A Brief History of the Club by Phil Shemilt and John Sambrook

The first reference of Endon Cricket Club came in a report in the Leek Times in 1871, providing an account of a game against Wetley Rocks (and guess what, we lost!!).

In the late 1880s Endon appeared to have developed their fixture list to include some of the following local clubs :- Cheadle, Leek, Leek Highfield, Ashcombe Park and Ball Haye Green. All these games were friendlies and whilst league cricket developed in the 1890s, Endon were not a party to any of the newly formed leagues.

Following these days, money again became tight but the arrival of Harvey Gibson from the Albany and Harvey Potteries Company provided not only funds, but a number of new players. By this time, Endon Cricket Club was also playing teams as far away as Crewe, Porthill and Rolls Royce. For ten years, Endon had a very successful cricket club, but once again overhead expenditure became too great and the club could no longer exist. The pavilion was confiscated in lieu of ground rent and the club folded.

There is further evidence that cricket was played in Endon during the early 20th Century, approximately where the current tennis courts reside in Station Road. However, it seems that scores in this era were very low, most probably due to the actual playing area, where the grass was 3 -4 inches high and partly covered in mushrooms and cow pats!!!

After the First World War, cricket resumed in Endon in 1920 and whilst money was scarce (it still is!), the club managed to secure a new ground. This ground was located on a field to the left of the brook, which runs to the side of current A53 as you head out of Endon in the direction of Leek. As the field was low lying, the cricket square was specially raised and laid at a cost of approximately £250, a considerable amount of money in those days. The pavilion was an ex-army type building and the running costs of the club were met by the village ladies, who made sandwiches and cakes free and then sold them on the ground to one and all.

Thereafter, the only cricket played in Endon after the Second World War came at the Endon Secondary Modern School sports field (now Endon St. Lukes Primary School). However, in 1948 a number of interested players decided to reform Endon Cricket Club. A ground was obtained on land adjoining Moss Hill Farm, near to the old Stockton Brook Tennis Courts. Games were subsequently played on this ground until 1962. In fact the then Treasurer of the Club, Reg Boote had a house built next to the ground, so he could watch games in his retirement!

A pavilion was bought from Butterton Cricket Club, but problems still existed in keeping the outfield cut and the wicket mown. The number of fixtures increased at this time,

with a number of teams a distance away, which caused transport issues – for many years the team was picked on who was in possession of a car!!! All matches continued on a friendly basis.

1962 was the last season on the Moss Hill ground and for the next 12 months Endon Cricket Club played at the Trentham Gardens ground, whilst we searched for an alternative ground. Thanks to the persistent work of Frank Dearden, Endon obtained their current ground in Post Lane. The costs of the ground amounted to £1,645. The old pavilion was transferred from Moss Hill and with modification was still occupied until 1976/77. By this time, Endon stopped playing friendly fixtures on a Saturday and joinedthe Cheshire Cricket Conference League (later to become the South Cheshire Alliance).

The present pavilion was designed by one of our own players John Sambrook and built by another Chris Weaver. Many other players and members put in many hours of voluntary work to complete the work. The pavilion was officially opened by Derbyshire and England’s wicketkeeper Bob Taylor in 1976.

 

In the late 1990’s Endon Cricket Club resigned from the South Cheshire Alliance and joined the North Staffs and District League (the second oldest cricket league in the country). In 2001, Endon employed the services of a cricket professional for the first ever time and in recent years have secured the likes of Morne Morkel (who made his test debut for South Africa in December 2006), Lee Slater and Mohammed Husnain. In 2006, Endon joined the North Staffs and South Cheshire Cricket League and currently play in Division 3, with both a first and second team playing on Saturdays. Friendly fixtures have continued with the Sunday side.

 

Phil Shemilt and John Sambrook 2006