Headingley Cricket Club
Address: Glen Road, Headingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS16 5NJ
Website: Click Here
Headingley are a club whose first team have lost just four league games in four seasons, play on two beautiful grounds in iconic North Leeds suburbs and have the best social atmosphere of any club in Yorkshire. What’s not to love?
Headingley is one of the famous names in cricket and, slowly but surely, Headingley CC are living up to that billing on and off the pitch. Whether it is ‘tavern hoping’ in the various bars of Headingley and Leeds, or the brutal domination of most teams in the Wetherby league - they are certainly the best known team in this cricket loving area.
Beginning life in the 1940’s as the leading newspaper in the region’s team, Yorkshire Post CC, the club was at the forefront of the thriving friendly cricket scene in Yorkshire for over 50 years. In the early years of the new century, however, the club had begun to struggle for numbers and opposition as many friendly sides either joined leagues or faded out of existence.
The club’s renaissance began in 2005 with the arrival of several new players who, together with a core of club stalwarts, began the rebuilding process. The club joined the Leeds League for its final year in 2009, finishing in a creditable 3rd place in the top division.
Since joining the Wetherby league the following year and changing the club name to Headingley CC there has been large increase in squad size as well as a higher standard of cricket. The club merged with Bramhope CC in 2013 now means that all three league teams are seen as amongst the strongest in their divisions.
On the 12th of June, 2012, the club hit a fantastic landmark. The 1st team went 1000 days unbeaten. This run panned out over 3 seasons which saw 3 promotions, a fantastic feat, considering the club were close to extinction just a few years before. The run continued until early in the 2013 season, although Headingley went on that year to finish third in the league, losing just a four games.
The club owes huge thanks to Mark Stelfox, Will Clifton, Nick Saunders and the Manton family for the original rejuvenation of the club which now puts out up to 7 teams a week, sponsorship and a committed player-base.
The club boasts two picturesque grounds, committed and organised leadership, a buzzing social atmosphere and a membership of over 100 players. The great atmosphere of the club is obvious on the pitch as three Saturday teams, regular Sunday matches and a midweek T20 tournament are all thoroughly enjoyed by players of all ages.
Attracting some fantastic local sponsors has been pivotal in the success of Headingley Cricket Club. Leeds Brewery came on board as the clubs main sponsor which has given the club the opportunity to invest in sightscreens and a batting cage. The Brewery also offered a Brewery tour which was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone involved. The club is also sponsored by the Victory Pub and Kitchen which is part of the Village hotel just a minutes’ walk from the ground. The Victory look after the players after the game with good food and beer, as well as giving the club facilities for meetings and awards presentations. It is a big reason the club has such a good social feel.
Headingley CC has welcomed two Antipodean overseas players to the club since the first season in league cricket, something that would have been unthinkable just a few years previously.
It is testament to the superb atmosphere that surrounds the club both on and off the field that both players have expressed a wish to return, with one due to arrive back in 2014. Not bad when you consider that they won’t be receiving a penny from the club.
The club attracts a lot of new players due to its huge online profile. Headingley are always ranked highly in the ‘Pitchero ranking’ system (typically in the top 10) with the website (www.headingleycc.co.uk) receiving over 16,000 hits a month. A twitter following of over 1,500 re-enforces the amount of interest there is in the club. New partnerships with Leeds Student Radio and North Leeds Life magazine are sure to increase this even further.