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IN THE BEGINNING
Stokesley is one of the oldest clubs in the North-east of England. Whilst the exact foundation date has not been positively established, 19th century newspaper reports provide clear evidence that this was certainly in the early 1800’s – so at the time of writing (2018) the Club is thought to be around 200 years old.
Stokesley were a founder member of the Cleveland Cricket League in 1908 and the Club went on
to claim 5 championships and 6 Cleveland Cup successes during their time in the League. Stokesley entered their first team in the NYSD B Division in 1962, and their second team joined the C Division in 1969.
The first team’s early NYSD history can broadly be split into the decades – the 60’s were the time of consolidation, the 70’s were the time when the team began to grow into its surroundings, and the 80’s were the period when they became one of the dominant forces amongst a number of outstanding teams. Amongst the championship and cup successes of the 80’s they set a new record for B Division sides when they defeated no fewer than eight Premier teams in a three year cycle, several of them containing top level Test players.
After a difficult playing period at the start of the new millennium 2009 saw the first championship for 20 years which secured promotion to the Premier for the first time in their history. The Club embraced the challenge, securing their first ever overseas professional as they looked to consolidate their new found status.
Sri Lankan Chamila Gamage had played Test Matches for Sri Lanka and at the time was one of just 13 players in the history of Test cricket to have taken a wicket with his first ball at that level. A magnificent third place finish in the top flight at the first attempt was richly embellished by a sensational Kerridge Cup triumph, and further major trophy successes have followed with two Premier Fifteens titles in recent years.
Many Stokesley players have featured prominently over the last 55 years of NYSD cricket, with several having significant career aggregates. In the bowling ranks 2 players have claimed more than 1,000 victims, Chris West (1771) and Clive Dowson (1,210), while five players have made more than 10,000 runs - David Fall (15,234), David Weighell (14,467), Chris West (10,825), and Chris Knock (10029) are now all retired, but Andrew Weighell looks set to smash all records having passed the 10,000 mark at a relatively young age in 2015. And his younger brother James isn’t doing too badly either, becoming the first Stokesley player to graduate to first-class cricket – his adventure is just beginning.
GROUNDS FOR OPTIMISM
In 1906 Stokesley became the proud owners of a splendid new cricket pavilion, but that came down in 1967 when a ‘state of the art’ (for the 60’s!) new clubhouse with bar facilities was built in the south west corner of the ground, Sir William Worsley, President of Yorkshire CCC, doing the ribbon cutting honours. Some thirty years later that state of the art ‘new’ clubhouse was in a state, and plans, some five years in the making, were eventually finalised for a joint venture between the Sports Club and the North Riding County FA which enabled the development of the present sporting complex which was completed in 2003.
Years of work, begun in the 1980’s, transformed the ground and facilities into one of the best cricketing theatres in the North-east, with several major matches being hosted before the ultimate recognition of the standard of the ground and facilities came in 2011 when a County Second Eleven Trophy match was played at the SCG between Durham and Derbyshire.
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