Founding of the club
The precise date of the founding of the club remains uncertain. We celebrated its centenary in 2002, partly because we were at least certain that the club was in existence by 1902, but also because the group charged with planning centenary celebrations took so long to organise them that 2002 had arrived anyway.
The Yorkshire Gentlemen’s Cricket Club has extensive records, including that of a game against the Romany Cricket Club in 1903.
It was said (though no one seems sure now who said it) that the club was founded by soldiers returning from the Boer War – presumably the later one (1899 to 1902).
The Secretary’s Report of 1923 states that “Mr Goucher has been Umpire since the formation of the Club in 1902”. Written only 21 years on, that would seem conclusive, yet a later newspaper extract quite precisely records that the club was then in its fifty-third year. Unhelpfully, the archivist omitted to put a date on the extract. Teasingly, the context of the extract suggests that it was written around the time that the club resumed playing after the second world war. A comparison of scorebooks and fixture lists suggests that the extract was from 1947. That would put the first year as 1895.
The 1948 minutes refer to “the Club’s history of over 50 years”. Those minutes are signed by The President (J C Spivey) who was Captain in 1911 and may well have been one of the founder members.
The Leeds Mercury (the forerunner of the Yorkshire Post) regularly reported on local cricket, but a search of its digitised archives (which go up to 1900) discloses no mention of the Romany Cricket Club.