Ex-champions Bardsey quit West Yorkshire League

Match action from Bardsey v Beeston St Anthony's.
Match action from Bardsey v Beeston St Anthony's.
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One of the most successful amateur football clubs in the area has confirmed its withdrawal from the West Yorkshire League.

Bardsey FC has folded its first team from the Premier Division after struggling to cope with a mass player exodus over the summer.

In the last seven seasons, Bardsey have lifted the West Yorkshire League Premier Division title on four occasions and was widely considered one of the top teams in the region.

They last won the league title in the 2013/14 season with a record points tally of 74.

But the club faced a nine-point deduction after postponing three fixtures this season, including last Saturday’s away trip to Horbury Town.

The club will continue running one team in the Harrogate and District League, and junior teams at Keswick Lane remain unaffected.

Bardsey striker Rob Dickinson has scored more than 500 goals in local league football

The decision to withdraw from the league was confirmed via the club’s social media site on yesterday.

A statement read: “We as a club hope that all other clubs that see us as the benchmark can emulate our success and have the great times we’ve had.

“With the best chairman in the league Graham Hopton and the best secretary Paul Jobson how couldn’t we have ended up the best about #loved it.

“To all the clubs we’ve locked horns with over the years. Thanks for the ride – it’s been emotional. Night night.”

Lee Barraclough led the village side to four championships in a six-year tenure as manager at Keswick Lane. He said the West Riding County FA’s controversial decision to throw Bardsey out of the County Challenge Cup last December began the downfall.

Bardsey were chucked out of the competition after the County FA said they had fielded an ineligible player in a 2-1 win over Boroughbridge.

“When they pulled the plug on that County Cup run, they might as well have turned the lights out on the football club,” he said.

West Riding County FA spokesman Daniel McGeachie said: “It’s with absolute regret that Bardsey have folded. It’s bad news for us that one of the most succesful clubs has folded but we are more gutted that they didn’t feel they could tell us about it.”