Welcome to South Kirkby Colliery Football Club (Almost) Complete History, where you can discover the astonishing history of a largely forgotten Yorkshire colliery football club that can genuinely claim to have England players such as goalkeeper John Willie Sutcliffe and right-half Tom Smalley among it’s ranks.
Formed sometime prior to 1894 simply as South Kirkby, the club went on to become the works team of South Kirkby Colliery, Pontefract, West Yorkshire. Like many football clubs that were formed in the industrial heartlands of Yorkshire in the 1800’s the football club had a close affiliation with a cricket club and wider ‘Athletic Club’. As the football club and cricket club both grew and emerged as separate entities the popularity of the football club at the start of the 20th century saw it reach a golden era, with many former and future Football League players gracing the South Kirkby grass in the colours of the club. International players were also no stranger to the club, with capped players moving to the club and also players leaving the club to go on and earn international caps for their country. At one stage the club boasted a stadium which was the envy of many a northern rival and in winning the Sheffield and Hallamshire Senior Cup twice and finishing as runners-up in the Yorkshire League prior to World War II the club faced a bright future.
Sadly both wars heavily impacted upon the progress of the club and the loss of the much lauded stadium in between the two conflicts also dealt the club a bitter blow. Following World War Two, the club entered into an unstoppable spiral of decline that saw it fall from a professional club with a fierce FA Cup fighting pedigree to an almost forgotten colliery football team. This website charts the rise and fall of a small, non-league football club and that remarkable history will no doubt surprise a few readers along the way. No doubt most, if not all, of the players who pull on the South Kirkby Colliery shirt in the modern era have any clue of the once lofty status of their village football club.
Today this grand old club are found down in the depths of the English football pyramid, plying their trade in the Sheffield & Hallamshire County Senior League Division One. If ever a club needed your support, this is that club.