South Kirkby Colliery F.C.

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South Kirkby Colliery
Full name South Kirkby Colliery Football Club
Nickname(s) The Kirkbyites, Kirkby
Founded 1894; 124 years ago (1894) as South Kirkby
Ground Miner's Welfare Ground, Millar's Walk, South Kirkby
Manager Richard Millward
League Sheffield & Hallamshire County Senior League Premier Division
2017–18 Sheffield & Hallamshire County Senior League Premier Division, 9th of 15
Website Club website

South Kirkby Colliery Football Club is a football club based in South Kirkby, West Yorkshire, England. The team play in the Sheffield & Hallamshire County Senior League Premier Division, the eleventh tier of the English football league system. Formed as South Kirkby the club were later adopted by the nearby colliery and eventually changed their name to South Kirkby Colliery.

In 1911-12 the club were beaten by Sheffield United in the final of the Wharncliffe Charity Cup at Hillsborough Stadium. The Wharncliffe Charity Cup was first competed in 1878, won first by Sheffield Wednesday. In 1929-30 and 1940-41 the club won the Sheffield & Hallamshire Senior Cup, the oldest county cup in England. They are former members of the Yorkshire Football League and have played in the FA Cup on numerous occasions[1]

The club play at the Miner's Welfare Ground, Millar's Walk, South Kirkby.


Early years[edit]

The club were formed at least as early as 1894 as South Kirkby and went on to become the works team of South Kirkby Colliery. The earliest known fixture for the club is a postponed match in 1894,[2] though it is not clear which competition this was. The club initially competed in the Minor Cup Division Two of the Barnsley Association Football Union in the 1894-95 season,[3] before joining the Barnsley Association Football Union League Division A for the 1896-97 season, winning the Minor Cup that season.[4] By the end of the 1898–99 season the club had suffered two successive relegations in the Barnsley Association Football Union league structure and spent the 1899–00 and 1900–01 seasons outside that league system, returning to the Barnsley Association Football Union Minor Cup league for the 1901–02 season.[5] The 1901–02 season was a successful one but due to the Barnsley Association Football Union altering its league system the Minor Cup league became the top division and the Junior Cup became the second division and despite being promoted the club remained in the Minor Cup league. What had been the top division, the Challenge Cup league, became a knockout competition.[6] In the 1902-03 season the club joined the Sheffield Association League and used their place in the Barnsley Association Minor Cup league for the reserves. The club were well supported by the workers of the colliery, who donated a small sum from their wages per week, making the club quite well off,[7] though the club were known as South Kirkby and not known as South Kirkby Colliery until later in their history, the first known use of the name was in the 1904-05 season.[8]


In 1905–06 the club won the Sheffield Association League, the South Yorkshire League, the Hemsworth and District League, the Hemsworth and District Challenge Cup[9] and narrowly missed out on a fifth title that season when they lost in the final of the Montague Hospital Cup for the second season in succession, in front of a crowd of over 5,000.[10] The same season the club had a remarkable run in the FA Cup, eventually losing to Bishop Aukland in the fourth qualifying round (a club record). The season was one of the most successful in the club's history and led to a period of professionalism. By 1905 the club had signed James Aston formerly of Woolwich Arsenal and Small Heath[11] and Edward Layton of Sheffield United, amongst a number of current and former professionals playing for the club in this era and moved into a new purpose built stadium of very high quality. In the 1911–12 season the club reached the semi-final of the Sheffield Challenge Cup and the final of the Wharncliffe Charity Cup. The final of the Wharncliffe Cup saw former Sheffield Wednesday outside left Jock Malloch return to familiar territory at Owlerton Stadium, where he faced his old rivals Sheffield United.[12] Malloch also was a pivotal player in the clubs run in the FA Cup that season.[13] The club later joined the Sheffield Association League before moving into the Yorkshire League, later dropping down to the Doncaster and District Senior League in the late 1960s. The club now plays in the Sheffield and Hallamshire County Senior League.

Nickname and kits[edit]


By 1905, as the club grew, they were nicknamed The Kirkbyites.[14] In later years, when the club was strongly connected to the colliery, the regional press often informally referred to the club as The Collierymen and similar variations.


South Kirkby's assumed original colours worn by the team.

It is believed that when the club was formed the shirts worn were red and green halves but over the years many different colours have been worn.

In modern history the club colours are traditionally blue and white, though many different designs of shirt have been worn vertical stripes and horizontal hoops are most often worn.

The team's away kit has changed in colour and design many times, no traditional design or colours have been used.


Past grounds[edit]

It is not exactly known where the club played prior to 1904, though evidence exists that the club played at The Victoria Grounds. Not much is known about The Victoria Grounds other than that it was used by various clubs and sports as early as 1896.[15] The earliest use of the ground by the club appears to have been an athletics meeting promoted by the club in 189.8[16] The ground appears to have been located near to the Victoria Club on Carr Lane, South Kirkby, but its exact location has been lost.

The rising fortunes of the club and the signing of a number of professional players coincided with a move by the club to a new purpose built stadium near the colliery around 1904.[17] No evidence of a formal name of the stadium exists other than The Colliery Athletic Ground,[18] though one side of the stadium was called The Town End. The stadium was of such a high quality that it was said that the facilities "...excels those of many and English League club"[19] and was said to "compare favourably with any club ground in Yorkshire".[17]

Current ground[edit]

The main stand at the Miner's Welfare Ground, home of South Kirkby Colliery Football Club.

The club currently play at the Miner's Welfare Ground, Millar's Walk, in the village of South Kirkby, West Yorkshire. The area around the ground was formerly the site of the village windmill, which explains the occasional use of the name 'Millar's Walk' and 'Old Mill Ground' for the ground. The ground is also home to South Kirkby Cricket Club, whose cricket ground forms part of the facilities. In 1926 South Kirkby Colliery Company bought a new ground for use by all teams under the banner of the collieries athletics club, including South Kirkby Colliery and South Kirkby Cricket Club, they immediately made plans to build a pavilion on the ground.[20] The football club immediately made the move to the new ground in time for the 1926/27 season.[21] In May 1929 a new pavilion was officially opened by Herbert Sutcliffe.[22] In 1932 the Miner's Welfare Committee agreed to grant £1,000 for improvements to the ground.[23] New floodlights were erected in the mid 1990s.


South Kirkby Colliery's local rivals are nearby Frickley Athletic and Hemsworth Miners Welfare. Former South Kirkby Colliery manager Wayne Benn later became manager of Hemsworth Miners Welfare. In the early years of the club's existence there was a fierce rivalry with Rotherham County and Rotherham Town, with whom they notably battled in the FA Cup.

Season by season record[edit]

Season by season record[edit]







  • Record FA Cup appearance: Fourth qualifying round 1905–06, 1912–13, 1929–30

Former players and managers[edit]

Former players[edit]

Notable players to have played for the club include:


Players to have played for the club and have earned full international caps include England goalkeeper John Willie Sutcliffe, who joined the club in 1913[32] and right-half Tom Smalley, who began his career with the club before being capped by England in 1936.


Notable former managers include:

FA Cup[edit]

The club first played in the FA Cup in the 1905–06 season, reaching the fourth qualifying round where they lost to Bishop Auckland. The game was such a draw for locals that special services were run from Moorthorpe Railway Station for fans wanting to travel up to the game.[33] The club once again reached the fourth qualifying round in 1912–1913 and 1929–1930.

FA Cup results[edit]

Season Round Opponent Result Replay
1905–06 First qualifying round England Rotherham Main 2–2[25] 4–0[25]
Second qualifying round England Rotherham County 2–1[25]
Third qualifying round England Rotherham Town 2–2[25] 1–0[25]
Fourth qualifying round England Bishop Auckland 1–0[25]
1906–07 Preliminary round England Rotherham County 2–4[25]
1907–08 Preliminary round England Darfield United 6–1[25]
First qualifying round England Mexborough Town 1–0[25]
Second qualifying round England Rotherham Town 3–0[25]
1908–08 Preliminary round England Bradford Park Avenue 8–1[25]
1909–10 First qualifying round England Stourton United 1–1[25] 5–0[25]
Second qualifying round England Clayton West 1–5[25]
Third qualifying round England Huddersfield Town 5–2[25]


  1. ^ South Kirkby Colliery at the Football Club History Database
  2. ^ "Matches Abandoned: Association". Sheffield Evening Telegraph. 6 January 1894. p. 4. 
  3. ^ "Engagements". Barnsley Chronicle. 1 September 1894. p. 3. 
  4. ^ "Barnsley Association Football Union Minor Cup Final". Sheffield Independent. 26 April 1897. p. 7. 
  5. ^ "South Kirkby Colliery (Almost) Complete History". Matthew Thomas. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  6. ^ "Barnsley Association Clubs for Next Season". Barnsley Chronicle. 2 August 1902. p. 2. 
  7. ^ "Notes and Notions". Sheffield Evening Telegraph. 22 September 1906. p. 5. 
  8. ^ "Saturday's Results". Barnsley Chronicle. 15 October 1904. p. 3. 
  9. ^ Coy, Steve (2004). Scars and Strikes: The History of Frickley Colliery 1903 to 1933. 
  10. ^ "Mexboro' Montagu Final Tie". Barnsley Chronicle. 14 April 1906. p. 3. 
  11. ^ "Sheffield and Hallamshire Association Executive Meeting". Sheffield Evening Telegraph. 13 September 1905. p. 4. 
  12. ^ a b "Sheffield Final of Wharncliffe Cup Competition". Sheffield Evening Telegraph. 1 April 1912. p. 6. 
  13. ^ "English Cup". Barnsley Chronicle. 23 October 1909. p. 2. 
  14. ^ "Notes on Sport". Barnsley Chronicle. 4 February 1905. p. 3. 
  15. ^ "Victoria Grounds, South Kirkby". Sheffield Daily Telegraph. 7 December 1896. p. 12. 
  16. ^ "Victoria Grounds, South Kirkby". Lichfield Mercury. 13 April 1898. p. 10. 
  17. ^ a b "The South Kirkby Colliery Athletic Club". Sheffield Evening Telegraph. 19 October 1903. p. 4. 
  18. ^ "The South Kirkby". Leeds Mercury. 24 July 1905. p. 9. 
  19. ^ "Notes On Sport". Barnsley Chronicle. 17 September 1904. p. 3. 
  20. ^ "New Sports Ground". Sheffield Independent. 27 March 1926. p. 16. 
  21. ^ "League Gossip". Star Green 'Un. 28 August 1926. p. 6. 
  22. ^ "Sutcliffe's New Role". Leeds Mercury. 2 May 1929. p. 9. 
  23. ^ "Untitled". Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer. 13 August 1932. p. 12. 
  24. ^ "South Kirkby Colliery (Almost) Complete History". Matthew Thomas. Retrieved 31 March 2017. 
  25. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "South Kirkby Colliery (Almost) Complete History". Matthew Thomas. Retrieved 31 March 2017. 
  26. ^ "FCHD - South Kirkby Colliery". FCHD. Retrieved 1 April 2017. 
  27. ^ "Mexboro' Montagu Cup Final Tie". Barnsley Chronicle. 8 April 1905. p. 3. 
  28. ^ "The Montagu Cup Final". Sheffield Evening Telegraph. 14 April 1906. p. 4. 
  29. ^ "Barnsley Challenge Cup Replayed Final Tie". Sheffield Daily Telegraph. 28 April 1905. p. 11. 
  30. ^ "Yorkshire Pit Boys League Final Tie". Sheffield Daily Telegraph. 26 April 1909. p. 3. 
  31. ^ "Association". Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer. 4 May 1925. p. 3. 
  32. ^ "Sporting Paragraphs". Nottingham Evening Post. 21 August 1913. p. 8. 
  33. ^ "Notes on Passtimes". Sheffield Evening Telegraph. 9 December 1905. p. 4. 

External links[edit]