Meltham Cricket Club launch their 150th anniversary celebrations with a reunion of former players on Sunday.
From 2pm at the village’s Recreation Centre – at their famous Mean Lane ground – all players who have featured in the club’s illustrious history are invited to meet and reminisce.
Celebrating the sesquicentennial this year, the club will hold a number of events, including a sportsman’s evening and a Past vs Present players game.
Sunday’s event is an ‘open house’ with everyone who has ever been involved with the club welcome to go along – and the wider cricket community in Huddersfield have been asked to spread the word.
Meltham had been formed for 27 years when they first joined the Drakes Huddersfield League in 1894, and many famous names have represented the club in a century and a half.
They had Sykes Cup wins in the 1940s, 50s and 60s and a first Byrom Shield league championship success in 1966, but the club’s glory years were definitely in the 1990s.
In 1994, Meltham achieved the league and Sykes Cup double, receiving civic recognition from the town council, and they won a hat trick of Byrom Shield titles in 1996, 97 and 98.
On top of that, they became the only club to lift the Sykes Cup four years in succession from 1992 to 95.
County spinner Paul Booth was part of that winning team, becoming the only man to win three man-of-the-final awards (he was also league all-rounder of the year on three occasions).
Booth also claimed the league bowling prize three years in succession from 1997 to 99, while Nirmal Nanan remains the only player to win three consecutive league batting prizes, from 1977-99.
Not surprisingly, in those glory years Meltham were twice Yorkshire champions, and names such as Ian Swallow, Booth, Mahmood, Earnshaw, Shaw, Collier, Burgin, Parker, Moulson, Palmer, Cocking, Maybury, Brierley and Berry have gone down in club and league history.
Ryan Sidebottom played several matches for Meltham before going on to county and Test startom with England and men like the late Roy Kilner, twice a league battng prize winner and a long-term servant of the Drakes, would be proud to think the club’s 150th anniversary is going to be marked in style.
There are too many names to mention, both national and international, who have fond memories of the club and Mean Lane – which wasn’t used in 1972 because of a sand issue on the square – but all former players and officials are welcome to return for the celebrations on Sunday.
A Gentleman’s Dinner will be held at Durker Roods Hotel on Thursday, May 25 (7.30), introduced by Malcolm Lord and featuring comedian Mick Martin.
A golf day will be staged, along with a diner’s night and quiz night, while a Festival of Cricket will be held at Meltham over the August Bank Holiday.
Information about all the events is available from Kevin on 07976 007325.