During the summer of 2017, the League committee endorsed the idea of secretary Steve Ward that we should permanently recognise outstanding contributions to cricket in our area made by people connected with our clubs.
We agreed the principle that those individuals who ‘have given outstanding service to our clubs or our league’ should be inducted into a Yorkshire South Premier League Hall of Fame. We started by selecting six exceptional candidates and inducting them into the Hall of Fame at the 2017 presentation dinner.
This was only the start of our Hall of Fame, and further inductions take place annully.
Each season, ask clubs for nominations for the Hall of Fame, which are then be considered for induction at that year’s dinner.
The first six inductees, who were presented with a framed certificate and a League tie at the dinner on 27th October 2017 were:
Bill Croft (Sheffield Collegiate)
Steve Foster (Treeton)
Andy Harrison (Wickersley Old Village)
Bob Leafe (Cleethorpes)
Stuart Roberts (Yorkshire Leagues Umpires Association)
Dennis Wadd (Appleby Frodingham)
At the 2018 dinner, a further three worthy servants of South Yorkshire cricket were inducted:
Nick Cowan (Doncaster Town)
Keith Haynes (Treeton)
Richard Wilkinson (Whitley Hall)
Bill started his cricket career in the early 1960s as a junior at Sheffield United CC, playing on the famous old Bramall Lane ground. Playing primarily in the second and third teams up until 1965, he was also selected for the Sheffield & District under 18s and was asked to attend Yorkshire nets in 1964 and 1965.
Between 1966 and 1974, Bill played for a number of clubs, including Rotherham Town in the Yorkshire League, Brighouse in the Bradford League, and Elland in the Huddersfield League. During these years, he also played Sunday friendly cricket for the now-defunct Sheffield Cutlers, alongside some of the best players in South Yorkshire – a team he describes as, ‘a great place to learn how to play cricket.’
In 1975, Bill joined Sheffield Collegiate, where he had already played friendly and mid-week cricket. There, in the Yorkshire League, he earned a complete collection of innings wicket-taking performances, from none through to ten – taking ten wickets against Hull in 1987 and nine against Rotherham in 1979. Other career highlights were winning the Yorkshire League bowling averages in 1984; his Wombwell Cricket Lovers Match Winning Award in 1986 for taking seven wickets for eight runs to beat Barnsley; and helping Collegiate to their first Yorkshire League silverware – a cup and league double in his final season of 1990.
Bill was equally effective off the field, serving on the committee of Sheffield Collegiate for all but one year of his time at the club, holding positions including fund-raiser, treasurer and Yorkshire League representative. For several years in the late 1990s, he served on the board of the Sheffield Amateur Sports Club and he was the groundsman for the Abbeydale Sports Club in 2008 and 2009. Even after retiring to Devon in 2012 he found himself helping out the local club as their treasurer for four years.
Whilst he was a fiery competitor in his playing days, Bill always enjoyed the social side of the game and he remains great company over a beer in the clubhouse on his regular visits to South Yorkshire. He places great value on the friendships he has made with both team mates and opposition during his long career.
Bill was a pro-active and ‘hands-on’ President of the Yorkshire League between 2008 and 2011, during which time his balanced and forward-thinking approach earned him great respect.
Bill Croft was inducted to the Yorkshire South Premier League Hall of Fame on 27th October 2017.
He started his career playing with his father Tony at Upper Haugh Cricket Club, where he won recognition for Yorkshire Schools in 1983, 1984 and 1985 at under 13,14 and 15 levels. In 1986, at the age of 16, he moved to Rotherham Town, making his Yorkshire League debut that same season. Apart from a very brief spell with Yorkshire Bank in the Bradford League in 1990, he stayed at Rotherham Town until 1992. In that last season he took over 60 wickets, forming a redoubtable opening partnership with Nick Cowan that led the club to the Yorkshire League championship. Then, in 1993, Andy moved to Lacelles Hall in the Huddersfield League, helping the club to the league title that year, and taking over 50 league wickets in both his seasons at the club.
Andy started his 23-season association with the Wickersley club in 1995, joining the club as captain and winning the South Yorkshire championship in that first season. A further six South Yorkshire league championships followed in the next ten seasons, during which time Andy also captained his side to three Whitworth Cup and two Yorkshire Council Championship successes. A fierce competitor on the field, Andy always liked to finish every match with a pint and some banter with his contemporaries.
During his career, Andy has played many games with his brother, Richard, and has introduced his two sons to the game – both of whom are now playing at Wickersley. He has remained on the Wickersley committee since his captaincy days, also taking over as groundsman from father Tony, winning the Groundsman of the Year award in the inaugural season of the Yorkshire South Premier League in 2016.
Andy played an important part in the negotiations leading to the formation of the Yorkshire South Premier League, and was asked to join the newly-formed League committee in 2015, to which he has since contributed enormously with his experience, knowledge and common sense.
Andy Harrison was inducted into the Yorkshire South Premier League Hall of Fame on 27th October 2017.
Apart from a two-year stint at Hickleton Main, Stuart’s cricketing career was spent as a batsman at Conisbrough Cricket Club, during which time he won the club’s Young Player of the Year award. A loss of form and interest led to his early retirement on 1980, but former international football referee Ernie Crawford, himself also a cricket umpire, persuaded him to try umpiring. This led to him joining the Doncaster & District Umpires Association in 1984, where he soon became regarded as a very good umpire, and he was accepted onto the Yorkshire County Premier League panel in 1988.
Stuart’s calm, unflappable and quietly authoritative on-field demeanour; his methodical and organised approach; his consistency and sound decision-making soon made him one of the League’s most respected umpires. He umpired the Yorkshire League Knock-Out Cup final in 1998 and 2006, and stood in the League’s first t20 final in 2011. He was twice the Yorkshire League Umpire of the Year and was recognised by Yorkshire CCC, for whom he umpired second XI matches between 2001 and 2004. He had the honour of being selected to umpire an England XI v Yorkshire t20 game at Headingley in 2005, in front of a 17,000 crowd and TV cameras, but unfortunately a deluge caused the game to be abandoned without a ball bowled.
When the Yorkshire League was split as a result of the reorganisation of premier league cricket in the county after the 2015 season, Stuart was its longest serving umpire. Since then he has served on the newly-inaugurated Yorkshire Leagues umpires panel. He is arguably the best official produced by the county never to have stood in the first-class game.
Stuart was the chairman of the Yorkshire League Umpires Association between 2002 and 2015, and was both chairman and training officer of the Doncaster & District Umpires Association until 2016. He has now completed a remarkable 30 years as a Premier League umpire.
Stuart Roberts was inducted into the Yorkshire South Premier League Hall of Fame on 27th October 2017.
As a relatively late-comer to the game, the 16-year old Nick began to establish himself at Doncaster Town in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. He was introduced to the club by his father, former Yorkshire CCC player Mike Cowan, who was then captain at Town Fields. As a junior player, he learned much from Doncaster stalwart Les Ranns, and then, under the captaincy of Tony Craven, made rapid progress in the first team.
It was difficult for Nick to follow in his father’s illustrious footsteps and try to emulate his success. Try as he did, despite attracting interest from county sides, including a spell at Somerset where he learned from the likes of Joel Garner and Ian Botham, he was unable to make the breakthrough into the county game. Despite that, he went on to forge one of the most successful league cricket careers.
A feared opening bowler, who was a consistent performer and wicket taker, he was also an outstanding captain. Fiercely competitive by example, his leadership and man management skills were second to none. He was a great tactician with an ability to read the game, that led to some remarkable victories and achievements, and he brought the best of talented young players like Simon Widdup and Richard Dawson.
After his first spell at Doncaster, he moved on and enjoyed further success with Rotherham Phoenix, Elsecar and Rotherham Town, captaining the latter to the Yorkshire League championship in 1992. Returning then to Doncaster, he repeated his Rotherham feat by captaining the Town Fields side to Yorkshire League championship success.
But his greatest achievement was when, in August 1998, he led Doncaster Town to Lords, where they beat Bath in the final of the Abbot Ale cup – the forerunner of today’s national club knock-out.
Opposing batsmen remember Nick with the greatest respect. His reputation for being tough on the field of play was matched only by his willingness to share a drink with his opponents after the game.
Retaining his passion for Doncaster Town CC and Premier League cricket, he is a very important part of the Doncaster club. He is always available to share his great knowledge of the game, and is always seen supporting his team on the Yorkshire South Premier League circuit.
Nick Cowan was inducted into the Hall of Fame on 9th November 2018
Richard was born into a Barnsley cricketing family in 1977, with both his father and grandfather being keen cricketers. He joined Barnsley CC as a junior at age 11, and after playing for Barnsley schools and Yorkshire Schoolboys, he made his Yorkshire League debut at 15 years old. Richard then came to the attention of the county club and joined their Academy at 16, playing under the coaching of Arnie Sidebottom at Bradford Park Avenue.
Having started his cricketing life primarily as a batsman, he had by this time developed his off-break bowling, and could truly be termed as an all-rounder. In 1996, playing for the Yorkshire Academy, he won the Yorkshire League junior bowling award. At 19, he became a junior professional at YCCC, but the fierce competition at Headingley meant that he was restricted to a single first class appearance and four one day matches.
Nonetheless, Richard enjoyed a hugely successful career in league cricket. At the end of his stint with the Academy, he joined reigning Bradford League champions Bradford and Bingley in 1999, before returning to Barnsley in 2002. He then helped his home town club to their first Yorkshire League championship in 2006, a glorious season in which they also won the Heavy Woollen Cup in 2006.
In 2007, he left Barnsley again, this time when he was appointed to manage the Yorkshire Academy. He captained their Yorkshire League side for two seasons, passing on his experience and knowledge to budding county players.
Richard returned to Barnsley in 2009 and the following season was the Yorkshire League’s joint top wicket-taker with an impressive 82 victims. He then captained the club to victory in the 2012 Yorkshire League t20 tournament before moving on in search of a new challenge with Hoylandswaine. In his four years with the Huddersfield League side, he also won the League, the League Cup, the League t20 twice and the Black Sheep trophy while not as captain.
In 2017, Richard joined Whitley Hall in the Yorkshire South Premier League, where he finished both his seasons as the club’s top bowler in the League averages. Towards the end of the 2018 season, Richard announced that he would be bringing down the curtain on his playing career.
Throughout his playing days, Richard had a twinkle in his eye, was always ready with a witty one-liner and liked a joke – but his sense of humour was never at the expense of a hugely competitive streak and will to win. He played the game as it is supposed to be – hard but fair, and usually with a smile on his face. Our grounds will be the poorer on Saturday afternoons without his presence on them.
Richard will still be involved in the game, however. He will continue in his day job with the Yorkshire Cricket Board, as Cricket Development Manager for North Yorkshire and Teeside. This involves working with the 215 clubs in the north of the county, passing on his vast experience, and helping them to lay foundations that will enable them to create sustainability, and run effectively and successfully in the long term.
Richard Wilkinson was inducted into the Hall of Fame on 9th November 2018
Steve’s dad, John, a Treeton stalwart, introduced him to the club, where he played for under-13s at nine and was in the first team at 15. At just 17, he moved to East Bierley in the Bradford League, and it was there that as a result of playing so much cricket so young he suffered two broken bones in his back. In a close-season operation he had two metal pins were inserted that are there to this day. The following season, he moved on to play in the Yorkshire League with Sheffield Collegiate. After a year at Abbeydale, he made the trip north to Barnsley, where he played for two seasons before returning to the Bradford League to play for Spen Victoria. In 1992, he moved on to Gomersal in the Central Yorkshire League, where he spent eight highly successful seasons. Then, in 2000, he returned to the Bradford League to play for Hanging Heaton.
By the time he returned to Treeton in 2003, Steve had won league titles and every major cup competition, including the Black Sheep Yorkshire Champions Trophy. He marked his return by taking 10-44 against Sheffield Collegiate II. Then, in 2006, he topped the league batting and bowling averages – only the second player ever to do so – in the process helping Treeton to win the SYSCL title for only the second time. In 2006 he recorded his highest score of 206 not out against Houghton Main and, in 2015, he helped Treeton to win a place in the newly-formed Yorkshire South Premier League. In all, since his return to Treeton, he has scored over 14,000 runs at an average of 56 and has taken 821 wickets at an average of just over 11.57.
In addition to his feats at club level, Steve played seven games for Yorkshire seconds between 1992 and 1993, scoring three half-centuries, as well as 151 against Kent. He played List A cricket for the Yorkshire Cricket Board, Northumberland and Cumberland, taking 25 wickets in his nine List A matches at an average of 10.24. He played 72 times for England Amateurs between 1995 and 2004, captaining the side from 1999 to 2004, during which time the team won back-to-back European championships in 2002 and 2004.
Steve has now completed 16 seasons with his home-town club and is in the latter stages of an outstanding career in which he can be considered one of the best players not to have played at first class level.
Following in the footsteps of his father, Frank, Bob joined Cleethorpes as a highly talented junior. His talent as a batsman soon emerged, and, after graduating from Nottingham University with a degree in geography, he returned to Cleethorpes to take up a teaching career.
He was a member of a talented group of players who went on to win the Lincolnshire County Cricket League Championships 11 times between 1967 and 1983. In 1984, the club was invited to join the Yorkshire League and, although never winning the league during Bob's playing days, he played a leading role in making the club a highly respected force. He was club captain between 1977 and 1980, then again 1987 to 1989, and finally 1999.
Thanks to his very understanding wife, Pauline, it is difficult to remember Bob ever missing a game – whether league or the then regular Sunday friendlies against strong visiting teams. He must be a member of a very select band of club players who have scored more than 35,000 runs – a testament to his loyalty, longevity, dedication – and, above all, his talent.
Bob has always had Cleethorpes at heart, not just being satisfied with his batting successes but on the administrative side as well. At the time of his induction, he was in his second spell as cricket chairman at Cleethorpes CC and was one of the club's four Trustees. Bob has played a huge part in the development of the club, both on and off the field; his attention to detail ensures that no stone is left unturned and that the club is up-to-date in all areas of administration. He also served on the committee of the former Yorkshire League.
Bob Leafe was inducted into the Yorkshire South Premier League Hall of Fame on 27th October 2017.
Dennis started scoring for Appleby Frodingham’s first team in 1958 when he stood in for the regular scorer. He gradually officiated at more and more matches and, in 1962, he took over as the official first team scorer. Initially, Dennis scored for the club in its’ Yorkshire Council years up to 1965, then between 1966 and 1993 in the Lincolnshire League, and finally 22 seasons in the Yorkshire League between 1994 and 2015. In addition to the first team matches, Dennis scored in Sunday friendlies, innumerable mid-week games, and for the third team in Sunday matches.
Patient and meticulous in the scorebox, Dennis's dedication, good humour and loyalty msde him popular with fellow scorers, umpire and players alike. Dennis's scoring style was typified by his immaculate hand-writing, using coloured pencils to denote the balls bowled by different bowlers and faced by different batsmen, all with times of the start and end of innings and falls of wicket conscientiously noted. Thankfully, all his scorebooks are now preserved in the club’s archive.
After 58 years of scoring, 54 as official first team scorer, Dennis retired from his position at the end of the 2015 season. At 80 years of age, the introduction of computerised scoring was a step too far – he has a passionate hatred of computers! In all, his friends and colleagues estimate that he has scored in an incredible 3,000 plus matches.
Since his retirement, he has been recognised by the Yorkshire Cricket Board and the Lincolnshire League, and the scorebox at the club’s ground at Brumby Hall has been named in his honour.
Dennis Wadd was inducted into the Yorkshire South Premier League Hall of Fame on 27th October 2017.
Keith's parents had a great influence on his life, of which Treeton CC has aleays been a big part. His father, Ron, worked at Orgreave coking plant, and in his leisure time spent hours working on the Treeton ground; whilst his mother, Eileen, was an integral member of the team of tea-ladies.
Keith started work for the NCB after leaving school in 1965, and earned a BSc degree in mining engineering from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne in 1973. He became a respected figure in the mining industry, ultimately as Deputy Manager at Kiveton Park Colliery. Whilst in Newcastle, Keith played for Stamfordham CC, but on returning to South Yorkshire he resumed his playing career at Treeton.
From 1987, when he took on the role of club chairman, he started to exert a profound influence on the club. He put into practice the methodology and skills gleaned from his university experience and work in the Coal Industry. Throughout his 31-year tenure, his strong values have spurred him on, and he has upheld a much loved and respected family name. The will to work hard and succeed on and off the field is hard-wired in Keith’s DNA.
During his tenure as club chairman, Keith has led four major building and construction developments at the ground – clubhouse development from a shed to its present form; the elevated spectator viewing areas in front of the clubhouse; a new scoreboard and machinery store; and new two-lane cricket nets. In addition, he has overseen projects to delivery of a new irrigation and sprinkler system around the square, and fencing to help protect adjacent properties. To complete these works, he has led several successful grant bids. He has been an active supporter of junior and ladies, resulting in the club supporting eight teams at different age groups.
The recently-built machinery store enabled Keith to progress his policy of upgrading the ground machinery, including high quality cutters, scarification equipment, tractor, roller and much more. As a result, the club was able to overcome the withdrawal of council ground support and took control of its own destiny. His enthusiasm for improving the facilities continues unabated, and his current project is to enlarge the clubhouse bar, cellar & kitchen facilities.
Keith has also overseen a sustained period of development on the field, including four Yorkshire Council championships, eight South Yorkshire League championships, four Whitworth Cup wins and promotion to the newly-formed YSPL in 2016. To achieve this, he has helped the club to field many overseas professionals, whilst remaining committed to developing the potential of homegrown players.
He is also chairman of the trustees of the charity that owns the playing fields used by the club and has held many positions in South Yorkshire cricket, where he has become respected for his balanced and knowledgeable input.
All of Keith’s work for the club is characterised by his dogged determination – he leads by example and never gives up; his thoughtfulness – he always recognises the effort put in by other volunteers; and his responsibility – he always has the club’s interests at heart and never shirks a challenge. His understanding of how to manage, retain and get the best out of the club’s army of volunteers has been crucial to the development of the club.
It is a testimony to Keith’s dedication and efforts that Treeton Cricket Club are today one of the leading cricket clubs in South Yorkshire.
Keith Haynes was inducted into the Hall of Fame on 9th November 2018
Hall Of Fame Rules
Purpose of the Hall of Fame
1.1 The over-riding purpose of the Hall of Fame will be to recognise those people who have by their outstanding service had a significantly positive influence on the Yorkshire South Premier League and/or the clubs in its’ membership.
Administration of the Hall of Fame
2.1 The Hall of Fame will be administered by a sub-committee of five people, appointed by the Management Committee (MC) of the Yorkshire South Premier League (YSPL), one of whom shall act as the chair.
2.2 Nominations from clubs, the umpires’ association and the MC will be sought on an annual basis. The sub-committee will consider the nominations against the criteria detailed in section 3 below, and will make recommendations for induction into the Hall of Fame each year. These recommendations will be submitted to the MC for ratification by 30th August each year.
2.3 The sub-committee must at all times work within these rules.
Hall of Fame selection criteria
3.1 Hall of Fame inductees may be current or past players, coaches, officials, or workers at club or league level.
3.2 Inductees must be primarily associated with the league or clubs in membership of the league at the time of either their nomination or their retirement from active service.
3.3 The sub-committee will take into account the overall contribution of nominees to cricket in general, but especially to the YSPL, the former Yorkshire County Premier League, the South Yorkshire Senior Cricket League, or the Central Yorkshire Cricket League, and/or clubs playing within those leagues.
3.4 Qualities that will be considered in assessing nominations for the Hall of Fame will be:
· Dedication: the overwhelming part of a career being dedicated to a single club or organisation.
· Achievement: exceptional achievement as a player, coach, official or worker.
· Long service: a career in the game of cricket spanning 25 years or more.
· Respect: people respected due to their personal qualities such as Integrity, sportsmanship and willingness to help others.
· Versatility: people who have shown that they are able and willing to take on different roles and duties for the good of their club or organisation.
3.5 Successful nominees will have demonstrated at least three of the qualities detailed above.
3.6 In the event of dispute, at least four of the five sub-committee members must be in support of a nomination.
3.7 Where there are more than six successful nominees, the sub-committee will rank them in order of merit.
3.8 The MC will normally ratify for induction the top six nominations on the sub-committee’s order of merit, but may, exceptionally, vary either the number of inductions or the order of merit.
3.9 There will be no minimum requirement for numbers of inductees in a particular year.
Induction into the Hall of Fame
4.1 Inductions will take place at the YSPL presentation dinner each year.
4.2 Each inductee will be presented with a momento and a framed certificate to confirm their induction.
4.3 A photograph and short summary of the career of each inductee will be published in:
· a press release
· the annual YSPL Motley’s Almanack, that is launched at the dinner
· the YSPL handbook
· a dedicated page on the YSPL website
Duration of induction
5.1 Once inducted into the Hall of Fame, an inductee will remain there indefinitely.
5.2 The MC will, exceptionally, have the discretion to remove an inductee from the Hall of Fame in the event of there coming to light any conduct that brings the inductee into disrepute.