The original Kibworth cricket club was formed in 1846 by the Rev. E.S. Bathurst with the first recorded match being an intra club game between the married and single. The first recorded game against another club occured the following season when the Leicester Advertiser records a game played on 7th July at Arnesby in which the visiting Kibworth side lost scoring 35 and 17 against the home sides total of 60. The club played games up until the end of the 1850 season before the departure of the Rev Bathurst after his conversion to catholicism. A notice published in the Leicestershire Mercury in May 1852 declared that the club ‘was dead’ but gives no more details leaving us to speculate whether the loss of the vicar may have been involved in the decision.
Only in 1857 does the story resume when the Advertiser announce on 30th May that ‘ during the last week a cricket club has been established at Kibworth’. The first game was played against Billesdon on 22 June and resulted in a victory.
The club played on a couple of sites in the village before settling at the end of Fleckney Road in 1883 where they would remain for 122 years. Early meetings were held in a local Public House (The Rose and Crown) and balance sheets saw payments being made of 1 guinea (£1.05) to the County Club, the umpire and the gate keeper. In fact the receipts from the gate represented 1/6th of the annual income.
In 1885 Frank Loveday became club secretary and stayed in post for 50 years of uninterrupted service. A truly phenomenal feat! The ‘Great War’ saw a suspension of play but the Second World War saw home games continue as normal. The ground was bought by the club in 1952 and underwent a steady development with the opening of the ‘new’ clubhouse in 1969. The progress of the cricket club was helped by groups of committed individuals who laid the foundations for the club as it is today. Eddie Welton is one such gentleman whose efforts as a player and administrator will never be forgotten, indeed the ground move now sees cricket played on land once owned by the Welton family.
The modern era has brought with it the desire for a raising of standards both on and off the field of play. Some players have been attracted to the club with the thoughts of improving their game or by playing at a greater level. As a founder member of the Leicestershire League in 1974 it took 20 years before Kibworth won the 1st division. In 1997 the club gained promotion to the newly formed ‘Premier’ division and won it in 1998, repeating their success in 2000. 1994 saw the club make its first appearance at Grace Road in the Final of the County Cup. A defeat that year was swiftly revenged in 1995.
The club’s greatest year was undoubtably 2004 when the double of Premier league title and County Cup was completed on successive days to be followed two days later by victory in the Cockspur National Club Cup at Lord’s.
In 2006 the club left it’s home of over 100 years to move next door to a new purpose built facility and after a defeat in 2007 on their second visit to Lords they became National champions for the second time in 2008.
For more details on the history of the club, visit our website: kibworthcchistory.net