|Child Welfare Officer||Emma Frain|
On 5th October 1909, at a meeting at The Coffee Tavern, it was unanimously agreed by the five men present to form a Town Cricket Club. They leased a field named the following year as Windsor Park. Calling itself Chorley Town, the team made its debut in the Chorley and District League on 21 May 1910. All out for 31 was not the most auspicious start!
The ground sloped precipitously from east to west. Fielders on the ‘cemetery side were below the eye level of the wicket. Old railway lines and borrowed trucks were used to excavate a bank and level the surface. Herculean efforts over several years, mainly on winter mornings before work, by those members of long ago resulted in today’s playing surface. In 1919 Chorley Town entered the Ribblesdale League and changed their name to Chorley Cricket Club. In 1927 Windsor Park was purchased and vested in Trustees.
The Club was well established by the 1930s, recruiting from the town and local villages. The Chairman was Mr. W. Blackledge, a local mill owner and father of Joe, who was destined to captain Lancashire. The Treasurer, Mr.E.M Froom, whose memory is perpetuated by the iron gates bearing his name, obsessively guarded the Club’s finances and handed out balls for practice with great reluctance. The captain was J. Branston, a former Preston North End goalkeeper. J. Lancaster who was to become Club President six decades later succeeded him in 1939.
Chorley’s membership of the Palace Shield started in 1998 when the Club’s 3rd Eleven were accepted as members of Division E. At the end of 1997 season the Northern League’s 3rd Division finally folded and the Club’s 3rd Team faced dissolution with no league in which to participate. This would have been a disastrous turn of events for the Club but the removal of this vital link between junior and senior cricket was, thankfully, averted by the generosity of the Palace Shield clubs who welcomed Chorley into their ranks.
The result has been ten seasons, to date, of extremely enjoyable cricket and the further development of the Club’s junior policy by the inclusion of Under 10, Under 11, Under 13, Under 15 and Under 17 teams into the Palace Shield junior competition, undoubtedly one of the best in the North West.
The end of the twentieth century and the early millennium years saw the gradual break up of the side that had enjoyed much success in the last decade of the century. Though the team was comparatively successful in that a top four finish was achieved in the four seasons to 1998 there was a gradual slippage in subsequent years. This coupled with increasing debt, a `tired` committee and the threat of sale and relocation of the ground brought in a new committee in 2003, several of whom lived in the immediate vicinity of the ground. Under Chairman Eddie Preston and Secretary Rodney Finnen the club was given a new impetus and by maximising use of the club function room, a project driven by Judith Whitmarsh, a gradual reversal of the clubs finances resulted. In October 2004 the club committee was awarded the prestigious `Outstanding Services to Cricket Award` (OSCAS) in the Cricket force category at the presentation ceremony at Lords in recognition of its work in turning the club round. In April 2005 the sudden resignation of the Chairman and difficulty in replacing him thrust the Chair on President, Doug Rossall`s shoulders, a dual position he held until Viv Norman took over as Chairman in 2007. The club also achieved Clubmark status in 2005 and in the same year a community Club Development Grant from Sport England enabled the club to install a five lane, all weather, fully enclosed, outdoor practise facility. A women`s team, previously headquartered at Leyland re-located to Chorley and thus was born Chorley women`s team. In contrast to this however fortunes on the field were in slight decline.
In 2005 one of our former juniors, 19 years old Tom Smith was signed as club professional and had a good season. Smith, whilst playing for the club had represented England up to and including U19 level, spent two years at the Lancs. Academy and ECB National Academy and in 2006 joined the full time staff at Old Trafford.
|Trophy Name||Awarded For||Won in|
|Tom Croft Trophy||Division Four (E) Runner Up||2006|
|Carr Trophy||Division Six Winner||2016|
|Taylor Trophy||Sunday Division (F) Runner Upsun||2006|
|Crabtree Cup||Winner of Crabtree Cup||2007|
|John Richardson Cup||Runner Up in Crabtree Cup||2011|
|Brian Gill Trophy||Under 10s Winner||2009, 2010, 2015|
|John Sharp Trophy||Under 10s Runners Up||2011|
|Tony Poxon Trophy||Under 11s Winner||2010|
|Highfield Trophy||Under 11s Runners Up||2012, 2017|
|Under 12 Plate Runner Up||Under 12s Plate Runners Up||2016|
|Dutton Forshaw Trophy||Under 13s Winner||2013|
|Tom Howarth Trophy||Under 13s Plate Winner||2016|
|Colin Dawber Trophy||Under 13 Plate Runner Up||2009|
|Tom Jenkins Trophy||Under 15s Winner||2005, 2006, 2010|
|Rose Trophy||Under 17s Winner||2007jw|
|Courtaulds Trophy||Under 17 Runners Up||2006|
Key to notes
sun - The Sunday Competition has had various formats. 1996-2005 - Divison F, 2006-2007 - Two Sections, 2008 Decided by Playoff, 2009- Two Divisions
jw - Joint Winner
Chorley Cricket Club
Tel. 01257 275096
Gillette Playing Fields