Based at the Manningham Mills Sports Association on Scotchman Road in the shadow of the iconic Lister’s Manningham Mills Campion F.C. are perhaps the most successful amateur team over recent years to hail from Bradford. Since the turn of the decade the club has won various cups with the 2006/7 victory in the WRCFA Challenge Cup final undoubtedly being the highlight.
Formed in 1963 by Michael Mahoney, taking its players from the members of St Edmund Campion Youth club, in 1976 through Peter Kennelly the club was renamed Campion F.C.
The club moved into open age football in 1975 entering the Bradford Sunday League 4th division and gained promotion over five years to the 1st Division. In 1976 the club entered the Red Triangle League a local Bradford Saturday League and after steady years of progress moved up to the Premier Division in 1979. The following season saw Campion lift the Premier Division league cup as well as finish runners up in the league.
1981 saw the clubs policy change to concentrate on Saturday football only as they entered the West Riding County Amateur League and in 1983 both its open age teams were in the W.R.C.A.F.L.
Due to financial difficulties and the resignation of both the 1st and 2nd team managers along with the club secretary the club withdrew from the W.R.C.A.F.L. in 1985. Under new secretary Andy Shepherd the club re- formed and entered the premier division of the Red Triangle League for the 1985/86 season. The club were accepted again back into W.R.C.A.F.L. in 1986. Steady progress was made during the next few season’s and by 1989 they were established in Division 2. At the start of the 1989/90 season former player Delroy Dacres was appointed manager a position he still holds today! In his first season in charge the Division 2 League and cup was won. This was followed by the Division 1 league and cup in 1992/93 bringing premier Division football to the club. The 1993/94 season saw the club’s reserve side win the Division 4 championship under the guidance of Dave Simpson and Andy Smith.
Since then the club has maintained steady progress and seen improvement both on and off the field of play. 2006 saw the club enter a new era with the opening of a £1.5 million club house and community centre under the banner of Manningham Mills Sports Association of which Campion F.C. is a partner along with Manningham Mills Cricket Club (now sadly defunct and Heaton Juniors F.C. In 2007 Heaton Juniors changed there name to Campion Juniors in partnership which hopefully see more home grown players progress through the ranks.
Since the year 2000 the club have won numerous cups missing out on the League title by 1 point in 2005/06 despite winning 20 league matches on the trot.
The following season saw the club bounce back to lift the biggest prize in the clubs history when after going a goal down to League rivals and former County cup winners Golcar United goals by former Bradford City and Newcastle United player Des Hamilton and a last minute winner by Micky Burke saw Campion Lift the County Cup.
Season 2007-08 saw Campion retain the W.R.C.A.F.L. Premier Division League Cup for the third year on the trot making it a total of 4 wins in the last five years
Campion have since lifted the Bradford & District FA Cup three times in 2010 and 2012 and 2016. The 2012 win saw a “Manchester United” style win over Salts. Trailing 1-0 going into stoppage time goals from Thomas Howard and Nathan Woodward saw the cup return to Scotchman Road for the third time.
In 2011-12 the Reserves under the leadership of Howard Gordon won the W.R.C.A.F.L. Division Two championship following a run of 5 wins in the last 6 games saw them clinch the title by 3 points
In 2013 Delroy Dacres announced that he was to retire as first team manager after 25 years in charge. Without doubt a larger than life character Delroy’s booming voice could be heard from a long distance and many a player and referee will no doubt be glad not to be on the receiving end of Del’s advice anymore at not only at Campion but other grounds throughout the league.
James Bicknell took over as manager for the 2013-14 season which saw Campion lose their first game 5-0 to bitter rivals Tyersal, however progress was made during the season and the club finished third and also reached the League Cup final losing to League winners Overden WR.
Following steady progress over the next season Campion again reached the District and League cup finals however both games were lost against Fields and Overden WR.
In 2016 both the First team and Reserves made to the District FA Cup semi-final and were drawn against each other. Following a hard fought 90 minutes which saw the reserves leading at half time the game went to penalties. It was the First team that held their nerve to win a place in the final.
Once again Fields were the opponents for the second year running with Campion keen to avenge a County Cup defeat earlier in the season. Again after 90 minutes the scores were level however Campion won the penalty shoot out to see Bicknell lift his fist trophy as Campion Manager.
The club also formed a Under 21 team after a merger with Wibsey Lions under 18s which took part in the WRCFA floodlight league for the first time in the 2015/16 season.
In December 2015 the Club committee made the decision to apply for Membership of the Toolstation NCEL. Following a lot of hard work the ground passed an inspection in March 2016 and were proposed for promotion by The FA in May 2016, and were duly elected in June at The Toolstation NCEL AGM.
As the club prepares for what will no doubt be a steep learning curve the floodlights have been now been erected following a grant from The FA and a loan from the District FA as the club join the Semi pro ranks.
CAMPION F.C. CLUB HONOURS
- West Riding County FA Challenge Cup – Winners 2006/07
- West Riding County FA Charity Shield – Winners 2007
- Bradford & District FA Saturday Cup – Winners 2000/01, 2009/10, 2011/12 2015/16
West Riding County Amateur Football League
- League Cup Winners 2003/04, 2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08
- League Champions 1992/93
- Cup Winners 1992/93, 1997/98
- League Champions 1989/90
Bradford Red Triangle League Premier Division
- Cup Winners 1979/80
- League Champions 2011/12
- League Champion 1999/00
- League Cup Winners 1999/00
- League Champions 1993/94
- League Champions Division A 1993/94
- League Champions Division 1 2002/03
- League Cup Winners Division 1 2001/02