The current football club was formed in June 2010 from the embers of Farsley Celtic AFC which entered Administration in June 2009 whilst in the Blue Square North, after failing to fulfil its fixtures it was expelled from the league early in 2010.
The old Farsley club (the name Celtic being added later) initially competed in the Leeds Amateur leagues and played its first game at the current site in 1948.
Throughout the 1950s and 60s Celtic established themselves in the Yorkshire Leagues, being crowned champions in 1959/60 and 1968/69, although failing to be promoted as a result of ground regulations. A First Round FA Cup tie against Tranmere Rovers at Leeds United’s Elland Road ground in 1974 proved to be the highlight of the decade, and the 11,000 crowd that saw the Celts lose 2-0 to a Steve Coppell-inspired Rovers is still the largest crowd in the club’s history.
As the Yorkshire and Midland leagues merged in 1982, Farsley began in Division One North. By the mid-80s the club was invited into the Northern Premier League.
After a few largely uninspiring seasons, the new decade brought unparalleled success. In 2004/05 under the inspired management of Lee Sinnott, the team won the Unibond League Premier Division only to have points deducted as the result of Spennymoor Town going out of business and its results being expunged. The reduction in points resulted in the Celts securing only a Play-off place, losing controversially on penalties against Workington in the final.
Promotion was secured the following season after a Play-off final victory against North Ferriby and in the following campaign, the club’s first in the Conference North, they reached the First Round of the FA Cup losing in a replay to MK Dons as well as securing promotion to the Conference National following a memorable evening at the Pirelli Stadium in Burton Upon Trent, when Simeon Bambrook’s last minute penalty saw the Celts beat Hinkley United 4-3.
A single season of Conference National football resulted in relegation to the Conference North. On-going financial difficulties saw the Administrators appointed in June 2009 with the club’s results expunged in March 2010 when the Administrator prohibited the club from fulfilling its fixtures.
The re-formed club were placed in the NCEL Premier Division for their first season which turned out to be highly successful with a league and cup double recorded. Many of the former players remained loyal to the club and top spot was held for much of the season, with the title confirmed on the penultimate weekend of the season. The club also reached two cup finals, the NCEL Presidents Cup, in which Tadcaster won but the season ended on a positive note with the League Cup being lifted despite Farsley having to play the majority of the final with 10 men.
The 2011/12 season was almost as successful, with a top five spot being secured ensuring qualification for the Play-offs. Unfortunately, the Semi-Final opponents were Witton Albion who won 3-0 and deservedly booked a place in the Final, going onto win promotion after defeating Curzon Ashton.
The following league season didn’t quite go to plan with a disastrous run in the closing months, saw Neil Parsley’s side go without a win in the final eight games. Inconsistent form before this point had all but put an end to the club’s play-off chase and a 14th place finish was all that could be mustered. On a positive note, Farsley reached the Quarter-Finals of the Doodson Sports League Cup. After beating Ossett Albion and Clitheroe, Farsley beat Premier Division opposition Whitby Town and Worksop Town before bowing out to Matlock Town in the final eight.
The side made it through to the Final of the Doodson Sport League Cup against Warrington Town in the 2014/15 season at Edgeley Park. Despite a goalless score line at full time Farsley eventually lost out on penalties. The game proved to be the last for the club as Farsley AFC as they they had their original name reinstated through the close season. On May 19th 2015 the club were officially known as Farsley Celtic FC once again.
2015/16 started disastrously with only two points gained from the opening seven league fixtures and the Celts rooted in the relegation spots. The season though turned with an incredible 15 game unbeaten league and cup run, which started in mid-November with a 2-0 League Cup win over Shaw Lane and lasted until late February when Burscough won 3-0 at Throstle Nest in the league. That run put Farsley in the hunt for a play-off spot, but the pursuit of promotion was dashed during March, when a single point was taken from a six league encounters. A topsy-turvy season ended with the Celts in ninth place, seventeen points adrift of a play-off spot.
The 2016/17 campaign turned out to be a dramatic, but ultimately successful one. After a League season that saw the Celts battle Lancaster City all the way to the last game of the season, but in which the Dolly Blues claimed the automatic promotion spot and the title, Farsley had to do it the hard way. They overcame Colne 4-0 in the Play-off Semi-Final and had to come from behind to take the game to extra-time and ultimately a 4-2 win over Ossett Town to clinch promotion to the EVO-STIK Premier Division. The various cup competitions also proved fruitful with good runs in both the Emirates FA Cup and the Buildbase FA Trophy and the Celts won the West Riding County FA Cup, taking the trophy 4-2 on penalties after the game finished 1-1 in ninety-minutes.
2017/18 saw Farsley return to the EVO-STIK Premier and finish a highly creditable fifth spot and in doing so, clinch the last Play-off position. Unlike the 2016/17 season there was to be no happy ending though, as the Celts lost 2-1 at eventual Play-off winners, Ashton United. Farsley again made it to the West Riding County FA Cup Final, lifting the trophy for a second successive year, beating Selby Town 4-1 and giving the management team of Adam Lakeland and Mark Bett their first piece of silverware at the Nest; the pair taking over from Neil Parsley at the start of the campaign, who stepped down due to family reasons.
2018/19 saw Adam Lakeland’s side go one better as they won promotion to the National League North; the division we had left ten years earlier. The summer of 2019 also saw a change of Chairman when Paul Barthorpe took the reins from John Palmer.
Farsley adapted to life back at level six immediately and held their position in the play-off places for the first few months of the season, having recorded notable wins at clubs such as Gateshead and Brackley Town. As the COVID-19 crisis halted the season and the final league tables were worked out on a Points-Per-Game basis, Farsley were ranked 11th. The club also reached the second round of the FA Trophy for the first time in a number of years, where they were drawn against former Football League club Barnet. After a 1-1 draw at home, the Celt Army travelled to London for the replay; the first time the club had ever played in the capital in our 112-year history. After two wasted trips to The Hive Stadium with games being postponed at very late notice, we bowed out after a 2-0 defeat, despite a spirited performance, as Barnet went onto reach the Quarter-Finals.
Much of the squad were retained for the Celts’ second year in the National League North, although as the previous campaign, the season was halted prematurely due to the ongoing pandemic. When the season was officially declared null and void in February 2021, Farsley were sitting 11th in the league, two points off the play-offs.
Thankfully, the 2021/22 season was played to a finish, although a dramatic campaign for the Celts went down to the final couple minutes of the season. The season began under the leadership of Adam Lakeland, who was entering his fifth season in charge at the club, but he unexpectedly stepped down in October, taking over at league rivals Curzon Ashton. Under-23s manager Neil Ross was appointed caretaker manager, and a few weeks later given the role on a permanent basis, but it turned out to be a disastrous appointment. The team picked up just one win in 11 league games and slipped to the bottom of the league table – the rest of the season would be a battle against relegation. Ross left his post as first team manager at the end of January, with Russ Wilcox his replacement a few weeks later. The former Scunthorpe United and York City boss instilled confidence back into the side with Farsley picking up five wins in Wilcox’s first three months in charge, seeing them move clear of the league’s sole relegation spot. However, a late resurgence from local neighbours Guiseley meant a three-way relegation battle between the two Leeds sides and AFC Telford United went down to the final afternoon of the season. The Celts came minutes away from relegation back to the NPL, following defeat to Boston United, but two late goals from Alfreton Town, Guiseley’s final day opponents, saw the Derbyshire side take a 2-1 win, condemning The Lions to the Northern Premier League and saving Farsley in the process.