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22 Sep

Great Horton Church CC - Heritage Club of The Week

In 1895 representatives of four Sunday School Cricket Clubs applied to join the Bradford and District Sunday School Cricket League, but their application was rejected. Instead they approached other Sunday School Teams who had only played ‘’Friendlies’’ to form a League. Nine Clubs formed the new League which commenced in 1896 which comprised of: – Bradford Moor Old S.S., Daisy Hill M.A., Fagley Mission, Girlington – My Lahore St. Phillips, Heaton Baptists, Marshfield Baptists, Salem Valley Congs, St. Andrews Juniors and Westgate U.M.

Great Horton Church Cricket Club born out of the old church’s teams in early 1900 in Bradford and the Sunday mutual cricket league from which they began playing before going to play in the Bradford Central League before returning after the league disbanded.

The club has played a enormous part in encouraging the South Asian community and junior cricket for the club an inner city club whose main aim was to foster cricket in the community the list of South Asians players coming from the club is endless and a community feel about the club ensured it continues today with families attending various events over the year. One of the early stalwarts was Ijaz Khan who was a main reason why many South Asian cricketers came to the club in the early 70/80 which continues today.

The Hollybank ground was for over many years the main ground before the site was sold for housing ,the club moved to its present ground at the boundary at Allerton Road with the Greenwood Family a prominent part of the club (Ronnie Greenwood ) who’s ashes are scattered over the new ground .John Greenwood son of Ronnie is still treasurer today with Grandson Robert playing for the juniors for many years .Councilor Vanda Greenwood continues to support the club and regular council v councilors games are played there every year to support the club junior section and supports with woman and girls cricket in the local area.

Great Horton Church Junior teams have been prominent even in the early days with Junior teams in the Bradford Mutual Sunday School League where the Gill brothers played Alex Wharfe who went on to play professional cricket for England, Glamorgan, Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire recently Usman Arshad Durham but also the Govan Brothers who played as juniors and then later as second team and first as well as committee members over the many years administrator In 2000 various parents began to volunteer and still do with Taj Butt Shiv Krishan Abra Hussain whose sons played at the club and this was a turning point from one junior team in the early days to 10 in 2020 Taj Butt deservedly winning the cricket OSCAR Outstanding services to Cricket Award in 2013 going to Lords to collect well deserved accolade .

Shiv Krishan another of the club members in 2016 won the BBC Sports Personality of the year unsung hero award for Yorkshire Region in which he attended in Birmingham as a guest one of glut of parents who volunteered the common theme from all these is how the club is run but of family atmosphere that’s has been created over many years and continues to do until the present day ths shows as in 2019 a total of 140 parents juniors seniors guest and speacail guests attended the annual dinner.

The club is progressive and dynamic cricket club based in Bradford having 2 senior teams and in 2019 ,9 juniors’ sides the excellence of our junior development and commitment to excellent standards are recognized by the award of Club mark by the ECB and in continuous development mode and have a strong volunteering culture with many parents taking volunteer courses to support the club in its development.

We continue to invest in quality coaches at both senior and junior level to develop the playing standards of all our cricketers. We are also dedicated to improving our facilities as funding allows and have taken significant steps during the summer to improve the drainage system of the ground and upgrading the clubhouse to allow families to use this community facility using for various community groups but also parties and social events .
Great Horton Church provides opportunities for all players of any ability , from the age of 7 upwards to participate in the games of cricket.

Our senior sides play in the Bradford Mutual SS Cricket League while our junior sides play mainly in the Bradford Junior CL, although we do have junior teams in the Upper Airedale Juniors League as well, this allows us to cater for a greater number of juniors who wish to join the club.

Our junior setup is probably one of the best in the Bradford area; we have teams for all age groups between u9’s and u17’s. Great Horton Church gained the Club mark accreditation in 2010and still do so with 2019 being accredited once again and works with all partners to allow cricketers from the B.M.E community to access the game whilst working on the B.M.E pathways system to ensure access to higher development and the use of the ground on Sundays for several Quad E. Azam teams.

The club in 2015 won both league and cup in Bradford junior league as well as Upper Aire junior league historic double with the under 9 winning the league for the third year in a row and we continue to ensure we develop the club by allowing and promoting the game through volunteering but also working in partnership with parents to ensure the youngsters exceed .

In 2018 once again juniors teams came to the fore with 10 trophies being won in both leagues individual and team with a trip to Malaysia for a link up to play and learn from our hosts a tremendous achievements this is not only the first time the club has gone abroad with trips to Isle of Man India Dubai on 2 occasions the club is about development foster junior and senior links and will continue to do so . 

The Club prides itself on the junior development and many have gone on to play high league and county level such as Usman Arshad who developed his cricket at Great Horton Church at a early age before going on to play for Durham and he continues to do so by support the club whenever he can.

The club in 2019 were awarded a accolade of the exceed partnership community group of the year and also picking up the Bradford Sports Awards Junior Team Of the year a tremendous achievement for what is a club who prides itself of being at the heart of the community this is also shown by the partnership with the Literacy Trust and is of the community groups who the club works with not only on sport but on educating the youngsters of the community .

Another fact that maybe not many cricket clubs who can class themselves as Polling stations and has done so for the last 6 years.

Great Horton Church CC Allerton Road, Bradford. BD8 0AZ email ghc@live.co.uk.

We would love to hear your memories at our reminiscence sessions held every Thursday from 2pm! Contact chris.chatten@yorkshirecricketfoundation.com for further details.

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