The respective paths that Boro’ and Guiseley took over the years made it unlikely that we’d meet on the same pitch. But we did once (at time of writing); us edging things in a narrow 1996-7 FA Trophy First Round win. It’s the geography of the Lions that made it so unlikely. For a long time and certainly in the mid-1990s, they found their level in northern competitions. It was only in 2015 when, reaching the Conference, they were in what you might call a truly ‘national’ league. And even then it was only for three seasons.
They since returned to National League North and – in 2022 – fell further into the Northern Premier League.
In the now-suburban shadow of Leeds, any team in that area must compete for the affections of United fans. Guiseley, like Farsley Celtic and others, are no different. It may explain why progress up the ladder was relatively slow after their formation in 1909. Mind you, we’re sure the town we know today was little more than a village miles from the industrial core of Leeds back then too. Either way, the first step taken was to join the Wharfedale League; a competition they won in 1913.
The move into the Leeds League after World War One came before the switch to the West Riding County Amateur League in 1924. Three straight title wins in the 1930s heralded their arrival, with a fourth title on the list towards the end of the decade. The competition split into two divisions in 1953, however, with the Lions moving into Section A. More success followed, before moving back to the Leeds League. This now had the name of the West Yorkshire League and still the titles rolled in.
In 1968, another league move saw them join the Yorkshire League. The levels of success weren’t as high here. They did, however, finish as runners-up in the last two seasons before the competition merged with the Midland League in 1981. This created the Northern Counties East League and the Lions were regularly finishing their seasons during the 1980s in the top half; culminating in title success in 1991. And it’d earn them promotion to the Northern Premier League.
That same year, they won the FA Vase.
Why do we know Guiseley?
The Lions almost retained the FA Vase in 1992; losing to Wimborne Town in the final. They also reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time. But let’s not let cup success distract us. In 1994, the club won the Northern Premier League Division One title. With it came promotion to the Premier Division. It’d be at this level that we’d meet them for the first time; albeit in the FA Trophy. Eager to repeat the 1993-4 run to the semi-finals, they were dispatched in Round Three by our good selves at Broadhall Way.
By the time Guiseley reached the top of the non-league tree in 2015, we were long gone.
How to get to Guiseley – Travel Information – Distance: 177 miles
Go north on the A1(M)/A1 for a fair old distance. Once you reach the interchange with the M62, you’ll need to leave here and follow the signs for Leeds and Manchester.
Now, come off at Junction 28; the A653 exit for Dewsbury/Batley/Leeds Airport. Go round to the north of Tingley Interchange. It’s like a roundabout, but a little more complex. Keep following the signs and road markings for Leeds, Beeston and the A653.
Keep going up the A653 until you see the White Rose Shopping Centre. Here, the A653 goes off to the right. But you’e going straight on for Millshaw Road. The other side of the shopping centre is a roundabout; head straight across and onto the Leeds Ring Road – the A6110. Stay on this over numerous roundabouts until it joins the Stanningley bypass.
It’ll still be the Ring Road, albeit now the A6120. As you come down the hill from Farsley and start climbing back up towards Horsforth, there will be a roundabout at the top of the hill. Turn left here. This puts you on the A65 towards Rawdon. You’ll remain on this road for just over four miles; continuing on into the centre of Guiseley.
The ground will be on your right not long after you pass a Ford garage.
While there is no parking at the ground itself, there’s a large-enough car park on the other side of the railway that’s easy to get to. The postcode for this car park on Netherfield Road is LS20 9PD and it’s free to park here. A footbridge will take you across to the ground.
Services to: LEEDS
Exit the station to the south, before turning left into Station Road. Head down to the end and then turn left onto Oxford Road, before turning right back on yourself up Otley Road.
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