History of Cheetham Hill Cricket Club
Founded in 1847 Cheetham Hill Cricket Club played at a ground situated on Seymour Road, which was rented from the Second Earl of Wilton. We finally moved into our own ground in 1876 with the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company making a donation of £100 toward the expenses involved in establishing the new ground.
The first 1st XI match on the new ground was played against Broughton on 12th May 1877 and bands were engaged for the first three home matches that year. Unfortunately we lost the game by 101 runs.
It is worth noting that in 1861, when playing at Seymour Road, Bowls was played on the ground. In 1877 at our present venue Lawn Tennis was first played at the Club: the addition of ladies as playing members was introduced after the Tennis section meeting on 25th January 1886. Our Golden Jubilee year of 1897 was rendered particularly auspicious by the addition of a Billiards section.
In 1902 the 1st XI went through an entire season without losing a match (it must have rained). In 1903, Croquet was introduced to the Club but it did not however manage to survive the First World War 1914-1918.
During the so called Great War 93 members joined the Armed Forces, 19 of whom gave their lives to the cause – one of these gaining the Victoria Cross. Needless to say it was no easy task keeping Cricket, or other sports, alive during those dark days, but we contrived to keep going. Nonetheless immediately after the War it became clear that despite our efforts the ground would become lost to us unless we made provision to purchase it from the Earl of Wilton’s estate. To this end a company known as The Cheetham Hill Cricket Club Company Ltd was formed and incorporated on 22nd November 1920. The Cricket ground and associated buildings were formally bought on 18th January 1921 for the princely sum of £3,000.
Soon after the start of the Second World War, the ground was requisitioned by the RAF as a Barrage Balloon station. More than 75 members enlisted, six did not return. After 1942, with the war at its height, the struggle to keep the Club going demanded terrific effort, but we managed to succeed in doing so and at the end of the war, the Hockey section was formed.
In September 1974, following a meeting and the usual procedures, the Squash section was formed. Two squash courts were built on the old site of the Groundsmans cottage. In 1977 a third squash court was built to deal with the demand for the sport.