|Secretary: Peter Bradley|
|League Representative: Russell Livesey|
|1st Team Captain: David Ryan|
|2nd Team Captain: Nigel Elkin|
Joined League: 1925
Division One Champions: 1930 1931 1932 1960
Division Two Champions: 1953 1959 1963 1991
Second Teams Division One Champions: 1930
Second Teams Division Two Champions: 1970
Priestley Cup runners-up: 1943
The club was founded in 1873 by the amalgamation of Alexandra Cricket Club, who played behind the parish church and the Working Men’s Club. A new ground was developed and laid out at Clifton Road, Brighouse and was given the name of the New Alexandra Cricket Ground. The first match saw Brighouse beat Clifton by two runs on May 30,1873 and the gate receipts were just over £3.
The club started to hold athletics festivals and these became very famous in the local areas. At the very first event the records show that a W. Clark won the “Throwing the cricket Ball’’ with a throw of 86feet 6inches. In 1876 W Shotton was signed from the Huddersfield club Lascelles Hall as their first professional. He was to stay for 12 seasons.
In the years of 1884 and 1885 the club raised sufficient funds to build the pavilion that was still in use until 2002 and in 1890 they opened two bowling greens. In the same year the club had three matches cancelled because of “A raging smallpox epidemic in Brighouse and surrounding district”.
Records from 1908 show even more development as a large extension was added to the pavilion enabling the installation of two billiard tables and also a concert room and “two slipper baths upstairs”. In 1914 a new workshop competition attracted 64 teams. Its popularity has continued across the years and the competition remains in existence today.
During the First World War the club competed in the Halifax Section in the Yorkshire Council and engaged players of the calibre of George Hirst, Wilfred Rhodes and Alonzo Drake. All of them played for Yorkshire while Hirst and Rhodes were also capped by England.
It was 1925 when Brighouse joined the Bradford League. The first fixture on April 18, was a home clash against Great Horton. The new boys went on to finish a very respectable ninth with George Lund setting a new league record aggregate of 954 runs.
In July 1927 the scorebox was officially opened by J.J. Booth who was president of the Bradford League. Yorkshire batsman Wilf Barber made his mark in 1927 by topping the league batting averages with 53.15. Brighouse were desperately unlucky not to land their first silverware in 1928 when Bradford beat them in a play-off for the championship.
But the league title found its way to Brighouse in 1930 when they emerged top of the pile in a thrilling battle. They finished a point ahead of both East Bierley and Bowling Old Lane. It was the start of the most successful spell in Brighouse’s history as they won the title again in 1931 and 1932 to complete a well deserved hat-trick.
One of the catalysts for their success was Jack Hill snr. He was a remarkably consistent batsman who topped the league’s batting averages in 1930 and 1932 and was second in 1931.
Trophies proved elusive for the next 30 years before Brighouse won the Division Two title in 1952, eight years after being relegated from the top flight. Brighouse’s fortunes were on the up again and a fourth title came their way in 1960. Once again it owed much to the contribution of an outstanding batsman. This time it was former Yorkshire and England opener Frank Lowson. His elegant strokeplay was an invaluable asset.
In 1963 he became the first Brighouse batsman to top the 1000 run mark when he made 1,025. Since then three more Brighouse batsmen, Alan Gilliver (1,021 in 1978), John Heaton (1,056 in 1980) and Ijaz Khan (1,054 in 1995) have since repeated the feat. Brighouse had little to cheer in recent times. Since 1962 they have been relegated three times and been promoted three times.
In 2004 Brighouse moved to a magnificent new ground and they responded to their plush new surroundings by winning promotion back to Division One in 2005. In recent years their side has been well served by one of the Bradford League’s most successful spin bowlers, David Jay. He is one of the select band who have taken over 1,000 wickets.
The Priestley Cup has never been a happy competition for Brighouse. They have only once reached the final. That was in 1943 when their opponents were Pudsey St Lawrence. The Saints took first knock on August 21, but due to some very slow batting Brighouse did not start to bat until the September 18. Conditions had changed so dramatically that team had little chance and lost easily. St Lawrence made 149 and Brighouse were dismissed for 65.