In the summer of 2010, the name AFC Burnley was first thought of and then founded in a front room of a Padiham house by Shane Hudson. The initial team, came together on Hambledon Playing Fields for the first of many training sessions and after a short time, a squad was assembled which was made up of family, friends and friends of friends to create the first ever AFC Burnley team.
The team entered into the Accrington & District Combination, playing Saturday football against a variety of other amateur teams from the local area, but before kicking off the league, a run of eight friendlies was arranged to prepare the team for the season. The side’s first-ever game was against Calderstones United on Sunday, 18th July 2010 at Fennyfold, Padiham, and resulted in a 0-5 loss. The following week saw the clubs first ever win, a 2-0 victory over Padiham Saints on Wednesday, 28th July. From there the wheels of AFC were in motion.
The first-ever goalscorer for AFC Burnley was Gary Howarth. The goal came in another game vs Padiham Saints on Wednesday 21st July 2010.
2010 – 2013: The Early Days – Accrington & District Combination
In the early days of the club, the squad first competed in the Accrington & District Combination for three seasons as well as competing in a Burnley Summer Football League in 2011. The club enjoyed a period of development and building where it established an identify in the local area, becoming better known on the amateur scene which saw a healthy interest from local players.
2013 – 2016: The Kids are alright & Sunday football
The Summer of 2013 saw AFC undergo a couple of significant changes. Firstly the club established a junior team for the first time, bringing together a squad of children from the local area who wanted to enjoy the sport at a young age. For 3 years the team competed in local tournaments, competitions and friendlies while developing their foundation knowledge of the game, with many enjoyable moments and memories created along the way. The second change was a switch to Sunday football for the Men’s team which saw the club enter the Burnley & District Sunday Football League, a league the Sunday squad still competes in and has so far presented the most competitive era of the Men’s team. The most successful season saw the team finish 2nd in the second division as well as reaching a league cup final.
In the summer of 2015 the Men’s team won a ‘Pre-Season Friendly Cup’ mini-league and also reformed a Saturday side alongside the Sunday side which unfortunately only lasted a short period of time before disbanding.
2016 – Present: Football for All and Regional Success
In 2016, the club adopted a local Pan Ability Disability team into the AFC Burnley family. This meant the club could now offer football to players with learning, physical or mental impairments that prevent them from accessing the mainstream open-age football scene. Another milestone this created was the first adult women players at the club through the mixed-gender nature of the team.
The Pan Ability team brought the need for a larger trophy shelf to the club as they won competition after competition in a very successful period. The first trophy came in early 2017 when they scooped the FA People’s Cup Local Champions Trophy before swiftly adding the Lancashire FA Ability Counts League Championship Trophy and the Harrogate Tournament Section 3 in the summer of 2017.
2018 followed on in a similar trophy laden vein where the team scooped the LFA Ability Counts Championship, LFA Ability Counts Premiership Fair Play Award, Lytham Tournament Champions, Bolton Wanderers Tournament Group 3 Winners, and the LFA Premiership League Cup all in a single season.
Since then the team have also been crowned the FA People’s Cup Local Winners and LFA Ability Counts Division 2 Champions twice in both summer and winter leagues of 2019.
In addition to a trophy-laden run, the Pan Ability team have also represented the club on a number of occasions at large regional tournaments as a result of local progression.
The Men’s Sunday team continued their endeavours in the Burnley & District Sunday League, enjoying promotion to Division 1 on a couple of occasions before the league have took the decision to merge all of the divisions into one. During the summer, the club also competed in the inaugural Burnley Amateur Football League summer competition in 2017. The Sunday side reached a further 2 cup finals in 2019, losing out on the Division 1 Cup final to AFC Booth 1-3 before also losing out on an Invitational Cup Final, again to AFC Booth 1-5 to curtail the 2018/19 season.
2020 – Present: A Global Pandemic and New Developments
The 2019/20 season was over almost as quickly as it began for both the Sunday and Pan Ability teams. A torrid run of winter weather limited the amount of games before the COVID-19 pandemic brought an unprecedented, grinding halt to the season in March 2020 for both teams.