The original Emley AFC's history stretches back as far as 1903. They were somewhat successful in Yorkshire non-league football over the years, winning several championships but were perhaps most famous for their FA Cup run in the later part of the 1990s which saw them playing against West Ham United.
Things started to go wrong for the original club in 2000 after the Northern Premier League announced new ground regulation rulings. As Emley were unable to improve their ground, they moved to Wakefield to avoid expulsion from the league.
The move and name change to Wakefield & Emley FC in 2003, alienated many Emley fans who had supported the club throughout the years. The final straw came when the Northern Counties East League discontinued its reserve league as the reserve team had continued to play at the old Welfare Ground in Emley even after the first team move to Wakefield.
The disbanding of the Reserve Team lead to several fans and former members forming the current club in the name of A.F.C. Emley in 2005, moving back to their home village. During their first season, the club finished third in the West Yorkshire League Division One. A year later the club was successful in an application to become members of the Northern Counties East Football League Division One.
2012/13 saw a best ever run to the 4th round proper of the FA Vase and a then highest finish of 7th in the league.
2013/14 brought a league and cup double for the club’s Under 19 side – now at the heart of developing young local players with many success stories coming through to the first team. A number of that successful squad came through to help secure the Development Squad the Lancashire League (East) title in 2014/15. The Under 19s also retained the league trophy last season.
Although 2014/15 ended up in disappointment for first team, leading the way for much of the league season before finishing a club record fifth place in NCEL Division 1, there was much to celebrate and a great deal of optimism for the future.
As well as strengthening the playing squad over the summer, first team manager Darren Hepworth has promoted title-winning Dev Squad manager Joe Howson to be his assistant.