|Secretary: Nigel Thornton|
|League Representative: Ashley Metcalfe|
|1st Team Captain: David Syers|
|2nd Team Captain: Nigel Thornton|
Joined League: 1912
Division One Champions: 1962
Division Two Champions: 1969 1977 2008
Second Teams Division One Champions: 1926 1980 1983 2001
Second Teams Division Two Champions: 1967 1977
Priestley Cup winners: 1963 1983 1995
Priestley Cup runners-up: 1949 1981
Priestley Shield winners: 1951 1978
Farsley Cricket Club was formed in 1864 and named Farsley Britannia Cricket Club after the Britannia Fields where they first played. This has now been developed and forms a business park owned by a local firm, Hainsworths, who manufacture cloth for snooker tables, and were, at the time, supporters of Farsley Britannia CC.At the turn of the century Farsley Britannia joined forces with a group of local businessmen, to form the Farsley Cricket Club Company and bought a plot of land at the top of Red Lane, where they remain to this day.
The Farsley Cricket Club Company is still a registered company, Farsley Cricket Club taking a 99-year lease on the ground at a peppercorn rent. A condition of the lease is that cricket shall be played on the ground each season. Farsley CC are responsible for the upkeep of the ground, its buildings and perimeter dry stone wall.
Initially, the ground was used for cricket, but in the ensuing years a bowling green was laid and a new clubhouse replaced the wooden pavilion which had stood at the top of the ground for some 65 years. The new building was constructed in conjunction with Horsforth Hockey Club, who joined forces with the cricket club. The new clubhouse included up-to-date changing facilities and showers, along with a bar lounge, now known as the Raymond Illingworth lounge, and tea room. The bowling section has grown over the years and now boasts floodlights and a bespoke viewing veranda.
In 1912 Farsley applied for membership to the Bradford League and elected to play in the league. Over the years Farsley have produced a host of talented cricketers, the most famous being Raymond Illingworth CBE, who came up through Farsley’s junior ranks. Raymond captained Yorkshire, Leicestershire and England and while he was captain of the national team he brought the Ashes back home to England in 1971. He led England to victory 25 times in 31 games, and subsequently went on to become the England team manager. He has also been a TV pundit, broadcaster and newspaper columnist.
Illingworth announced his arrival as a genuine star of the future in the 1949 Priestley Cup. In those days the ties were played on midweek evenings. He started his epic innings of 148 not out against Pudsey St Lawrence as a 16-year-old and had celebrated his 17th birthday by the time he completed it. Another 28 years were to elapse before the competition saw a higher individual score.
Farsley went on to reach the final that season but suffered a five-wicket defeat against Yeadon.
Another Worcestershire player who started his long career at Farsley and also went on to play for England, was wicketkeeper Stephen Rhodes. Phil Carrick played for Farsley as a junior, along with Ashley Metcalfe and both of whom played for Yorkshire, Phil captaining the county to the their Benson and Hedges Cup triumph in 1987.
David Ripley went from Farsley to Northampton where he played for 20 years while Tim Boon, who is the ECB under-19s manager, started his career at Red Lane as did Ian Sutcliffe and both went on to play for Leicestershire. Current Yorkshire captain and England all-rounder, Craig White, joined Farsley for one season when he left Australia to come back to his native England. Current New Zealand batsman Nathan Astle played one season for Farsley in 1991, topping the Second Division batting averages and scoring 1,005 runs. Astle formed a prolific opening partnership with Russell Evans who made 1,024 that summer. Evans was to go on and better that tally in 1993 when he set a new league record of 1,376.
Despite an abundance of talented players, Farsley have surprisingly only won the league championship once and the Priestley Cup three times. The only league title triumph came in 1962 when they pipped Bowling Old Lane by one point. Brian Claughton was their top batsman with 499 runs while John White, later to star with Undercliffe, was Farsley’s top bowler
Farsley followed that success by lifting their first Priestley Cup 12 months later. They surprised favourites Bradford by dismissing them for 118 and then cruising to a seven-wicket triumph.
Farsley had a talented young side when they reached the final again in 1983. Metcalfe, Boon, Gott and Ripley were all in a line-up which also included former England opener Brian Bolus. The final was a triumph for Metcalfe who followed up his match-winning 134 not out against Keighley in the semi-final with another fine innings of 122 as Farsley overhauled Yorkshire Bank’s score of 223 for five to win by five wickets with two balls to spare.
Farsley’s third Priestley Cup success came in 1995 when they avenged their 1981 defeat by securing a 112 run win. The hero of their triumph was Joss Overend, a left arm bowler enjoying a successful first season in the league.
Off the field, Farsley have been well served by a number of loyal servants. Ken Storr has held every office at the club during an association, which has spanned more than 50 years. He has also been a Bradford League umpire for the past 29 years and hopes to complete 30 years umpiring in the league before he retires.
Raymond Illingworth is now president of the club he played for as a junior, and devotes his spare time to running the playing side. There are many league clubs who would give a great deal to have Raymond’s professionalism and work ethic within their structure.