I like playing against the boys though, especially when we beat them...they don't like being beaten by girls Chloe Bunting - Spondon CC
Project supported by MCC Lord's and University of Glamorgan

Marylebone Cricket Club, Lord's Cricket Ground, St John's Wood, London, NW8 8QN | Project enquiries: Neil Robinson | 020 7616 8559

Rodley is a village within the suburbs of Leeds and sits alongside the Leeds/Liverpool Canal. Originally a thriving industrial area with large mills and crane works, the village has developed into a commuter village serving both Leeds and Bradford. The cricket ground which sits in the valley of the River Aire is also adjacent to a large wetland nature reserve.

Brief club history 

Originally named Bramley Sports, Rodley were formed in 1957 from the remnants of former Wharfedale League side Bramley Mariah, and played their home games at Canal Bank Sports Ground, Rodley. In the same year they applied for and were accepted into the Dales Council Cricket League. In 1959 the club entered a newly formed Second XI and the larger squad reaped immediate dividends with the 1st XI winning the ‘B’ Division title and promotion in the same year.

Success was sporadic in the early years as the club bounced between divisions, although the club started each decade with a taste of glory. Titles were secured in 1961, 1973, 1980 and 1981 with the first team in the early 70s particularly strong. After changing their name to Rodley in 1983, the club ended many years of treading water in the lower divisions when the 1st XI secured promotion in 1995 and then won the League championship at the first attempt in 1996. This was retained in 1997 and the seconds gained promotion a year later. Both clubs have since played every season in their highest respective division.

A recruitment drive in 2003 almost had an immediate return as the first team stormed to the title in 2004 and managed to retain the trophy for an historic four consecutive years whilst collecting three cup wins along the way. The 2nd XI also had their first taste of cup glory in this period by winning the Cawthorne Cup in 2006. Despite bouncing back in 2007 to win a seventh title the club has recently finished high in the division without really threatening the crown. A number of new recruits in 2011 could see a new renaissance for the club.

Current club President Michael Wright first represented the club as a 16 year old in 1959 and has played every season since, and even secured the League D Division Bowling Award in 1998. In 2000 wicket keeper Neil Kettle smashed the club’s highest individual score when making 206* at New Wortley. Two bowlers have taken 10 wickets in a single innings, Tony Imeson (10-16) against Reuben Gaunts in 1963 and Simon Dickens (10-32) against Castlehill in 2000 and in 1985 Ian Dobson became the only league player to smash 6 sixes in one over off the bowling of former Rodley player Mick Knapton who was representing Farsley Celtic.

Dales Council Cricket League Honours:

A Division Winners: 1973, 1996, 1997, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 (7)

Pool Paper Mills Cup Winners: 1970, 2005, 2007 (3)

B Division Winners: 1959, 1961, 1980 (3)

D Division Winners: 1961, 1981, 1996, 1998 (4)

Cawthorne Cup Winners: 2006 (1)

The club and Taking the Field 

After curating a successful exhibition about the history of the Bradford Cricket League for Bradford Museums & Galleries, Rodley player Dan Willoughby was contacted by TTF. With interest in the clubs history well and truly awakened, Rodley now have the chance to tell their stories of ‘cricket beside the canal bank’, to the wider world.

In May 2012, TTF's Emma visited Rodley and the interviews began - more digital stories to follow shortly.

An Extended Family

An Extended Family

David Howarth, Rodley's treasurer and 2nd team umpire,  has been a member of Rodley Cricket Club for nearly 30 years. In this story he tells us how he joined and how over the years the club has become like family.

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Comb but not forgotten

Comb but not forgotten

We have many exciting cricket exhibits at the MCC Museum, but nothing to rival Malcolm Woodhead's comb collection!

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The Final Over

The Final Over

Dan Willoughby shares a moving story about a must win match that goes right down to the last over.

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Memorable Matches

Memorable Matches

John Fenton, Malcolm Woodhead and Mike Wright recall some of their most memorable matches.

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