and Paul Walker.
The landmark appearance would, unfortunately, come in a 1-0 defeat on the road at Kettering Town, and whilst the Celts had adapted to life at this level superbly, the season would end in disappointing fashion as it came to a premature end as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In December 2020, Clayton would record his 230th appearance, surpassing Ryan Serrant’s 229 to become the current Farsley club’s record-appearance maker.
Then in his sixth season with the Celts, it would be an achievement unfortunately achieved behind closed doors, as the pandemic continued to wreak havoc on football.
Thankfully, appearance number 300 will arrive in front of supporters at the Citadel!
300TH FARSLEY APPEARANCE
Adam Clayton’s landmark 300th appearance arrived in our 1-1 draw with Leamington at the Citadel.
For 15 minutes or so he may have been wondering if he would have to wait for 300 as the snow came down, but the game would be played, with Lewis Turner’s strike earning the Celts a point.
Congratulations, Clayts – a true Farsley legend!