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History

Leek Cricket Club was formed on 20th May 1844, at a meeting in Leek Town Hall convened by William Challinor, a local solicitor. William Milner was appointed Chairman, and J.G. Whittles Secretary, and the flourishing Victorian Leek had a properly constituted cricket club, to meet the growing interest in the game.

Records suggest that a good standard of cricket was played. W.J. Arckoll scored the Club's first recorded 50, and J. Redfern first introduced round arm bowling. The Club's first 'paid' player - in effect, the first professional - was J. Copson, appointed in 1855.

Leek won the championship of the North Staffordshire League for the first time in 1898 with a record of played 20, won 9, lost 4, drawn 7.

In 1919 the league was reformed as the North Staffordshire and District League and Leek were crowned league champions whilst the second XI took the honours in Division Two.

Leek had to wait until 1931 for their next championship, under the excellent captaincy of Hermert Sedgwick. The second XI took the championship of Division Two in 1932, for the first time since its forLeek from 1931mation after the war. Perhaps the most important feature of the 1930's was the emergence of several young players who would become key features in the future. Alongside established players such as Harold Birch, Arthur Rider, Lew Kidd and Johnny Cotton, the emerging youngsters included Stan Huchinson, Eric Horden, Cliff Bonsall, Fred Taylor, Eric Broderick and Fred Boulton. The famous S.F. (Sydney) Barnes was engaged as coach for a short spell in 1937.

Leek's first post-war professional, signed in 1946, was Bert Shardlow. With other key players such as Boulton, Horden, Crump and Turner, Leek had a very strong team during the post-war years. They took the championship in 1947, and were runners up in 1948, 1950 and 1951.

1954 was a historic year for Leek Cricket Club when the ground at Highfield was purchased from Mr. John Tatton, the then owner of Highfield Hall (see link below) . The purchase price was £3,000, and to offset the financial burden the Club decided to sell their second ground at Beggars Lane to Brough, Nicholson and Hall Sports Club for £1,100.

1960 was a season to forget, for the first XI finished bottom of the league, and were relegated to Senior 'B'. A determined effort was made, and, under the captaincy of Jack Burton, they immediately regained 'A' division status. 1961 was a triple championship season, with the Second XI and the 'A' Team taking the honours in their leagues. Players at the time who were to have long and distingushed careers with Leek included B. Tatton, S. Trafford, K. Morris and M.C. Goddard.

Leek's 130th Anniversary year, 1974, saw them as league champions by just one point, in an exciting finish to the season, where the destination of the honours was in doubt until the final match.

Leek CC 1st XI 1974

The already enlarged league was undergoing great changes in 1980 with a further ten teams applying for membership. These were Barlaston, Betley, Burslem, Buxton, Caverswall, Cheadle, Crewe R.R., Elworth, Kidsgrove and Leycett. Added to the existing clubs - Nantwich, Stone, Leek, Newcastle & Hartshill, Crewe, Knypersley, Norton, Longton, Bignall End, Great Chell, Porthill Park, little Stoke, Sneyd and Stafford - it gave a total of 24 teams. The teams were divided into two divisions for 1982 the top 12 forming Division 1 and the bottom 12 Division 2. Leek finished the 1981 season in sixth place, to ensure Division 1 cricket for the following year. Leek's major success in the 1980's was winning the Talbot Cup in 1988 against Audley at Highfield.

In 1990 Leek Cricket Club had an outstanding season - the league championship and the Staffordshire Cup for the first XI, a Talbot Shield semi-final spot for the 2nd XI, and the Kidsgrove and District League Championship and Knockout Cup victory for the Junior XI.

2001 saw Leek 1st XI complete a magnificient season capturing the league championship, Talbot cup and Staffordshire cup, the first time this triple had been achieved by any club and unlikely to be repeated.

2008 again proved very successful, if extremely challenging, with the 1st XI securing the Talbot cup and Twenty20 Trophy while narrowly losing out on the League championship - by 2 points, finishing runners up. The 2nd XI reached the semi-final of the Talbot Shield and the under 17 team won the Kidsgrove and District section "A" League Championship. The Annual Leek Cricket Club dinner celebrated special awards for Fred Boulton reaching his 90th birthday - serving the club as player and still official and Stan Trafford to mark 50 consecutive years service to the club as player and official.

2009 saw Leek 1st XI relegated from the North Staffs & South Cheshire League Premier division for the first time in the clubs history. The 2nd XI finished 5th in the League while the 3rd XI were relegated from the Stone & District League Premier division. The U17 team won the Kidsgrove and District section "A" League Championship for the second consecutive year.

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