High Street, Yeadon, Leeds LS19 7TA
Telephone : 0113 250 7701
League Representative: Leslie Wood
1st Team Captain: James Todd
2nd Team Captain: Andrew Pickering
Joined League: 1942
Division Two Champions: 1944 1950 1958 19811999 2007
Second Teams Division One Champions: 1943 1959 1960
Second Teams Division Two Champions: 1944
Priestley Cup winners: 1945 1947 1949
Priestley Cup runners-up: 1944 1994 1999 2001
Priestley Shield winners: 2005 2010
The origins of cricket in Yeadon are not really known, but around 1850 scores of people played on Yeadon Moor when work ended on a Saturday teatime. Play continued as long as the light would allow.
At that time Yeadon boasted two teams, Topenders and Lowenders. The two teams decided to amalgamate at a meeting held in the Old Victoria Hotel, at the junction of Sandy Way and The Green, in 1859. The newly amalgamated club adopted the name Yeadon United Cricket Club, ‘united’ being dropped some time later.
The club’s first few seasons were played at Nunroyds Field near the present home of Green Lane. The move to the White Swan ground came in 1865 and since then the ground has been the scene of many a historic struggle and the platform for young men to develop into county cricketers.
In 1867 a United All England played 22 men of Yeadon and District in a three day game. The Yeadon side included some of the best known names in the County. Yeadon made 108 and 66 and UAE made 108 and 67 for two.
The legendary WG Grace played at the Swan ground in 1877 with a United South X1. Grace was bowled for nought by an elated bowler who was then admonished by his captain for removing the man the crowd had paid to see.
Yeadon’s side included another legendary figure in Ted Peate, as well as John Smith – a man known locally as “Soldier Jonny.” He became in 1865 the first player from Yeadon to play for Yorkshire while Peate was one of the county’s most famous cricketers. In 1881 Peate was chosen to go on England’s tour to Australia and America and, to celebrate, a dinner was held in his honour at the White Swan Hotel. Peate played for Yorkshire from 1879 until 1887 and played for England in nine Tests. Peate is one of eight Yorkshire cricketers buried in Yeadon Cemetery. The others are: JM Preston (1890), Amos Marshall (1891), Sam Flaxington and JH. Penny (1902), F Smith (1905), Jim Yeadon (1914) and Matt Myers (1919).
In 1878 the whole of the village was excited by the news that the Australian tourists were going to play at the Yeadon Feast Week. Eighteen Yeadon lads were picked to play the illustrious visitors over three days. The tourists were housed at the Swan and the Peacock Inns. Wagonettes, gigs, carts and even wheelbarrows brought people from Leeds, Bradford and surrounding areas. The Australians, who included Alex Bannerman and the demon bowler Spofforth, took 80 per cent of the gate. Yeadon pulled off an historic victory. The Australians made a second visit in 1880 and avenged the defeat.
It was in 1883 on the Wednesday of the Feast Week that a rising ball from the fast bowler Merritt Preston struck Albert Luty on the head and killed him.
The club’s 75th anniversary came up in 1934 when the President was GT Dennison and the secretary GE Hardcastle. In that year the workshop competition for men was disbanded and instead a ladies competition was held. The ground was hired out for hockey matches in the winter.
The 1940s and 1950s were the halcyon days of Yeadon C.C. Between 1944 and 1949 they appeared in four Priestley Cup finals lifting the trophy three times in 1945, 1947 and 1949
In 1945 they defeated Pudsey St Lawrence by 61 runs with a side which included three county players, Charles Harris (Nottinghamshire), James Cutmore (Essex) and Horace Fisher (Yorkshire).
Yeadon were among the elite of the Bradford League in 1947 playing in the newly formed First Division. At the opening match of that season the new scoreboard housed in the pavilion was officially opened. The project had been held in abeyance during the war years. They also won the cup for a second time with a stunning performance. They made 365 against Salts with Joe Lodge hitting 133 and Dennis Bateson (90). In a fine match, Salts replied with 307.
Farsley were Yeadon’s final victims in 1949. They triumphed by five wickets over a side which included the emerging young star Ray Illingworth. Yeadon owed their success to an unbroken sixth wicket stand of 180 between Tom Falkingham and Jim Illingworth after they had tumbled to 21 for five in reply to Farsley’s score of 200.
Two famous sons of the club played around this time, Bryan Stott and Brian Close, both went on to long first class careers, Close captaining England, Yorkshire and Somerset. Bateson recalls that in the 1940s Yeadon took about £100 on the gate at 4d a time. The field was full every week and when the first team played away they ran two coaches from the White Swan filled with supporters.
The club celebrated their centenary in 1959. Special events included the staging of a Yorkshire second eleven game against Northumberland and hosting of the first ever Sanderson Cup match between Yorkshire and Lancashire’s under-18 players–a roses battle which continues to be held annually.
The 1960s led to perhaps the worst period in the club’s history. From then on through the 1970s and right up to 1980 the club was in the doldrums and indeed its very future existence was in doubt at times. Without such men as Jim Illingworth, Tom Merrick and the late Gilbert Firth the club may not have been around to celebrate its 125th anniversary.
The year 1981 saw the rebirth of the club with John Harker bringing together a team mostly of local talent which exceeded all expectations by climbing into Division One at the first attempt. Geoff Cope of Yorkshire and England greatly assisted in inspiring the team. The club now looks forward to the future hoping to add to the history and bring further honours to the club.
The club also won the Second Division championship in 1999, the year they also reached the Priestley Cup final only to be beaten by East Bierley. They were also beaten finalists in 2001 – that time Baildon beat them.
The 2002 season saw them encounter early problems but despite finishing second from bottom in Division One they avoided relegation because of a change of rule passed by an extraordinary general meeting in August which reduced the number of teams to be relegated from three to one. The reprieve was short-lived and they were relegated in 2003.