LONG-GONE teams can be seen posing proudly for photographs in these images from the early days of football.

All the pictures, taken before the First World War, feature in a new book looking at the early history of football in Yorkshire’s West Riding.

A Noble Winter’s Game, by Rob Grillo, contains details about many clubs which no longer exist, as well as leagues and cup competitions from the Wharfedale district. The book, which covers the period from the late1800s until the outbreak of the First World War, is on sale on Amazon or by sending an e-mail to rob@robgrillo.co.uk

Rob said:”The first organised association football club in the Wharfedale district was Buckstone Park AFC at Rawdon, who played occasional friendly matches in 1892 and began regular fixtures in October 1893.”

Buckstone Park was absorbed into Bradford Cricket, Athletic & Football Club in 1895.

Menston played its first association games around 1894, and a club was founded in Otley in time for the 1896/97 season.

Guiseley Celtic, based at the New Inn, blazed an impressive trail in the game’s early years.

Rob said: “The club won the Airedale & Wharfedale Senior Cup twice, and enjoyed a successful history in local and county leagues. The club, known locally as ‘The Tigers’, emerged in the 1901/02 season, playing friendlies. Its first foray into league competition was in the Bradford Alliance for the 1902/03 season and the club won the league’s first division title, a success that earned it acceptance straight into the top division of the Bradford & District League.”

Two seasons (1903/05) were spent in the first division, before a further step-up, to the West Yorkshire League - soon followed by another step up into the county’s premier league competition. It was a professional club with paid players by the time it came runner-up in the 1906/07 season.

Rob said: “However, the costs of operating at such a high level began to take their toll and so Celtic dropped back into the Wharfedale League for the 1908/09 season, playing alongside the likes of local rivals Guiseley St Oswald’s. Sadly, the club disappeared completely in the summer of 1909. In Celtic’s absence, Nethermoor-based Guiseley Victoria (whose headquarters were at the Woolpack Inn) contested the Wharfedale Cup final at the close of the 1909/10 season (losing 0-8 to Horsforth), before rebranding itself as ‘Guiseley AFC’ for the 1910/11 season. That club is still in existence today.”

A number of teams existed in Burley-in-Wharfedale from the turn of the century, such as Burley Victoria who played between 1901-11.

Swaine Hill United was based in Yeadon and had just won the West Yorkshire League second division title when this photograph was taken in 1907 - but just twelve months later was no more after a disastrous season in the league’s top division.

Yeadon Celtic was founded 1907, with The New Inn on Cemetery Road its first headquarters. The club, which still exists, merged with Ventus United during the 1980s

West Yorkshire FA secretary John Brunt organised a meeting at Guiseley Liberal Club in 1908 which led to the formation of the Wharfedale Football League.