In 2010 Cowling F C completed 100 years of offering sporting activity to young people in Cowling. This was celebrated at the end of a very successful season in a marquee on the clubs Keighley Road ground.
The beginning of the 2009/10 season was marked with a return to The Craven & District Premier Division, as champions of division 1. It was however a great achievement in 2010, their first season back to end runner-up and to win a cup double of The Keighley Cup and the Northern Plant Hire Trophy. As if this wasn’t a fitting enough way to celebrate a centenary, the reserves had their best season for years in division 3 and the under 14’s finished runners-up in the Youth League.
Cowling FC featured only briefly in the 1980 book “Cowling a Moorland Parish.” A comprehensive history does not exis,t but the former joint first team manager Chris Jones collected a potted history of the club’s highlights, courtesy of Craven FA, which we reproduce here.
It all began in 1910 when Cowling FC was founded as Cowling United. The team first played at Hallam Hill, then on top of Earls’ Crag and Knowle Hill before moving to their present ground. (The photo is of the 1911/12 team)
There was obviously a brake in play during the First World War as it was recorded that the team reformed in 1918 to play in the Craven League. In a year unrecorded, in those early days, it is said that they won a very unusual cup double, winning two cup finals on the same day!
In 1920 youths who could not get a game formed a team called Cowling Swifts. They first played on the recreation ground and then on the present pitch. Swift players became the nucleus of the good Cowling sides of the 20’s and 30’s.
In 1946 the ‘United’ was dropped when the club re-formed after the Second World War and joined the Craven League, with two teams. Success soon followed in 1951/2 season, when the first team were League Cup Winners and Division 1 Champions, dropping only one point all season! What a double.
However the early 60’s saw a decline in player numbers. Although struggling the club managed to keep one team playing until local enthusiasm returned.
In 1979 the first team was promoted to the Premier Division and in 1982 the reserve team were League Division 2 Cup Winners.
Bringing things up to date the nineties brought two more successes. In 1996 the first team were Keighley Cup winners and in 1997 the reserve team was promoted to Division 2.
Finally 2009 brought the 1st Division Championship to the first team and a League Cup success for the under 13’s. This then lead to this momentous centenary year of 2010. So the club, that like many has seen its ups and downs, goes forward with success and confidence into its next century, providing exercise, socialisation and entertainment for the Cowling village community.