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 THIRSK CRICKET CLUB HISTORY  


Thirsk Cricket Club celebrated it’s 150th Anniversary in 2001, with a match against an MCC XI and also a splendid Anniversary Dinner and Dance, which was held in a large marquee on the club’s ground, and attended by 365 past, present members and guests.

The Thirsk team who played the MCC

Top Row (L - R) M E Gear, B D Petty, P H Marwood, G R Palliser, D S Bramley

Bottom Row (L - R) N C Stephenson, M C Cressey, D I Greenlay, D C Wyrill, J W Cook, M Wainwright

The Thirsk club who were founder members of the York and District League in which we still play today, first played on a ground on York Road and moved to the present ground inside the racecourse around 1860. A new brick pavilion, built at a cost of £200 in 1907 by JD Ruecroft & Son, was regarded as a considerable facility in those days. It was re-roofed in 1966 by Pat Ruecroft, the grandson of the builder. The pavilion was demolished in 1985 to make way for a new clubhouse facility.

The old Pavilion, 1907

The New Club House proudly standing infront of the square, erected 1985

The inaugural match at York Road was played against an England XI, and there have been two all England matches played at the current ground, but there are references to an even earlier match played in the town.

Former club chairman ER Jackson reported the words of Major Peter Bell when he officially opened the new pavilion in 1907. Mr Jackson wrote:  The first history they had of cricket being played in Thirsk was of a match played, he believed, on the Topcliffe road between 11 of Sheffield and 22 of Yorkshire. It was for £100 a side and the betting was three to one on Sheffield.  Yorkshire won and among the 22 were five Thirsk men, the others coming from Bedale, Wetherby, Knaresborough and Ripon.  His notes provide further insights into how the game was played in the 19th century.

The TAC letterhead and part of the surviving letter

In his report of Maj Bell’s speech, Mr Jackson also wrote: “In those days we had some good players in the club. He did not mean to say that Thirsk was better than any other club, but they could certainly boast of having certain men who made their mark.  There were Roger Iddison and George Freeman, the latter of whom was at Thirsk as a resident.  The only disadvantage about his playing was that when they knew he was in the team opposing clubs always brought a strong team, and if business prevented his playing, then it was sometimes bad for Thirsk.

THIRSK CRICKET TEAM 1891

Front Row (L - R) F R Hansell (capt), H Perason, T Gunson, R Bell, G Ayre, W Wm Hall (sec), J Wright (Caterer)

Middle Row (L - R) W Macaulay, T S Wheater, Wm J Horner, E B Peat

Bottom Row (L - R) H Horner, R Bolton, C Macaulay

Freeman played for Yorkshire from 1865-1881 and appeared for England in 1868. Other famous Thirsk players include GG Macauley who represented Yorkshire from 1920-1933, and the former Yorkshire CCC secretary Joe Lister.

On the 17th August 1947 an augmented Thirsk team played a match against Herbert Sutcliffe’s XI, the Sutcliffe team included Yorkshire and England legends Herbert Sutcliffe himself, Maurice Leyland and Arthur Mitchell.

Herbert Sutcliffe XI and the Thirsk XI pictured infront of the pavilion, 1947

Thirsk Captain Colin Dales tosses the coin as Herbert Sutcliffe calls

In July 1955, the MCC presented Thirsk CC with a plaque to commemorate the bi-centenary of Thomas Lord, who was born in the town in 1755 and established the world famous Lords cricket ground in Dorset Square, St Marylebone.

On the playing side, Thirsk won the North and East Ridings Challenge Cup in 1891. Thirsk’s most successful era was in the 1920s, when they were league champions, no less than six times. They also took the title in 1932 and 1938, but have not finished top since then. The early 1990s saw the club hit its lowest point culminating in relegation to the old Y&DSCL third division in 1992. Fortunes have gradually been restored since then, and it has generally been an upward curve for the club throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Thirsk CC have had some wonderful players at various times throughout their long history, far too many to mention here, this page is dedicated to their performances and achievements. There, have been some excellent performances by individual players in recent years. Des Wyrill holds the premier division record for the best batting average, his 112.80 earning him the cup, which boasts his name in 1999. The Alan Shipley (Secretary’s) cup, the leagues bowling award was won by Martin Shepherdson in 1997 and has been lifted by Barry Petty for the last three seasons. Petty has set a new premier division record for the most wickets taken in a season every year since Thirsk were promoted to the top flight in 1998. He picked up 55 that year, 79 in 1999 and a magnificent 84 in 2000