In 1852, the cricket was played in the grounds of Bank Hall and it was here that Lancashire County Cricket Club played their first ever match against Birkenhead Park and the gentlemen of Cheshire, with several Warrington players taking part in the challenge. When the corporation purchased the premises in 1873 to establish offices and a public park, cricket was forbidden. So in 1874 Lord Winmarleigh granted the club a 15 year lease on land in Arpley Meadows and nine years later a two storey pavilion was erected at a cost of £460.
In 1889 when the lease was expiring and notice was given to quit, the club’s position was desperate, so the members along, with several local businesses, bought shares in Warrington Cricket Club Ground Co Ltd, which then purchased the land at Arpley from Lord Winmarleigh. The land was leased to the Trustees of the Club to allow cricket to continue on a more permanent basis.
Bowling greens and tennis courts were introduced in the 1880’s and Stockton Heath Hockey Club was allowed to use the facilities from 1905. In 1925, Grappenhall and Latchford Hockey Clubs merged. The cricketers formally embraced the hockey club, and the new club was henceforth known as Warrington Cricket, Bowling, Tennis and Hockey Club.
By the early 1960’s, the club had drifted into dire straights. With the bowling and tennis sections having all but disappeared, the club was kept alive by the cricket and hockey players whose members staffed the bar and undertook most of the ground maintenance. A few senior members decided that the club’s future would only be secured by selling the land in Arpley, and re-establishing the club in new surroundings.
This was accomplished over a five-year period, resulting in the new premises we now have at Walton Lea. The first cricket match took place on 27th April 1968 on the upper square, which being part of the old bowling green, had been moved from Arpley two years earlier.
The provision of squash courts at the new site immediately proved to be a great attraction, tennis enjoyed a revival, and archery was introduced and the club became known as Warrington Sports Club.
In the early 90’s, the governing body directed that hockey should only be played on all-weather pitches. We could not afford an all-weather playing surface and so matches were and still are played Priestly College while still remaining members of Warrington Sports Club.
Keen to find a sport which could utilise the existing grass pitches, discussions took place in 1997 with Warrington Rugby Union FC. But in early 2003, their clubhouse was the burnt down and we stepped in to offer the use of our facilities. The two clubs finally merged in 2005 and we continue to grow with active junior sections in each sport.
2018 will see the 50th anniversary of Warrington Sports Club and various events will be held throughout the year to commemorate this milestone.