It's a special day for Trojans

Priestley Shield final 2012
Keighley 2nd v Woodlands 2nd
Richard Wood man of match award from Ray Illingworth (9258301)

Priestley Shield final 2012 Keighley 2nd v Woodlands 2nd Richard Wood man of match award from Ray Illingworth (9258301)

First published in Sport Ilkley Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Weeklies Sports Editor

BURLEY Trojans are to celebrate their 80th anniversary on Saturday with a special match.

The current first team, which plays in the Harrogate League Division one, will face a Veterans X1 at Burley recreation ground (2pm).

The club was founded in 1933/34 as Burley Mill by three Ilkley Grammar School schoolboys.

Prior to this there was a team in the village known as Burley Grove United which had won the Wharfedale League and Cup double in 1933/34 before folding.

In 1935/36 the club played in the Airedale & Wharfedale Division Two and were promoted in their first season.

They won the league title in 1939-40 and when they reformed after the war, they won the championship again in 1947-48 and the League Cup the following season.

In the early 1950’s the club spent three years in the West Yorkshire League and subsequently also played in the West Yorkshire County Amateur League, the Wharfedale League (again) and the Harrogate League.

A number of well known people played for Burley including centre forward Les Horsman, who also played for Bradford Park Avenue. Les played in the RAF side after the war in the same side as Raich Carter and Peter Doherty.

Former England and Yorkshire cricketer Ray Illingworth turned out for the Trojans in the late fifties, as did another first class cricketer, Guiseley-born Jack van Geloven

Having reduced to one team, the club went on to win their first league trophy for over 60 years and were crowned Division Two championsin 2011-12.

Chairman Matt Steer, who came up with the idea for the game, said: "It is fantastic to think that there has been a football team in such a small village for 80 years, my thanks to Chris Worts for his research. The response from the ex-players has been phenomenal, we have players up to 60 years old who want to pull on the 'Troggs' jersey one last time, the game is set to be a great spectacle for the whole village as part of our annual Burley Festival."

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