Ossett Town, formed in 1936, and Ossett Albion in 1944 are two clubs with longstanding and proud histories who spent the majority of the last two decades competing in the Northern Premier League. On occasion challenging at the top end but for much of the time a mid-table position, which given the resources of both clubs was considered a success.
In January 2018 discussions between the clubs began to merge the two; believing one club as a single United entity would be the best way forward.
On June 1, 2018 those talks became reality after a two-year process was condensed into six short months. Ossett United Football Club was born following a ratification process by The Football Association.
To protect the interests of both Ossett Albion and Town, and to ensure the merger was just that and not seen as a takeover of one by the other shares were split equally between Ossett Albion (2016) Ltd and Ossett Town Ltd with both nominating three board members each.
Andy Welsh was appointed as the clubs first manager, Alex McQuade the first captain. As far as on the field goes the first season will long remain in the memory of those involved. A fifth-place finish in the league meant a play-off place whilst silverware was won by the senior club in the form of the west Riding County cup thanks to a victory against National League North side Guiseley.
The U23s won a cup too and the ladies went one better winning their league and cup and are progressing very well.
On field success came at a cost, however, and following a review of the season there were changes in the board room and the club’s budgets were reassessed.
Despite this, much of the side retuned for the 2019/20 season, but results dipped, in November Andy Welsh and the board felt it was time for a change in the dugout.
Around this time our landlords, Ossett Town Ltd received the news that following the unfortunate injury to a player some years earlier a court case had been lost and were hit with a bill for £135,000 – the only asset available to them is Ingfield, our home.
Not wanting to have to find a new home Ossett United lead a fundraising campaign to save Ingfield whilst our plight was shared to a wider audience with Sky Sports, Talk SPORT, BBC Sport and many local and national media outlets broadcast the news.
This is just another setback in our early life but one that we will and are going to overcome.
Wayne Benn was appointed manager in November 2019 with Andy Hayward as his assistant and made in instant impact thanks to a 3-2 victory in their first game – the clubs first league win in two months.
‘Benno’ set about revamping the squad following some departures and put together some excellent results in the January however that was all in vein when Covid-19 hit, and the season was declared ‘null and void’.
This enforced, extended break, gave the management team additional time to target the players they wanted to bring in to form their squad, young, hungry, quick and ambitious players were recruited as well as ex professionals Jack Cowgill and George Green.
Curtailed! The 2020/21 season was even shorter than the previous year as the pandemic kept a hold making non-league football unplayable.
The ground continued to be worked on during this extended break with the Supporters Club bar is now the envy of many and almost every surface has had a fresh coat of paint.
We can now look forward to 2021/22 with renewed hope and a full league campaign hopefully played to a conclusion!