THE CLUB | history
Rawtenstall Cricket Club
As early as 1852 cricket was played in Rawtenstall. Early pioneers started clubs in the Reedsholme and Crawshawbooth areas of the town where future Lancashire and England star 19 year old Johnny Briggs would offer his services.
Rawtenstall acquired their current Bacup Road ground in 1886 and became founder members of the Lancashire League in 1892.
Rawtenstall were acknowledged as the youngest club to join the league . The club soon established itself and were league champions in 1894 led by captain Fred Pickup and Professionals Hardstaff and Nicholson. Ten years later they would be champions again.
The most dramatic of seasons occurred in 1922 when Rawtenstall and local rivals Bacup were head to head at the top of the league. A play off game for the title at Haslingden was scheduled with 5000 spectators present. Bacup failed to turn up after controversy in the match that had taken over a week to complete and the league, after fining both clubs, announced that both teams would be joint winners.
The club won the league again in 1926 whilst the decade also saw future Lancashire and England opening batsman Winston Place make his debut as a 13 year old. In the 1930s the legendary Sidney Barnes was professional for three seasons and his battles with Nelsons Learie Constantine would attract huge crowds. The 1940s saw Rawtenstall runners up in the league three times in 1940, 1947 and 1949 where Indian test star Vijay Hazare was most influential.
The 1950s witnessed huge crowds once again at the Worswick Memorial Ground which had been purchased for the club by the Whittaker family. Non more so than the fixture against Bacup who had Everton Weekes as their professional. The match was recorded on reel tape and can be watched today through social media outlets. In the 60s Australian professional John Grant helped them to league two runners up spots in 1967 and 1968. The 1970s was a terrific year for the club as it achieved the league and cup double in 1976. With the wily skills of Indian professional Abid Ali, backed up with quality amateur batting, bowling and fielding, the team had quality written through it.
The 1980’s was the best decade in the history of the club. The championship was won in consecutive seasons 1981 and 82, whilst the Worsley Cup was also won in 1985. Spearheading some of the victories were West Indian fast bowlers Franklyn Stephenson and Tony Merrick although amateur batsmen Peter Wood, Glen Barlow would be significant contributors as would be spin bowler Keith Roscoe who signed for the club in 1985.
The 1990s saw two Australian professionals establish themselves in folklore history with the town. Firstly Colin Miller who took 9-25 to help the club defeat Bacup in the Worsley Cup final of 1990. Miller also became the first Rawtenstall professional to achieve the double of 100 wickets and 1000 runs in a season since Vijay Hazare in 1949. Secondly, It was 20 year old Michael Bevans turn to shine after Miller with over 1300 runs in 1993 although no titles or trophies were won.
Amateur Batsman Peter Wood signed of with 14,926 runs and rightly acknowledged as one of the greatest amateur batsmen to play Lancashire League cricket, whilst left arm spinner Keith Roscoe would take a career record 9-77 against Colne in 2003
The Worsley Cup was won again in 2003 and runners up in the league was achieved in 2007 and 2008 The last decade has seen the club struggle to maintain the success of previous years although the emergence of professional Keegan Petersen in 2018 saw the young batsmen make his debut for South Africa two years later.
Amateur bowler Roscoe broke the Lancashire League bowling record on 1st August 2021 taking his 1812 league wicket in the home fixture against Nelson leaving the field to the finale of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 symphony. On 9th July 2022 Rawtenstalls Pakistani Professional Danish Aziz score 198 against Rishton and becoming the highest ever scorer in the history of the club. Today Rawtenstall Cricket Club continues to be positive in its outlook for the future with a thriving junior section. At the heart of the town it endeavors to create a community atmosphere with events and activities throughout the year.
The Worswick Memorial Ground, gifted to the club in 1955, has hosted Rawtenstall Cricket Club since 1892; the year the Lancashire League began.
Seven time league winners and four Worsley cups the club has hosted distinguished overseas professionals from Vijay Hazare, Colin Miller & Michael Bevan.
The club operates a senior team and a thriving Junior section from U9s upwards and the ECB designed All Star Cricket for ages 5-8.
1st XI League Winners – 7 – 1894, 1904, 1922, 1926, 1976, 1981, 1982
Worsley Cup Winners – 4 – 1976, 1985, 1990, 2003
Ron Singleton Colne Trophy Winners – 1 – 2004 (shared)
2nd XI League Winners – 11 – 1907, 1922, 1924, 1946, 1959, 1971, 1975, 1979, 1980, 1984, 1999
2nd XI (Lancashire Telegraph) Cup Winners – 1 – 1981
3rd XI League Winners – 1 – 2002
WORSLEY CUP 1990
WORSLEY CUP 2003
RAWTENSTALL CC 1981
DOUBLE WINNERS 1976
RAWTENSTALL CC 1926
RAWTENSTALL CC 1904
WORSLEY CUP 1985
RAWTENSTALL CC 1982
RAWTENSTALL CC 1922