A timeline of Cheadle Lacrosse
The first Cheadle Lacrosse Club was not founded until 1879 however, when meetings were held in several local hostelries, and local farmers allowed use of their fields for a playing area. The club played fixtures on a friendly basis against many of the clubs such as Broughton, Stretford, Levenshulme and Rushholme that thrived at that time in the Stockport and Manchester areas.
By 1896 insufficient members were willing to play, but the club name was retained by a group of gentleman who held meetings of a purely social nature at the White Hart Hotel, in Cheadle’s High Street.
The playing side was revived in 1904, backed by the drive and direction of Jimmy Nuttall, no doubt inspired by the 1902 touring team from Toronto. Practices and games were held on the ground later occupied by the `Cheadle Electric Cinema` – now a supermarket – on the village High Street. Later games were held at the Wilmslow Road Ground, Brookfield.
Cheadle joined the 4th Division of the North of England Lacrosse Association, losing their game 16-0 against Hyde, but eventually gained promotion to the 3rd Division in the 1913-14 season. Fixtures were suspended for the duration of the First World War, a conflict which saw twelve members of the club lose their lives. The North of England Competition was resumed in the 1919-20 season with Cheadle still in the 3rd Division.
The club played at several grounds in the area before approaching Cheadle Cricket Club for the 1927-28 season. The Cricket Club agreed. The rental was Â£15 and the Lacrosse players were allowed the use of the pavilion, crockery and the Primus stove, but had to make good all breakage’s. The groundsman was paid Â£1-10-0d ( Â£1-50 ) for his extra work, and the lady who made the tea at home matches was paid 4 shillings (20p) a week. Three teams were fielded during the 1928-29 season and the following season, on 23 September 1929 won their first Knock-Out trophy – the Cheshire County six-a-side competition.
A strong playing side was developing and in 1930-31 Cheadle won the 3rd Division title and the Stockport Competition after being runners up for three years. The Cup was displayed in the “Electrical Showrooms”. At the club meeting held at the White Hart Hotel on 12 September 1932, it was reported that in future the landlord intended to charge 3s 6d (17p) for the use of his room. The landlord of the Horse and Farrier in Gatley had promised the free use of a room, so future meetings were held there. On 3 April 1933, Cheadle defeated Offerton to win the Junior Flags Competition and celebrated with their opponents at a Hot Pot Supper later that year. League competition was suspended during the Second World War but club meetings were still held. Several newsletters were produced to keep in touch with members in the armed forces, three of whom gave their lives.
The league programme resumed during the 1946-47 season and two years later, having been relegated, the club returned to the 1st Division. Despite several seasons in the lower half, the club has been in the 1st Division to the present time.
Cheadle `A` team gained promotion to the 2nd Division and scored a double success in the 1968-67 and 1969-70 season winning both the Junior Flags and 2nd Division Championships. Cheadle won its first 1st Division Championship in 1973-74, unfortunately losing it in the following season to Urmston.
During the last few years, Cheadle has kept a tight grip on the Championship, winning the Senior Flags and becoming English Club Champions in the 1977-78 season. The same season saw them scoring 373 goals and conceding only 99 in 22 league games. The 1970’s saw a dramatic change in the fortunes of Cheadle Club, brought about by a steady influx of extremely talented young players from the local Broadway School, where the game was encouraged by members of the teaching staff with affiliations to the Cheadle Club. Following the introduction of `10 – a – side` rules into English Lacrosse in 1972, Cheadle won the North of England Championship in the 1973-74 season, the first major honour in the Club’s 95 year history. Over the following 16 years, Cheadle won the North of England Championship on no fewer than eleven occasions, and in the process broke the Mellor Club’s seemingly unbeatable record of six consecutive titles established in the 1960’s, by winning the Championship seven years running. Throughout this period the Cheadle side set a standard in the English game others strived to follow and international honours were gained by many of their players including, Peter Condron, Steve Bevington, John Parker, Jeff Mounkley, Paul Skarratt, Keith Flowers, David Holmes, Tony Bartram, Dave Duxbury, Mick Murphy, Tony Battersby and Paul Short. In 1979, the club’s centenary year, a party of 50 club members travelled to the USA for a 14 day tour, when Cheadle, the then English Champions, played six games breaking even.
The 1981-82 season saw Cheadle as a club attain the pinnacle of achievement by winning the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Divisional Championships. A feat unequalled by any other club in the history of the game.
During the 1990’s Cheadle won the Premier Division, Senior Flags and Junior Flags several times. Three league wins in 1991, 1992 and 1997 and six Flags final wins in 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1998 shows signs of a great decade of lacrosse!
What a start to the new millennium… Premier Division Champions, Senior Flags winners, Berlin Open Winners and the Juniors did the club proud by winning under 16’s 6-a-side, Under 16’s Junior School Cup, Under 16’s League winners and the Under 19’s Plate. 2003 saw a memorable season winning the league and flags double once again thanks to a Paul Flowers extra-time masterclass and the A team winning a memorable junior flags final against Stockport A with Shane Crawford winning MOTM. A young Chris Brady and Ady Bennett playing for the A showed great promise for the future in this season. The following 5 years saw a dry spell in terms of success, but new captain Chris Brady and new coaches Pete Condron and Steve Bevington saw the glory days return in 2008/09, leading the 1st team to the league and flags double, including an historic win against Stockport in the flags final, coming from 7 goals down to winning with just 8 seconds remaining, Paul Flowers scoring the golden goal.
2011 was another good season in terms of the flags, beating Heaton Mersey in a close match with once again Captain Flowers scoring the winner in the dying seconds. A special mention must go to Jackson Fallon, the LDO of that season, who was a fantastic player all over the field.
The 2013/14 season saw a new influx of the younger generation take their grip on the first team squad including Dan Smith, Sam Dexter, Matt Boyd and Dan Condron. This blended with the experience of Daren Baythorpe, Ryan Bevington and the likes and saw the first team win the double two years in a row! 2013/14 will always be a special season for Cheadle, as all four senior teams won their respective leagues and three of them won their respective cup competitions. Seven major trophies out of eight available in one season – an achievement to be proud of forever. Chris Brady won NEMLA player of the year as well as earning his first England call up for the 2014 World Championships in Denver in an unbelievably good season for the face-off star.
2016-17 saw the 1st team win the league with a 100% win record. 18 wins out of 18: what a season! 2017-18 wasn’t as successful as the senior teams are used to, but the A team led the way with captain Stephen Shanahan and vice captain Danny Reilly leading the team to an historic league and junior flags double, the first time that the A team had lifted the shield since 2003. Club captain Ian Robinson worked with club legends Daren Baythorpe and Mike Goodwin to lead the junior program to more success in 2017-18, with the U16s winning the cup final and all junior teams showing that the future of lacrosse is likely to see lots more Cheadle success!