Secretary: Mark Nicklin
League Representative: Mark Nicklin
1st Team Captain: Dan Schuff
2nd Team Captain: TBC

Division One Champions: 1916 1965 1966 1967 1974 1977
Division Two Champions: 1937 1962 1989
Second Teams Division One Champions: 1910 1920 1938
Second teams Division Two Champions: 1999
Priestley Cup winners: 1912 1923 1930 1951 1965 1976


The earliest record of any cricket organisation in Idle was on July 20, 1861 when the Idle United Club was formed, although it is known that there was a cricket club in existence prior to this date known as the ‘Fat Pot Club’.

United began their career on a ground situated in Holly Fields but later moved to Dunk Hill. The club disbanded in 1865 and re-formed as the ‘Idle Lillywhite Cricket Club’ and played on Idle Moor. After moving again to a field in Thorp Garth the club made its final move to the present ground on Cavendish Road and in 1889 assumed the name of Idle Cricket Club.

In 1896 the club were invited to join the West Yorkshire Cricket League which included Bradford, Halifax, Skipton, Keighley, Barnsley, Bingley, Bowling Old Lane and Saltaire, and to their credit they won the League trophy.

The Bradford League was formed in 1903 and Idle joined in 1906. It was six years before the first silverware arrived at Cavendish Road when the club won the Priestley Cup with an emphatic eight wicket win over Undercliffe.

There have been many notable cricketers at Idle, the most famous being Sir Jack Hobbs of Surrey and England fame. Jack, as he was then, signed for Idle in 1915 and played for the club for the next three years.

It is interesting to note that he received £5 per match plus expenses, and although he was approached by other clubs and offered more money, he remained loyal to Idle and never asked for an increase. On one occasion the club’s opening pair were Hobbs and Wilfred Rhodes and they were just two of many famous players, who represented other Bradford League clubs during the First World War.

Hobbs was the catalyst for their first league title in 1916. He scored 784 runs at an average of 56 and took 59 wickets at 6.58 runs each. Idle had to face Lidget Green in a play off for the championship and triumphed thanks to 72 from Hobbs. The club have subsequently won the title on a further five occasions and the Second Division three times. They have also won six Priestley Cups.

The second Priestley Cup win arrived in 1923 when they defeated Bowling Old Lane by three wickets and they again emerged triumphant in the 1930 competition when they defeated East Bierley by six wickets. That final was delayed until 1931 because of bad weather and Idle remain the only team to have won the cup and been knocked out in the same year.

Stewie Dempster, the New Zealand Test batsman, played several years for the club, alongside several county players during and just after the Second World War. Doug Padgett who, after playing for Yorkshire and England, later became county coach is the most celebrated player actually born in Idle.

Two of Idle’s most influential players, Wilf Horner and Les Horsman masterminded the fourth Priestley Cup triumph in 1951. Horner made 83 not out and Horsman, the Bradford Park Avenue centre back, 78 not out as they passed Queensbury’s 169 for seven for the loss of just one wicket.

The glory years for Idle were in 1965, 1966 and 1967, when the club won the Division One championship three seasons in a row and achieved the double in 1965 when they also won the Priestley Cup.

The side was shrewdly led by Ken Wooodward and included such dependable players as Ian Leng, Horsman, John France, Ken Hill, Sid Smith and the deadly Richard Sherred. Smith (603) and Hill (472) provided the bulk of the runs as the championship was secured by two points from Pudsey St Lawrence.

The Priestley Cup final success which completed the double came at the expense of Bowling Old Lane. Hill and France were the heroes as they shared a fourth wicket stand of 159 as Idle recovered from 33 for three to make 192 for five. Old Lane were dismissed for 55 in reply.

If the 1965 title race was tight then the 1966 battle was even closer with Idle edging out Pudsey St Lawrence by one point. The crucial result for Idle was the one point draw they secured against their title rivals. They clung on at 99 for nine in reply to a Saints total of 228 for four.

Earlier in the campaign Richard Sherred, who shared 140 of Idle’s 170 wickets with his brother Martin, inspired a remarkable win against Lightcliffe. Idle looked to have little chance when they were bowled out for 94 but Sherred took nine wickets and took the catch to give Leng the other wicket as Lightcliffe were dismissed for 69. On seven occasions that season Idle dismissed their rivals for less than 100.

Pudsey St Lawrence and Bradford were Idle’s main challengers in 1967 but the men from Cavendish Road took the crown by the slightly more comfortable margin of four points. Their hat-trick of titles was secured on the final day when they dismissed Eccleshill for 99 and eased to a seven-wicket triumph.

The 1974 championship winning side was boosted by the presence of the consistent Brian Lymbery and Barry Jenkinson. They gave strength to the batting while the bowling attack included Tony Burnett, Mike Bailey and Mike Clegg. Jenkinson topped the league batting averages with 71.14 and Lymbery was second on 56. Idle took the title by five points from Brighouse.

Lymbery was to figure prominently in the 1976 Priestley Cup final win over his former club Bingley. Lymbery hit 82 and was well supported by Tony Moore (72). Idle made 221 for four and dismissed Bingley for 156.

In 1977 Idle were to win the title again. Moore and Malcolm Mawson made the bulk of the runs, Bailey and Paul Willis were the main bowlers while all rounder Peter Kippax starred with both bat and ball. During the 1977 Priestley Cup Moore made 183 not out against Cleckheaton during a record first wicket stand of 273 with Mawson (96).

Following the decline of industry in Idle, the fortunes of the cricket club took a downward spiral after the 1977 triumph, and, although they won the Division Two championship in 1989, it took another ten years before the second team brought silverware to the club.

The financial fortunes have recently been improved with regeneration money being awarded to the club in recognition of its involvement in community projects, organisations and activities sharing facilities at Cavendish Road.

Emphasis is being placed on junior cricket at various age levels. Hopefully this will bring its rewards in the near future by providing players to continue the proud tradition of Idle in the Bradford League.

Idle returned to the top flight in 2003 after finishing runners up in Division Two. They have since consolidated in the top flight and have introduced some high-quality overseas players to the league. Men like former Pakistan Test batsman Ijaz Ahmed, Indian all rounder JP Yadav and Dinusha Fernando the Sri Lankan pace bowler who claimed all ten wickets for 25 against Cleckheaton.

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