Hanging Heaton

Secretary: Nat Lawrence
League Representative: John Higson
1st Team Captain: Alan Mynett
2nd Team Captain: TBC

Division One Champions: 1987 1989 1995 1999
Division Two Champions: 1972
Second Teams Division One Champions: 1981 1982 1995 1999 2005
Priestley Cup winners: 1985 1986
Priestley Cup runners-up: 2000
Priestley Shield winners: 1982 1996 2003


Hanging Heaton only joined the Bradford League in 1980 but in just 25 years have won four championships and two Priestley Cups. It is a record only East Bierley with five titles and six cup successes and Pudsey Congs, five titles and four Priestley Cups, have bettered over the same period.

The club was founded in 1876 and entered the Heavy Woollen District League in 1898. They had a short spell in the Wakefield League before joining the Heavy Woollen League and Yorkshire Council in 1916.

Following an altercation with the Heavy Woollen League which resulted in a rift between the Yorkshire Council and Yorkshire Federation they became members of the Leeds League from 1939-1943.

They didn’t enjoy much success until 1941 when Ronnie Robinson joined the club from East Leeds. He made an immediate impact and Hanging Heaton became Leeds League champions and as such played Jack Appleyard’s XI at Roundhay Park in one of the annual war time spectaculars watched by 10,000 people. The club played a number of matches on Sundays in the war years against guest teams containing star players stationed in the region, as a result they prospered.

In 1944 Hanging Heaton left the Leeds League to join the Central Yorkshire League which swallowed up the remnants of the Heavy Woollen League to create a two division structure. They were placed in Division Two but won the league, gained promotion and also clinched the Yorkshire Council Championship.

Robinson led from the front as one of the great all-rounders of his day and won the council bowling award with 75 wickets at an average of 7.37 just ahead of former Yokshire star Johnny Wardle who was then playing at Denaby and took 113 wickets at 7.85. The following year, 1945, the club became Central Yorkshire League champions. They again won the Yorkshire Council championship in 1946 and followed up by lifting the Heavy Woollen Cup in 1947, the Central Yorkshire League championship in 1948 and the Heavy Woollen Cup the same season.

The 1951 season was a golden one for the Teewitlanders. Robinson became the only captain to collect the Central Yorkshire League championship, the Heavy Woollen Cup and Yorkshire Council championship in the same year. Many good players were associated with Hanging Heaton during this successful period, and many more were to follow to maintain the highly successful tradition of the club. Success followed success.

They won the Central Yorkshire League title in 1952, 1956, 1957, 1962, 1969 1972, 1974 and 1975, they were Yorkshire Council champions in 1962 and 1975 and won the Heavy Woollen Cup in 1969 and 1974 When the club resigned from the Central Yorkshire League to join the Bradford League in 1980 their playing record over 36 seasons after going through the Second Division unbeaten in 1944 was played 713, won 343, lost 89, drawn 281.

The initiative and drive to apply for entry into the Bradford league was orchestrated by the late Brian Wilkinson whose efforts for 25 years as cricket chairman proved invaluable and the club are indebted to him. Totally committed to supporting all the club’s teams, he provided an air of stability and confidence to everyone while still working within financial constraints affordable by the club. The costs of justifying and financing cricket have spiralled in more recent years and good housekeeping, particularly since the introduction of overseas players, is not easy. Maintaining a balance as it were speaks volumes for the way the club has been run over the years and the officials are to be complemented for their efforts in this direction.

David Garner, captain of the side for the previous decade, led the club into the Bradford League. His side included Harry Atkinson, taker of 100 league wickets in 1974, Ronnie and Raoul Hudson, Carl Bielby, John Crowhirst, who still plays the occasional game, David Legood and Malcolm Preston, to name but a few.

It was the second time in the club’s history that Second Division cricket was played. Once again it was only for one term because they went through the season unbeaten. Hanging Heaton finished second in the league to Eccleshill but most importantly gained promotion into the First Division.

Hanging Heaton’s players certainly made their mark in that first season. Ruel Hudson scored the club’s first century in the league at Queensbury but it was his brother Ronnie who captured the headlines. On August 3 he hit the first ever double-century in a Bradford League match when he made 201 against Keighley.

Their first major Bradford League honour arrived in 1985 when they defeated Undercliffe by 12 runs in a fine Priestley Cup final. Roy Spencer (91) and Peter Ingham (50) laid the foundations for a total of 208 for five. Undercliffe threatened to challenge the total but the ever-reliable Atkinson made sure they didn’t snatch victory. He took five for 77 in 25 overs to keep Undercliffe in check and earned the Man of the Match award.

Hanging Heaton retained the trophy in 1986 thanks to another stunning individual performance from the inspirational Ronnie Hudson. He smashed eight sixes and 20 fours in an unbeaten innings of 152 as Hanging Heaton made 289 for six. Eccleshill were dismissed for 174 in reply and Hudson was named as Man of the Match.

Hanging Heaton were establishing themselves as a force to be reckoned with a won their first Bradford League title in 1987 when they edged out East Bierley by two points. This time much of the credit had to go to Robin Braithwaite who took 54 wickets at 12.54 runs each.

Further titles followed in 1989, 1995 and 1999 as Hanging Heaton assembled a team which few could match. Players such as opening bowler John Carruthers and wicketkeeper Alan Mynett emerged as key players in a side which had a great will to win.

Few bowlers have been as prolific as Carruthers. He has been a remarkably consistent performer who took 92 wickets during the championship winning campaign of 1999. Hanging Heaton boosted their squad in 2000 by signing England Cricket Board captain Steve Foster from Gomersal to form a powerful opening partnership with Steve Bartle. Their powerful batting line up also included former Glamorgan player Ismail Dawood.

Foster soon became a regular run scorer and also chipped in with valuable wickets. He helped his new club reach the 2000 Priestley Cup final where they lost by 68 runs to East Bierley.
In 2001 Foster was the Bradford League’s top all rounder after finishing third in the batting averages and topping the bowl. Hanging Heaton experienced an inconsistent season in 2002 although a strong finish showed they haven’t lost their battling instincts. Foster scored 753 runs while Carruthers was again leading wicket taker with 47.

Inconsistency has dogged the club’s efforts to win honours in recent season. They were fourth in 2003 and 2005 and fifth in 2004. One of the stars of their side in recent campaigns has been Indian batsman Vikram Rathore – an elegant and consistent batsman.

He follows a long line of fine overseas Test players to have pulled on Hanging Heaton’s colours. Dilip Vengsarkar, Abdul Qadir, lqbal Quasim, Salnir Dighe and VVS Laxman have all had spells at the club and played their part enjoying the cut and thrust of top league cricket, quite often competing against fellow countrymen or other international cricketers. Their confrontations have all helped to make many enjoyable seasons of excellent cricket.

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