Top banner

Twitter: @churchcricket

Latest news

Worsley Cup Reunion

On 4th August 1974, we won the Worsley Cup and we are planning a reunion for anyone connected with the Club to come along and have the opportunity to meet up again with old acquaintances. Although we will have memorabilia around the room for that day 50 years ago, we hope anybody connected with the club prior or since can come along on Sunday 4th August from 1pm onwards when our 1st team have a game at home to Middleton.

There are no individual invitations being sent out because anyone connected with the Club is invited and a buffet will be available from 5pm.

Captains for 2024

Church have re-appointed Josh Scully as 1st XI captain. James Rawcliffe has been appointed as 2nd XI captain with Jak Tyson taking over as 3rd XI captain.

Get Set Day

The Club will be holding its Get Set Day on Saturday 23rd March starting at 9am. This is a time we need your help to get the ground ready for the season, so any help on the morning would be greatly appreciated.

Centenary of death of Frank O'Keefe - Church CC professional 1922/1923


Francis Aloysius O’Keeffe (Frank O’Keeffe) was born 11 May 1896 in Waverley, Sydney, Australia, and died 26 March 1924 at the New End Hospital, Hampstead, London.

He played Sydney grade cricket for Waverley as a teenager before enlisting in the First Australian Imperial Force and serving at the front for four years in World War I.

After the war he returned to Australia and was selected for a few matches for New South Wales but was unable to establish himself in the First Eleven and moved to Victoria.

He came to fame in the 1921-1922 season when he scored 87 and 79 for Victoria against New South Wales,180 against South Australia, and 177 and 144 for the Rest of Australia against Warwick Armstrong’s touring team, which had just returned from their Ashes triumph in England.

A good off-break bowler in addition to his powerful batting, he was signed as Professional by Church in late June 1922. After a quiet first season, and after spending the winter in England, he re-signed for Church for the 1923 season. That season he topped the League batting averages. He was credited for inventing the practice of fielders walking in as the bowler ran into bowl; previously run-saving fielders had tended to remain static. When the 2023 season finished he once again spent the winter in England working as a travelling salesman which enabled him to take up an offer of a contract starting June 1924 with Lancashire County Cricket Club. He made friends readily and was respected by all who knew him.

Sadly he was never to take up the contract with Lancashire dying from peritonitis at the New End Hospital, Hampstead in March 1924. Church Cricket Club with donations from the local cricket community enabled arrangements to be made to bring Frank back to Church, so that he could be laid to rest not in London, but at Dill Hall Cemetery. Large crowds lined the route of the cortege as it travelled up Dill Hall Lane and two carriages were needed to carry the floral tributes.

For many years members of the Australian test touring side would come to Dill Hall Cemetery to pay their respects and lay a wreath in memory of their fellow countryman.

In his memory the Frank O’ Keeffe trophy was donated by his sister to Church Cricket Club, and it is still awarded annually to the amateur with the best bowling performance.

To mark the centenary of his death the Club will lay a wreath at Frank’s grave on Sunday 24 March 2024 at 14.30.

Update on Professional for 2024

Following his retirement from First Class cricket, Asad Shafiq has taken up a consultancy position with the PCB.

Regrettably, this will prevent him from returning as professional for the 2024 season. Test record breaker Shafiq was the driving force behind the clubs promotion to Division 1 in 2023 scoring 621 runs and taking 24 wickets. His attitude, commitment and passion for the game will have a lasting impact on players and supporters alike.

In replacing him, Church welcome back former club professional from 2016 and 2017, Zain Abbas. The left hander helped the club to their second T20 victory over Todmorden in the final in 2016 and also to a Worsley Cup final in 2017. Now 31, Zain is captain of Multan and recently scored a career high of 292* vs Fata. For the last three years, he has played for Atherton scoring 2772 runs at 50 and taking 99 wickets at 21.

All at Church would like to thank Asad Shafiq for his exceptional contribution and look forward to welcoming back Zain.

Annual General Meeting 2024

The 2024 AGM will be held at the Club on 22nd February at 7:15pm. All members are invited to attend.

Geoff Briggs

The Club is sad to announce that Church stalwart, Geoff Briggs, has passed away at the age of 83. Geoff played 253 matches for Church between 1956 and 1975, scoring 2,215 runs with a highest score of exactly 100. He was a member of the League Championship winning squad in 1962 and also played for the 1974 Worsley Cup winning side. Geoff also served on the club committee for several years, and contributed financially to the refurbishment of the club scorebox. He will be sadly missed.

His funeral is on Thursday 9th November 2023. The cortege will leave from Church CC at 12:30 for a 1pm service at Accrington Crematorium, followed by a celebration of his life at the Club.

Geoff Briggs        Geoff Briggs        Geoff Briggs

Geoff Briggs        Geoff Briggs

Lottery 2023 Winners

£500 12 Christine Mowle
£250 50 Margaret Wareing
£100 6 Grayson Walsh
£100 17 Geoff Briggs
£100 157 Alison Scully
£50 52 Brooks Walsh
£50 14 David Gilrane
£50 28 Trevor Charnley

Many thanks to all who participated and in doing so showed their continuing support for the club.

Church Sign Pakistan Test Star

Church are pleased to announce the signing of Pakistan Test cricketer Asad Shafiq as Professional for the 2023 season. The right-handed batter and off-break bowler will be the most capped International player to have represented the club, having played 77 Test Matches (a record 72 of these came in consecutive Tests from his debut in 2010). He has also represented Pakistan in 60 ODI's and 10 T20 Internationals.

A mainstay of the Pakistan middle order, Shafiq holds the record for most Test hundreds whilst batting at number 6. His 9 centuries eclipsing the previous record of 8 held by Sir Garfield Sobers. In all, Asad Shafiq has 12 Test centuries and has amassed 4660 Test Match runs.

In domestic cricket, Shafiq is Captain of Balochistan and has 11,372 First Class runs to his name with another 5,574 in List A matches and 2,531 T20 runs.

The club would like to Abid Riaz at PA Sports for his help in securing Asad's services.

Professional 2023

Unfortunately, we have been informed that our professional for the 2023 season, Sonal Dinusha, will no longer be coming to the UK.

Derek Pilkington - Funeral

The funeral service for Derek Pilkington will be held at 11.00am on Monday 27th March 2023 at St Mary's RC Church, Devonshire Drive, Clayton-le-Moors, Accrington BB5 5RJ followed by a celebration of his life at Church & Oswaldtwistle Cricket Club.

Derek Pilkington

We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our dear friend and former President Derek Pilkington. Derek was a huge supporter of the Club both on and off the field and he was a regular at both home and away fixtures. He will be sadly missed by his very many friends at the Club. Our thoughts are with Joan and all the family at this sad time.

New Kit for 2023

All teams will be wearing a new kit for the 2023 season and this is available to purchase now from the club shop - click on this link for access to the Senior and Junior range.

Any members that would like to order through the club's bulk order should contact Andrew Bentley asap.

Annual General Meeting

The Club's AGM will be held in the clubhouse on Thursday 23 February 2023 commencing at 7.15pm.

Joe Collier

The Club is sad to announce the passing away of Joe Collier at the grand age of 95.

Joe was a lovely man and enjoyed around 30 very happy years umpiring on behalf of Church Cricket Club.

Our sincere condolences are sent to his wife Pauline and family at this sad time.

The funeral service will be held at 12:15 on Tuesday 14 February 2023 at The Parish Church of St. John Baptist, Broughton Church Lane, off Garstang Road, Broughton PR3 5LB.

Church awarded 'Disability Cricket Champion Club' status

We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded ECB Disability Cricket Champion Club (DCCC) status as part of our ongoing commitment to make Church CC one of the most inclusive clubs in Lancashire.

The DCCC programme seeks to support clubs to create a welcoming environment in which people with ‘additional needs and varying abilities are supported to play, follow, officiate and volunteer’. During the 2023 season, we will be extending our provision beyond our established offerings for Senior, Junior and Girls cricket to provide wider opportunities for those with additional needs. Our aim is to integrate people with disabilities into training and existing teams as much as possible, and to provide a route into cricket for all prospective cricketers, young and old.

Prize Winners 2022

Details of the prize winners for the 2022 season can be found here.

Presentation Night

The Presentation Night for both Juniors and Seniors will take place on Friday 11th November. The Junior Presentation will start at 6.45pm and this will be followed by pie and peas and then the Senior Presentation.

Professional for 2023

Church have signed Sonal Dinusha as professional for the 2023 season.

The 21 year old Sri Lankan is a left hand bat and slow left arm spin bowler. In the 2022 season he was the professional at Fulwood and Broughton in the Northern League, where he excelled with the bat scoring 1,379 runs at an average of 57 and also taking 73 wickets at an average of 11.

The club would like to thank Steven Hirst at CricX for his help in securing Sonal's services.


Sam Holt and Conrad Barnes have decided to step down as 1st and 3rd team captains due to work commitments. The Club would like to place on record its thanks for all their work and their support of the Club both on and off the field.

The Captains for the 2023 season will be:

First XI - Josh Scully
Second XI - Cameron Dawson
Third XI - Tom Braysford

Lottery 2022 Winners

£500 112 Richard Sykes
£250 38 Bethany Sykes
£100 118 Gerard Metcalf
£100 157 Alison Scully
£100 156 Mason & Arlo Kennedy
£100 123 Susan Metcalf
£50 48 Steve Pilkington
£50 24 Amanda Farnworth
£50 23 Geoff Woodcock

Lottery 2022

The draw will take place on Sunday 21st August during the interval of the 1st XI game with Bacup.

Funeral - Keith Fairhurst

Keith Fairhurst's funeral will take place on Monday 28th February 2.20pm at Accrington Crematorium followed by a celebration of his life at the Victoria Hotel, Manchester Road, Accrington.

Junior Cricket - ALL STARS and DYNAMOS

Our sessions begin on the 10th May with ALL STARS (age 5-8) from 5:45pm-6:30pm and DYNAMOS 6:45pm - 7:45pm (age 8-11). Click on the logos below for more information.

All Stars  Dynamos

All new Junior boys and girls of all ages are welcome to join us at the club and can be guaranteed a fun and safe experience. For more information call 07846106343.

Keith Fairhurst

It is with great sadness that we must announce the passing of our member and friend, Keith Fairhurst. Keith will be sadly missed by his many friends at the Club.

Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting will be held on Tuesday 30th November 2021 at 7:30pm.

Change in 1st XI Captaincy

Sam Holt will lead the 1st XI at Church next year in League and Worsley Cup matches, whilst his Vice-Captain, Josh Scully, will continue to lead the team in the T20 competition.

After seven successful years at the helm, Levi Wolfenden has decided to step down but he will continue to play and lend his support as Church look forward to another positive year on and off the field.

Club Secretary Andrew Bentley said "Levi did a fantastic job, not only winning the T20 competition in 2016 but also the Presidents Cup in 2020. More importantly, Levi has built a strong squad of players who are all capable and keen to play Senior cricket. Levi's efforts have enabled the committee to focus on developing other areas of the club such as the Junior and Girls section, and the facilities at our West End ground. We wish Sam and Josh all the best for the coming season."

Sagar re-signs for 2022

We are delighted that Sagar will be joining us for another season. Not only is he immensely popular amongst the players but he has already put in some memorable performances on the field.

Lottery 2021 Winners

  • 1) 53 £500 Simon Hargreaves
  • 2) 36 £250 Alan Cottam
  • 3) 6 £250 Grayson Walsh
  • 4) 33 £100 Bob Kirkham
  • 5) 118 £100 Gerard Metcalf
  • 6) 162 £100 Geoff Briggs
  • 7) 64 £75 Linda Barnes
  • 8) 19 £75 Steve Ready
  • 9) 90 £50 Judith Bury
  • 10) 1 £50 Eric Lemoine
  • 11) 142 £50 Geoff Briggs

Many thanks to all who participated.

Stuart Worden - Funeral

Stuart Worden's funeral will take place at Accrington Crematorium next Wednesday August 4th at 1pm followed by a celebration of his life at Church & Oswaldtwistle Cricket Club.

Lottery 2021

All prizes in the 2021 lottery will be drawn during the interval of the first team game of Sunday 8th August v Great Harwood with prizes as follows:

  • £500 x 1
  • £250 x 2
  • £100 x 3
  • £75 x 2
  • £50 x 3

Stuart Worden

Stuart Worden

We are sad to announce the death of our member and supporter, Stuart Worden. Stuart passed away earlier this week and he will be sadly missed by all his friends at Church CC. Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family and friends at this difficult time.

Updated COVID19 Documents - 27 May 2021

Below are the latest Covid19 documents for the Club:

Church CC Summary Document
CCC Covid19 Risk Assessment Template
CCC Covid19 Safe System of Work for Cricket Matches
CCC Covid19 Safe System of Work for Cricket Training and Nets

Church v Enfield T20 - Friday 28 May 2021

Please note for the Enfield T20 game on Friday night due to social restrictions only Church members (and those who were on the list to attend the Presidents Cup final) and Enfield members (who show their membership card) will be admitted. In addition the gates will close at 6.45pm so there will be no access to the ground after this time. Normal admission charges apply £3 adults £1 concession) so please have the correct change available on arrival.

There will be a clearly marked hospitality area providing table service where alcohol can be purchased and consumed while seated. Our tea room will also provide a full food/drink service.

All spectators are asked to watch the game whilst seated and masks should be worn when stood up.

2021 Lottery Draw

The 2021 lottery draw will follow the same format as last year and will take place during the interval of the first team Lancashire League game with Great Harwood on SUNDAY 8th AUGUST.

Cricket - Sunday 25 April

In accordance with Government, ECB & LCF Guidance spectators are not permitted for Sunday's match v Littleborough. Access to the ground on Sunday is permitted for hospitality purposes for Members only. No admission for hospitality after 4.30pm. Table service only, masks must be worn at all times when not seated & you must adhere to social distancing guidance.

Everybody must sign in for Track & Trace purposes - not just one party member; all players & officials must also sign in.

Important Update - 15 April 2021

Following recent ECB & LCF Guidance spectators are not currently allowed.

However, patrons may access the ground for hospitality purposes. Anybody attending for hospitality purposes MUST sign in for Track & Trace purposes by using the NHS App or by signing the Track & Trace Register located outside the tearoom. Patrons must sit in the designated hospitality seating areas and they must abide by social distancing guidelines ie 6 persons or 2 households per seating area. Food/drink is table service only so please do not approach the tearoom, instructions for ordering will be available at each seating area.

You are not permitted to bring you own seating or food/drink.

Facemasks must be worn at all times except when seated in the hospitality area.

Toilet facilities are available in the tearoom, please follow the instructions carefully and sanitise your hands on entrance and before exiting the building Anybody refusing to comply must be asked to leave the premises.

For more information, click on the links below:

Church CC Summary Document
Recreational cricket COVID risk assessment template england -12 April 2021
CCC Risk Assessment 2021 Season
CCC Toilet Protocol
Important update 15 Apr 2021

Glyn Roberts

Dave Roberts, son of Glyn, would like to thank members and supporters of Church Cricket Club for their kind contributions to the total of £458.50 which was donated to Macmillan Cancer Care in memory of his father.

Net Practice 2021 Season

A booking system is now in place for the net facility for senior players (Tuesday and Wednesdays) and juniors (Thursdays).

Please note the maximum number that can use the net facility at any one time is 6 people and social distancing of 2 metres must be maintained. Only one lane of the net facility will be in use and any groups wanting to use the field for fielding practise are also limited to 6. For full details and to access the booking system please click on the links below.

Booking system

2021 Net Use Document
CCC Covid 19 Safe System of Work at Church
CCC Risk Assessment 2021 Season
CCC Toilet Protocol

Junior Cricket - ALL STARS and DYNAMOS

Our sessions begin on the 18th May with ALL STARS (age 5-8) from 5:30pm-6:15pm and DYNAMOS 6:30pm - 7:30pm (age 8-11). Click on the logos below for more information.

All Stars  Dynamos

All new Junior boys and girls of all ages are welcome to join us at the club and can be guaranteed a fun and safe experience. For more information call 07846106343.

Pre-season Friendlies

The following pre-season friendlies have been arranged:

Saturday 10th April: Chorley (away)
Sunday 11th April: Egerton (away)
Saturday 17th April: Euxton (away)

Donation from East Lancashire Masonic Charity

Freemasons cheque

The East Lancashire Masonic Charity have kindly donated £1,800 to support Church and Oswaldtwistle CC in their efforts to make their facilities more accessible. The club’s volunteers have worked tirelessly to upgrade and improve their facilities to encourage wider use by the community and this significant donation will allow the club to begin work on a new toilet facility, accessible to all but particularly those with additional physical needs. Church secretary Andrew Bentley said, “Our facilities have sadly been largely out of use since last March but this has given us the opportunity to carry out essential maintenance works on areas which were in need of improvement. We are hugely grateful to the Freemasons for their generous donation which will allow us to encourage greater use from the whole of the community. This is our purpose and one which we feel is particularly important at this difficult time. The Cricket Club has undertaken several projects to make improvements at the Club and this donation by the Freemasons will make a huge difference in enabling those with physical needs to enjoy the facilities".

The photo shows Malcolm Roe, Charity Steward at East Ribble District Freemasons donating the cheque to Andrew Bentley the secretary at the cricket club with a junior player Ffion Bentley.

New Girls' Section Sponsor for Church

Tinder logo

Church CC are delighted to announce a new partnership with technology solutions provider, Tinder Corporation Ltd, as the main sponsor of the club’s new Girls’ section. TC are experts in all things technology, providing hardware, software, telecoms and consultancy services, including complete server room and network infrastructure, cabling and ultra-fast fibre optic internet to businesses large and small. They are the trusted partner of such well-known names as The Royal British Legion, Hyperoptic and Bellway Homes, and have grown consistently ever since business partners Paul Hayes & John Amey founded the company in 2010.

Paul Hayes, joint CEO of TC said ‘When the team at Church approached us with a view to forming a financial support partnership it was an easy decision. In our business we are passionate about teamwork, support, developing people and combining a group of skill sets and personalities to create something special. When we looked at the amazing vision that Church and Ossy have already begun rolling out we saw a lot of our drive and ambition reflecting back at us. Sponsoring the Girls’ section is especially rewarding for us and we take a great sense of pride in working with Church to make inroads into bringing this fantastic sport to those who have been historically

This summer, Church plan to field a girls team at U11 age group playing in friendly matches, as well as having a strong girls representation in mixed teams up to at U9, U11 and U13. The club have ambitious plans for expansion for girls cricket and aim to have teams from U9 up to U15 by Summer 2023.

Secretary Andrew Bentley said ‘We are keen to provide opportunities for both boys and girls to excel but it is clear that, until recently, girls have been under-represented. With children having been prevented from engaging in activity for so long as a result of the pandemic, we felt that it was our duty to increase the amount of provision for all during this summer, and hope to greatly increase the number of Juniors who are able to access sessions. We are delighted that Tinder Corp have seen the value in this and supported us financially to this end. They are a forward thinking company who share our own ambitions and ethos, and we are proud to have them on board as a partner.’

Any Junior players who wish to join the club, or clubs who would like to organise friendly matches, can contact AB on 07846106343.

Don Holt

Don Holt

We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our dear friend and former Chairman and Life Member Don Holt. Don was a passionate supporter of Church CC and worked tirelessly to improve the Club, the junior section and the facilities over a number of years.

For over 10 years as Chairman, Don was instrumental in the Club becoming one of the first clubs to work closely with the Lancashire Cricket Board to obtain the ECB Clubmark status, ensure local schools received free cricket coaching sessions through the School Sports Partnerships, Community Volunteer Services and Hyndburn Youth Service and latterly through the Chance to Shine Programme - again one of the first clubs to do so in the county. All this was achieved whilst also forming and chairing the Hyndburn Cricket Development Group in partnership with the Hyndburn Sports Council to provide competitive cricket opportunities for talented youngsters across the borough who may be destined for bigger things.

Don originally honed his cricket brain and playing skills with his boyhood club Woodbank, in Bury - where he later became Chairman and a life member before moving from the area in 1989. As Don’s connection with Church CC grew, joining the committee after beating cancer in 1992, he worked tirelessly with local companies to grow the commercial & sponsorship connections, some of which the club still hold today, all whilst being supported by the committee to ensure Church obtained vital funds to improve facilities such as the new Pavilion and replacement of our perimeter fence, ensuring Church even today have some of the best facilities within the Lancashire League. Such was Don's commitment to the cause, he occasionally personally travelled overseas to meet future club professionals.

After standing down as Chairman, Don continued to follow the fortunes of the club closely and offered his support rain or shine as his ‘Youth first’ policy was implemented for the first time into our senior teams of which the rewards of recent successful seasons are now being reaped.

Don spent many hours working on the ground maintaining our facilities and he always gave his time generously. Until last season, Don with his wife Beryl still took pride in ensuring the changing rooms were clean and ready for the next home fixture. Don especially took great pleasure in watching his children and grandchildren share in his love of the game and the club.

Don followed Church teams home and away, and could often be seen at Junior and 3rd XI games where players of a certain generation benefitted from his honest evaluation of their performance.

We give thanks for the tremendous contribution he made and we will miss him greatly.

Our thoughts are with Beryl and all of the family at this sad time.

The family would like to thank the kind messages received so far from the local cricket community and abroad from both club and opposition professionals, chairman and cricket supporters.

FUNERAL - Funeral date will be announced shortly with Web link/ZOOM access for those who wish to pay their respects under the current COVID restrictions.

DONATIONS - The family wish that any donations in Memory of Don are made to the Church C.C Crowdfunder page to ensure grassroots cricket continues for generations to come, something Don himself was tirelessly passionate about;

Margaret Gilrane

It is with heavy hearts that we must announce the passing of a long time member.

Our friend and supporter Margaret Gilrane sadly passed away on the 22nd January and she will be sorely missed by her very many friends at the Club. Due to the current restrictions a private family funeral will be held at St Mary’s RC Church, Oswaldtwistle on Wednesday February 10th.

Our thoughts and sympathy are with the Gilrane family at this time.

Glyn Roberts

It is with great sadness that the Club also announces the passing of our member and supporter Glyn Roberts. Glyn will be greatly missed by all at the Club and our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.

Gyda thristwch mawr mae'r Clwb yn cyhoeddi marwolaeth ein haelod a'n cefnogwr poblogaidd Glyn Roberts. Bydd pawb yn y Clwb yn teimlo’r colled Glyn ac mae ein meddyliau gyda'i deulu ar yr adeg anodd hon. Huna mewn hedd Glyn.

Due to current restrictions a private funeral will be held at St Josephs RC Church, Belgarth Road, Accrington at 10am on Friday 19th February followed by a service at Accrington Crematorium at 11am. Family flowers only please or if desired donations for MacMillan Cancer Support.

Professional for 2021

Church are delighted to announce the signing of Sagar Trivedi for the 2021 season. Sagar is an Indian all rounder from Mumbai and his previous teams include Mumbai, Rajhastan Royals and Pudacherry. A right arm seam bowler Sagar has 28 first class wickets at an average of just 14 and a batting average of 29.

Church would like to thank Steve Hirst at CricX for his help in this matter.

Captains for 2021

There will be no change in captains for the 2021 season:

  • 1st XI: Levi Wolfenden
  • 2nd XI: Paddy McDonough
  • 3rd XI: Steve Stokes

Sadashiv Patil

We have received a communication from Den O'Donoghue, a founder member of We Don't Like Cricket We Love It, a Facebook cricket group.
He informs us that Sadashiv Patil, who was the professional at Church in 1959 sadly passed away in the early hours of Tuesday morning. He has kindly forwarded the following tribute:

Sadashiv Patil

RIP Sadashiv Patil, the India and Maharashtra all-rounder, who died in his sleep on Tuesday, aged 86. Patil had played for West Zone against New Zealand in 1955 and impressed the selectors with match figures of 7 for 74. Aged 22, he was selected for India to play the tourists in Bombay and scored 14 not out, batting from No 10, in India’s only innings and took the wicket of John Reid in both New Zealand innings, finishing with match figures of 2 for 51 with his fast-medium deliveries. Despite a promising start and India’s victory by an innings and 27 runs, he was never selected again. In a 36-match first-class career – primarily for Maharashtra, the team he also captained in the Ranji Trophy – between 1952 and 1964, Patil scored 866 runs and took 83 wickets. He also spent two seasons in the Lancashire League, taking 111 wickets in total, as the pro with Church & Oswaldtwistle (1959) and Bacup (1961).

Urgent re final fixture

Due to unforseen circumstances it has proved necessary to transfer the fixture to Acre Bottom. The match will commence as scheduled at 1pm. Any Church members/supporters wishing to attend the final must contact Philip Sykes on 07808808737 before 7pm on Saturday 12th September.

2020 Lottery Results

£500 83 Nicola Baynes
£200 87 Calvin Ludden
£100 123 Susan Metcalf
£50 24 Gordon Edmundson
£50 2 Josh Baynes
£50 94 Donna Drury
£50 100 Simon Drury
£50 137 Colin Woodford


The East Lancs game will now be played at Church on Sunday 30th August with 1pm start. If Church win this game we will host a semi final on Sunday 6th September against the Group 4 winners.

On Bank Holiday Monday Church host Enfield in the final of the Hyndburn T20 Cup with 2pm start.


Thank you to all those who have participated in this year's shortened summer lottery. We are really grateful for your response and this has helped raise much needed funds for the Club to carry out improvements. Anyone visiting our ground will see how the money raised has already helped purchase and replace 70 fence panels on our perimeter fencing, improved drainage and landscaping. Thank you also to our ground volunteer team who undertook all these works and we are always on the lookout for new members if you have any free time to help.

The prizes in this year's lottery will be 1) £500 2) £200 3) £100 with a further five prizes of £50. These will be drawn and announced at the Hyndburn T20 final match to be played on Bank Holiday Monday August 31. Anyone still wanting to participate in the lottery can do so up to 28th August.

The Hyndburn T20 final Church v Enfield will take place on Monday 31st August and full details regarding the fixture and start time will be announced shortly.

Cricket is back!

Cricket is back

We look forward to welcoming you back to Church CC starting with a T20 match v Great Harwood on Friday 24th July 6pm start. Admission is free for all games this year and please follow the instructions around the ground regarding social distancing. Our normal tea room service will not be available although takeaway hot and cold drinks, bottled alcoholic drinks, crisps and chocolate will be available.

2020 Fixtures Update

The revised fixtures for 2020 are now listed on the Fixtures page.

Covid-19 Update from England & Wales Cricket Board

Dear all,

Following the update that we shared with you earlier today, below is the latest COVID-19 weekly update.

Recreational Game following Government Announcement

The purpose of these guidelines is to offer practical guidance to players and clubs on the steps they should take whilst undertaking recreational cricket activity and informal cricket activity in an outdoor environment given the current restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The key update in the guidance is the allowance of small group sizes (now up to six individuals), however a number of other subtle but important changes are listed throughout the document.

These guidelines currently apply to England only. Guidance specifically relating to Wales can be found here.

The below provides a summary of the latest guidance. Detailed guidance in relation to outdoor cricket activity can be found here.

Consistent with UK Government guidance, published on 1 June 2020 relating to the phased return of outdoor sport and recreation in England, the following applies to outdoor cricket:

  • For all activity, social distancing of at least two metres must be maintained at all times (except between members of the same household).
  • Playing cricket individually is permitted e.g. practice of individual cricket skills or fitness activities
  • Playing cricket with people living in your household is permitted.
  • Small group cricket activity, training or fitness in groups of no more than six (6), is permitted, keeping two (2) metres apart at all times.
  • Cricket coaches, can now undertake small group sessions of up to six (6) people including the coach (1:5) and they must comply with ECB safeguarding policies (as well as being able to conduct one-to-one coaching).
  • Nets should be used on an ‘every other’ basis, leaving one net free between nets. Note that for nets within a security fence, occupancy numbers could be limited by social distancing requirements.
  • It is permissible for two or more groups of six (6) to train at the same time provided they are kept separate, and social distancing and strict hygiene measures are observed. However, clubs should carry out a risk assessment to determine the maximum capacity for their facility that can be achieved safely whilst maintaining social distancing and not exceeding the current limits on training group size.
  • Clubhouses can be reopened in a limited way for operational reasons (e.g. for access to first aid equipment) or for toilet access (see below) but all communal areas including bar, changing rooms etc. are to remain closed for general use.
  • Toilet facilities can be opened if the venue wishes, but particular care should be taken by those using them and those cleaning them. Where they are open, venues must ensure soap and water is provided and they are cleaned regularly.
  • No indoor cricket activity at all.
  • We recommend using your own equipment if possible. If equipment is being shared, please follow UK Government’s guidance on the sharing of equipment. Players should stick to using one ball in training either by bringing their own or being assigned a numbered ball that is cleaned in between sessions.
  • No saliva or sweat should be applied to the ball at any time.
  • Wash hands at home before and after using the outdoor facilities. Bring your own hand sanitiser where possible.

Net Facility Booking System and Coaching

We can now confirm that our net facility will be reopening, initially on a limited trial basis, from Tuesday 19th May 2020. Net sessions will be available to book on Tuesdays for seniors and Thursdays for juniors.

The guidelines for use of the nets which reflect ECB & Government guidance can be found below and we would ask that you familiarise yourselves with these before booking/using the net facility.


  • Nets can only be used by prior booking. No unauthorised use.
  • Net sessions will last a maximum of 30 minutes for juniors and 35 minutes for seniors
  • The ECB insists on a 10 minute buffer between sessions in order for you to vacate the net before the next participant arrives; this is for your safety and that of others
  • Do not use the nets if you or anyone in your household has symptoms of coronavirus however mild. Observe government advice
  • Maximum of 2 people using the net per session unless everyone is from the same household
  • Only one net lane can be in use per session due to social distancing requirements unless persons using the nets are from the same household
  • Ensure your hands are cleaned thoroughly before and after use of the facility. Hand sanitiser will be available.
  • Those outside your household must maintain a 2 metre distance at all times
  • Use only your own equipment and ensure you remove all your belongings at the end of the session, especially water bottles
  • No saliva or sweat should come into contact with the ball at any time
  • For those under 18 years of age we would expect a parent/guardian to be present

I am sure everyone will be sensible when using the nets but it is important that we all adhere to the ECB guidelines and the Governments social distancing policies at all times.

An online booking system has now been set up can be accessed via this link -

Seniors - Tuesdays between 4.15 pm and 7.45 - 35 minute slots will be available

Juniors on Thursdays between 4pm and 7.10pm - 30 minute slots will be available

1-1 coaching sessions are available for both seniors and juniors by contacting Level 3 coach Sam Holt on 07931810114 or by email at

Covid-19 Update from Phil Sykes

We hope this update finds you and your family in good health.

Due to the pandemic, no cricket activities have been possible and there is currently is no start date for competitive junior or senior cricket. The ECB, however, confirmed yesterday that we may now open our net facility for practice subject to the ECB guidelines and the usual social distancing rules. We will therefore be issuing a protocol for use of our net facility and hope to launch a booking system in the next few days. Details will be posted on the Club website, Twitter and Facebook.

From a financial viewpoint our Club is probably in a better position than most to overcome the challenges ahead but clearly the future is very uncertain. As a result of the Covid 19 outbreak we have had to close our bar and other fundraising activities have not been possible. These sources of revenue have proved critical to the functioning of the Club in the past. It is clear our bar will not be open for functions for several months and when the bar is permitted to open we expect it is going to take a while for our bookings to return to normal levels. The longer we are closed the more significant is the impact on the Club’s overall financial position and the greater the long term consequences.

That said we have reduced all our expenditure to a minimum although we still have overheads which must be paid such as insurances/licences/heat/light/water and we have are the usual costs for the upkeep of the ground, ground maintenance, machinery repairs, fertiliser, scarifying and fencing repairs. The England & Wales Cricket Board has now advised Clubs to set up a Spacehive fundraising page to help mitigate the long term impact of Covid 19 and to help with finances during these uncertain times. The ECB will contribute £100 to Clubs which subscribe to the initiative and who meet their funding target. The Club has therefore set up a page and would be grateful for any support, no matter how small, that members/followers could provide during this time. Normally at this time of year our members pay their subscriptions but given the current situation with no cricket being possible we have not asked for subscriptions to be paid but we would be grateful for any support that you could offer through our funding raising page.

Donations can be made at

Although cricket is currently on hold the maintenance of the ground has been allowed to continue and we will be in a position to fully reopen as soon as this crisis is over. The ground is looking in pristine condition due to all the efforts of Bob, John, Jim & Chris and I would like to personally thank them for all their efforts.

As soon as the ECB makes decisions on junior and senior cricket we will update our social media pages. Wishing you all the best and stay safe.

Update on Net Practice

The ECB has today confirmed that cricket clubs may, subject to ECB guidelines, re-open practice facilities.

We are therefore currently drawing up a protocol for use of the net facility and this will involve the use of a booking system.

More information will be made available on Twitter, Facebook and our website just as soon as possible setting out how the net facility will operate in these unprecedented times.

New feature on website

A new feature has been added to the website - click here for a series of interviews with current players.

Message from English Cricket Board

Update for Clubs and Leagues: COVID-19

Dear all,

Following the Government’s latest advice around social distancing, it is with sadness and reluctance that we recommend that all forms of recreational cricket are for now suspended.

This extends to training, pre-season friendlies and any associated cricket activity.

Sport plays an absolutely vital role in the nation’s mental and physical wellbeing, and it helps people find meaning where there is fear and uncertainty, so one of our goals in the coming weeks will be to explore ways that we can support some levels of physical activity in communities - particularly at junior levels.

Using our cricket community to support others could be one of the most important services we can offer during the difficult next few months.

It will be critical that any decisions we do make are medically-led. And we will continue to work with Government and their advisors to ensure we are informed by science in our decision making.

Over the coming weeks we will work with the game to understand what support is required across the cricket community, particularly local clubs and leagues.

We understand that countless hours of work from thousands of volunteers have already gone into getting ready for the 2020 season and we know how disappointing this will be. We are thankful for the huge role that volunteers play in local cricket, to ensure the game remains at the heart of communities.

We know that you and your clubs can play an important role in bringing your community together once we get past this period of time.

Under 13 Competition winners

Below is a photo of the Church U13 team which won the recent indoor competition.

Under 11 team in 2020

Sen Gopaul - Professional in 1979

We recently received a communication from Rev Judith Gopaul, the sister of 1979 professional Sen Gopaul, informing us that Sen passed away a few years ago. She has kindly passed on a tribute to Sen which is published below.

My brother Sen Gopaul passed away on February 20, unbelievable how time goes by quickly!

Sen hails from a family of cricketers - his dad Madan Gopaul played for West Indies, his brother Davy Gopaul played for Toronto Canada, our cousin Rohan Kanhai is living in England presently, Kennedy Venkasammy played for Guyana also.

Sen's daughter resides in England still and is doing very well in her career - Emily Gopaul. My brothers and dad were great players and wonderful human beings. People who represent our Countries should not be forgotten and yet it happens. I am thankful for your response and interest as well as the info provided. God bless you.

I would love to one day visit England and the club my brother represented.

Here is a pic of Sen representing "Benson and Hedges" team played in England 1970 (he is at the extreme right of the pic), and Sen with his nephew, then Sen with 1979 Church team.


Thank you for your thougtfulness this is appreciated very much. I love my brother so much. We lost the two brothers and mom and dad all in four years. Its now my sister Avena and myself Judy Gopaul, as siblings. He was father to Emily Gopaul, uncle to Kemm, Krystal, Kasi, Joshua, Nicholas, great uncle of Kayden, Dominic, Lorenzo Gopaul.

Sincerely Judy Gopaul of Toronto Canada (sister of Sen)

Regards to anyone who remembers Sen. Be blessed!

Indoor nets

The indoor nets this year will be held at St Bedes Green Lane BB2 4SR.

Junior sessions will be at 8pm-9pm on 6th Feb, 20th Feb, 5th March and 19th March.

Senior sessions will be at 8pm-9pm 13th Feb, 27th Feb, 12th March and 26th March.

There will also be junior training sessions at the club on Sat/Sunday mornings at the start of April.

U-15's indoor district comp will be at Norden on 9th Feb 2pm. U-13's indoor district comp at Hyndburn Sports Centre on 23rd Feb 2pm.

Individual coaching sessions for juniors and seniors will be available with Ashar Zaidi and details to be provided in April.

A friendly against Woodbank away has been arranged for Sunday 12th April.

Professional for 2020

The Club is delighted to announce Ashar Zaidi as the professional for the 2020 season.

Annual Presentation Night for Juniors and Seniors

Our Annual Presentation Night for both senior and junior teams will take place after the last match of the season on Sunday 8th September. The Junior Presentation will start at 7.15pm, to be followed by the Senior Presentation.

Replacement Professional

Church professional, Dayyaan Galiem, has been recalled to South Africa to take part in an Emerging Players Tournament and will play his last match in Saturday's Worsley Cup tie against Todmorden.

Moegamat Qaasim Adams has signed as his replacement. He will make his debut for the club on Sunday at Todmorden.

Thirty-five year old Adams is a left handed batsman who has scored 5079 First-class runs at 41.6 with thirteen centuries including a career best unbeaten 202. He has also taken 21 wickets with his right arm medium pace since his debut in 2007.

Jack Houldsworth's Funeral

Jack's funeral service will take place at Accrington Crematorium at 11.40am on Tuesday 23rd April followed by refreshments at his beloved Church & Oswaldtwistle Cricket Club.

Further Tributes to Jack Houldsworth

I am sending a message of condolences to the family of Jack Houldsworth from Noel Osborne. He played for CCC from 1962 to 1968 with Jack. Noel considered him a fantastic cricketer and true gentleman. He was very sad to hear of his death and sends his sympathy to his family.

Noel Osborne

Jack Houldsworth's passing is a very sad moment for all those people whose lives he touched over many years. Jack was obviously a hugely respected person in his professional life and in the many cricket circles he was involved in. As an overseas player, my fondest memories are of the warm hospitality that Jack and his wife Sheila afforded me and my family in the chilly early weeks of each season. Jack's insightful opinions and subtle wit were a big part of my early education about the people and lifestyle of the Lancashire area. As a teammate Jack was an absolute rock for me year after year - well over 1200 wickets obviously speaks for itself, But to this day I still marvel at his ability to bowl well to so many big name professionals. At the other end I was often a nervous wreck. Of course he did all that as a very 'mature' player, but his competitive instincts ensured that he always found a way and was rarely beaten. Jack was a tireless servant for Church cc. His passion for the club and league were second to none, and I'm sure he gained great satisfaction from Church becoming one of the more successful clubs over the last decade as so much change in the structure of the league took place. Deepest condolences to Annette, Phil and Bethany Sykes, and to all those at Church CC.

Brendan McArdle

As has already been said, Wilky has got it spot on, I have been in Perth for 14 years , so haven’t seen Jack since I came here but I know from Bob Fishwick’s wife he has not been so good.

Jack was everything any club could wish for, as has been said on or off the field. Maybee his HALVES of beer after a game and Thursday nights were his smallest contribution to the club but his others were MAGNIFICENT. REST IN PEACE, JACK.

John Starkie

From watching him as a bowler in my teens, through to chatting with him last season about all things life and cricket, it was a pleasure to have known Jack Houldsworth. He loved our club like no other, loyalty like his is a rare thing. Thank you, Jack, for the way you conducted yourself as a member, both player and administrator, of Church and Oswaldtwistle CC, an example for us all.

Bill Tomlinson

Difficult to add to Jim's fine tribute below. A sad loss. Jack was a true gentleman who put his heart and soul into the Club both on and off the field.

It was a privilege to share a dressing room for 20 years or so with him. His bowling exploits are legendary as was his selfless dedication to the Club.

Hopefully, he's now enjoying a deserved half of mild in some better place.

Thoughts are with Annette, Phil and family.

Ian Osborne

Tribute to Jack Houldsworth by Jim Wilkinson

Below is a tribute from Jim Wilkinson to Jack Houldsworth who sadly passed away over the weekend. Anyone (friend or foe) who wishes to add tributes, please email

Church and Lancashire League legend Jack Houldsworth passed away suddenly on Saturday morning aged 83.

Jack, who made his senior debut for the West Enders aged 19 in July 1955, took the first of 1246 league & cup wickets at Turf Moor that afternoon, claiming the scalp of the home side's Australian professional Chris Langdon and beginning a habit which he took delight in until his retirement from playing during the 1987 season, by which time he was 51 years of age.

He is probably most famously remembered and celebrated for his stunning string of performances during the 1974 run to Worsley Cup success, Church's first and to date only occasion lifting the trophy.

In the four games up to and including the final against Nelson he bowled unchanged in tight, low-scoring thrillers (more than 68 overs in total), taking five for 51 versus East Lancashire, five for 42 against Haslingden, six for 31 against Accrington in the semi-final and six for 24 against Nelson in front of Church's partisan home supporters in the final.

His dismissal of explosive Nelson professional Collis King, bowled, was possibly the most pivotal and iconic moment in the club's history. It was a sweet triumph for a player who had initially struggled for a decade to cement a place in a well-established side and missed out completely as Church won the League for the first time in peacetime in 1962. In his first ten years as a player at the club he had, ironically, been selected only once to play in the Worsley Cup competition.

From 1955 till 1966 he could hardly ever be described as a regular first-teamer, 16 games in 1960 the only time he figured in half the games. It was, as former team-mate Eric Barnes wrote in a club publication, a long apprenticeship."

But this fiercely loyal one-club man simply carried on putting in endless hours of practice and learning all he could about the game and the craft to hone his art to the point where his mastery of right arm medium-paced seam bowling could not be ignored any longer.

And in that summer of 66, remembered for many things but not often cricket, he played 23 times in the league, breaking the 20-wicket mark for the first time. After another in-and-out season in 1967, he finally hit his straps - aged 32 now, remember - in 1968 when he passed the mark of 50 Lancashire League wickets, 64 in all, for the first time.

He was to reach that mark nine times in the subsequent 11 campaigns, 76 in 1969 (93 including cup games) and 74 in 1975 his greatest numerical hauls. He was leading amateur wicket taker four times, took 84 five-wicket hauls in league and cup and had five against every other league side home and away with the exception of Haslingden against whom he once had four wickets before the match ended early with a controversial walk-off by the visitors! In the 1980's, his body ageing but his appetite for practice as voracious as ever, his hauls were more often in the thirties and forties but there was the notable landmark of a thousandth league wicket and a glorious swansong in 1986 when he chalked up his tenth 50-wicket haul now past the age of 50 himself. Jack's batting and fielding were never remotely comparable to his bowling and as the game began to move towards the athletic pursuit for fit young men and women it is today, it was time to make way for more youthful blood,an inevitability he accepted part way through the 1987 campaign He had taken 1246 wickets in 595 league and Worsley Cup appearances.

But that was merely the beginning of another long and loyal tenure as committee man, club press secretary, league rep and, as importantly as any, stalwart worker helping a yeoman team transform the West End from the rather downbeat, tired, oft sneered at by opposition ground of past decades into the splendidly curated and well-appointed cricket field with attendant classy facilities it enjoys today.

When the call inevitably came to serve on the Lancashire League Executive Committee, it was with some reluctance that Jack initially accepted the responsibility, concerned that it would diminish his ability to contribute fully to his own club.

But of course he simply made twice the time and worked diligently in both causes. He was made a Life Member of the League but had left the Executive committee before the recent changes to the league which as a traditionalist he was fiercely opposed to.

Respected and admired by all he played with and against, his reputation as a master bowler was genuinely worldwide. He would have probably been able to tell you exactly how many Test players he'd played against, how many he dismissed but possibly not how many hours he'd spent in earnest, mutually-admiring conversation with top-class cricketers from all around the globe, not to mention local fellows old and young who played for Church or the opposition whom he mentored and counselled down the decades.

Even in his eighties, still lean with his dark mane greying but largely intact, he was instantly recognisable with his walking gait still reminiscent of his walk back to his mark before turning to deliver that smooth, economical action. He was lovingly welcomed on all the other league grounds. Legend, icon and giant are words used cheaply in sport these days but as far as the rich tapestry and history of Lancashire League cricket and Church and Oswaldtwistle Cricket Club are concerned, Jack Houldsworth truly was all three.

NatWest Cricket Force Day

This year the Club will be holding its NatWest Cricket Force Day on the morning of Saturday 6th April starting at 9am. As usual we have a great team of volunteers who prepare the ground all year but this is a time we need your help to get the ground ready for the season, so any help on the morning would be greatly appreciated.

All Stars Cricket

All Stars Cricket is the England and Wales Cricket Board’s entry level participation programme, aimed at providing children aged five to eight with a great first experience in cricket.

Church CC will be running All Stars Cricket for 8 weeks on Wednesdays from 22nd May 2019 to 10th July 2019 from 6.15pm to 7.15pm. The emphasis is on fun and being active and the programme will focus on developing your child's movement skills. The programme is safe and fully accredited and every child that registers will receive a backpack full of goodies including a cricket bat, ball, activity book, personalised shirt and cap all sent straight to your door. The full cost of the programme, including the backpack and contents, is £40 per child.

Registration is easy just go online to

New A to Z Feature

This season we’re introducing a new A to Z feature designed to help you learn a little bit more about the lads representing our club.

The idea is simple: 26 questions, one for each letter of the alphabet. First up we have the club joker, Cameron Dawson!

This can be found in the Information section of the website. Click here to view.

Online payment facility for Membership subscriptions

Members can now pay membership subscriptions by debit or credit card through this website. The facility is available on the Membership page.

U-15's Trophy

Congratulations to our U-15's side which won the Hyndburn Cricket Indoor Competition today. Well done to Nathaniel and Jack who also played but missed the photo opportunity.

Cricket Training

We will have indoor cricket training at Accrington Academy on Sundays from March 10th-31st inclusive. The junior training will be 10am till 11am and the seniors 11am till 12 oclock.

Professional for 2019

Church are delighted to announce the signing of Dayyaan Galiem as Professional for the 2019 season. Dayyaan is from Cape Town, South Africa and is a top order batsman and pace bowler. In 2016 and at the age of 18 Dayyaan made his 1st class debut for Western Province. He previously represented South Africa at U19 level and in first class cricket he averages over 30 with the bat whilst his 53 first class wickets are at an average of 28. A genuine all rounder Dayyaan is an outstanding prospect and Church look forward to welcoming him to the Club.

Church would like to thank Rob Humphries of World Sports Xchange for his help in this matter.

Greetings from Fazil Khan

I played for Church & Oswaldtwistle cricket club in Lancashire league cricket and Worsley Cup in 1968 & 1969.

I am now 74 years old and still working. After I left England in 1970 went to Pakistan and then in 1974 moved to New Zealand ever since living in New Zealand. A beautiful country.

I had some great memories of playing with the club and made some great friends like Jack Houldsworth, Steve Metcalf and of course Bob Fishwick and Bill Heys. I am very sad to read about both of them.

I remember, we were so close to winning Worsley Cup (1968 I think ?) and needed only one run when Bill Heys shattered our dreams by being clean bowled first ball that he faced and we lost by one run. There are many more stories like this that I can tell.

Please give my best regards to Steve and Jack and all.

I will always cherish these memories. It was good old days. I am planning to visit UK soon and ensure to visit my old club.

Latest Match Report

A match report has been penned for the Rawtenstall game on Saturday - courtesy of Jim Wilkinson. Hopefully, further contributions may follow.

This can be found in the Match Reports section of the website or by clicking here.

Annual Sportsmans Dinner - DATE CHANGE - FRIDAY 27TH APRIL

Due to the unforeseen weather conditions the event will now take place on Friday 27th April at Green Haworth Golf Club.

Geoff Miller OBE has kindly agreed to honour the event and will still be our headline speaker on the 27th April. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused and we would be grateful if you could confirm your attendance for this new date.

Annual General Meeting

This year's AGM will be held on Monday 19th February at 7.30pm in the Clubhouse.

Indoor Nets - UPDATE

Junior Cricket:

Junior Cricket training will start at Accrington Academy on Thursday evenings 5.45pm-6.45pm from 1st March to 5th April 2018 (excluding 22nd March).

Senior Cricket:

Senior Cricket training will start at Accrington Academy on Thursday evenings on 22nd February when it will be a 2 hour session 5.45pm-7.45pm and every Thursday thereafter until 5th April 2018 when it will be 6.45pm-7.45pm (excluding 22nd March).

Indoor Nets

Junior Cricket:

Junior Cricket training will take place at Accrington Academy on Thursday evenings 5.45pm-6.45pm from 22nd February to 5th April 2018 (excluding 22nd March).

Senior Cricket:

Senior Cricket training will be at Accrington Academy on Thursday evenings 6.45pm-7.45pm from 22nd February to 5th April 2018 (excluding 22nd March).

Professional for 2018

Church are pleased to announce the signing of Johnny Riekert as Professional for the 2018 season. Johnny is from Durban in South Africa and is a top order batsman and medium pace bowler. Johnny made his 1st class debut in the summer 2015-16 for Kwa-Zulu Natal and has experience of playing in England as Professional at Euxton in 2017 where he scored over 800 runs. Johnny is a qualified coach and he is keen to help develop and coach junior and senior players at the Club.

Church would like to thank Rob Humphries at World Sports Xchange for his help in this matter.

Annual Presentation Night for Juniors and Seniors

Our Annual Presentation Night for both senior and junior teams will take place after the last match of the season on Sunday 10th September. The Junior Presentation will start at 7.00pm, to be followed by the Senior Presentation.

Stuart Williams

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of our supporter and friend Stuart Williams.

Stuart's funeral will take place at 11am on Wednesday 26th July at Immanuel Church, New Lane, Oswaldtwistle followed by burial in Immanuel Churchyard and a reception at Church CC to celebrate Stuart's life.

Junior Cup Matches

1st Round Junior Cup Matches are as follows:

U-11 Nelson Away Friday 12th May 6pm start
U-13 Euxton Home Friday 19th May 6pm start (11 a side)
U-15 Bacup Home Wednesday 25th May 6pm start (11 a side)

Bob Fishwick's funeral

Bob Fishwick's funeral will be held at Accrington Crematorium at 11.40am on Wednesday 12th April, and afterwards at Church CC.

Bob Fishwick

It is with great sadness that the Club announces the passing of Honorary Life Member and former player and captain, Bob Fishwick.

Bob was a member of the Church Championship winning side of 1962 and during a Lancashire League career spanning over 20 years he scored 3346 league runs and took 342 wickets. During his lifelong association with the Club, Bob was also a dedicated member of the Committee and loyal supporter of our teams, regularly travelling to home and away matches with his wife Eva.

Bob will be sorely missed by all his friends at the Club and our thoughts are with Eva, Robert and Susan and their families at this difficult time.

NatWest Cricket Force Day - Saturday 18th March starting at 9am

This year the Club will be holding its NatWest Cricket Force Day on the morning of Saturday 18th March starting at 9am. As usual we have a great team of volunteers who prepare the ground all year but this is a time we need your help to get the ground ready for the season, so any help on the morning would be greatly appreciated.

Les Powdrill

We are very sad to announce that our Honorary Life Member Mr Les Powdrill has passed away. Les was a life long supporter of the Club and will be fondly remembered and greatly missed by everyone at Church CC.

His funeral will take place at Holy Trinity Church, Oswaldtwistle, at 10am on Tuesday 21st February followed by a reception at Church CC.

Sportsmans Dinner - Friday 24th February 2017

We are excited to announce that ex England cricketer and local legend Graeme Fowler will be our guest speaker at the Club's Annual Sportsmans Dinner on Friday 24th February. In addition to this, celebrity impressionist Mike Maguire, who is taking the comedy circuit by storm will be an excellent addition to the evening.

Sponsorship packages are now available, which start from £100 (including 2 tickets) and additional tickets cost £32. The event will once again be at Green Haworth Golf Club.

For further details or to purchase tickets please contact Sam Tucker 07764770900 -

Junior Cricket

Junior Cricket training will take place at Accrington Academy 5.45pm-6.45pm on 16th February, 2nd March, 9th March, 23rd March, 30th March and 6th April.

Junior Indoor District Competition:

  • U-13's at Hyndburn Sports Centre 2-4pm on Sunday 15th January
  • U-11's at Hyndburn Sports Centre 2-4pm on Sunday 22nd January
  • U-15's at Norden Sports Hall Preliminary Match Sunday 12th February 2-3pm
  • U-15's at Norden Sports Hall Finals Day Sunday 26th February 2-4pm
  • U-9's at Norden Sports Hall Sunday 19th March 2-4pm

Senior Cricket

Senior Cricket training will be at Accrington Academy 6.45pm-7.45pm on 16th February, 2nd March, 9th March, 23rd March, 30th March and 6th April.

Annual General Meeting

The AGM will be held at the Clubhouse on Tuesday 21st February 2017 with a start time of 7.30pm.

Presentation Night

Philip Sykes, Chairman, thanked Mr Jones for his substantial financial donation and sponsorship of the Club, part of which is to be used to improve junior cricket facilities at the Club.

In recognition of their on field success in 2016, trophies were presented to the players and Captains of the first X1 for their T20 triumph, the third Xl for League runners up, the U/11's as both district indoor champions and Division 3 Champions and the U/9's for League Division 2 runners up.

Thanks also went to Craig Fergusson, who after 6 years as Club Captain has decided to step down. In his six years at the helm Craig not only led his team to the Club's first senior trophy for over 40 years, the Club also had five top 5 League finishes in the League and in all competitions the first Xl won 115 matches suffering only 65 defeats, which is probably one of the highest win ratios of any captain in the Club’s history.

The ongoing support of volunteers has continued to transform the Club's financial position and thanks went to all those who have helped the Club during the year. Special praise went to the parents for their continued support of the Club and to the juniors themselves for both their commitment and on-field success.

The prizes were presented by special guest Dave Jones and in the photograph he presents Jack Lancaster with the U-11 Championship Trophy with other prize winners in attendance.

New 1st XI Captain

After six seasons at the helm Craig Fergusson has informed the Club of his wish to step down as Captain.

Church Chairman Philip Sykes said "During his six years as Captain, Craig has presided over what has been a very successful period for the Club; not only did he lead the first XI to the Club's first senior trophy for over 40 years, he also lead his team to five top 5 League finishes in the League. In all competitions over the last six years the side won 115 matches suffering only 65 defeats which is probably one of the highest win ratios of any captain in the Club’s history.

The captaincy is a huge undertaking requiring considerable commitment both on and off the field and the Club appreciates and thanks Craig for all his effort and hard work during the last six seasons."

The Club has appointed Levi Wolfenden as Captain for the 2017 season.

Annual Presentation Night for Juniors and Seniors

Our Annual Presentation Night for both senior and junior teams will take place after the last match of the season on Sunday 11th September. The Junior Presentation will start at 7.00pm, to be followed by the Senior Presentation.

Professional for 2017

Church Cricket Club is delighted to announce that Zain Abbas will return to be for the 2017 season.

The Club would like to thank Abid Riaz at Proelite Sports for their help.

Bill Heys

It is with great sadness we announce the passing of our Honorary Life Member and former player, Bill Heys.

Bill’s funeral will be at St Anne’s RC Church, Cobham Road, Accrington, at 10.00am on Thursday 2nd June. In his memory his family have requested no flowers but donations to Cancer Research c/o Hyndburn Funeral Service.

Bill made a huge contribution to the club for nearly 70 years, his long association with the Club beginning back in 1949 when he made his senior team debut at the age of nineteen.

His talents as a wicket keeper quickly alerted counties, with Bill eventually signing for Lancashire in 1955 and he was on the County’s book for four seasons and in that time he played five 1st Class matches.

After being released by Lancashire County Cricket Club in 1959 Bill returned to Church and continued playing for the Club until 1970. He established a then club record of 326 career victims; a record which stood until 2012. Bill also played a key role in Church’s 1962 Championship side with 28 victims and 399 runs.

Following the conclusion of his playing career Bill remained a loyal supporter of the Club, through good times and bad, and he contributed a huge amount of time to help Church, serving on the Committee, helping out on the ground, assisting with machine maintenance and being a friend to all those connected with the Club. Everyone knows of Bill’s passion for the game of cricket, his willingness to help others and his unfailing support of his Club. Bill will be dearly missed by all at Church and our sympathy goes out to Maureen, Simon, Fiona and family.

A few words from Jack Houldsworth:

I had the pleasure of first meeting Bill in 1952 when I was selected for Church U-18’s whilst he had commenced his 1st Xl career a few years earlier in 1949 and that first meeting led to over 60 years of friendship. Bill was a jovial man, never a hard word for those around him and he was immensely proud of his family. Bill had a long memory for all his cricket experiences and as a wicket keeper he was an artist. No smashing down the wickets, Bill would simply remove one bail.

Bill had the privilege to 'keep' to Fred Hartley, a master of flight and length, and what a combination they must have been. Bill was very proud to be part of the Church League Championship winning side of 1962 and played such a key role in this success keeping wicket and also with valuable runs. Bill held the Club wicket keeping record for over forty years until it was broken in recent years by Sam Tucker. It is a testament to Bill’s personality that no one was more pleased for Sam than Bill himself who took great delight in seeing a youngster coming through the ranks and achieving what he himself had done all those years ago. Bill, thank you for your friendship and all the happy memories. You will be missed not only by me but all at Church CC.

A few words from Jim Wilkinson:

For someone who followed Lancashire League cricket from the age of nine years old in 1968 and who has been associated with Church CC since 1981, it’s difficult to think of Bill Heys not being around the club any more.

One of my very earliest memories of cricket was a match in 1969 at East Lancs, the club my granddad, dad and I supported, when the home pro Pat Trimborn hit Church’s Ghulam Abbas for 32 off an eight-ball over in somewhat contrived circumstances.

From memory, I think East Lancs were batting out time for a draw – ironically, a somewhat “lost art” of the time cricket game which Bill would later lament and discuss at length ('nothing better than the young lad at number ten holding out for a few overs,' he'd say) – and the visiting captain decided to throw a carrot to maybe get the Meadows men to go for a chase and maybe lose some wickets to make a game of it. I think Trimborn was out of the last ball of the over having gone from 18 to 50 in seven deliveries and the game was drawn in any case.

It wasn’t a game that would otherwise stick long in Bill’s memory – he got a duck and took no victims that afternoon – and in truth he was nearing the end of a distinguished career.

But even more vividly than Trimborn’s hitting, I remember the afternoon as one I got laughed at and given a talking to by my dad and granddad.

I used to religiously collect the players’ autographs in those days, amateurs as well as the pros, and when Bill was seventh Church man out without scoring and the innings was declared, I ran round to the pavilion steps to ask for his signature, probably on my programme/scorecard.

I was too young to realise that the moments after a dismissal are probably the least likely time to find a cricketer feeling generous enough to pause and sign a scratty bit of paper for a kid. It was another decade or so before I discovered that the default reaction was usually to curse and complain about umpire, pitch, non-striking batsmen or whoever or whatever else you can apportion blame for your downfall to before hurling your bat at the door.

Bill, however, was fortunately the last player to react thus and he signed obligingly and patted me on the back whatever other emotions he was feeling or how keen he was to get his tea before kitting up and going out behind the stumps.

In the tea room shortly after, my dad and granddad explained to me that it might in future be best to wait a few minutes before issuing such a request and looking at the Church line up that day with the previous batsmen including messrs Metcalf S, Osborne, Wilson, Briggs and Wilkinson W, it was perhaps my good fortune to present my gauche request to such a genial soul who I would later be proud to consider a friend!

I’d be at the Meadows too a year later then on Church as Bill was winding his career up, he only played two further first XI games late in the season after that. I missed Bill’s only Lancashire League 50 by a few months, he made that at The Meadows, opening the innings, in 1967, less than a year before my father took me along to see Clive Lloyd and I was bitten by the bug for life.

Of course you’d have to speak to his contemporaries such as Jack Houldsworth, Bob Fishwick and the players mentioned above to hear what a good player and fine gloveman he was. His senior debut came as an 18-year-old in 1949 and a look down the list of professionals he shared the field with that year - Bill’s team mate Fred Hartley, Hazare, Dooland, Bill Alley, Cec Pepper, Fred Freer – tell you that the kindly, smiling white-haired chap never far from the ground, busying himself there through the week or on matchdays, chatting at the bar on a Thursday night, was a living link to history itself.

Make no mistake, the post-war years were a golden age for freedom itself, never mind just for sport which the nation was once again able to enjoy in numbers never to be equalled and embrace without fear or threat.

Of just short of 350 league and Worsley Cup dismissals, more than a quarter were stumpings which tells you that this was a craftsman of the art of wicket-keeping.

In 1957, Bill was selected on five occasions for the Lancashire First XI, twice against the legendary Calypso King West Indian tourists of Ramadhin and Valentine, Walcott, Weekes and Worrell fame with a couple of up-and-coming kids named Sobers and Kanhai in their ranks.

Incredibly, my research tells me that in one of his three County Championship games, Bill appeared for Lancs with another old family friend of ours, Ted Kelly of Chorley, who also made his only handful of first-class appearances in the same year.

Ted, now deceased, still used to still proudly wear his Lancs short-sleeved sweater tearing in fearsomely and bowling out poor lads for Star Paper in the Blackburn Midweek League in the late 1970’s and while there was nothing as overtly showy about Bill’s pride in having worn the Red Rose, it was an achievement all of us who love and cherish the game and the feats of league cricketers respect: going on to the next level and testing yourself against the very best, indeed. It’s something we’d all swap a great deal to have had the talent to do.

My own friendship with Bill came about when I came to play at Church in 1981. Almost instantly I was playing alongside Simon, a good enough player to make more than 50 First Team appearances for Church, mostly behind the wicket, and emulate his father’s tally of senior half-centuries and a lifelong pal. I'm proud that in a couple of dusty old scorebooks there'll be a couple of "ct Heys B Wilkinson" dismissals.

By this time Bill was a perennial presence at the ground and in the club-house, always smiling, encouraging, cajoling but never overbearing or unduly critical. My enduring memory of him will always be of a smile and a cheery greeting, some good chat and a sense that while it’s a game to be taken deadly seriously and worked damned hard at, it is also a pursuit to be enjoyed and relished both while you’re playing, working hard on making the place fit for others to play and while enjoying the company of team-mates, opponents and officials after.

It is just a game.

Of course as Rovers fans as Bill, myself and many others associated with Church are, it’s often hard work remembering that maxim but there were good times at Ewood among a large contingent of closely-knit “West Enders” for many years too.

A couple of years ago, Bill was trying to recall a player from the past, and said, metaphorically scratching his head: “You know....what was his name ....half back (pronounced “hay-fe back” of course)?” I thought Bill, with such an archaic term, was referring back to maybe his 40’s or 50’s youth and some long-forgotten “wing half” such as Clayton, McGrath or Nudger Campbell.

It turned out he meant Tim Sherwood.

That was Bill. A link with a time now sepia-tinted on old photographs but still interested enough and sufficiently enthused to remain infectious and engaging company.

I’ll really miss him although my visits to the WECG aren’t as frequent these days. As the song goes, sometimes it’s nice to go “where everybody knows your name” and when I do go, I miss many of the folks I could always rely on for a “hail fellow, well met,” like Alan Gilrane Snr, Terry Ashton and Bill, who I still enjoyed calling me “Wilky,” whenever he spotted me.

Junior fixtures for 2016

Click here for junior fixtures for 2016.

Ronnie Brandrick

The club is saddened to announce the passing of lifelong member Ronnie Brandrick. Ronnie was a well known character at Church and for many years helped maintain the ground. The funeral will be held at Accrington Crematorium at 3pm on Thursday 14th April, followed by drinks at Church Cricket Club.

U-11's Team - Indoor District Champions 2016

Congratulations to our U-11's team, Indoor District Champions 2016. Well done to Muhammed, Toby, Harris, Matthew, Chris and Jack.

NatWest Cricket Force Day - Sunday 3rd April 2016 starting at 9am

This year the Club will be holding its NatWest Cricket Force Day on the morning of Sunday 3rd April 2016 starting at 9am. As usual our brilliant 'Ground Crew' volunteers have been working hard all winter. However, due to the bad weather over recent months there is still a long list of jobs which need to be done in order to get the ground ready for the season so any help on the morning would be greatly appreciated.

Friendly Matches

The following friendlies have been arranged:

  • April 9th: Elton away
  • April 10th: St Annes away
  • April 16th: Farnworth SC away

In Memory of Tony Marsden

Tony's daughter, Julie, is taking part in the Great North Run to raise money for charity in memory of her father. Anyone wishing to sponsor Julie can do so on the Just Giving website using the link below:

Lancashire League Expansion

Lancashire League Clubs have been asked to attend a meeting on Wednesday 13th January to discuss the Expansion of the Lancashire League. In order that Members/Players can have their say the Proposals have been summarised below and members can email with their views or ring 01254385094 to discuss.

The LCB have now outlined three proposals and these are in addition to the League’s own initial expansion plan. While considering these Proposals the League is looking to obtain clear guidance from the Clubs as to which Proposal(s) the Clubs wish to pursue and therefore you are now invited to provide your views and preference.

At this stage we ask that you do not worry about the finer details as to, who runs the league, what the league is called, playing conditions/rules/amateur registration/fixture details for T20, Saturdays or Sundays as the Lancashire League is only looking for an overall strategy at this stage.

Proposal 1 – Lancashire League/Northern League Merger (Ribb League/Palace Shield to follow)

LCB Proposal for consideration

This sees the Lancashire League and Northern Premier League merging in the first year to form one Division and Clubs play each other once. After the first year final placings between the combined Lancashire League/Northern League will confirm Division 1 and Division 2 places for the 2018 season. Division 3 and Division 4 will be made up of Ribblesdale League Clubs and Palace Shield Clubs. A more locally based format for 2nd team cricket will be preferred.

Proposal 2 – Lancs League/Northern League/Ribb League/Palace Shield create 6 Division structure

LCB Proposal for consideration

This Proposal can be viewed in more detail on the Ribblesdale League Facebook page and involves the final league placings for Clubs across all four leagues (Lancs League/Northern League/Ribblesdale League/Palace Shield) determining places for Divisions 1-6 for the 2018 season. Lancashire League Clubs would start in either Division 1 or 2 dependent on their league placing. This format involves Division 1 Clubs playing against Division 2 Clubs similar to the current Ribblesdale League arrangements and therefore ensures derbies are maintained.

Again a format where 2nd team cricket is regionalised is considered the preferred option.

Proposal 3 – Ribblesdale League becomes a feeder league for Lancashire League

LCB Proposal for consideration

Lancashire League is Division 1 and its feeder league is the Ribblesdale League which forms Division 2. Promotion and relegation between these two leagues only.

Proposal 4 – Lancashire League’s own expansion plan by 6-10 Clubs (no LCB support)

This involves expansion of 6-10 Clubs to form 2 Divisions with new Clubs being chosen from applicants. LCB refused to accept this plan as in their opinion the LCB did not consider this would be in the best interests of League cricket in the County as both the Northern League and Ribblesdale League could be placed in jeopardy.

Proposal 5 – No Change

The ECB/LCB recommend a League structure with Promotion/Relegation where Clubs can find their level and progress. In addition Lancashire League clubs have expressed their intent to expand and create two Divisions with Promotion/Relegation however, by default, if no agreement can be reached on how to proceed there will be no change.

Additional Information

Members and players are now invited to provide their views and preferences on this matter. In addition to providing any preference to the Proposals detailed above, it would also be helpful for the Club Committee if Members/Players could consider two further matters:

1. Proposal 1 – If you have discounted this Proposal due to the travelling distances involved could you please express a preference as to what travelling distances you would find acceptable i.e. Northern League less Cumbrian Clubs a geographical limit set at Morecambe, or would you set the limit at Fleetwood, Leyland or other?

2. One final area the Club Committee would like guidance on is whether you consider the Club should express a preference on these Proposals in isolation considering the views of its own Players/Members only? Or would you consider it important that the Club considers the views of other Clubs and does not vote to support a specific Proposal if it could lead to another Lancashire League club either questioning its future in the league or actually leaving the league due increased travelling for that particular Club?

Please either e mail your views or ring 01254385094 to discuss.

Senior Cricket Training

Senior indoor cricket training will take place on Thursday nights commencing 3rd March until 31st March, 7.30pm - 9pm at St Christophers in Accrington.

Junior Cricket Training

Due to availability of the Sports Hall at Accrington Academy we have had to switch Junior Indoor Cricket training to Wednesday nights. Junior cricket training will commence on 10th Feb until 30th March from 5.45pm to 6.45pm for those junior players in School Years 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8. Outdoor junior cricket training will as usual take place on Thursday nights once the season starts.

For junior players in School Years 9, 10 & 11 practise will commence on Thursday nights commencing 3rd March 7.30pm - 9pm until Thursday 31st March at St Christophers in Accrington.

Our junior teams will take part in the Hyndburn District Indoor Cricket League. The Competitions will again take place at Hyndburn Sport Centre on Sunday afternoons and we are still awaiting the dates.

Tony Marsden - Funeral

The funeral arrangements are as follows:

Tuesday 12th January 1.30pm at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour RC Church, Pilmuir Road, Blackburn.

Burial will take place at Pleasington Cemetery and drinks/food afterwards at Knowles Arms, Pleckgate Road, Blackburn.

Tony Marsden


It is with great sadness that we report the passing away of Tony Marsden, past Chairman of the Club. During his time as Chairman, Tony was one of the hardest-working individuals you could ever meet. For many years, he seemed to spend his life at the Club and, at times, carried it single-handedly.

He was an absolute pleasure to work with, had a heart of gold and an immense sense of humour, and he will be greatly missed. He leaves behind though many happy memories as recalled in the tribute below from Jim Wilkinson.

Tony was a strong, loyal and devoted family man, friend and clubman for Church CC.

I came to join and play at Church having walked into a Headingley pub during a rained-off Roses match in 1980 and encountering a bunch of lads from Church, some of whom I vaguely knew, Tony among them.

At a time when most of my pals had gone off to Uni, I knew after an hour that these were a bunch of guys I wanted to spend more time with, the sense of fun and camaraderie was really special and Tony was always at the heart of that.

I’ve never known to this day whether Tony ever actually played cricket as a junior but just a first couple of hours in his company and you knew that he had an unmatched passion for the game and particularly his club and a generosity of spirit to warmly welcome into the close-knit fold an outsider looking for a new “family,” even a duffer who would never play above second XI level.

There will inevitably be reminiscences of innumerable hilarious incidents and adventures which he was invariably involved in, often along with his long-time compadre Phil Lee.

The two of them were almost in the class of Morecambe and Wise as a double act. It was a brave man who tried to out-quip them when they were in full flow and a very foolish one who attempted to do so while trying to match them pint for pint.

So many laughs – Tony and Malcolm Kenyon sleeping overnight in the barbecue marquee on the ground in 1981 to guard the beer and equipment, inevitably receiving an early morning visit from the rest of the boys returning from a night out: an uproarious day out watching Lancashire in a quarter final at Lords; the end-of-season “picnic” ride-outs which were worthy of a six-part TV sitcom series in themselves.

As a fellow Rovers fan, Tony was more a kindred spirit than most and while I will never forget the laughs and remember him at his jolliest, he had a deadly serious and focussed side when it came to the betterment of the club.

In truth, the Church I arrived at in 1981 was a ramshackle, down-at-heel ground with ageing teams.

Tony was a breath of young, fresh air on a similarly old-fashioned committee and I am sure his wisdom, willingness to graft and encouragement was a great help to people like Brendan McArdle, Steve Metcalf and Ian Osborne in modernising the approach and raising standards on and off the field. You would have to speak to first teamers of the day to confirm that but whatever needed doing, Tony was there to do it and encourage and cajole others into doing so.

I remember him reporting to Old Trafford at some ungodly hours on Sunday mornings to attend Pete Marron’s ground clinics.

I remember thinking he was amazingly young when he took the chairman’s position but he carried out his duties with the energy of a young man but also the gravitas and seriousness of one more advanced in years.

I recall helping Peter Hacking organise the legendary tours of 82, 83, 84 – basically the young, single lads at the club going off on holiday with a cricket game or two pencilled in, While many of the grandees on the committee were horrified at the prospect of such a motley bunch carrying on outside the county bearing the club badge, Tony gave his blessing with a stern proviso – “Go and enjoy yourselves but you two are responsible and woe betide anyone who lets the club down,” kind of thing. No one really did.

While he was a witty, funny fella with a wicked turn of phrase who would join in any fun, he could also let you know with an arching of the eyebrows and a cautionary change of expression if he thought you’d gone too far or stepped over the line.

A withering put-down from Tony would leave you crestfallen but knowing damn well you must have richly deserved it.

He could let his hair down with the best of them but he had a tough, steely hard-working ethic and determination to see the cricket club succeed a little more.

When things gradually took an upturn on the field I know how much satisfaction and pride it gave him – I think we finished fourth with Peter Taylor as pro which would mean more to Tony, Church through and through, than his beloved Rovers winning the league.

The ground we see and are so proud of now, one of the best in the league, was brought up to scratch and beyond by him and the fabulous streamed-down but far more efficient team of committee men and volunteers which emerged in those years.

I’m so glad he got to see it – and I'm told that despite his failing health you would sometimes catch Tony parked up at the WECG early of a morning – before his illness took hold and kept him housebound for so long.

I know Tony had health problems even before I met him and the last thing he deserved having overcome a great deal was to be struck down by a condition which hospitalised him on so many occasions.

For such a sociable and naturally outgoing soul it must have been hard to lose contact with many of his great pals. His wife Barbara and daughter Julie were his pride and joy and looked after him dedicatedly and only they will know how much he missed his past life during those many years. I remember how happy he’d been when I pulled a few strings with a mutual pal and got Colin Hendry to come round to the door unannounced and present a very young Julie with a signed birthday gift. He’d carried on getting to Ewood as long as he was able.

In later years, I would see an odd comment he’d put on his Facebook site encouraging the Church lads for big games.

He’d put up an odd photo of his late parents and his brothers on occasion, ever the family man marking anniversaries and such. And I was very touched that after having my own family, I’d get a Tony Marsden “like” for anything I put up to do with them. Although he couldn’t get out to see us, he was still, after all these years, looking out for his boys and keeping an eye on what we were up to.

Cricket Clubs and leagues can ill afford to lose stalwarts like Tony, there are very few coming through who will have that amount of time, knowledge and dedication, and it was cruel that he was unable to continue to contribute as he had as a younger man in his latter years.

My thoughts are with Barbara and Julie. Knowing what a tremendously loyal clubman and friend he was and the values he showed, he must have been quite some father and husband.

As we get older, raising a glass to the comrades we've lost becomes a more frequent curse. I'm sure Tony would have liked us all to raise a very full one together to him......and then maybe a couple more!

Sportsmans Dinner 2016

Please click here for details of 2016 Sportsmans Dinner.

New Professional 2016

Church Cricket Club would like to thank Usman Tariq for his significant contribution to the Club over the last two seasons. Not only has he made a major impact on the field scoring over 2,000 runs and taking over 100 wickets he also helped the Club secure its first silverware in over 40 years. Usman's attitude to the game is an inspiration to others and we wish him all the best for the 2016 season at his new Club Flixton CC.

The Club is delighted to announce that the new Professional for the 2016 season will be Zain Abbas, a 23 year old left handed opening batsman/right arm bowler.

Zain has just had an outstanding year in the Bolton League scoring 1350 runs at an average of nearly 90. He is the leading run scorer in the Bolton league and he broke the batting record at Little Lever CC, a record that had stood for 21 years. In 22 league innings Zain scored 5 centuries and 8 half centuries.

Zain will live local to the ground next season and he is looking forward to helping develop the cricket talent at the club. He will be available to coach at both junior and senior cricket practise and he will run the popular summer cricket coaching camp week in August next year.

The Club would like to thank Abid Riaz at Proelite Sports for their help.

Annual Presentation Night

Our Annual Presentation Night for both senior and junior teams will take place after the last match of the season on Sunday 13th September. The Junior Presentation will start at 7.15pm, to be followed by the Senior Presentation.

Levi Wolfenden

After making an impressive debut for Staffordshire, scoring 22 & 44 and taking 4-36, Levi Wolfenden has been selected to play in Staffordshire's next County Championship Match starting on the 21st June.

T20 Friendly Match

Church will entertain Salesbury in a T20 friendly starting at 6.15pm on Friday 22nd May.

Junior Cricket - 2015

Outdoor practice for juniors will commence on Thursday 23rd April and will take place from 6 - 7.30pm.

There will be no charge for junior practice nights and junior membership fees remain unchanged at £30 for the season (any cheques should be made payable to Church & Oswaldtwistle Cricket Club).

We will be running U9, U11, U13 and U15 teams. Our U-9 side will once again be a joint side with Oswaldtwistle Immanuel CC. Our U-15 side has been promoted to Division 2 this year and will be a joint side with Great Harwood CC. Please note the first match of the U-15 season will be played at Great Harwood but all other home games for the U-15 side will be played at Church CC.

The full set of junior fixtures is as follows:

U-9’s Fixtures 2015

Away V Clitheroe SUNDAY 26th APRIL (10am start)
Home V Rawtenstall SUNDAY 10th MAY (10am start)
Home V Darwen SUNDAY 17th MAY (10am start)
Away V Ramsbottom FRIDAY 22nd MAY (6pm start)
Home V Burnley 2 MONDAY 1st JUNE (6pm start)
Home V Longridge SUNDAY 14th JUNE (10am start)
Away V Haslingden SUNDAY 21st JUNE (10am start)
Home V Clitheroe SUNDAY 5th JULY (10am start)
Away V Rawtenstall SUNDAY 12th JULY (10am start)
Away V Burnley 2 SATURDAY 18th JULY (10am start)
Home V Ramsbottom SUNDAY 19th JULY (10 am start)
Away V Longridge SUNDAY 2nd AUGUST (10am start)
Home V Haslingden SUNDAY 16th AUGUST (10am start)
Away V Darwen FRIDAY 21st AUGUST (6pm start)

U-11’s Fixtures 2015

Home V Lowerhouse MONDAY 27th APRIL (6pm start)
Away V Clitheroe FRIDAY 8th MAY (6pm start)
Home V Burnley WEDNESDAY 20th MAY (6pm start)
Away V Bacup SUNDAY 7th JUNE (10am start)
Home V Haslingden MONDAY 15th JUNE (6pm start)
Away V Burnley SUNDAY 28th JUNE (10am start)
Away V Lowerhouse WEDNESDAY 1st JULY (6pm start)
Away V Clitheroe tba
Away V Burnley SATURDAY 18th JULY (10am start)
Home V Bacup MONDAY 20th JULY (6pm start)
Away V Haslingden THURSDAY 13th AUGUST (6pm start)
Home V Burnley MONDAY 17th AUGUST (6pm start)

U-13’s Fixtures 2015

Away V Haslingden FRIDAY 24th APRIL (6pm start)
Home V Rawtenstall WEDNESDAY 13th MAY (6pm start)
Away V Enfield FRIDAY 15th MAY (6pm start)
Home V Ribb Wanderers WEDNESDAY 27th MAY (6pm start)
Away V Nelson FRIDAY 29th MAY (6pm start)
Home V Clitheroe WEDNESDAY 24th June (6pm start)
Home V Haslingden MONDAY 29th JUNE (6pm start)
Away V Rawtenstall MONDAY 6th JULY (6pm start)
Home V Nelson WEDNESDAY 15th JULY (6pm start)
Away V Ribb Wanderers MONDAY 3rd AUGUST (6pm start)
Home V Enfield WEDNESDAY 12th AUGUST (6pm start)
Away V Clitheroe WEDNESDAY 19th AUGUST (6pm start)

U-15’s Fixtures 2015

Away V Nelson MONDAY 11th MAY (6pm start)
Home V Lowerhouse WEDNESDAY 3rd JUNE (6pm start)
Away V Salesbury WEDNESDAY 10th JUNE (6pm start)
Home V Accrington WEDNESDAY 17th JUNE (6pm start)
Away V Ribb Wanderers MONDAY 22nd JUNE (6pm start)
Away V Enfield WEDNESDAY 1st JULY (6pm start)
Home V Nelson WEDNESDAY 8th JULY (6pm start)
Away V Lowerhouse 2 TUESDAY 21st JULY (6pm start)
Home v Salesbury WEDNESDAY 29th JULY (6pm start)
Away v Accrington WEDNESDAY 12th AUGUST (6pm start)
Home v Ribb Wanderers WEDNESDAY 19th AUGUST (6pm start)

NatWest Cricket Force Event - Thursday 9th April 2015 starting at 6pm

This year the Club will be holding its NatWest Cricket Force event on the Thursday 9th April.

The event is once again being kindly sponsored by NatWest and staff from our local Branch will be joining us. Although our wonderful 'Ground Crew' have been working hard all winter, there is a still a long list of jobs which need to be done in order to get the ground ready for the season, including:

  • Benches need to be put out
  • Sightscreens to be erected
  • Nets set up
  • Cover/Ground Sheets opened out and cleaned
  • Stand needs cleaning
  • All UPVC facias and windows to be cleaned

Please come along and help.

Captains for 2015

For the 2015 season the captains of our senior teams will be:

  • 1st Team - Craig Fergusson
  • 2nd Team - Luke Gilrane
  • 3rd Team - Nick Wright

Richard Austin

Richard Arkwright Austin, a former professional at Church and Enfield has died at the age of 60.

Richard was an international cricketer from Jamaica who played two tests and a One Day International for the West Indies. Richard was professional at Church in 1978 and returned to the Lancashire League in 1982 to play for Enfield.

Pre-season Friendlies

The following pre-season friendlies have been arranged:

  • Sat 4th April v Elton Away
  • Sat 11th April v Farnworth Away
  • Sun 12th April v St Annes Away

Club Scorers Required

Church & Oswaldtwistle Cricket Club are looking for scorers for the senior teams for the 2015 season. With pre -season friendlies, league and cup matches there will be a minimum of 35 first team matches in the season, which runs from mid April until September; matches (home and away fixtures) usually take place on Saturday/Sunday afternoons although we do have some T20 matches on Friday evenings. Transport to away fixtures can be arranged if necessary. Although experience of scoring is preferred, training can be provided if necessary. Scoring would suit a person looking for a new interest and with time on their hands, any age considered. This is a great opportunity to earn extra money and become involved with this friendly & sociable Lancashire League Club. Anyone interested should contact the Club on 01254 385094.

Annual General Meeting

The AGM will be held at the Clubhouse on Thursday 19th February 2015 with a start time of 7.30pm.

Indoor Training

Junior Cricket training will start on Thursday 22nd January at Accrington Academy at 5.45pm to 6.45pm for those junior players in School Years 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7 and will take place every Thursday until the 2nd April.

For junior players in School Years 8, 9, 10 & 11, junior practise will commence on Thursday 29th January 6.45pm – 7.45pm.

Senior cricket training will commence on Thursday 26th February 6.45pm to 7.45pm until 2nd April at Accrington Academy.

Our junior teams will take part in the Hyndburn District Indoor Cricket League. The events will take place at Hyndburn Sport Centre and the dates are as follows:

  • U-15’s Sunday 1st March 2pm to 4pm
  • U-13’s Sunday 8th March 2pm to 4pm
  • U-11’s Sunday 22nd March 2pm to 4pm
  • U-9’s Sunday 29th March 2pm to 4pm

Annual Sportsmans Dinner

The Annual Sportsmans Dinner will be held on Friday 27 February 2015 at Green Haworth Golf Club. Click here for details.

Twenty20 Winners 2014

CATHERINE JOSEPHINE WARD: 25th February 1920 – 15th October 2014

On behalf of the family, Kathleen Walmsley and Judith Bury would like to thank everyone connected with Church and Oswaldtwistle Cricket Club for their support at the funeral of their mother Kitty Ward. They would also like to thank everyone for the cards, donations and words of kindness offered to them at this time of sadness.

Donations on behalf of Church and Oswaldtwistle Cricket Club and North West Air Ambulance are still being received by both Kathleen and Judith along with the Funeral Directors – Hyndburn Funeral Services. The family hope to post further information about donations received in due course.

Kitty Ward

Kiity Ward We are very sad to announce that our life member and dear friend Kitty Ward has passed away at the age of 94. Kitty, wife of our late Chairman Tom Ward, was a life long supporter of the Club and she will be fondly remembered and greatly missed by everyone at Church CC.

Junior Indoor Cricket Training

This will commence on Thursday 22nd January at Accrington Academy 5.45pm. More details will follow.

District Indoor Cricket Competition

Our Junior Teams will once again be taking part in the indoor cricket competition at Hyndburn Sports Centre and for the first time there will be a District Indoor U-9 competition.

The dates for our junior teams are as follows:

  • Under 15 Indoor Competition – Sunday 1st March 2:00pm to 5:00pm
  • Under 13 Competition – Sunday 8th March 2:00pm to 5:00pm
  • Under 11 Competition – Sunday 22nd March 2:00pm to 5:00pm
  • Under 9 Competition – Sunday 29th March 2:00pm to 5:00pm

Annual Presentation Night

Our Annual Presentation Night for both senior and junior teams will take place after the last match of the season on Sunday 14th September. The Junior Presentation will start at 7.15pm, to be followed by the Senior Presentation.

Summer Cricket Coaching Camp

Church Cricket Club will again be holding its popular Summer Cricket Coaching Camp from Monday 4th August to Thursday 7th August from 10am -3.30pm.

For further details or to book a place please contact Philip Sykes on 01254 385094 or email

Red Hot June

Click here to read about the entertainment provided by the Club during 'Red Hot June'.

Junior Training

Junior training will again take place every Thursday during the season and will start on Thursday 24th April at 6pm.

Friendly Match Cancelled

The friendly match against Radcliffe on Sunday 6 April has been cancelled.

NatWest Cricket Force Day - Saturday 12th April 2014 starting at 9am

This year the Club will be holding its NatWest Cricket Force Day on the morning of Saturday 12th April 2014.

The event is once again being kindly sponsored by NatWest and staff from our local Branch will be joining us for the day. Although our wonderful 'Ground Crew' have been working hard all winter, there is a still a long list of jobs which need to be done in order to get the ground ready for the season, including:

  • Benches need to be put out
  • Sightscreens to be erected
  • Nets set up
  • Cover/Ground Sheets opened out and cleaned
  • Re-felting of garage roof near car park
  • All UPVC facias and windows to be cleaned

We aim to start at 9am and the more helpers we have the quicker the jobs will be done! Even if you can only spare an hour or two it would really help the Club and we look forward to seeing you at some stage during the morning.


Due to work commitments, Stephen Stokes has advised the Club that he will unfortunately not be able to captain the second team for the forthcoming season. Stephen still hopes to play when he is available and the Club would like to thank him for all his efforts. Luke Gilrane will now be the captain of the second team for the 2014 season and Danny Dyson will be the Club's third team captain.

Friendly Matches

This season's friendly matches will all be away from home:

6th April v Radcliffe
12th April v Lytham
13th April v St. Annes

Make it Happen in Sierra Leone

On 22nd February husband and wife coaching team, Mark and Naomi Aspin, will head to Sierra Leone for 2 weeks to undertake charity work under the sponsorship of Manchester based Charity 'Make It Happen in Sierra Leone' where they will both coach cricket to the local community in the capital, Freetown.

Click here to read the press release.

If you have any unwanted items of cricket and sports clothing or equipment, please contact Mark Aspin to arrange collection/drop off of donations 07931 246538 or email

Indoor Nets

Senior Teams: Indoor nets for the Club's senior teams will commence at Accrington Academy on Thursday 20th February 7-8pm, and will continue every Thursday until the 3rd April.

Junior Cricket (U/9, U/11 & U/13): Indoor nets for juniors is due to start on Thursday 16th January 6-7pm at Accrington Academy and will continue every Thursday until 3rd April.

Junior Cricket (U/15): Indoor nets for our U/15 players will commence on Thursday 6th February 6-7pm at Accrington Academy and will continue every Thursday until 3rd April.

District Indoor Cricket Competition

The Hyndburn Indoor Cricket Competition (6 a side) will be held at Hyndburn Sports Centre. The schedule of matches is as follows:

U/11's competition is on Sunday 2nd March 2014 (start 2pm with the Church team in Group A with matches against Enfield & Rishton).

U/13's competition is on Sunday 16th March 2014(start 2pm in Group A with the Church team in Group B with matches against Gt Harwood & Rishton).

U/15's competition is on Sunday 23rd March. Two teams from Church will be taking part with the Church U/14's side in Group A playing matches against Enfield and Rishton and the Church U/15's team in Group B with matches against Accrington and Gt Harwood).

For all the competitions there will be a final to decide the competition winners with the Group A winners playing the Group B winners. There will also be a 3rd/4th place play off between the Group runners up.

Paul Lowe

It is with sadness that the Club must inform members of the death of a former player, Paul Lowe who played at the club from 1972-1979.

The family wish to invite those that knew him and played cricket with him to attend the funeral at Hillside Methodist Church, Brinscall at 12.30pm on Tuesday 3rd December and to Pleasington Crematorium at 1.30pm. The family also offer an invitation to come along to Brinscall Cricket Club after the funeral.

Sportsmans Dinner 2014

Click here for details of the Annual Sportsmans Dinner to be held on Friday 28 February 2014.

Professional for 2014

Church CC are pleased to announce that the Professional for 2014 season will be Usman Tariq. This follows the move of Ashar Zaidi to Sussex County Cricket Club on a two year contract.

A left-hand top order batsman and right-arm off spin bowler Usman Tariq has excelled in his native Pakistan since his List-A debut at just 13 years of age. Usman, now 29, has scored over 10,000 runs in 1st class and List A matches including 3 double hundreds, 17 hundreds and 62 fifties. In 1st class matches Usman has also taken 78 wickets at an average of 30 runs per wicket Usman, a former Pakistani Under-19 player, has an impressive record and is an experienced and established league Professional. In the last 8 seasons as Professional for Greenmount, Radcliffe and Walkden he has scored 9489 league runs at an average of over 56 and taken 310 wickets at an average of 18 runs per wicket. In those 8 seasons Usman has scored over 1,000 league runs on 6 occasions with seasons highest of 1639 runs for Greenmount in 2006 and 1476 runs at Walkden in 2010.

During this period Usman has also played County 2nd XI matches for Lancashire, Surrey and Sussex, where he scored a century in the last match he played for the County.

Club secretary Andrew Bentley said "We are delighted to have signed a player with such a pedigree in both 1st class and league cricket and look forward to welcoming him to the Club. Everyone at Church would like to wish Ashar all the best for his time with Sussex CCC and also thank Sussex for the way they have handled the matter, in not only keeping the Club fully informed throughout, but also for their donation to the club which will be used to develop junior players at the Club. Lastly I would also like to thank Steve Hirst at CricX, the Cricket Exchange Agency, for his help in this matter".

2014 Captains

There will be no changes in the captains at Church for the 3 senior teams with Craig Fergusson captaining the 1st team, Stephen Stokes the 2nd's and Luke Gilrane the 3rd's.

Our LCB Cup 1st Round home match against Accrington has been arranged for Friday April 18th.

Presentation Night and Prizewinners

Church had the Senior and Junior Presentation Night following the last game of the season on Sunday. Andy Aspin was the "Guest of Honour" for the evening presenting the prizes to the award winners. Andy emigrated to Australia several years ago but returned to England for a holiday to watch his sons play for Church for the closing matches of the season and in the picture Andy is joined by team mates from his playing days at Church.

Click here to view the list of prizewinners.

Annual Presentation Night

Our Annual Presentation Night for our senior and junior teams will take place after the last match of the season on Sunday 8th September. The Junior Presentation will start at 7.30pm and the Senior Presentation will commence at 9pm.

New Professional for 2014 Season

Church have agreed terms for the 2014 season with Ashar Zaidi. Church Captain Craig Fergusson said: "The Club is delighted to have secured the services of Ashar Zaidi for next season. Ashar has consistently been one of the top performing Professionals in the League over the last three years and he has had a remarkable season, helping Accrington secure their Championship success and currently being both the leading run scorer and wicket taker in the Lancashire League".

Summer Cricket Coaching Camp

Church Cricket Club will again be holding its popular Summer Cricket Coaching Camp from Monday 5th August to Thursday 8th August from 10am -3.30pm. Coaches involved will all be ECB qualified coaches and the Church cricket professional will oversee all coaching on each day of the Coaching Camp.

For further details or to book a place please contact Philip Sykes on 01254 385094 or

Donation of two new benches


Mrs Susan Crook has kindly presented Church Cricket Club with two benches in memory of her late husband Jimmy Crook. Susan is pictured during the Club's recent home game against Rishton with friends and members of the Church 'Barmy Army'.

Lancashire Cricket Board Cup Competition

Our 1st Round match at Farnworth Social Circle will take place on the Bank Holiday Monday, 6th May with a 1pm start.

NatWest Cricket Force Day - Saturday 6th April

Saturday 6th April is the Club's Cricket Force Day which once again is kindly being sponsored by NatWest.

There is a long list of jobs still to be done to get the ground ready for the season so any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

The Tractor Boys will be down at the ground for 9am, tractors at the ready!

Please spread the word and we look forward to seeing you at some stage on the day.

Junior practice and fixtures

Our outdoor practice night for juniors will be on Thursday nights and will commence on 11th April at 6pm. The 2013 Junior Fixtures can now be viewed online on this website via the "Information - Junior Fixtures" navigation button.

Sportsmans Dinner - a great success

Sportsmans Dinner 2013Former England cricketer Paul Nixon was the main speaker at Church Cricket Club's Annual Sportsmans Dinner. The event took place at Green Haworth Golf Club and during the evening Paul Nixon spoke of the cricket match fixing scandal that has been such a controversy in recent years. Comedian Jamie Sutherland entertained guests with Tony Alveston as Master of Ceremonies.

Alan Gilrane said "I would like to thank everyone who attended and in particular our sponsors and Tony Alveston for all his efforts."

Accrington v Church 1902 Film Clip on YouTube

Members may be interested in this five minute film clip of the derby game between Accrington and Church in 1902.

Can anyone spot Jack Houldsworth? Click here.

New Club Teamwear Launched

Following this week's successful launch event, our new Club shop is now available online and the complete range of Club team and leisure wear can be purchased direct, all year round. Click here.

Pre-season friendlies - update

The Club has arranged pre-season friendly matches as follows:

  • Away at Salesbury on Sun 7th April
  • Away at Netherfield on Sat 13th April
  • Away at Furness on Sun 14th April

New kit and sponsor - launch night

We are delighted to announce that we will be holding a launch night at the Clubhouse at 7pm on Tuesday 19th February to unveil our new Club kit, and kit sponsor, for 2013.

Representatives from the kit suppliers will be joining us on the night and samples of the kit will be available for players and members to try on and then order.

On the evening we will also be launching a new online Club Shop which will enable players, members and supporters to purchase customised team kit and leisure wear direct from the suppliers all year round. The range of leisure wear will include polo shirts, tracksuits, hoodies, jackets and caps.

The event should be of interest to all our members and we look forward to seeing you all on the evening.

Pre-season friendlies

The Club has arranged pre-season friendly matches as follows:

  • Away at Salesbury on Sun 7th April
  • Away at Netherfield on Sat 13th April

John Hesmondhalgh

John H We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our long time supporter and friend, John Hesmondhalgh. John, who passed away peacefully earlier today, will be remembered with great affection and will be sorely missed by his many friends at the Club.

John's funeral will take place at 1.30pm on Monday 28th January 2013 at Ernest Street Baptist Chapel, Walmsley Close, Church, Accrington BB5 6HP followed by cremation at Accrington Crematorium. Family flowers only please but donations, if so desired, to Parkinson's UK North West in memory of John will be gratefully received.

John's family would love his many friends to join them at Church Cricket Club from 3pm onwards to share happy memories and to celebrate John's life.

Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting will be held in the Clubhouse on Thursday 7th February at 7.30pm.

Roden Andrews

Roden It is with great sadness that the Club must inform members of the death of our long standing supporter and Life Member, Roden Andrews. Roden, who supported the Club for over 60 years and served on the Committee, will be fondly remembered and greatly missed by all his friends at the West End Cricket Ground.

Update on Sportsmans Dinner

The main speaker, David Fulton, is now unavailable and has been replaced by ex Leicestershire & England wicketkeeper Paul Nixon.

Indoor Training

Indoor practise for Church CC will take place at Accrington Academy on Sundays from 17th February for a 6 week period up to and including 24th March, with juniors practising 12pm - 1pm and seniors 1pm - 2pm.

In addition the juniors will again be taking part in the Hyndburn District Indoor Cricket Competition and the dates are as follows: U-15 3rd February, U-13 17th March, U-11 24th March.

Accrington & Rossendale College/Church Cricket Club

Accrington and Rossendale CollegeAccrington & Rossendale College students have teamed up with Church Cricket Club to redecorate the Clubhouse.

The project involved the repainting of the interior of the Clubhouse at Church & Oswaldtwistle Cricket Club. Dulux have kindly sponsored all materials for this project through their "Colouring the Community" scheme.

All the work has been carried out on a voluntary basis by the students of the Painting & Decorating Department at Accrington & Rossendale College. In total over 20 students, who are on the second year of their course, have been involved in the project and have worked under the supervision of their course tutors. The project will not only benefit the Club and the local community in improving the standard of decor in a widely used facility but it will also be of huge benefit to the college students who have volunteered to undertake the work. Many of the students have never had an opportunity to use the skills they have learned on their College course on a real job "offsite" and this has provided the opportunity for them to do so.

Simon Whitaker the course tutor at Accrington & Rossendale College said, "It has been a great opportunity for the students to get some hands-on experience. This project has helped the students develop and practice the skills they have learned in the classroom. In total we have been able to involve over 20 students in this project and they have all benefited from this."

Andrew Bentley, the Club Secretary said, "The Club would like to thank all the help it has received from Accrington & Rossendale College. They have done a fantastic job and have finished all the redecorating works to a great standard. In total over 20 students have been involved in this project over a two week period and this gives some idea to the amount of work involved. Everyone at the Club really appreciates all the students' efforts. In addition, the Club would also like to thank Dulux for kindly sponsoring all the materials used in this project and the local Dulux centre in Blackburn for providing their support."

Annual Sportsmans Dinner

Church CC will be holding their 30th Annual Sportsmans Dinner on Friday 22nd February 2013 at Green Haworth Golf Club in Accrington.

This year, former Kent cricketer and Sky Sports reporter, David Fulton, and brilliant comedian, Jamie Sutherland, will be the guest speakers.

Tickets are £30 each and, if you wish to come along to this popular event, please contact Alan Gilrane on 07973 439557 or email

New professional

Kasun Bodhisha Church Cricket Club are delighted to announce the signing of Kasun Bodhisha as their professional for the 2013 season. Kasun, an opening left handed batsman and slow left arm bowler, is the second Sri Lankan cricketer to sign for Church, following in the footsteps of Ruvin Pieris who was at the Club between 2004 and 2007. Kasun has played 53 first class matches and scored over 4,000 runs and also has 5 years experience playing in English cricket leagues. During the last two seasons at Hartlepool Cricket Club, Kasun scored 2169 runs and took 104 wickets.

Andrew Bentley said, "We are delighted to sign such an experienced and talented cricketer and we look forward to welcoming him to Church Cricket Club. The Club would like to thank Rob Ashwell from Ashwell Cricket Exchange for all his help in arranging this."

Assistance required - Saturday 15th September

All help would be greatly appreciated on Saturday September 15th from 9am onwards to prepare the ground for the close season.

Annual Presentation Night

Our Annual Presentation Night for our senior and junior teams will take place after the last match of the season on Sunday 9th September. The start time will be 7.30pm and food will be available.

Fosters Worsley Cup Final - Volunteers Required

The club aims to start preparing and getting the ground ready for Sunday's Worsley Cup final on Saturday morning. If you can spare any time please come along and help. People will start arriving and commence our preparations on Saturday from 8am onwards as we need to start early as the first team are at home later in the day.

Fosters Worsley Cup Final - Matchday Information

The Fosters Worsley Cup Final v Lowerhouse will take place on Sunday 12th August commencing at 12.30pm.

The club will be providing extra bar facilities, refreshment and BBQ. Normal tearoom service will be available but no pre-order service. Please note that ground car parking will be limited.

Lagers, beers and wine will be available at competitive prices to complement our usual club bar facilties.


We hope that this informnation will help us to provide an enjoyable day for all supporters. Your help and support will be much appreciated.

Worsley Cup Final - Sponsorship Packages

Church beat Accrington in a high scoring semi-final and will host Lowerhouse in the final on Sunday August 12th.

Various sponsorship packages are available. Click here for further details.

Worsley Cup Semi Final

Church have been drawn away at Accrington in the semi final of the Worsley Cup which will be played on Saturday 30th June.

The winners of this tie will host the final on Sunday August 12th.

Twenty20 Semi Final - Friday 29th June - 6pm

Church will host Haslingden in the Lancashire League Twenty20 competition on Friday after winning the Group stage.

Summer Cricket Coaching Camp

Church Cricket Club will again be holding its popular Summer Cricket Coaching Camp from Monday 23rd July to 26th July - 10am -3.30pm. Coaches involved will all be ECB qualified coaches and the Church cricket professional will oversee all coaching on each day of the Summer Camp.

For further details or to book a place please contact Philip Sykes on 01254 385094 or 0750 1250736.

Twenty20 Friendly - Church v Great Harwood

Church entertain Great Harwood in a T20 friendly match this Friday 25th May at the West End Cricket Ground. The match will be free admission and will commence at 6.15. Bar open until late.

Refurbishment of scorebox

Church & Oswaldtwistle Cricket Club officially unveiled its refurbished scorebox complete with new electronic fascia before the derby match with Accrington on Monday. The scorebox was opened by Geoff Briggs, a lifelong member and ex player of the club, who kindly made a generous donation which allowed the works to be completed. The Club is also grateful to Senator plc for donating stools and materials and HML Recycling for their help.


Click here for larger photos.

Friendly cancelled

The friendly v Leyland on Sunday 8th April has been cancelled.

NatWest Cricket Force Day - Saturday 31st March 2012

This year the Club will be holding its NatWest Cricket Force Day on Saturday 31st March 2012.

The event is once again being kindly sponsored by NatWest and staff from our local Branch will be joining us for the day. Although our wonderful 'Ground Crew' have been working hard all winter, there is a still a long list of jobs which need to be done in order to get the ground ready for the season, including:

  • Benches need to be put out
  • Sightscreens to be erected
  • Nets set up
  • Cover/Ground Sheets opened out and cleaned
  • Re-felting of garage roof near car park
  • All UPVC facias and windows to be cleaned
  • Finish off painting

We aim to start at 9am and the more helpers we have the quicker the jobs will be done! Even if you can only spare an hour or two it would really help the Club and we look forward to seeing you at some stage on the day.

Senior training

A reminder that senior training begins this Sunday (19 Feb) 1-2pm at Accrington Academy.

Fitness training in preparation for this has been led by Russ Bury at Tempest Training on Friday evenings 6.30-7.30pm. This will continue right up until the start of the season. Any players aged 15 and above are encouraged to attend. For more info, contact Andy Bentley on 07846 106343.

Pre-season friendly matches

Two pre-season friendly matches have been arranged:

  • Lytham away on Saturday April 7th
  • Leyland away on Sunday April 8th
  • Woodbank away on Saturday April 14th

Levi Wolfenden will captain the side for the friendlies as Craig Fergusson is away on holiday.

First appearance in the Lancashire Knockout Cup

Church's first appearance in the Lancashire Knockout Cup Competition will be on Saturday 21st April at Westhoughton. The winners of this tie will have a home fixture in the second round.

Christmas Cheer starts here with our Festive Get Together - Sunday 11th December!

By way of a thank you to all our members and supporters, for one day only, we will be selling cheap beer and there will be free mince pies for as long as they last! Also free soft drinks for our junior players. Its an opportunity to come and catch up with friends!

The club will open at 12.30pm and football will be on our big screen for the afternoon starting with Sunderland v Blackburn Rovers at 1.30pm.

Sportsman's Dinner

The 2012 Sportsman’s Dinner, organised by Alan Gilrane, will take place on Friday 24th February 2012 at Green Haworth Golf Club, tickets £30. The guest speaker is Matthew Hoggard MBE and entertainment will, once again, be provided by comedian Josh Daniels. If you would like to help in any way or simply want to join us on the night please contact Alan on 07973439557.

Senior Cricket Training

Senior training has now been arranged and will commence on 19th February 1pm – 2pm at Accrington Academy and will run for 6 weeks.

Junior Cricket Training

Indoor junior training will start on 22nd January at Accrington Academy at 1pm and will run for a 10 week period to 25th March. For the 1st four weeks the junior training sessions will be 1pm – 2pm and for the next 6 sessions starting from 19th February the sessions will run from 2pm – 3pm.


The AGM will be held at the Clubhouse on Thursday 23rd February 2012 with a start time of 8pm.

Lancashire Knock Out Cup

Following a successful 2011 season, the Club will, for the first time, take part in the Lancashire Knock Out Cup. Our opponents in the first round are Westhoughton Cricket Club and the fixture will be played at their new ground which boasts a £1million clubhouse! Westhoughton have recently benefited from huge investment following the sale of their former ground to Sainsburys and the facilities are such that they now host Lancashire County Cricket Club second team matches. The date of the fixture is yet to be arranged but keep watching our website for further details.

Worsley Cup Draw

The Club has got a bye in the Worsley Cup first round draw for 2012.

Captains for 2012 season

Captains have been appointed for the 2012 season and are as follows:

1st team - Craig Fergusson
2nd team - Joel Gaskill
3rd team - Danny Dyson

Church's Annual Presentation evening for Senior and Junior players will be held in the Clubhouse at 8pm on Friday 28th October.

Saeed Anwar to return for 2012 season

Church have re-signed Saeed Anwar as professional for the 2012 season. Saeed has played a big part in the team's success on the field in 2011, with the team not only reaching the Worsley Cup Final but also looking set to achieve its highest league position since 2002.

The Cricket Chairman, Stephen George, announced that he is delighted that the club has secured the services of Saeed Anwar for next season. Saeed is an excellent professional and one of the top performers with both bat and ball in the league this season.

Saeed has also played a big part in off-the-field activities, coaching at the club and in local primary schools. This has played a part in boosting the number of junior members at the club in conjunction with the considerable amount of time and effort our other coaches have devoted to this.

£1,000 Draw

The Church CC Lottery £1,000 draw will take place on Sunday 11th September at 8.30pm following the final game of the season.

Worsley Cup Final fever

Its been 37 years since our club had the privilege of hosting this annual showcase event and excitement is building nicely with just over 2 weeks to go until the big day. Preparations within the club are progressing well for an event that is likely to see the biggest spectator attendance on the ground in the club's recent history.

Sponsorship and hospitality packages are still available for any organisation looking to support the club and use this fantastic event to get some publicity for their business. Please see website landing page or for more information and we will endeavour to accommodate your requirements.

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday 7th August for what promises to be an exciting and memorable event.

  • 12.30pm Start time
  • £4 Adults
  • £2 Concessions
  • Additional bar and food facilities will be available on the day.

Woodcock return for cup semi-final

Ex Church Professional Luke Woodcock will make a sensational return to his former club for the Worsley Cup semi-final, but this time on the opposing side. Woodcock who was club professional at Church throughout seasons 2009 & 2010 is now professional at Nelson Cricket Club, the club whom we have drawn a home semi-final tie. Woodcock returned to the Lancashire League following a productive winter featuring in the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup for New Zealand.

Church progressed following a nail bitting climax to the quarter final against Haslingden at Bent Gate. A 1 wicket victory with 4 balls to spare kept everybody on the edge of their seats before Adam Greenwood crashed the decisive boundary through extra cover to evoke jubilant scenes from the travelling supporters.

Worsley Cup Semi-Final

Church CC v Nelson CC - Sunday 3rd July, 1pm start.

Big turnout for opening game

Large crowd Large crowd

Last Sunday marked the start of the 119th Lancashire League season. Church played host to last year's double winners Ramsbottom and, despite a disappointing result, the WECG saw a big spectator presence enjoying the early season sunshine.

Church will be hoping to make amends in this weekend's crucial double header, at home on Saturday to Colne and away on Sunday to Enfield.

Season Preview

The live scoreboard will be in operation for the opening game of the season against Ramsbottom at the WECG on Sunday. This feature provides users with an authentic scoreboard and a detailed scorecard plus other visual information including run rate, worm, manhattan and partnerships.

The 1st XI have prepared well and are feeling confident ahead of the opening match against Ramsbottom. The team have enjoyed a successful pre-season campaign with victories against Leyland, Cherry Tree and Stand with the majority of players making the most of their opportunities. The final friendly match on Saturday away to local rivals Accrington provides players a final opportunity to impress new skipper Craig Fergusson ahead of the season opener on Sunday.

Win, lose or draw - celebrate the opening of the new season on Sunday evening in the club after the match. It's an ideal opportunity to have one too many sherbets until the early hours with no work Monday morning!

Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to welcome our new professional Saeed Anwar Jnr to the club and wish him all the very best throughout his time at the club.


Please support Church & Oswaldtwistle Cricket Club and join in this free to enter competition which has great prizes on offer. The prizes include:

  • 2 Club teams to play each other at Trent Bridge Cricket Ground
  • Mobile net cage
  • A visit by Michael Vaughan
  • Flat Sheet cover
  • £1,000 of Club equipment
  • 20 tickets to England v India ODI
  • Signed Merchandise

NatWest has been a supporter of cricket for over 30 years at all levels. To show their appreciation for cricket volunteers who have helped at NatWest CricketForce they have teamed up with TwelfthMan (the Official Fan Community of England Cricket) to provide our club with the opportunity to win some of these great prizes.


To enter, simply register online at

Once you have entered please spread the word among all your friends/relatives/neighbours - the more entries we have the more chance we have of winning the prizes!

NatWest Cricket Force Day - Saturday 9th April

Saturday 9th April is the Club's Cricket Force Day, which once again is kindly being sponsored by NatWest.

There is a long list of jobs still to be done to get the ground ready for the season so any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

The Tractor Boys will be down at the ground for 9am, tractors at the ready!

Please spread the word and we look forward to seeing you at some stage on Saturday!

Graham Thorpe - guest speaker at Church Sportsmans Dinner


Graham Thorpe was guest of honour at the 28th Annual Church Cricket Club Sportsmans Dinner on Friday evening. He entertained a packed room of guests at Green Haworth Golf Club with great stories of touring with England, memorable Ashes encounters and many of the great characters he has met throughout his illustrious 17 year career as a professional cricketer with Surrey & England. Guests were also entertained by the brilliant comedian Gary Marshall in what was a highly successful evening for the club.

A big thank you to all the sponsors who kindly supported this event.

Indoor Nets

Our indoor winter nets for both Seniors and Juniors start on Sunday 20th February for a period of 6 weeks. Senior training will commence at 1pm - please contact first Xl captain Craig Fergusson on 07763 292680 if you require any further information. Junior training will be 2pm until 3pm - please contact Graham Gaskill on 07762 490090 if you require any further information.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to you all. We do hope you all had a wonderful festive season! For those that attended our New Years Eve fancy dress party, it proved yet again to be a great night as we partied into the early hours of 2011 with an array of fantastic costumes! Photographs can be viewed on the club's Facebook fan page.

We would like to wish you all the very best for 2011 and look forward to seeing you prior to a long hot summer!

Cricket Club update

Church’s Senior and Junior Presentation Night was held at the club on Friday night. The event, which was well attended, also celebrated the club’s achievements in 2010, including the 1st XI being finalists in the Twenty20 Cup competition and the 2nd XI winning both the League and Cup competitions. In addition, two personal milestones were achieved with Ammer Mirza breaking the amateur batting record and Sam Tucker breaking the all time club record for wicket keeping victims.

Click here for a full list of all the prize winners.

There will be some changes on the field for the 2011 season with Craig Fergusson taking over as first team captain from Andrew Bentley. Andrew and his partner are expecting their first child in the spring of next year and together with the fact that Andrew will also be studying for exams next summer, Andrew felt he would be unable to give the same amount of commitment to the role as he has done in the last 12 months. The club would like to thank Andrew for all his efforts both on and off the field.

After an outstanding season as leading run scorer in the league, Ammer Mirza has also been offered an engagement in the Bradford League in 2011 and will play at Undercliffe. Ammer is currently in Australia playing cricket and the club wish him every success.

Club presentation evening

The presentation evening will take place next Friday 29th October from 8pm. All players, families and supporters are welcome to attend to celebrate the club's achievements on the field this year. A short quiz will take place on completion of the presentations which is free to enter.

New professional at Church

Church Cricket Club is delighted to announce the signing of Saeed Anwar as professional for the 2011 season.

The 31 year old Pakistan cricketer has been a most consistent all round performer over a number of years in both the Lancashire and Central Lancashire Cricket Leagues and brings a wealth of experience to the Club.

Apart from 2009, Saeed has played local league cricket since 2002 and during that time he has amassed 7994 league runs and 470 league wickets. As professional at Rishton Cricket Club in 2007 and 2008, he made a total of 2933 runs and 156 wickets in just two seasons.

Club captain Andrew Bentley said "Saeed has been one of the most consistent all round performers in local league cricket for a number of years and we are looking forward to welcoming him to Church for the 2011 season. We feel Saeed will make a big impact both on and off the field and that with him as professional Church will, hopefully, be in a position to challenge for honours. He has also asked to be involved at all levels of junior coaching and is especially keen to assist our youth players in making the transition into the senior teams. Saeed recognises the talent at the Club and is confident that with his contribution and input Church will improve on this years’ fifth position in the league.

As the Club looks forward to welcoming Saeed to Church next year it would also like to recognise and thank the outgoing professional Luke Woodcock for his contribution to the Club over the last two seasons".

Quiz Night - Friday 1st October

A Quiz Night hosted by our very own quizmaster Graham Gaskill will take place in the club on Friday 1st October from 8PM. 5 people max per team, £2 per person to enter. Supper available.

Club lottery - £1,000 draw

The final draw for the 2010 club lottery will take place in the clubhouse after the final game of the season on Sunday 12 September at 8.30pm. The prize is £1000.

Church 2nd XI complete unprecedented double

2010 will go down as a memorable year in the colourful history of Church Cricket Club following a hugely successful season for our 2nd Xl. Joel Gaskill's men have delivered much needed silverware into the West End Trophy Cabinet after securing the league championship on Sunday over East Lancs. Another solid batting display early in the day yielded in excess of 250 runs and laid the platform for yet another comprehensive victory. Church stalwart and league representative Jack Houldsworth had the pleasure of presenting Gaskill with the trophy on home soil on conclusion of the match. The Championship Trophy will sit proudly next to Lancashire Telegraph Cup which was won earlier in the season following victory over Bacup in the final.

2nd XI out to make history on Sunday

Church 2nd XI go into this weekend knowing that a win will secure the 2nd XI League Championship for the first time since 1991. Joel Gaskill's men are currently 16 points clear of second place Nelson with two games to play and will be looking to avoid any final day drama by securing victory at home to East Lancs on Sunday.

As an added incentive, this season's 2nd XI could enter the record books as the first ever senior Church side to complete the league and cup double following victory over Bacup in the Lancashire Telegraph Cup final earlier in the season.

Please get down and support the team on Sunday - Start time 12.45pm

Graham Thorpe signs for Church for one night only!

England Cricket legend Graham Thorpe has been announced as the speaker for the 2011 Sportsmans Dinner on 18th February at Green Howarth Golf Club. Highly rated comedian Josh Daniels will also feature as part of the evening's entertainment. For more information or sponsorship and ticket reservations please contact Alan Gilrane on 07973 439557.

Woodcock back and raring to go

Church professional Luke Woodcock is back from his exploits with the New Zealand emerging squad in Brisbane in time for the remaining 4 games of the season. Woody will join up with his team mates again prior to a vital double header weekend as Church bid to secure their highest league position in 6 years. Currently sitting in 4th place, 8 points behind East Lancs in 3rd, the club have a rather difficult run in with the top 3 clubs yet to play after a tricky home tie against local rivals Accrington.

Cricket feast at West End

There is a rare cricketing feast of action coming up at West End with three matches over the weekend. On Friday night it's free admission when we entertain Oswaldtwistle Immanuel in our annual 20:20 challenge match. There is a Cup Final on Saturday with the Lancashire Telegraph trophy at stake. Our second team entertains Bacup, looking to lift a trophy that we have only won on one previous occasion. This match will start at 12.30pm. Bacup have already booked a bus service to transport their supporters to our ground so please come along, we need your support to make this feel like a home game! Finally, on Sunday our first team are in action when we entertain Bacup.

Gary Brent to be substitute professional for the weekend's fixtures

Former Zimbabwe international Gary Brent will fill the vacant professional role for Church at the weekend. The former Enfield paid man will lead the quest to continue good league form at home to Rishton on Saturday and away to Nelson on Sunday. Brent takes over from Settle professional Harry Boam whose solid all round performance as sub pro helped the club to victory over Enfield last weekend.

Lancashire Girls come to Church

Lancashire Girls Under 17s play Cumbria Girls Under 17s in a 45 overs a side game at Church on Thursday 29th July starting at 11.30am. The teams played each other two weeks ago at Haverigg CC and the Lancashire Girls won a close game by 5 runs. Since the opening game of the season when they lost to Yorkshire, the girls have been unbeaten.

Church to host first cup final since 1974

The Twenty20 Final between Church and Ramsbottom will be played at the West End Cricket Ground next Friday 9th July following victory in the semi-final last Friday against Edenfield. Church will be looking to emulate the success of the 1974 Worsley Cup winning side who defeated a Nelson team featuring West Indian test player Collis King and were incidentally the last senior Church team to benefit from home advantage in a cup final.

The last time the two teams met in a cup final was in 2002, when the Worsley Cup Final was contested at Acre Bottom and featured high profile Australian professionals Michael Clarke and Mark Higgs. Church will be looking to avenge the 2002 defeat by continuing the good form which has so far produced 5 wins out of 5 in this season's Twenty20 campaign.

Please find below links to the aforementioned cup final scorecards:

Worsley Cup Final 1974 – Church vs Nelson

Worsley Cup Final 2002 – Church vs Ramsbottom

An exciting evening is in prospect as the match yet again lives up to the Lancashire League legacy of featuring high profile professionals, our very own Luke Woodcock from Wellington and the Ramsbottom professional Francis Du Plessis. The club looks forward to welcoming the players, officials and supporters of Ramsbottom Cricket Club on the evening.

Church CC now on Twitter

Twitter is a social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read other user messages called tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author's profile page. Follow Church CC on Twitter for regular tweets on a diverse range of topics and links to other cricket related information the club finds interesting.

Official Church Cricket Club twitter page:

Church to host Twenty20 semi-final for second consecutive year!

Another solid performance from the boys last Friday night completed our group campaign with a fourth successive victory and thus progression to the semi-final stages as group leaders.

Friday night will see the club look to avenge last year's narrow semi-final defeat to Burnley as they take on Edenfield at the West End Cricket Ground.

Another big night in prospect as the Friday night Twenty20 party atmosphere embraces the club yet again. Selected drinks offers available, World Cup quarter final action on in the bar, music outside until late and hopefully more good weather will deliver a night not to be missed.

Church launches player numbers and competition

International teams now allocate unique numbers to players on debut. Not to be outdone, the club has now allocated unique player numbers to all past and present First XI players. Full details of this can be found in the special brochure located at brochure.pdf.

To view or download the player list, go to

The club has also made available a link between each Church Player and the England player with the equivalent number. This can be accessed at

Finally, the club announces a competition called 'The Church v England challenge'. We have selected the test cricketers who have played for Church, and paired them with the England player who shares their number. You are invited to select the better player in each case. To enter the competition, either download the special brochure and print and complete the entry form and hand in at the club bar, or enter online at The competition is just for fun!

Big night in store as Church bids for consecutive Twenty20 semi-finals

Friday night will see a potentially defining moment in Church’s season as they take on Enfield in their final group match at the WECG. Church currently sit top of the group with maximum points from 3 games with destiny firmly in their own hands as they look to secure their place in the T20 semi-final for the second year running.

Defeat for Church and victory for Accrington over Rishton on Friday would more than likely see the club pipped to the post on run rate. Church will look to re-produce the same form they have shown in their opening 3 games but this time without their inspirational leader Andrew Bentley who will be absent for the evening.

Take advantage of the evening sunshine and carnival atmosphere with plenty of drinks offers and food available with the World Cup also being shown in the bar.

Launch of new scoreboard feature

Church has launched a live scoreboard feature on their website which will allow users to view an authentic live scoreboard as well as a detailed scorecard, ball by ball information and other interesting features such as run rate, manhattan, partnerships and worm. The club also intends to add individual batting wagon wheel information in phase two.

Church hopes to have this feature available for all Lancashire League and Worsley cup fixtures going forward starting with their re-arranged home fixture to Todmorden on Saturday.

This feature is a welcome addition to the website following recent completion of the club's entire statistical archive which is also available online.

Cancellation of training - Thursday 17 June

Next Thursday's training is cancelled owing to the Twenty20 at Accrington being played on Thursday evening rather than Friday evening as England are playing in the World Cup against Algeria. The bar is open, drinks deals available!!!

Launch of junior newsletter

The club produces regular newsletters specifically for juniors containing latest news, fixtures, match reports etc. To download the latest newsletters, select from the list below:

 Junior Newsletter - April 2010
 Junior Newsletter - May 2010

Church coach assists county girls

Newly qualified Level 2 coach Naomi Aspin will continue her rapid development this week as she watches over the Lancashire Girls Under 11's in their first fixture at Rainhill Cricket Club on Merseyside. Naomi, known to some within the club as "Coach", worked tirelessly during the winter to prepare the clubs U11's and U13's for the new season, and completed her Level 2 ECB qualification at QEGS in April along with U15's coach Graham Gaskill and current 1st XI opener Ammer Mirza. No doubt the experience gained throughout the summer with Lancs will be passed on to the club's junior and senior players as all teams look to make progress.

The club are looking for new boys and girls to represent their U11's, U13's and U15's teams and any players interested in joining can come down on Thursday evening from 6-8pm. Contact or call Graham on 07762 490 090.

Luke arrives fit and raring to go

Professional Luke Woodcock arrived in Oswaldtwistle last night after another interesting journey saw him spend an unexpected 5 days in Los Angeles en route to the UK. There wasn't a Visa problem in sight, just the small matter of an erupting volcano which delayed Luke's arrival but having been provided with accommodation and food by New Zealand Air his brief stay in the USA wasn't all bad. Luke arrives on the back of a hectic but successful season in which he broke the Wellington first class batting record and after 3 weeks off, can't wait to get started.

The senior squad play a 40 over practice match at West End on Saturday (stumps pitched 1pm) with full bar and tearoom facilities available. Woodcock will not be playing but will instead undertake sub pro duties for Great Harwood at Edenfield in the Ribblesdale league. With the 1st XI travelling to Bacup on Sunday, and with 3 wins out of 3 in pre-season friendlies, the boys have reason to be optimistic and will be hoping for a successful weekend to kick of the new season.

Natwest Cricket Force Day a success

Our team of volunteers consisting of senior and junior players, club coaches, members and friends of the club were able to build on all the hard work and preparation our team of volunteer ground staff have put in throughout the winter months by assisting with some of the difficult pre-season preparation work. Jobs undertaken included erection of practice nets and sight screens, distribution of spectator benches and seating around the perimeter of the ground, erection of advertising boards, and cleaning of tea room to name a few.

We thank Natwest for its continued support and look forward to seeing you throughout a long, hot summer at the Church Cricket Club.

Natwest Cricket Force Day

Record breaker Luke falls just short of 1,000

Church Professional Luke Woodock fell just short in his attempt to become only the sixth player in history to score 1000 runs in a New Zealand first class season. Needing 85 runs in the final first class match, Woody notched 71 not out in the first innings but sadly fell for 2 in the second as Wellington pushed for quick runs.

Woodcock scored 988 runs in his 20 first class innings this season at an average of 65.86. This included 1 century and 7 fifties with a top score of 220*. In the process he passed the mark of 888 set by Robert Vance in 1988/89 to become Wellington Cricket all-time single season highest first-class run scorer. He also became the first Wellington player ever to pass 900 runs in a first class season.

All at Church would like to congratulate him on his tremendous effort and look forward having Woody in Oswaldtwistle for the start of the Lancashire League season.

Church play at Atherton in a pre-season friendly on the 10th April, and at Radcliffe the following day. They then entertain Enfield on the 18th April before a mixed 1st XI / 2nd XI match rounds off the pre-season on the 24th April. The first league game is Bacup (A) on the 25th.

New faces at Church this season include Ammer Mirza, the former Blackburn Northern and current Lancashire U19's opening batsmen, Craig Fergusson who we are delighted to welcome back from Enfield, batsman Phil Howard from Oswaldtwistle Immanuel and all-rounder Mohammed Jamil, a former representative of the Ribblesdale League team also from Blackburn Northern.

Pre-season: teams for friendlies and outdoor practice

Last Sunday was the final indoor practice of the pre-season, and senior practice will begin on Tuesday 6th April at 6.30pm for the first outdoor session of the season. ALL SENIOR PLAYERS ARE ASKED TO ATTEND REGARDLESS OF THE WEATHER as there will also be an important meeting for all players in the bar.

The teams for friendlies can be found on the team selection page.

Ex-captain Tommy Lowe

Tommy Lowe Junior Tommy Lowe, who captained Church and played for the club 367 times between 1947 and 1975 has died aged 79 after a long illness.

Tommy was a popular character who scored 2075 runs and took 526 wickets for the club. He was also the club professional in 1957 and 1958, and captained the Worsley Cup winning side in 1974.

He will be sadly missed.

Natwest Cricket Force

Natwest Cricket Force

We will be holding our annual NatWest Cricket Force day on March 27, in which volunteers are asked to help out in preparing the club for the forthcoming season.

It starts at 9.30am and tea and bacon sandwiches will be provided to all attendees. Each year NatWest will sponsor the club based on their assessment of how successful the day has been, so the club are asking friends and families of the club to attend, even if only for a short while.

Local firms will be present on the day to assist the club with the work. For more information contact Graham Gaskill on 07762 490090.

Church CC statistical archive complete

Ever wanted to know how many wickets you have for Church, how many times you scored 50 or how many times you waddled off after a duck? Well now you can! After a huge amount of work gathering information and inputting scorecards, the Church CC Archive is complete! Every match played since 1892 is covered and with assistance from, a complete statistical summary for the Club is now available. This includes features such as a complete list of every player who has played for Church together with details of the number of matches played, runs scored, and wickets and catches taken. It is also possible to view batting records, bowling records, highest and lowest scores & partnership records against every Lancashire League club. Special thanks go to and Nigel Stockley. This is only the beginning, so watch this space for updates on how we intend to use this brilliant resource.

Click here to go directly to the statistics.

Church coach Sam nominated for top award

Church allrounder Sam Holt has been nomintaed for "Young Coach of the Year" in the 2010 Sky Sports Reward and Recognition Awards. Sam is one of only 3 coaches from Lancashire to have had their names put forward as candidates for National Recognition in 3 different categories.

The nomination recognises the hard work Sam has put in not only at Church, but in schools around the Hyndburn area. In the last year, since returning from a valuable coaching experience in New Zealand, Sam has used the Chance to Shine initiative to introduce cricket to Primary School youngsters, alongside the work he does with Church. More recently, he has been appointed Community Cricket Development Coach for Rochdale through the Lancashire Cricket Board, where he hopes he will continue to improve his knowledge of grass roots cricket and coaching as a whole.

Everyone at Church would like to congratulate Sam for his excellent achievement.

Church Juniors continue to practice at Accrington Academy under the guidance of Sam along with Graham Gaskill, Naomi Aspin, Ammer Mirza and Andrew Bentley who all hope to complete their ECB Level 2 course within the next month.

Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting for the Cricket Club will be held on Thursday 25th February at 8pm prompt in the Social Club. Club members only will be admitted.

Junior Training

Junior training will commence on Sunday 21st February 2010 at 1.30pm until 3pm at Accrington Academy. (Orange Street entrance off Whalley Road).

Coaches will be in attendance and all existing and new players are very welcome. Players are asked to bring £1 each week.

Any queries, please contact Graham Gaskill on 07762490090.

Heroes and Villains brings in 2010 in style!

A packed clubhouse of Supermen, Catwomen and Hannah Montana children celebrated New Year in style in the recent Heroes and Villains fancy dress party. Over 100 revellers enjoyed party games and dancing, with DJ Phil Colbert spinning the records until the early hours. A great night was had by all and photographs of the last Player Productions event of 2009 are certainly worth looking up on our Facebook site.

Quiz Night

It was standing room only in the club on Friday night as Quizmaster Graham "Magnus Magnusson" Gaskill asked the questions in the first of what will surely be a regular club quiz night. Those who scoffed at the less than testing openers were soon put in their place as they racked their brains to find the names of Pat Butcher's husbands (there were 4 by the way) and failed miserably. The half time interval saw Elaine's curry and Graham's chilli/spud pie combo woofed down by the hungry boffins whilst the music round was re-played to enable the quizmaster to dance to the Robyn S classic: Show Me Love (which was the answer to 15). Spot prizes were dished out to the luckiest guessers and the bar was so busy that Blaize and Christine weren't drunk until at least 9.15 (the former had certainly caught up by 3am). Thanks must go to GG for organising a fantastic evening and to those who came and filled the club yet again. Details of the next quiz night will be available soon!

Church delighted to have Luke back

The club is delighted to announce that Luke Woodcock will be returning as professional for 2010. Luke has sent back his signed contract and is excited about the prospect of having a full season at Church. Having arrived late in 2009, Woody showed himself not only to be a quality cricketer but a real team player and has followed this up with some outstanding performances back in New Zealand.

He has amassed 560 runs at an average of 80.00 in first class matches so far this season and has been bowling regularly in all formats. His best effort with the bat came in his most recent first class match when he scored an awesome 220 not out against Central Districts. He is currently busy with a hectic schedule of Twenty20 and One Day cricket before returning to 4 day action at the end of the February.

All at Church are hoping Luke continues his good form through to the end of the season but saves plenty of runs and wickets for West End next summer.

Winter training reminder

Senior training begins this Sunday 7th February 2010 - 12noon til 2pm at Accrington Academy. All players with aspirations of playing senior cricket in 2010 should attend and are asked to bring £3 per session to help cover the cost of the sports hall. New players are welcome and anyone who wishes to play but is unable to attend should contact AB on 07846 106 343 with a good excuse! (my dog ate my box will not be accepted).

Heroes and Villains New Years Eve to go off with a bang!

Tickets for the final Player Productions event of 2009 are selling fast with only around 30 places still available! Support for the event has been overwhelming following the hugely successful 70's night, Black Tie Evening and Captain's Dinner, and Player Productions' mastermind Samuel Tucker believes that this event could well be the best yet:

"I am massively excited about New Years Eve up at the club" said Tucker, the driving force behind the social revolution at Church.

"When we came up with the concept of Player Productions this time last year, our aim was to create social events which would cater for the whole spectrum of the club's membership, but also for those who had never set foot on the ground. We wanted to attract people who may live in the area or are friends of players and members, and let them know that Church Cricket Club is a place where people can enjoy a brilliant night. So far this year, we estimate that our events have been attended by upwards of 250 people and expect this to be well over 350 after New Years Eve."

The theme for the New Years Eve event is "Heroes and Villains" Fancy Dress, and the buzz around the club is whether anyone will be able to top Adam Greenwood's "Goldboy" from 70's night. Tucker is betting they will, adding:

"People have made a real effort to get involved at every event so far and I can't see this being any different. Everyone who was at one of our earlier events will know what a great night this is going to be, and for those who are boarding the West End partybus for the first time - I'm sure they will be back again next year."

Tickets for the event are still on sale priced £12.50 which includes food and entertainment, and are available through Sam on 07764 770 900 or by emailing

Winter training

Senior winter training will be held indoors at Accrington Academy, beginning on Sunday 7th February at 12-2pm, for a period of 10 consecutive weeks. The last indoor session will be on the 11th April 2010.

Junior winter training will be held at the same venue from Sunday 21st February until Sunday 28th March 2009, from 2pm - 3pm.

Cricket coaching qualifications

Graham Gaskill and Naomi Aspin will be taking their LCB Level 2 Cricket coaching qualification in November at QEQS.

Levi Wolfenden, Patrick McDonagh, Danny Dyson and Matt Cook will be taking their LCB Level 1 coaching qualification at Myerscough College in November/December.

3 down, 2 to go on the 2009 social calendar

Party time

It has been a groundbreaking year so far for Player Productions and the Church CC social scene, with only 2 more chances to party with the boys in 2009. For more info click here.

Update on new statistics feature now live on this website

Phil Sykes has now added the recent missing matches to the club statistics on this website. All matches from 1960 to date are now included, and some prior to this have also been added including the championship winning years of 1939-41.

Click here to view this amazing new feature.

Exciting new statistics feature now live on this website

An exciting new feature has been added to the website to display comprehensive statistical information about the club. The statistics include:

  • Scorecards for matches played by the club
  • Career details of Church players
  • Career averages of Church players
  • Numerous records and statistics relating to the club

This is very much a ‘work in progress’ and currently contains scorecards from 1960 onwards although, as yet, some matches cannot be viewed owing to unavailability of scorebooks. We are, therefore, accessing details from other clubs and libraries to fill the gaps. Missing scorecards relate to the years 1971 (nine missing), 1975 (sixteen missing), 1977 (twelve missing), 1984 (8 missing), 1991 (six missing) and 1992 (eight missing). As we locate this information, it will be added to the site.

Massive thanks are due to Nigel Stockley for locating and adding old scorecards, Peter Griffiths of Cricket Archive for supplying the software, and to Phil Sykes for his painstaking work in entering the information.

Click here to view this amazing new feature.

Annual Captain's Dinner featuring comedian Mike Kelly

Captain's Dinner
Church CC club captain Phil Gilrane will be hosting the Annual Captain's Dinner on Friday 11th September 09. Following the success of last year’s Captain's Dinner, the evening will follow a similar format. Celebrate the last weekend of the season with us. For more info, click here.

Great North Run for Cancer Charity

Cancer Research

On the 20th September 2009 Andrew Bentley will be running the 13.1 mile Great North Run in memory of former Church player, committee member and supporter, Dad Fred. Andrew is raising money for Cancer Research UK so please support him by sponsoring him at, calling 07846106343 or through Christine behind the bar at the club.

Church CC welcome it's youngest new supporter - Freddie Shorrock!

Young Barry Everyone at the club would like to congratulate Barry Shorrock, Lauren Holgate and all the family on the arrival of Baby Freddie Robert, born on the 4th August 2009 weighing in at 8lb 4oz - incidentally the same weight as Barry's bat!

Already thought to be picking up his Dad's left handed stance, classical technique and preference of the mid-wicket boundary, we hope young Freddie will be making an appearance up at the WECG very soon.

Nice one Bazzer!

Annual Twenty20 challenge match to take place on Friday 17th July

Church will entertain neighbours Oswaldtwistle Immanuel on Friday night in an annual Twenty20 challenge match. This fixture has proved to be an entertaining encounter over the years as the Ribblesdale League side aim to get one over on their Lancashire League counterparts.

Church go in to this game on the back of a successful 2009 Twenty20 campaign after winning group A and qualifying for their first ever semi-final in this form of the game. They got within touching distance of the final only to fall short in a dramatic last over which saw Burnley pip Church to the post.

We would hope that some enjoyable Twenty20 cricket has brought a few new faces to the club from within the local area, to enjoy the game and a pint, and the club would like to pay special thanks to everyone who has supported us throughout the 2009 campaign. Whilst all the boys were bitterly disappointed to lose on Friday night they will certainly have learned from the experience of playing in front of such a large (and vocal!) home crowd, and it would be great if nights like Friday came around more often. We would like to encourage everyone to come down this Friday night and support both local teams for the last Twenty20 fixture of the summer!

Church vs Oswaldtwistle Immanuel
Friday 17th July
Start: 6.15
Bar: open from 5.30pm
Tea Room: open throughout game.

Boys hope for return to form

Church take on Nelson this Sunday (19th July) at the WECG and need the help of the most loyal supporters in the Lancashire League as they look to return to winning ways. After last weekend's defeat at Haslingden it is safe to say that the lads will be firing on all cylinders this Sunday as they look for a good run of results to get themselves back towards the right end of the table.

Twenty20 semi-final at Church rearranged

Following last Friday night's wash out, the semi-final twenty20 match between Church & Burnley at the WECG will now take place this Friday 10th July, wickets pitched 6.15. The bar will be open from 5.30. Admission £2 and £1 for concessions.

After Sunday's Worsley Cup semi-final disappointment at the hands of Ramsbottom, Church will be looking to make amends by qualifying for the final of this competition for the first time since its inception 4 years ago. Come along and support the team!

Woodcock due to arrive for double semi-final weekend as Church top Twenty20 group

2009 Church professional Luke Woodcock is finally due to arrive on Monday, just in time for a crucial weekend in the club's season. Great news for all connected with the club going into an exciting weekend that consists of 3 consecutive games in 3 days and features 2 cup semi- finals!

Woodcock's first game for the club will be a twenty20 semi-final at home to Burnley on Friday following a successful twenty20 campaign with Church winning group A. The team have shown profound improvement in this form of the game this season with a number of comprehensive victories in the group stages. Bacup are the visitors on Saturday in a crucial Lancashire league fixture with the club looking to firmly establish itself as a top half outfit.

Sunday is argubly the most important game of the weekend in the club's bid to progress to their first Worsley Cup Final since 2002. The current crop of players have aspirations to emulate the Worsley Cup success of the 1974 team and lift the famous old trophy for the first time in 35 years. Church will travel to Acre Bottom looking to beat Ramsbottom and avenge the 2002 Worsley Cup Final defeat.

Friday 3rd July - Church v Burnley (twenty20 semi-final)

Saturday 4th July - Church v Bacup (Thwaites Original Lancashire League)

Sunday 5th July - Ramsbottom v Church (Worsley Cup semi-final)

Player Productions launch party a huge success

70s party

Click here for further details.

Player Productions is back - only this time shaken not stirred

black tie

Click here for further details.

New for 2009 - match reports for every competitive 1st XI fixture

Click here for further details.

Wagon wheel

Church 1st XI needs you! Please click here for further details.

Twenty20 at Church CC

Please click here for further details.

Natwest Cricket Force 2009 - Saturday 4th April 9.30am -Your club needs you! Natwest Cricket Force

Please click here for further details.

20 Week Lottery

Church & Oswaldtwistle Cricket Club's 20 week lottery has numbers available. For more details, click on the link below.

 20 Week Lottery

Teams for pre-season friendlies

Click here to view the teams for the pre-season friendly matches.

Luke Woodcock
Church sign Woodcock

Church & Oswaldtwistle Cricket Club are delighted to announce the signing of Luke Woodcock as their professional for the 2009 season. Click here for further details.

70's Fancy Dress Night

On Friday 8th May, the 1st XI are hosting a 70's fancy dress night at the Club. For further details, click on the links below.

 70's fancy dress night - 1

 70's fancy dress night - 2

Pre-season friendlies

The following pre-season friendlies have been arranged:

  • Saturday 11 April: Radcliffe (A)
  • Sunday 12 April: Heywood (A)
  • Sunday 19 April: Woodbank (A)

Chester Watson sends his regards

Geoff Briggs and Chester Watson

On a recent trip to Antigua and Jamaica, Ernie Edwards and Geoff Briggs met up with Church legend Chester Watson. Chester is keeping well and has retired to Montego Bay.

Club secures grant from 'Awards For All'

Awards For All

The Club has been successful in securing a £10,000 grant from The National Lottery 'Awards For All' for ground maintenance and coaching equipment.

Winter nets

The seniors' winter nets commence on Wednesday 4th February at 9pm at Mount Carmel with a senior coach in attendance.

The juniors' winter nets commence on Sunday 22nd February from 2pm to 3pm at Accrington Academy, also with a senior coach in attendance.

Players to attend Level 2 Coaching Course

Four players are shortly to attend the Level 2 Coaching Course - Phil Gilrane, Andrew Bentley, Sam Tucker and Stephen Stokes.

Sixth golf day raises over £3,000

The sixth annual am-am golf day has raised an exceptional amount of over £3,000. Our thanks are due to the outstanding efforts yet again of Fred Bentley backed up by his sons Andrew and Christopher. Prizes were presented by our chairman, Donald Holt.

24 teams raise over £3,000                      Powakaday Lakes Golf takes top prize

Church Cricket Club thank all sponsors        Book early for next year!

Our thanks are also due to our generous sponsors and to all the teams taking part.


Alan Gilrane Loftworks
Harwood Designer Floors
Burlington Motors
Captain's Team
Church CC
Eddie Haigh/H Kempster
Express Gifts
Gary Paul Engineering
J Stott & Sons
J & R Moran
JCB & Tipper Hire
K & M Financial Advisors
Original Fabrics
Paul Stebbings
Powacaddy Lakes Golf
Print & Data Source Ltd
Rays Garage Supplies
RCS (Airclean) Ltd
Total Cellar Systems
Wilpshire Professional


Haworth & Nuttall Solicitors
Stephen Metcalf Ltd
Chairman of Church CC
President of Church CC
President of Lancashire League
Total Cellar Systems
K & M Financial Advisors
Blackburn Rovers FC
Thwaites Brewery
D & S Engineering Facilities Ltd
Kevin Partington

Niel Bredenkamp Unable to Return

Current professional, Niel Bredenkamp, has announced that, owing to other commitments, he will be unavailable to return next season.

Run Against the Rain raises £2,700

Run against the rain 2008

On the 13th April 2008, players, members and friends of Church CC completed a distance of 71.2 miles around the 14 grounds of the Lancashire League.

The legs between grounds ranged from 11 miles on a bike to 1 mile on foot and everything in between, with each leg being a challenge for all who completed it. All competitors should be proud of what they have achieved, not only in completing their leg but doing so in good time. Particular praise should be reserved for a few competitors who, quite literally, went the extra mile. Firstly, Alison Hargreaves, Graham and Dave Gaskill and Mick Lee who completed particularly lengthy trips. Also to the lads in the junior section who completed the last 2 legs from Enfield to Rishton and Rishton to Church. Earlier in the morning, one of our longest serving members Mrs Kitty Ward completed the 1 mile trip from Accrington to Rishton. This is a great achievement I’m sure you will all agree. Mrs Ward actually requested a longer leg and is now the leading contender for the Todmorden to Bacup trip next year!

The efforts of all these people typify what the club is all about.

We are hugely grateful to the three companies who sponsored this event, i.e. Greengates Builders Merchants Ltd, Emerson Process Management and Loftworks. Their support is much appreciated and details of their businesses can be found on tables around the club and behind the bar.

All who took part in the run have helped raise funds for the club by collecting sponsor money from family, friends and colleagues, and worked hard on the day to complete whichever leg they selected. If you are reading this and are yet to sponsor a member or the run as a whole, please be generous and pledge a sum to support our cause as we look forward to a great season.

Runners taking part were Phil Sykes, Graham Gaskill, Jonathon Leach, Andrew Bentley, Adam Greenwood, Liam Brankin, Mick Lee, Dave Gaskill, Alison Hargreaves, Peter Rowbottom, Sam Tucker, Phil Gilrane, Niel Bredenkamp(Club professional), Sagawat Hussain, Kitty Ward, Kath Walmsley, Sam Holt, Luke Gilrane, Alex Richmond, Danny Dyson, Joel Gaskill, Edson Beck, Matt Cook, Dave Gilrane, Levi Wolfenden, Danny Palmieri, Sam Cox, Harry Lowe, Zain Ali Akbar, Junaid Mahmood, Amza Hussain, Sam Etherington, Jack Cox, Ryan Sanderson, Jacob Whitcombe, Jack Gaskill, Saul Hayden, Liam Dyson, Jarrod Haworth, Anthony Sanderson, Alec Holt, and Tracey Angus.

Many thanks to everyone involved.

New Shirt Sponsors

The Club wishes to thank Bedfords of Blackburn Ltd for the sponsorship of club cricket shirts and 1st XI 20/20 shirts. For further details of Bedfords of Blackburn Ltd, click here.

New Captains

The Club is pleased to announce that the 1st XI captain for the 2008 season will be Philip Gilrane. Philip, who replaces Phil Sykes, is aged 24 and is a Level 1 coach concentrating upon the Under XI's for the last 6 years. We thank Phil Sykes for his several years' service as captain, and wish Philip Gilrane much success in his new role.

Captain for the 2nd XI will be Peter Rowbottom, and Steve Stokes will be skipper of the 3rd XI.

Accrington Public Library - Local History

The local history section at Accrington Public Library now has a great of Church CC's history available on CD. For more information, call Catherine Duckworth on (01254) 306911.

New Lancashire League Book

Ron Freethy, the well-known author of many books and articles on nature studies, is due to produce a book on the Lancashire League. Has has taken a great deal of interest in the League's history, and has written about the clubs in the Lancashire Evening Telegraph.

The book, now in process, will be published in 2008 or 2009. It will be a minimum of 70,000 words and will be extensively illustrated. It will be availbale from the clubs in addition to the bookshops.

Mr Freethy is busily engaged in gathering information from the clubs of the Lanacshire League, and would be delighted to hear from anyone with League memorabilia or with memories of the League in days gone by. He can be contacted on (01200) 440212.

New League Record - Almost!

During the Burnley v Church match, Ruvin Peiris scored 122 not out, and Phil Gilrane hit his maiden half century to establish a new batting record for the League for the seventh wicket - only for the rain to arrive and wash out the game (and the new record).

150th Anniversary Commemorative Brochure Now Available

A brochure has been printed to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Club. It contains articles including a potted history of the Club through to the 2005 season, and includes updated records and statistics. It's a must for all followers of the Club, and can be obtained at a cost of £5 including postage and packing.

social club hire

sponsorship packages

Church & Oswaldtwistle
Cricket Club
West End Ground
Blackburn Road
Tel: (01254) 385094

© Church & Oswaldtwistle Cricket Club 2019