“At a meeting of several of the inhabitants of Enfield held on 3rd of July 1856, it was resolved that a cricket club be formed…”. These few words, contained in the Club’s Minute Book, paved the way for the formation of Enfield Cricket Club. It is unknown what the 29 local gentlemen who enrolled as members on that July evening would think about how the Club, and indeed the game of cricket, have developed over the following 157 years. However, while the structure of the Club and of the game itself has changed greatly, the Club’s fundamental approach remains the same, incorporating competition allied to camaraderie.
One of the first significant developments in the Club’s history occurred in 1867 when the move was made to a new base at the picturesque Lincoln Road ground. A ground long viewed by members and opposition players alike as one of the best in the county on which to play cricket (and which will host the Middlesex Cup final later this year).
Over the years the home dressing room has been graced with a huge number of excellent club cricketers, many of whom continue to have strong ties to the Club. Indeed a glance back through historic records and scorebooks shows a number of surnames appearing which remain in evidence in the Club today and it is hoped that this will continue in future.
Among a number of cricketers of note to play for Enfield are a young Larry Gomes, Fred Titmus, Mike Smith, Roland Butcher, Wayne Daniel, Keith Brown, Jamie Sykes and (taking a slightly different tack) William Pratt, who was to find fame in horror movies as Boris Karloff, also played as a batsman before emigrating to Hollywood.
As you would expect the Club has altered greatly from its early beginnings in Victorian times, encountering the various highs and lows that can be found across the lifespan of any such amateur club. One slightly unusual low occurred during World War II when the Club had the misfortune to have its pavilion destroyed by a direct hit from an incendiary bomb. Then, in a separate incident, an unexploded bomb was found to have landed next to the Tennis courts. This subsequently did explode but luckily nobody was hurt.
Although difficult to pick a corresponding high, there have been a number of Club tours that are still talked about in almost reverent tones (and possibly not just for the cricket!). Most recently these tours have taken on a European flavour with Spain, Holland and Belgium having been visited over the last few years.
The modern-day Enfield CC has also expanded to include among its current membership Lawn Tennis and football sections and has long had a strong association with Enfield Grammar School, with many past and current players having featured in school cricket.
It has a thriving colts section and various honorary members living in various far-flung corners of the globe. Further to its on-field activities the Club prides itself on having a busy, welcoming and friendly social scene.
The Club was a founder member of the Middlesex County Cricket League, with the First XI winning the league in 1982 and 1986 as well as the Middlesex Cup in 1993. However the most significant success in the Club’s history took place 25 years ago this season as a result of a stunning victory over Wolverhampton in the 1988 National Cockspur Cup Final at Edgbaston. While victory in the final itself owed greatly to the brilliance of John Allen’s unbeaten 119, the journey to get there was very much a combined effort from a team that is widely viewed as being the most complete unit in Enfield CC history. A successful dinner was held in March this year, attended by 120 Club members and guests, in order to commemorate the 25th anniversary of this success. The match scorecard is given below for posterity:
Enfield CC v Wolverhampton CC
Cockspur Cup Final (replay), 45 over match, Edgbaston, 24th August 1988
Wolverhampton won the toss and decided to bat
Innings of Wolverhampton
R. Griffin ct Brown Roach 48
P. Lampitt bowled Morgan 30
D. Manning+ bowled Keable 15
G. Williams bowled Higgs 14
J. Hughes bowled Higgs 1
R. Wood run out 23
T. Heap lbw Higgs 4
P. Jones* lbw Roach 15
C. Horton bowled Roach 4
J. Turner not out 0
D. Barnes not out 1
Extras (2b, 4lb, 1nb, 2w) 9
Total 164-9 in 45 overs
R. Carter 5-2-20-0, M. Lester 5-0-22-0, M. Morgan 9-3-17-1, P. Keable 9-2-24-1, A. Roach 9-0-35-3, A. Higgs 8-1-40-3
Innings of Enfield
J. Allen not out 119
G. Sandrock bowled Jones 30
M. Morgan* not out 2
A. Moulding did not bat
P. Keable did not bat
A. Roach did not bat
A. Higgs did not bat
M. Walton did not bat
R. Carter did not bat
M. Lester did not bat
G. Brown+ did not bat
Extras (3b, 7lb, 2nb, 2w) 14
Total 165-1 in 34.5 overs
J. Turner 7.5-2-37-0, G. Williams 7-0-38-0, D. Barnes 5-0-22-0, P. Jones 9-0-33-1, C. Horton 6-0-25-0
As alluded to above Enfield Cricket Club possesses a rich and varied history encapsulating a huge number of characters, events, famous matches and stories. There is clearly insufficient space to relate these here but anyone interested in learning more is welcome to get in contact as a book detailing the Club’s history was produced in 2006, as part of the 150th Anniversary celebrations, and a handful of copies are still available.
Looking to the future then the on field aim is clearly to build a stronger team to challenge for promotion back into the upper echelons of the Middlesex County Cricket League. Off the field of play the aim remains to continue to make Enfield CC an attractive and enjoyable place for those who either wish to become a member or are visiting as a guest.