Padiham Cricket Club celebrate their proud 125-year history with a special match at the Arbories on Sunday.
Padiham Legends will take on Padiham All Stars in a 35-over game, from 1-30 p.m., with some familiar names set to take part, including former professionals, title-winning captains, leading amateurs and more.
And who better to speak about the anniversary year than “Mr Padiham” Brian Shirtcliffe.
Brian joined the club in 1952 as a junior, after having his potential spotted in the nearby St Leonard’s school yard, and he went all through the ranks to become first team captain, before filling a variety of roles at the Arbories – chairman, secretary, treasurer, groundsman and president.
He has either been a part of the teams bringing success to the club, or witnessed history in the making.
Padiham have been Ribblesdale League Senior League champions in 1908, 1960 and 1966 – with Brian in the side – 1995, 1998 and 1999.
They have been Junior League champions 1912, 1954 and 1998, and Youth League champions in 1964, 1965, 1985 and 1997.
Padiham won the Ramsbottom Cup in 1973, with Brian as captain, and 2008, the Lawrenson Cup in 1971 and 1996, Brian Morris Cup in 1996, and Birchall Cup in 1994 and 1995.
The team currently sit top of the Ribblesdale League’s Section B, having been thwarted in their promotion attempts in the last two seasons.
And Brian said: “Padiham Cricket Club has been a special place for me – I’ve made a lot of friends since coming down in 1952.
“It’s one of the most picturesque grounds in the league, with all the trees and the view.
“I joined in 1952 after the sports master at St Leonard’s – a former Sergeant major – encouraged myself and a few others to go down to Padiham.
“I made my first team debut aged 15 at home to Baxenden and took 4-23 and never looked back.”
The slow left-arm on-spinner joined the committee in 1966, combining that role with playing for the first team: “We won the league in 1960 and I was part of that team, and I made a few appearances in 1966.
“We won the Ramsbottom Cup in 1973 when I was skipper, and I was man of the match against Settle, taking 3-22 and holding a couple of catches.
“But I’ve seen a lot of great cricketers – Norman Halsall, Earl Eddings, Jon Hartley, Ajay Sharma, Mark Harvey – the list goes on.”