Skipper Chris Atkinson is in line to make his 300th appearance in the home game against Scunthorpe United at The Citadel tomorrow (if selected) – and says he couldn’t be happier at the club he loves.
Chris, 31, started his career in the Huddersfield Town youth set-up, before going on to make ten appearances for the Terriers’ first team, scoring once. He also had loan spells at Darlington, Chesterfield, Tranmere Rovers and Bradford City, before making the permanent move to Crewe Alexandra in 2014.
After 34 appearances at Crewe (and a loan spell at Crawley), Chris moved onto Salford City before joining The Celts in 2017 – and he hasn’t looked back since. He sits second in the all-time number of appearances since the club reformed, behind only fellow Celts legend Adam Clayton.
We caught up with Chris ahead of his 300-game milestone and asked him about his time at The Citadel:
How does it feeling, making 300 appearances?
“It is a nice personal milestone. I have been at the club since 2017 and I am very very pleased to reach 300 games with one club. I have loved my time here and had lots of highs and couldn’t see myself playing football anywhere else.”
What makes Farsley Celtic so special?
“It is the togetherness of the club. Once I joined I was made to feel really welcome. After games the players are in the clubhouse, speaking to the supporters. The spirit and closeness with the supporters is second to none.
“Farsley Celtic is built on hard work and dedication. I love that ethos. We are such a tight-knit club.
“Every season people say we are favourites to go down, and every season we prove people wrong. There is a reason for that – everybody pulls together. You can see that with all the volunteers who work tirelessly through the week and who make match days run smoothly. We all pull together.”
Your favourite Farsley Celtic memory?
“When we got promoted to the National League North and we were playing Marine on the last game of the season. It had gone right to the wire with ourselves and South Shields. I think we were on 96 points and needed a point to go up and we beat Marine 2-0.
“The Citadel was packed, my family was all there and I was sharing the pitch with my brother. Perfect day.”
How do you rate our progress on the pitch so far this season?
“We’ve had a strong start. We’re just over half-way through the season and we’re in a strong position, and I’m hoping we can really kick on in the second half.
“There had been a lot of changes over the summer, credit to Pav (director of football), the gaffer and Paul, they have brought in some high quality players. I hope with can kick on and finish as high as we can.”
What are your aims for the rest of the season?
“We need to finish as high as we can and win as many games as we can, starting with Scunthorpe tomorrow.
“We are only a few points off the playoffs and it is an open league this year, so anything is possible. In the past few seasons we have flirted with relegation but that is not something we are considering this year, we are looking upwards. Were are in a good position, who knows where we can get to?”
What does the future hold for Chris Atkinson?
“I’m 32 in February and I have no plans to leave Farsley Celtic any time soon. I feel I have got plenty to offer and maybe I could step into a coaching role and see how that works out.
“I don’t want to play anywhere other than here and I’d love to retire here, I love it so much.”
Congratulations, Chris, on your fantastic achievement!