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‘West Hartlepool Cricket Club’ was founded in 1855 where cricket was played for many years at Burn Road. In 1881 the ground moved to Clarence Road (adjacent to Hartlepool United Football Club) then in 1912 the ground moved again to Park Drive ‘Headquarters’. Following the amalgamation of the two Boroughs in 1969 the club name became ‘Hartlepool Cricket Club’.
Throughout the years Hartlepool CC has been successful, being Division ‘A’ champions 11 times – 1899,1900,1901,1902,1908,1913,1928,1964,1978,1982,1988: Macmillan Cup Winners 3 times – 1989,1990,1997. Also, Premier Div. 15/15 Winners in 2015, and winners of various major Durham County Cup competitions.
When Durham Cricket Club joined the County Championship in the early 1990’s Park Drive was used as an outground, strong links are still maintained with the club hosting Durham Second XI, U’17 and Junior fixtures.
With the help of grants the Pavilion underwent major renovation work, the ground improved with a 3 lane all-weather net facility and a new electronic scorebox. The club was extended to include a tea-room for players, the kitchen and ladies toilets have been re-furbished. It is without doubt one of the best grounds in the country in the most picturesque of settings. A thriving social and family orientated cricket club with a dedicated President, Dr. PGS Relton JP who received a cricket OSCA, Secretary Susanne Wilkinson who is the first lady to be inducted into the NYSDPL Hall of Fame, Committee, and Trustees.
The club has produced great characters over the years, one being Ken Gardner MBE. Ken played First XI cricket for many years, he was Chairman and President of HCC, also President of the NYSD League, he worked very hard but always maintained his sense of humour.
HCC produced many fine players especially over the past 35 years including Peter Kippax, John and David Bailey, Bob Cawson, Ashok Patel, Graham Shaw, Andy Holland, Jeremy and Derek Boyd, John Johnston, Ashley Day, Des Playfor, Jonathan Cannon, Phil Prosser, Gary Tebbett, Ian Jackson, Tommy Fountain and Stuart Morley to name a few.
A special mention must go to Michael Gough Jnr. Michael began playing junior cricket at the age of nine and finished playing for Durham County, he was Captain of England U’17’s & U’19’s, eventually playing for England ‘A’ Team and as a Professional for Hartlepool CC where he holds the record for 15 centuries, the highest number achieved by any player in the history of the club. Michael retired early from playing cricket and moved to umpiring where he has progressed to become a leading international umpire.
HCC has a great reputation for sportsmanship and values, always welcoming opponents and visiting spectators to enjoy their day at Park Drive.
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