The Club was founded in 1835 and is the oldest sports club in the city, including the Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club, both of whom are steeped in success and possess strong traditions and loyal spectators.
Our Club played at various grounds around Wolverhampton before moving to its current site in 1890. Through the kind generosity of Mrs Swindley, whose family owned much of the green belt we see today in Tettenhall, she bequeathed the land to the Club in 1940, on the understanding that cricket was played there in perpetuity.
The Club boasts having had some of the past “greats” play on the ground, including in 1911 a match between GE Jessop’s XI and HD Stratton’s Wolverhampton XI. Playing in this game were such luminaries as WG Grace and probably the best Staffordshire cricketer the county has ever produced, Sidney Barnes. A photograph of the players in this match is proudly displayed in the Clubhouse.
The Club has achieved much success in the last 40 years alone including, 23 Saturday League Championships, three National Clubs K.O. Cup Finals, winning twice, one Staffordshire Cup, three 20/20 Cups, and the Birmingham & District Premier League Challenge Cup. Prior to the demise of all the local limited over knock-out competitions, and Sunday Leagues, the Club was used to winning at least two every year. So the Club has a strong history of success.
However, changes within society have forced all clubs to meet new challenges, and ours is no exception. Some of these changes have resulted in the demise of Sunday cricket, whilst other challenges have been created by financial constraints and the diminishing number of cricketers, who remain loyal to one club. So this Club, like others, has started to rethink its modus operandi.
The Club has, over the last five years, begun to develop into a community hub, which has involved broadening the membership and usage of the facilities. Latterly we have sought to develop our involvement in Disability Cricket and to that end have gained the co-operation of the Wolverhampton Rhinos Basketball Club, the Beacon Centre for the Blind, and Staffordshire Cricket Board, so that we are able to start our involvement in this area.
In order to give our own players some idea of the difficulties disabled cricketers face, we have set up a cricket game on our Open Day, between the Lancashire Lions Visually Impaired Cricket team, together with representatives from the Beacon Centre for the Blind. Our team will, however, wear simulation spectacles and blindfolds, in order to make the game a much more level playing field. Also present at this event will be the England Visually Impaired and Physical Disability squads.
We are delighted to welcome everybody to our Open day, which is an ECB sponsored event, and hope you enjoy the day’s events. In particular, we are very pleased to welcome Samit Patel of England and Nottinghamshire cricket fame, who will oversee some junior coaching sessions, which we are sure will provide a completely different perspective of how best to play this great game of cricket.
The club has also been proactive in several other areas, like organising an asset transfer of the Danes ground from the City Council, which will enable us to guarantee cricket in perpetuity on that ground too, but also enabling us to offer junior football to a larger number of teams during the winter months. We have also continued to encourage social clubs, organisations and associations to utilise our facilities during the entire year. We believe as a club that we need to bind ourselves more closely with the community in which we reside, so that we can more fully meet the needs of those within it, which in turn, we hope, will secure the future of Wolverhampton Cricket Club.