|Full name||Keighley Rugby Union Football Club|
Keighley R.U.F.C. (or the Keighlians Old Boys R.U.F.C. as it was originally named) was formed by a group of old boys of Keighley Grammar School in 1920. Its name was first changed to Keighlians R.U.F.C. and later to Keighley R.U.F.C. In the early years matches were played at a variety of venues in and around the town before a more permanent playing area was secured on council land near to the gas works at Thwaites. In addition for many years we had a social club in Lord Street in the town centre.
The facilities at Thwaites were improved gradually over the years ( surviving a near catastrophic fire in the 1960s) until finally we moved to our present address at Utley in 1986 when Keighley played against Yorkshire to officially open the new ground. Among the Yorkshire team that day was former Keighley Colts player Martin Whitcombe who made a try scoring debut for the county against the club where he learnt to play rugby. Yorkshire went on that year to win the County Championship final at Twickenham.
The club now has playing facilities and a club house. Many outstanding players and impressive sides have been produced over the years but the pinnacle of the club’s achievements was in the 1947/8 season when it won both the Yorkshire Shield and Yorkshire Cup competitions, beating Sheffield by 17 points to 0 in the Shield final at Otley and Otley by 14 points to 6 in the Cup final at Skipton. It is almost certain that this unprecedented feat will never again be equalled. We field three senior sides on Saturdays and an under 19’s side on Sundays. In addition we were one of the pioneers of mini rugby in Yorkshire in 1967 and now have a thriving and much admired junior section for all age groups from 7 years to 17 years.
With the formation of leagues in 1987, we began life alongside Wharfedale and Rotherham in league North East One, where we remained until reconstruction of leagues in 2000 placed us in Yorkshire league One. This is generally acknowledged to be one of the most competitive leagues at level seven in the country. After relegation in 2001 we returned to Yorkshire league One in 2003/4 as league Two champions and have remained there since. Following a second-place finish in Yorkshire 1's 2011/12 season, Keighley travelled to Alnwick RFC for a play-off against the Durham and Northumberland 1 runners-up. Keighley went on to record an 18-16 Victory gaining them promotion to North East 1.
Keighley RUFC and especially the colts team has produced several players who have gone on to have out standing rugby careers in both Rugby Union & Rugby League.
Notable Former Players
- Yorkshire Cup winners: 1948
- Yorkshire Shield winners: 1948
- North East 1 Runners Up: 1991
- Yorkshire 2 champions: 2002-03