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9 Sep

Heritage Club of the Week - New Rover CC

In 1934 whilst at a Scout camp a group of Rover Scouts decided to form a cricket team. Lost of a name they decided to call themselves New Rover Cricket Club after the scout camp.

For the next fifty years or so, only interrupted by the Second World War, when numerous members were called up for King and Country the club continued almost unchanged playing friendly cricket on the same pitch at Soldiers Field Roundhay using a little second hand garden shed they called a pavilion which when erected cost the princely sum of £20.

In 1988 after years of playing friendly cricket the club took a monumental decision to apply to join The Dale Council Cricket League.

With a flourishing club with an increasing junior section and a steady progressing league side the cramped, overworked, surroundings and rapidly deteriorating facilities at Soldiers Field was stifling the clubs ambitious plans to become a force in the local cricket scene.

A sub- committee was formed for the sole purpose to find a suitable site for a new cricket ground, and with a generous purchase of land by a member of the club. Those dreams became a reality in May 1993 when a 7.5-acre sloping cornfield in Adel was transformed into a cricket ground.

In 1998 it was decided that the time had come to play in a higher standard of cricket. Consequently the club applied and were accepted as members of The Leeds Cricket League and in that same year the clubs new pavilion, which was partly funded by a generous Sports England lottery grant was opened.
1999 a unique partnership with Yorkshire County Cricket Club was set up, with the counties Academy squad using the club facilities for mid-week and the odd Sunday game. Keith Boyce the former head groundsman at Headingley was appointed as full time groundsman. The Yorkshire first and second team squads often used the clubs superb facilities and the England test team squad netted at the ground in preparation for the 2004 test match against New Zealand at Headingley. The clubs facilities were also used on various occasions by England players including former captains Michael Vaughn and Nasser Hussein as well as Darren Gough and Mathew Hoggard.

With the imminent sad decline of The Leeds Cricket League the club was successful in their application to join The Wetherby Cricket League for the 2000 season.
After 5 years of a steady rise to the top division of The Wetherby League and having a number of players selected for the league representative squad a opportunity for the club to further advance its playing standards arose when a vacancy occurred in The Airedale & Wharfedale Senior Cricket League The club applied to join The Aire/Wharfe League and were successfully elected for the 2005 season.

Who would have thought, that back in 1934 a group of Rover Scouts playing an impromptu game of cricket would be the forerunners of the modern day New Rover Cricket Club and not only were partners of the greatest cricket club of them all Yorkshire CCC but now a established member of the renown Airedale &Wharfedale Senior Cricket League.
Club captain Michael Richmond achieved an amazing mile stone he has scored more centuries than any player in the history of the Airedale & Wharfedale Cricket League 21 in total.
The ground is the venue for numerous cup finals, representative matches and in big demand for charity and cooperate events. It is now the home of the fledgling Yorkshire Cricket Foundation College cricket team. In 2013 England played Australia in a over 60’s Ashes test match with Graham Swann father captaining the England team of course England won which was covered extensively by BBC Look North..

Brian Freeman the clubs second X1 captain who became the clubs Chairman sadly passed away after battling against a serious illness Sadly not one remaining founder member is still alive today.
Bernard “Seggy” Seaton the clubs founder member and first Life President who was known in local cricket circles as “Mr New Rover” sadly passed away in June 2001 at the ripe old age of 87. Through “Seggys” efforts and Stirling dedication the club somehow survived from late summer 1939 to 1946 when no cricket was possible during the hostilities. Seggy even managed to keep in touch with every club member who were serving in the Armed Forces no matter where in the world they were stationed. Without “Seggys” dedication it is doubtful that the club would not still be in existence. We at New Rover are sure “Seggy” would have been very proud of the development of his beloved cricket club from its humble beginnings to the thriving club it is today.

If you have any memories of playing at New Rover CC, we would love to hear them at our reminiscence sessions held every Thursday from 2pm! Contact chris.chatten@yorkshirecricketfoundation.com for further details.

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