The club was formed in 1920 by the Reverend JT Canton, the rector of Christ Church, Bradford, Manchester. At the time Bradford was an heavily industrialised area of East Manchester.
In fact part of the underground seams of Bradford Colliery are now covered by the City of Manchester Stadium. Although only covering an area of 1 square mile, Bradford produced many talented footballers, and during its history some left the club to grace the professional game, some played for the England Amateur XI and many represented the club at County and League level.
During their inaugural season of 1920-1921, Bradford Parish played in the Manchester YMCA League and were fortunate enough to be able to call on the services of two Lancashire Schoolboy players, who had also played at England Schoolboy level.
The team with an average age of just 17 became League Champions and Shield Winners in that first year. All their home games were played at the David Lewis Recreation Ground or Donkey Common as it was known. Most playing surfaces in those days were not grass but shale and cuts and scrapes were common due to the harsh surface.
The following season 1921-1922, saw the club enter the Openshaw and District League. It is a matter of conjecture as to why the club left the Manchester YMCA League but if it was to find sterner competition they still had some way to go.
The team went undefeated in the league, scoring 76 goals for, with 19 against. The record of cup goals for and against is not known but by winning the cup they were undefeated during the season. Double winners and undefeated, a great achievement in any level of competition.
The Lancashire & Cheshire League, which the club entered in the 1922-1923 season ran two senior divisions, the 1st Division and the A Division, later renamed the 2nd Division. It was in the A Division that Parish started their long association with the league. Parish won the A Division that season finishing with 4 more points than their nearest rivals, Union Chapel, another church side.
The team also reached the final of the Rhodes Cup, winning the competition, a feat that has been repeated on a further 9 occasions by the club. An incredible 17 coach loads of supporters travelled to Urmston to watch them defeat West Didsbury in the final. Judging by the number of coaches there must have been around 800 fans supporting their local team.
It was during this season that Parish, for the first time, ran two teams. The church, or was it was the football, was attracting more and more youngsters, this prompted the committee to set up another team. The 2nd team was a junior side and was entered into the Manchester YMCA League which they duly won at their first attempt.
So now it was 3 seasons, 4 league titles and 3 cup wins.
Having won the league and cup in their first season in the L & C League, it must have been the committee’s intention to consolidate in the senior division in the 1923-1924 season. They consolidated by doing the double, winning the 1st Division and for the second season running winning the Rhodes Cup, beating Werneth Amateurs in the final.
The 1935-1936 season was a major turning point in the history of Bradford Parish, they were to leave their controversial Cemetery Road ground and move to a new enclosed ground with better facilities and a good quality playing surface, at the Ashton Moss Athletic Ground. This was achieved with all the hard work of the committee and in particular Alf Cook the secretary.
Season 1937-1938 saw the Parish side again win the league and cup double and if WW2 had not taken place the club would have faced a promising future with many experienced and good quality up and coming younger players.
The first season after the war saw another change of ground due to bomb damage at the Ashton Moss venue, when Melland Playing Fields in Gorton, Manchester became the clubs new home. As it turned out, although many of the pre-war side were past their best in playing terms, the side retained the league championship for the first two seasons after the war.
The most memorable night in the clubs history took place in April 1953 at the Accrington Stanley Peel Park Ground where Parish won the coveted Lancashire Amateur Cup with a 3-1 win over Morecambe GSOB.
The mid 1950’s to mid 1960’s was a glorious time for the club with a trophy haul of 22 titles and cups.
By the clubs high standards a barren period followed with only 7 trophies won up to the clubs change of name to Denton Town in 1994 and change of ground to Whittles Park in 1995.
The Denton team carried on the winning tradition with an undefeated league and cup double in season 2006-2007.
The 2008-2009 season saw a step up in standards when the club were successful in their application to join the Cheshire League. In the 2010-2011 season the first team won the Cheshire League Division 2 and were promoted to the 1st Division.
These excerts are taken from the club’s history book ‘A Town Like Parish’
The new book on the clubs history from 1920 to 2007, “A Town like Parish”, is now available. Containing statistics, memories of some of the older players of years gone by, anecdotes, historical facts, the lives and times of the people involved and many team photographs it is a must read for all present and ex players and officials of the club. The price is £9.95 per copy. All proceeds will go to much needed club funds.