Silsden AFC was formed in September 1904 by a local man, Doctor John Purcell. They started playing rugby, then handball and ended up playing both Saturday and Sunday football.
Like any sporting team they experienced great successes and disappointing defeats but the dedication of countless volunteer committees kept the club alive. None more so than the present committee of the new Millennium who will leave a legacy for generations to come.
The present Saturday senior team set up was formed with a team playing together since the 1996/97 season after starting life in our local Craven & District Football League Division Two after the team had progressed through the junior section within the club to open age football.
They spent three years in the Craven League moving up to the Premier Division and in the last year in that division set a new record of going through the season unbeaten in all competitions.
From there they joined the West Riding County Amateur League in Division Two and quickly
gained promotion up into the Premier Division where they enjoyed three seasons.
In season 2002/2003 Silsden set another record in going through the season unbeaten in all competitions. To add to this they also won the West Riding County Challenge Cup for the third successive season, a feat only achieved by one other club.
It was clear that the team was ready for football at a higher level and in season 2004/2005 Silsden joined the North West Counties League. Without floodlights and an enclosed pitch, the Cobbydalers were forced to play their home games at Cougar Park, the home of Keighley Cougars Rugby League Club.
The Cobbydalers gained promotion to the top division in their inaugural season, finishing as runners up to league winners Cammell Laird, and had their most successful runs in the FA Cup and FA Vase Competitions. The team who were promoted from the 1st Division that season (now the Premier Division) were Fleetwood Town!
The club’s aim was to move back to the Keighley Road ground at the earliest opportunity and the club (football and cricket) embarked on a period of fund raising accruing over £100,000. Finally the development took place, with the help of a £663,453 grant from the Football Foundation, as part of its continuing investment in grass-roots football and an additional Football Foundation grant of £300,000 through the Community Club Development Programme.
In May 2009 the building of a new clubhouse and changing facilities was completed just as the Keighley Cougars gave them notice to quit. The club had two options, to ground share with a Lancashire club or develop the playing surface and outdoor facilities at the Keighley Road headquarters.
They formed a committee and raised £110,000 in 5 months and in August 2010 saw the completion of the ground improvements which meant a return of Silsden AFC to its rightful place … back in Silsden!
The Cobbydalers maintained their position in the top division of the NWCFL and in 2015 embark on their 10th season in the division, their best year being in season 2008-09 when they finished ninth with 58 points. The season after saw them relegated to Division One where they spent two seasons rebuilding.
In season 2017–2018 they were crowned champions of Division One with a league record of 103 points and a league record of goals scored. A great achievement from everyone involved from managers, players and the hard working committee.