|Secretary: Judith Naylor|
|League Representative: Richard Peel|
|1st Team Captain: Robert Ellis|
|2nd Team Captain : TBC|
Joined League: 1903
Division One Champions: 1972
Second Teams Division One Champions: 1972
Second Teams Division Two Champions: 1947 1983 1984 1987 1993 1998
Priestley Cup runners-up: 1907 1918 1920
Priestley Shield winners: 1988 1992 1997
Bankfoot played their cricket originally in the West Bradford League behind the mill at the foot of Wibsey Bank. The Club moved their headquarters to Rooley Lane and then to a site on Carr Bottom Road, before in 1892, finally moving to their present ground on Wickets Close. They applied in late 1902 to join 11 other teams to become founder members of the newly formed Bradford Cricket League, beginning in 1903. Of these 12 clubs only three, Great Horton, Undercliffe and Bankfoot have survived the full 100 years.
Although Bankfoot’s form in the league were mediocre, the performances in the Priestley Cup were much more encouraging. Even though Bankfoot are one of only a few teams never to lift the cup they do hold records from each of the three Priestley Cup Finals in which they have appeared – lowest score in a cup final – 27 all out against Windhill in 1907; only tie in cup final – 99 runs each v Saltaire in 1918. Bankfoot were beaten in the replay, scoring 89 to which Saltaire replied with 91 for three; shortest cup final – Bankfoot 30 all out, Bowling OL 31 for none in 1920, total playing time, one hour 28 minutes.
In the tied match in 1918 they were 98 for nine chasing Saltaire’s 99 all out. Bankfoot opener Shackleton (47not out) then straight drove the ball with great power, only to be denied the winning boundary when it struck the wickets at the bowler’s end, to rebound for a single to bring the scores level. It put No 11 batsman Fell on strike and he was dismissed next ball.
In 1919 Wilf Payton, signed from Nottinghamshire, scored a new league record of 187 not out against Great Horton (under the MCC rules). This score was not beaten for 61 years until, and under new regulations, Ronnie Hudson of Hanging Heaton became the League’s first double centurion with his 201 not out against Keighley in 1980.
The highlights at Bankfoot for the next 30 or 40 years were not on the cricket field, where they regularly had to apply for re-election, but more often than not in the committee meetings. Here are some of the unusual minutes recorded. May 13, 1919 permission given to J.Pearson to graze his horse on the field for £6 a year; July 29, 1919 Bradford Hockey Club were granted use of field; March 19, 1935 a fee of four shillings paid for borrowing horse to roll the field; May 24, 1935 paid D.Fieldhouse 30 shillings for making new scorebox; July 1, 1941 agreed to loan ground to Home Guard.
Things began to pick up for the club in the 1960s. After celebrating the centenary in 1963, they formed a partnership with the Bradford Hockey Club in 1965 and they initiated the building of the new pavilion which was opened by former Yorkshire captain Norman Yardley on Apri1 9th 1965.
The club gained promotion to the First Division for the first time in 1968 and four years later in 1972 the club enjoyed its best season ever. They won the Division One championship for the one and only time (the second team also won the Second Teams Division One Championship), a title they won with four or five weeks to go. The oddity was that of the three defeats Bankfoot suffered during the season, two of them were against bottom club Farsley who only won three matches themselves.
Bankfoot are especially proud of three of their members. Two of them, Howard Cooper and Anthony McGrath are players. Howard came through Bankfoot’s junior teams before playing for the first team in the late 1960s and was a member of the championship winning team in 1972. He played many years for Yorkshire and was probably the unluckiest player never to be capped for his county. Howard re-joined the club as captain in 1984 where they gained promotion and led the side and the bowling attack for a further two years in Division One.
Anthony McGrath has been the club’s most recent success story. He started with Bankfoot’s juniors as an eight year old and progressed to make his first team debut as a 15-year-old in 1991. Anthony achieved many notable milestones while he was with Bankfoot. In 1992 he won the League’s Young Cricketer of the Year award, which he won again the following year while scoring more than 1,000 runs in a season and winning the Division Two batting averages. He made his Yorkshire debut in 1995 and was awarded his County cap in 1999. He toured with England under-19s to West Indies in 1994-95 and with England A to Pakistan in 1995-96 and Australia in 1996-97. He won the first of his four England caps against Zimbabwe at lord’s in 2002.
The final word must be reserved for the club’s longest serving president Mr Charles A. Hodgson. Charles joined the club as a player in 1939 and was invited to be president in 1959, a post he held for 34 years until he retired in 1993. Charles, who died in 1995, turned his hand to most tasks around the club but spent most of his time maintaining the ground and in particular the preparation of the wickets. In 1972 he received the Sir Leonard Hutton Trophy for service to cricket, an honour he richly deserved. Charles Hodgson was the president, a figure head, but above all a gentleman who epitomised all that was good in cricket – he was Bankfoot.