Dunnington Cricket Club

Club History 

History

Vague recollections believe cricket was played in the village prior to the Great War, as were other sports including football. However the club itself was formed after peace was declared in 1920, and it is from here that the club began the spiralling rise that is still escalating now.

Early records of club activities have unfortunately been lost and although it is believed the club participated in local leagues and friendly games, details available do not cover the first 35 years of existence.

DCC was established in 1920 and we understand that they played at various venues before moving to the Playing Fields on Common Road in 1949.

According to some of the older citizens of the Parrish the venues were:

  1. Between the A1079 & A166 at Grimston Bar
  2. On a field next to the Water Tower
  3. Opposite the garage on Hull Road
  4. Where the Children’s play area is now

Except for cutting the outfield short and rolling the wickets there were no other special preparations.

The matches in the early days were classed as friendlies but there was always a close rivalry between local villages. Stories go that for away matches a barrel of beer was loaded on to a horse & cart and quite often the barrel would be empty before the team arrived at the venue.

In 1948 the Parish Council purchased three fields with funds raised by collections and war bonds. This is now the Dunnington and Grimston Playing Fields, used for the promotion of Sporting Activity in the area. At this time there was only football and cricket pitches and the majority of players, played both sports. It is also to be noted that up to the 1960s the population of the village was under 100 people.

From the time of purchase to the start of the first match in May 1949 the time was spent removing hedges and seeding the outfield, along with the laying of the wicket. The changing room and tea room was a prefabricated asbestos hut, which fell into disrepair and was demolished. The team then changed in another prefabricated building on the opposite side of the pitch. Scores were originally shown by hanging numbers from nails in a tree next to the changing rooms.

1940s, 1950s & 1960s

AGM records dating back to 1956 show that this was the year the club left the Derwent League. The previous season, the club had difficulty getting two teams to play on a Saturday, so in 1956 they elected to play the 1st Team in the Pocklington League on Saturdays and the 2nd Team in the Foss league midweek. There is also reference to the fact that permission had been granted by the PFA to allow the club to play cricket on Sundays at the ground. The following year we ventured into the Foss Evening League, in which we still play today. Success was not in short supply, with the club landing three successive Pockington titles from 1957 and five Foss League Championships in a nine year span from 1958. They also entered numerous evening knock out cups including the Wilson-Todd, the Myers & Burnell, the Sawkill & the Pocking cup. They won all of these completions at some point during this period but as yet, we have been unable to put dates to all of their triumphs.

However the focal point of cricket in the area is the York & District Senior League, as it has been since its inauguration in 1912. On the 11th July 1959, an EGM was held to discuss an application for membership. while playing strength was unquestionable, the facilities were deemed inadequate and the application was rejected. Nevertheless, following Foss league, Wilson Todd Cup and Junior Charity Cup titles, we were accepted into the league in 1963. The first match in 1963 was played against Tadcaster. Within two seasons we were Second Division Champions and joined the elite of York & District the following season.

A second XI was admitted in 1967 and again within two years the team was holding the divisional title.

The photographs we have collected from this period show players including John Taylor, Robin Smith, Jim Burniston and brothers Pop & Eric (Biddy) Wilson

1970 to 1989

Then came a golden era in the club's history. From 1974, Cup and League success was in plentiful supply. Beginning with the Sawkill Cup, the Second Division title, Senior Charity Cup, Myers Burnell Cup, Huntington Cup and Harry Southwood Cup all inhabited the trophy cabinet within four seasons.

From 1960-1990 the population of the village rose from 1,000 to 3,000 and the cricket club membership was formed from local players.

The Club’s application to join the York and District Senior Cricket League was accepted in 1963 and the Second team’s application was accepted in 1967.

We have unearthed photos from this perios showing players such as Pat Wood, Dennis Milburn, Steve Whitaker, Dave Leeman, Brian Stacey, Alan Jackson, Ian Wilkinson, John Goodrick and Robin Smith. Several Juniors also came to prominence in this period including Gary Andrew, Neil Wilson, Graham Freer, Dave Wilson, Steve Wilson and Paul Spofforth. Some of these players are still playing today

1990-Present

This was an era of tremendous change within the club. A succession of Overseas and First Class players represented the club. These included:

  • 1989-1990 Andy Bower (Fast Bowler) Recommended to club by ex player John Curtis when he stayed at his caravan site in Naburn
  • 1990 Andy Pilgrim (Opening Bat) Was born in York and played for Dunnington when he returned to spend time with family in the City
  • 1991 Greg Everest (Spin bowler & middle order batsman) Another Aussie
  • 1994 Junie Mitchum (All rounder) West Indian from St Kitts, played for St Kitts and for the Leeward Islands. Didn’t return because West Indies wanted him for their squad the following season. Is now Technical director of cricket for the Leeward Islands and a generous host on the 3 occasions Dunnington have toured St Kitts & Nevis
  • 1996-Present Harwood Williams (Middle order bat and occasional bowler) Another West Indian from St Kitts who also represented the Leeward Islands. Harwood settled in Leeds and is now a mainstay of the club. Was 1st Team Captain in 2006 & 2007 and organises the biannual tour to St Kitts & Nevis.
  • 1995-2006 Simon Kellett (Opening Bat and Medium pace bowler) Simon played for Yorkshire for many seasons before combining playing for Dunnington at weekends with Captaining Cambridgeshire in Minor Counties matches during the week.
  • 1999-2001 Joseph Grant (Fast Bowler) West Indian who played for his native Jamaica and then moved to play 1st Class cricket with Essex after his spell at Dunnington.
  • 2000-2004 Alvin Kallicharran (Left hand bat) Played for the club after a long and distinguished career with the West Indies, Warwickshire, Guyana, Orange Free State, Queensland & Trasvaal. Won the World Cup twice with the West Indies. Played in 66 tests scoring 4399 runs at an average of 44.43.
  • 2001-Present Collis King (Hard hitting All Rounder) West Indies test player, best known for his innings in the 1979 World Cup Final. Possesses many records in the York & District Senior Cricket League. Still scoring hundreds in the Premier league though the wrong side of 57 and also owner of the biggest bat in the world!
  • 2002 Simon Cook (Fast Bowler) Australian from Melbourne who played in 2 tests for his country.
  • 2002-2003 Kirk Powell (Fast Bowler) Jamaican who joined the club from Easingwold. Now lives in Australia.
  • 2005 Masood Asim Butt (Right hand bat & Spin bowler) A young batsman eager for some experience of English conditions. Plays 1st Class cricket in Pakistan and represented the national team at U19 age group levels.
  • 2007-2008 Kelvin Patterson (Big hitting batsman & Pace bowler) An international basketball player for his home island of Barbados. Discovered by Collis King and notable for his huge six hitting. Scored 50 from just 20 balls against Woodhouse Grange.

During this period, the club also registered with the ECB to become Clubmark accredited. Many improvements were made to the administration and running of the club as well as to the coaching and playing side. The club invested heavily in training for coaches and increased the number of of Junior teams and Junior coaching programmes. In 2005 a team was entered into the Y&DSCL Intermediate league, winning the competition the following year in 2006. In 2007 the club entered the Y&DJCA Under 9 league for the first time, fielding 2 teams. In total the club now has about 25 senior members and over 70 junior members.

Facilities

Some of the most significant changes and improvements came as the York & District Senior Cricket League raised their standards. For DCC to remain at the forefront of the league meant many of the facilities had to be upgraded or introduced.

From what we can determine, the original changing rooms and tea room were on the site of the present scorebox and equipment shed. From here they were moved to the area where the current football practise pitches are. At this stage the facility was shared with the Football club. The Sports Club building was constructed in 1971, but was much smaller than its current size. The changing rooms for Cricket & Football from this time, still exist as the Squash/ Bfit changing rooms. Later extensions saw the Dunnington & Grimston room added including a new beer cellar and Bowls pavillion, the two stage addition of squash courts then the construction of the new changing rooms with function room above in 1997.

The scoreboard has, like the pavillion developed over the years. The earliest records we can find relate to the scores being hung on nails hammered into a tree near the pavillion. In 1969 a new brick scorebox was built on the site of the current scorebox. Jeff Spofforth was responsible for the bricklaying and Dave Leeman , through Highlight engineering provided the large revolving number system. This lasted until 2008, when it was to make way for the latest version, a combined scorebox, electronic scoreboard and equipment shed, a facility any team in the league would be proud of. The Playing Field Association were able to construct this state of the art building because of the kind donations of long time Dunnington cricket devotees Colin Graves and Colin Roberts.

1990 saw the introduction of the metal sightscreens made by Britton’s under the supervision of Neil Wilson. These were delivered by low loader with a Police escort on a Sunday because of their size.

The cricket outfield was replaced in 1996 pictures show only the square remaining before the new turf was laid during december of that year. Once again this development was made possible through the backing of Colin Graves and the Costcutter organisation.

Two more facilities improvement projects are in the pipeline. They are the creation of 2 artificial practise nets and an irrigation system for the square and outfield at Common Road end. It is also likely that at some point in the future the square will need to be expanded to create enough wickets to accommodate the recent growth in the playing membership. Work is ongoing with the PFA regarding the long term strategy and planning for this project. 

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