Although cricket was played in the village prior to 1895, Walton-le-Dale Cricket Club was formally recognised by the village following a meeting held 17th February 1896. The Cricket Club can trace its origins back to 1875 however, making it the oldest of the local sporting Clubs. Prior to 1896 it is unclear as to where the Club played their matches, although the early Recreation Society minutes show that a Public Meeting was held on Thursday, 16th October 1895, chaired by the Vicar of St Leonard’s Rev. Seymour F Harris. The reason for the meeting was that football and cricket had of late been played under great disadvantage in Walton-le-Dale, owing to the want of a suitable field. Subsequent to this the Cricket Club moved to their present home and along with the Bowling Club hold tenancy rights in perpetuity.
The Club was a founder member of the Chorley and District Amateur Cricket League that was formulated in 1903, with the first matches being played the following year. Possibly the proudest achievements came in 1970, 1974 and 2004 the Club lifting the Division 1 championship on 3 occasions.
There have been a number of outstanding players over the years. Three of the most prominent are Alan Rigby,Gavin Turner and Michael Cuffin. Alan, formerly a Recreation Society Trustee, Treasurer and Club President, held the position of League President for many years. He was the League’s highest aggregate runs scorer 14 times in 16 seasons between 1960 and 1975. Gavin, currently Club President, was the League’s outstanding bowler from 1970 through to the mid-1980’s and still holds the League record for the most wickets in a season (95 in 1977). Michael was 1st XI Captain from the early 90’s to the late 2000’s and oversaw many successes in the Chorley & District Cricket League. He later became Chairman and led the club into a new era. He sadly passed away in 2012 and is still greatly missed by all that knew him.
Today the Club runs both 1st and 2nd teams in the 2nd and 5th Divisions of the Palace Shield aswell as Sunday and T20 teams and has a thriving Junior Section. The club joined the Palace Shield in 2005 after the collapse of the Chorley & District Cricket League and has allowed the club to progress.
New members are always welcome, with organised practice held every Tuesday evening during the season, commencing at 6:15pm for both adults and juniors. Junior members are especially welcome, with a qualified England & Wales Cricket Board Level 2 Coach providing organised practice and coaching for 8 to 16 years olds.
In early 2014 the Recreational Society finished work on a brand new facility for the football, cricket and bowling clubs. This facility is also a community centre and has improved the Cricket Club’s appeal greatly.
The club has recently had plans for a combined scorebox and garage approved with work starting in February 2016. This will include an electronic scoreboard and will further add the the clubs growing facilities.
2015 was an excellent year for the club, the 1st XI won Division 3 at a canter and the club achieved Clubmark status.
List of Club Officers 2018
President – Gavin Turner
Hon Vice President – Alan Rigby
Hon Vice President – Patricia Wray
Chairman – Neil Harvey
Vice Chairman – David Maguire
Secretary – Alan Barton
Treasurer – Paul Williams
Auditor – David Wray
1st XI Captain – Curtis Morris
1st XI Vice – Alex Cuffin
2nd XI Captain – Neil Harvey
2nd XI Vice – David Maguire
Sunday XI Captain – Peter Ingham
Sunday XI Vice – Mick Berry
T20 Captain – Alex Hinds
T20 Vice – Alex Cuffin
1st XI Umpire – TBC
2nd XI Umpire – TBC
U13’s Manager – Alan Barton
U13’s Coaches – Peter Ingham, Alex Cuffin
Child Welfare Officer – Peter Ingham
Assistant Child Welfare Officer – Neil Harvey
First Aid – Neil Harvey, Pete Ingham, Alex Cuffin, Andrew Shorrock
Palace Shield Reps – Pete Ingham/Paul Williams/Gavin Turner