About two months into the lockdown our Communications and Data Officer Alan Birkinshaw informed me that our Admin Executive Bob Shackleton had been clearing out his loft and found a couple of files that gave information on players in the Bradford League from it’s formation in 1903.
The stats I have compiled over the years were based on the books of games back to 1940. This seemed a good starting point (1950 missing) because although the books actually went back to 1934 some years between 34 and 40 were also missing. It therefore seemed a good chance to hopefully make a complete record of the league's player stats.
Unfortunately, when I collected the files they were not what I had expected. Instead they are a record of some 1,633 players who between 1903 and 1981 either scored a half century or who had a return of five wickets in a match. As can be seen from the page copied here the detail is comprehensive but not enough to complete the records I had hoped.
The pages are all handwritten and were compiled by T P Robinson of Leeds. As well as the scores and bowling returns there are interesting anecdotes so as a change from lists of stats I thought it might be of interest to readers of this website to see and perhaps remembersome, of the interesting characters who have played in the League.
I cannot speak for the authenticity of the information but Mr Robinson obviously knew or researched his cricketers. I have added some information taken from Cricinfo and Wikipedia where you can find lots of interesting stories and information under Stats. So here goes:-
Ellis Edgar Achong: West Indian spinner born 16-2-1904 in Trinidad. Played for Windhill in 1944. Played first class from 1929 to 35. Played for West Indies from 1930 to 1935. Died 30-8-1986
Harry Ainley: Played for Undercliffe for 15 years from 1925
Spencer Allen: Born 20-12-1893 played for Queensbury from 1912 and Yorkshire in 1924
Leslie G Ames born 3-12-1905 and played for Windhill during WW2. The wicketkeeper batsman played for England from 1929-39 and his first-class career stretch from 1926 to 1951. Died 27-2-1990
W R Allen: Born 14-4-1893 played for Laisterdyke 1918. Died 27-10-1950. Appeared for Yorkshire 1921-25.
William H R Andrews: born 14-4-1908 played for Bingley 1943. Somerset & Devon. 1st class career 1930-47. As a 17year old playing for Somerset he bowled the famous Australian Don Bradman who happened to be on 202 at the time. Died 9-1-1989.
Bob Appleyard: Born 27-6-1924 and played for Bowling Old Lane and Undercliffe 1944 to 50. Yorkshire 1950-58 and England 54-56. Died 17-3-2015
J R Ashman: Born 20-5-1926 played for Bowling Old Lane and Idle 1946 to 52. Yorkshire in 1951
David Ash: Born 18-2-1944 played for Bradford and Keighley. Yorkshire in 1965, Cumberland
Ronald Aspinall: Born 27-10-1918 played for Yeadon. Yorkshire 1946 to 50. First Class umpire from 1960.
Bill Athey: Born 27-9-1957 played for Bowling Old Lane 1975 to 81. Yorkshire, Gloucestershire, Sussex and Worcestershire. 1st class career 1976- 97. England 1980-88.
John Bailes: Born 10-10-1905 and played for 10 different clubs starting at Farsley in 1922 aged 16. Died 12-10-1980
Jim Bailey: Born 6-4-1908 played for Idle and Eccleshill 1942 to 45. Appeared with Hampshire 1927 -52. Died 10-2-1988
Arthur Bairstow: Born 14-8-1868 and played for Windhill. Mr Robinson says he played for Yorkshire between 1896 and 1918. Died 1-12-1945
David Leslie Bairstow: Born 1-9-1951 played for Undercliffe from 1969. First class career 1970 to 90. England 1979-81. Died 5-1-1998.
John Christopher Balderstone born 16-11-1940 played for Baildon 1959-60. 1st Class for Yorkshire and Leicestershire between 1961 and 86 and England in 1976. Also professional footballer playing for Huddersfield, Carlisle, Doncaster and Queen of the South. In September 1975 he played cricket for Leicestershire at Chesterfield being 50 odd no at the end of play, drove to Doncaster to play against Brentford in an evening match, returned to Chesterfield the next day to continue his innings and made a century. I know personally this is correct as I was at the football that evening. Whilst at Carlisle he was in the team that gained promotion to the old First Division and in their only season at that level he scored the penalty that took them to the top of the Division early in the season. Became a first-class umpire. Died 6-3-2000.
Wilfred Barber: Born 18-4-1901 played for Brighouse, Spen Victoria and Lidget Green between 1927 and 48. Yorkshire 1926-47. Played for England in two Tests in 1935. Died 10-9-1968
Gordon Barker: Born 6-7-1931 played for Farsley 1952, Essex 1954-71. Died 10-2-2006.
Sydney Francis Barnes: Born 19-4-1873 and played for Saltaire 1915 to 23 and for one match for Brighouse in 1928. In 1923 he took the lease on the Royal Hotel in Colwyn Bay returning to play for Keighley in 1934. Played first class for Lancashire and Warwickshire 1894 to 1930. Played for England between 1901 and 1914. Said to be the greatest bowler ever, a difficult person who preferred the rewards earned in League cricket to the daily grind of first class. Died 26-12-1967.
Eric S Barraclough: Born 30-5-1923and played for Undercliffe and Bradford 1942 to 64. Played for Yorkshire in 1949 and 50.
Desmond Barrick: Born 28-4-1926, played for Spen Victoria in 1949 and Northamptonshire 1949 to 60. I remember he lived in my hometown of Knottingley when I was young probably in the 50s. Died 25-12-2007
Dennis Bateson: Payed for Yeadon, Saltaire, East Bierley and Windhill between 1947 and 77 and up to 1981 was the only player to score over 10,000 runs and take over 1.000 wickets,
David Anthony Batty: Born 7-4-1941. Played for Lidget Green, Bingley, Bradford & Bingley, Keighley and Esholt between 1960 and1999 and is still the Leagues bowler with the most wickets, 1,823 in league games.
George Beet: Born 24-4-1886 and played for Baildon Green 1921. Appeared with Derbyshire 1910 to 25. Umpired one Test in 1946, died 13-12-1946
John Bell: Played for Baildon Green, Farsley and Undercliffe. Played county cricket with Yorkshire in 1921 and 23, and Glamorgan 1926 to 31. Died 8-8-71
Leslie George Berry: Born 28-4-1906 and played for Yeadon 1944 and 45. With Leicestershire 1924 to 51. Died 5-2-1985
Jack Birkenshaw: Born 3-11-1940. Played for Farsley, Bradford and East Bierley between 1957 and 1962. Appeared with Yorkshire, Leicestershire and Worcestershire 1958 to 81 and played five times for England. Became a first-class umpire and stood in two Tests.
Tom James Birtles: Born 26-0-1886. Played for Bankfoot 1920 and Yorkshire 1913 to 24. Professional footballer for Barnsley, Northampton and Doncaster Rovers. Died 13-1-1971
John Derek Hepburn Blackburn: Played for Undercliffe and Bradford 1951 to 54. Appeared once for Yorkshire 1956.
James Manuel Blanckenberg: Born 31-12-1893 played at Keighley 1933 to 36. Appeared in 18 Tests for South Africa 1913 to 24. Died in 1955 in Berlin. Cricinfo claims he was believed to be a Nazi sympathiser leading up to WW2
George Raymond Bloom: Born 13-9-1941. Played for Farsley 1977. Had one game for Yorkshire 1964
Brian Bolus: Born 31-1-1934. Played for Bradford, Brighouse. Cleckheaton and Farsley from 1956 to 1983. Played with Yorkshire 1956 to 62, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire 63 to 75 and played seven Tests for England in 1963-64.
Timothy James Boon: Born 1-11-61 and played for Farsley 1979-81, Leicestershire 1980 to 1995
Arthur Booth: Born 3-11-1902 played for Bowling Old Lane, Spen Victoria, Eccleshill & Keighley 1940 to 50. First played for Yorkshire in 1931 but Yorkshire were blessed with top class bowlers in the 30s and it was only after WW2 he got a regular place in 1946 at the age of 43, playing 38 games in two seasons. Died 17-8-1974.
Roy Booth: Born 1-10-1926 and played at Lightcliffe 1948 to 55. Yorkshire 1951 to 55 & Worcestershire 1956 to 70. Last wicketkeeper to have 100 victims in a county season and one of only seven to achieve that target which he did twice with Worcestershire.
Graham Boothroyd: Played for Yorkshire Bank and Drighlington 1975 to 1991. Recent file says played for Worcestershire. Had family farm at Pontefract.
Michael Bore: Played at Bradford and Lightcliffe 1969 to 78. Was with Yorkshire from 1969 before moving to Nottinghamshire in 1979 until 1988, where his career blossomed on pitches prepared for the New Zealand player Richard Hadlee. Died 2-5-2017
Anthony Borrington: Born 2-6-1947 and played at Undercliffe 1971 and Derbyshire 1971 to 80.
Tom Bottomley: Born 26-12-1910 and played for Keighley 1934 to 37 and Yorkshire 1934-35. Died 19-2-1977
Frederick Bowley: Born 9-11-1873 and played for Pudsey St Lawrence 1919. Played for Worcestershire 1899 to 1923
Frank Colliss Brailsford (known as Jim): Born 26-8-1933 and played at Undercliffe1965 to 71 and Derbyshire 1958. Although file states he emigrated to America, he died at Bakewell, Derbyshire on 19-6-2015
Donald Brennan: Born 10-2-1920 and played for Eccleshill and Hanging Heaton. Played two Tests for England in 1951. With Yorkshire 1947 to 53 as wicketkeeper. Demands of family textile business meant he retired from cricket early but then served on the Yorkshire committee. Died 9-1-1985.
George Brook: Born 30-8-1888 ND played for Low Moor, East Bierley, Keighley, Eccleshill, Undercliffe, Pudsey St Lawrence and Baildon Green. With Worcestershire 1930 to 35. Died 24-7-19
William Brown: Born19-11-1876 and played for Farsley 1918 to 1923. Two games for Yorkshire over period 1892 to 1908. Died 26-7-1945
Ronald Bryan: Born 30-7-1898 and played for Bingley 1942. With Kent from 1920 to 37 playing in only 40 matches thought to be limited to his annual holidays except in 1937 he was given three months annual leave in order to captain the county. One of three left handed brothers who played for Kent. Served in the Army in both World Wars being evacuated at Dunkirk. Died 27-7-1970.
John Sydney Buller: Born 23-8-1909 ND played for Bradford and Windhill. Appeared in one game for Yorkshire in 1930, then moved to Worcestershire until 1946. In 1939 he was involved in a car crash in which his team-mate Charles Bull was killed. Became a top umpire standing in 33 Tests. Was awarded an MBE in 1965. In 1970 he collapsed during an interval for rain whilst umpiring Warwickshire v Nottinghamshire and died on 7-8-1970.
John Robert Burnet: born 11-10-1918 played for Baildon Green. He was captain of Yorkshire 2nds 1952 to 57. At the end of that period Yorkshire were in crisis with disruption in the dressing room. He was promoted to first team captain at the age of 39 (the last captain as an amateur) for the 1958 season with instructions to sort out the problems. He sacked Johnnie Wardle the senior pro and three Test players in that first season and Yorkshire finished outside the top 10 of the County Championship for only the second time. However, his decision to rely on younger players worked and Yorkshire were champions in 1959. Having satisfied his brief he resigned at he end of that season but Yorkshire went on to dominate in the 60s. He was called onto the committee 25 years later when Yorkshire again fell into turmoil over Geoff Boycott. This time he could not solve the problem and was voted off by Boycott supporters. Awarded the OBE he died on 6-3-1999.