Special fixture marks club’s anniversary

Warkworth Cricket Club
Warkworth Cricket Club

A special fixture is taking place this weekend to mark Warkworth Cricket Club’s 140th anniversary.

In honour of that major milestone, the current first team will play Warkworth Old Boys at Castle Field on Sunday.

The birthday bash starts at 2pm and anybody – including supporters and players who have represented the club in any era – is urged to go along and watch.

Club officials believe it should prove to be an entertaining way to celebrate the anniversary.

The club was formed in 1875 and has contested cricket matches at its picturesque Castle Field home, in the shadow of Warkworth Castle, for more than 125 years.

The club had previously played its games at Birling Park in a field rented by team captain John Howliston from the then Duke of Northumberland.

Its first president was T Clutterbuck, who held the role until 1899.

The club celebrated its centenary in 1975 and staged a game between a Rohan Kanhai XI and a Deryck Murray XI in September of that year.

It featured stars including Eddie Hemmings, Bob Willis and Colin Murray.

Locals from that era taking part included then-captain Tommy Hogg, who is now club president, David Hogg, Les Davison, Derek Pringle, John Shotton, Kenny Brewis and the late Sam Stoker.

Five years later, the club staged a Bob Willis testimonial game when he was England captain. Taking part were Alan C Smith, David Brown, Gladstone Small and Andy Lloyd, as well as Asif Din, Willie Hogg and Paul Smith.

Warkworth’s team was captained by Bob Watson and included Eric Hall, Bruce Storey, Ken Pearson, Alan Thompson, Norman Graham and Dor Dreyer.

This season, the club has three regular sides – the first XI competing in the Northumberland League First Division, the second XI, who play in the Northumberland League Third Division, and the midweek team who play in the Northumberland Cricket League Midweek Division.

The firsts are currently top of the table and are on course to make an immediate return to the Premier Division following relegation from the top tier last season.

While 2014 was a disappointing time for the Castle Field outfit, the club has won numerous honours and has recently enjoyed the most successful period in its history.

Honours include being Northumberland League champions (1987, 1989, 1991, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2010); Thomas Wilson Cup winners (1986, 1987, 1992, 1995, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2011); William Birkett Cup winners (1987, 1988, 2003); Enid Farmer Cup winners (2009) and Northumberland League Midweek Division champions (2000, 2003, 2005).

The club runs a number of junior sides and welcomes new players of all ages and abilities.

Social memberships are also available.

Around the clubhouse, there is an array of team photographs from bygone eras, and many of the surnames are recognisable today, with generations of the same family playing for the club through the years.

Other memorabilia is also on show, including souvenirs of globetrotting adventures to the sunny West Indies on tour and famous games that have taken place at Castle Field.