The ground that was Huyton
Saturday 4th August 2018
One of our loyal readers was driving along Huyton Lane yesterday and stopped to have a look at what was Huyton Cricket Club. His photographs below tell their own sad story.
Huyton Cricket Club, a founder member of the Liverpool and District Cricket Competition, was formed in 1860, under the chairmanship of Alexander Eccles, a cotton broker and Victorian sporting patron. The cricket pavilion, which dates from 1875, is one of the oldest surviving structures in cricket and stands on land owned by the Stone family from Ludlow in Shropshire. There have been later additions to the building but the core remains original.
To the south east was the cricket pitch and behind the pavilion is the club bowling green. It was traditional to have bowling greens attached to cricket clubs, allowing older members to remain part of the club when they no longer qualified for the first team.
The players were noted for their hooped caps that bore the club's colours of red, black and silver.
Although not the most glamorous of clubs in recent times, it was steeped in tradition with its walls covered with old team photographs. You were always greeted with a warm welcome which is sadly lacking in some of the clubs that have joined the Liverpool Competition in recent years.
The club had its characters. In one match against Chester Boughton Hall in the 1990s, Huyton opener Keith Jones put Hall's tall Queenslander, Geoff Foley, over his head for six. Geoff did the 'teapot' and said "I'm Geoff Foley, you're not supposed to do that." Keith replied with "I'm Keith Jones, and I just have."
For several years, Huyton had relied on paid players that had been brought in from other clubs but when the generous benefactor moved to a different club, the money dried up and they left and the players that remained were not of the standard required to stay in the top flight.
Huyton Cricket Club fell on hard times and after struggling to find players, did not receive any assistance from the league's Management Committee who seemed to be quite content to let the club slide into oblivion.
Having finished second to Bootle in the ECB Premier League in 2003, they were relegated from the Liverpool Competition to the Merseyside and Southport Alliance after the 2008 season. Soon after, the cricket section folded and Huyton Cricket Club as we knew it, ceased to be after more than 150 years.
In a tweet on March 12th this year, former player, Peter White who is now involved with football that is played on the ground said "The Stones have now sold the land for retail purposes and are now trying to move us out."
A covenant was laid down between the Stones family and Huyton Cricket Club which said that cricket would be played on the ground as long as Huyton Cricket Club existed. As it now longer exists, the ground is being sold.
We await developments.
Roll Out The Barrell: Discovering the Huyton Cricket Club
Businessmen bid to save historic Huyton Cricket Club
Richard Moss (cricketer)