Stalwart writes book for 150th anniversary

Cleckheaton celebrated winning back-to-back JCT600 Bradford League Division One titles last season. Picture: Steve Riding

Cleckheaton celebrated winning back-to-back JCT600 Bradford League Division One titles last season. Picture: Steve Riding

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Cleckheaton CC celebrated winning back-to-back JCT600 Bradford League Division One titles last season in what was a momentous year for the club.

It proved to be a historic year as Cleckheaton also celebrated their 150th anniversary.

Bob Speight has been involved with Cleckheaton for a third of that time, holding the position of scorer, secretary and administrator since the early 1960s.

Bob admitted himself that there was little he did now about Cleckheaton over the past 50 years but took it upon himself to trawl back in the archives to produce a book charting the entire 150 year history of the club.

From the humble beginnings when a workshops team known as Hunsworth Mills was formed in 1864, right the way through to Cleckheaton’s inaugural Bradford League title triumph in 2013, it is all charted in the book.

Perhaps Cleckheaton’s most famous cricketing son is Yorkshire’s County Championship winning captain Andrew Gale, who began his senior career with the Moorenders having played junior cricket just up the road at Gomersal.

Gale admits he was honoured to be asked to write a foreword for Cleckheaton’s 150th anniversary book.

Gale said: “I have played cricket all over the world and the question I always get asked ‘Where did I start my career and which club did I play for?’

“The proud answer I always give is Cleckheaton. I have been lucky to have had an affiliation with Cleck for 17 years and have made some lifelong friends at the club.”

Some of the great characters that have graced Cleckheaton over the years are also featured in the book, including former Lancashire bowler Ian Austin and current captain John Wood, who have helped bring a more professional approach to cricket at Moorend.

The book provides an excellent read for local cricket supporters and is available, priced £10, from Spenborough Stationers, Market Place, Cleckheaton or by visiting the club website www.cleckheaton cricketclub.org.uk.