AS Rainhill Cricket Club reaches the milestone of 150 years, members and players can reflect on a fascinating history that now sees its First XI sit proudly in the Premier League of the Liverpool and District Cricket Competition.

The original Rainhill Cricket Club was founded in 1871, but little is known about the first 10 years of the club’s existence apart from the fact they were using Strettle’s Field off Warrington Road as their home ground.

Evidence and even photos exist showing the club at around the turn of the century but the First World War took a heavy toll and Rainhill actually disbanded in 1919 before reforming as Rainhill Recreation Club as several sports teams amalgamated, including the cricketers.

In 1922, the club’s minutes describe how “a piece of land 5.75 acres, suitable for all outdoor games, and situated to the east of Victoria Terrace, has been secured at a cost of £479, a deposit of £47.9s 6 d having been paid” and cricket is thought to have first been played there in 1923.

From 1955, the club used a building at the railway end of the ground near to the current machinery hut. This building was the size of a 20-foot garage with a central door and changing rooms either side of a central corridor.

Men’s and women’s flushing toilets appeared in 1962 and a year later a bar licence was secured with alcohol provided on the premises for the first time. However, tragedy struck in September 1964 when local youths set the mainly wooden building on fire and the whole building was reduced to rubble.

With the current brick building constructed, the 1970s ushered in a successful time for the club both on and off the field.

An unusual highlight came in 1979 when the ground was used to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Rainhill locomotive trials. Seating was provided at the top of the ground to watch historic trains passing on the railway line and a gala took place on the main playing area.

The last 30 years have seen the club continue its rise up the leagues, establishing itself in the L&DCC’s top tier with the exploits of Mike Rotherham, Mohammad Qureshi and Bangladeshi Test batsman Mohammad Ashraful all entering club folklore.