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  • The first mention of cricket in Leicestershire was of the ‘gentlemen cricketers of Barrow’ in the Leicester Journal, August 1776
  • The County Club was created in 1820 and reformed in 1879 to become the Leicestershire County Cricket Club
  • In the 1970s, the Club won five trophies including the County Championship in 1975

Cricket comes to Leicestershire


The first mention of cricket in Leicestershire was of the ‘gentlemen cricketers of Barrow’ in the Leicester Journal, August 1776. Framework knitters from towns and villages like Barrow on Soar, could play because their working hours were flexible. The County Club was created in 1820 and reformed in 1879 to become the Leicestershire County Cricket Club. Some cricket grounds in Leicester have been St Margaret’s Pastures, Wharf Street, the Victoria Park racecourse, Aylestone Road and the Grace Road Ground.

LCC Cricket Club 5
Leicestershire cricket team in 1903

Improvements at Grace Road

Grace Road opened in 1878. That year, 30,000 people over three days watched the Australian team play Leicestershire. In 1952 new terraced seating was built and the dark green blazers were updated to the design we know now. However, the ground was still shared with the City of Leicester Boys’ School and this limited access for the Club. In 1965 Leicestershire County Cricket Club was able to purchase the ground for £24,000 and improvements could then be made.


Success and Celebrities

In the 1970s, the Club won five trophies including the County Championship in 1975. Former England Captain, David Gower (voted the Club’s greatest ever player) made his debut for Leicestershire in 1975. Cricket commentator
Jonathan Agnew played for Leicestershire from 1979 – 1990. In 1996, the Club were County Champions again. The start of fast-paced Twenty20 cricket also brought success with Leicestershire winning the national Twenty20 Cup in 2004, 2006 and 2011. Elton John performed here on 11 June 2016; the metal fence around the ground was installed specially for it.

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Gallery

Roman Leicester

(47- 500) A military fort was erected, attracting traders and a growing civilian community to Leicester (known as Ratae Corieltauvorum to the Romans). The town steadily grew throughout the reign of the Romans.

Medieval Leicester

(500 – 1500) The early years of this period was one of unrest with Saxon, Danes and Norman invaders having their influences over the town. Later, of course, came Richard III and the final battle of the Wars of the Roses was fought on Leicester’s doorstep.

Tudor & Stuart Leicester

(1500 – 1700) The wool trade flourished in Leicester with one local, a former mayor named William Wigston, making his fortune. During the English Civil War a bloody battle was fought as the forces of King Charles I laid siege to the town.

Georgian Leicester

(1700 – 1837) The knitting industry had really stared to take hold and Leicester was fast becoming the main centre of hosiery manufacture in Britain. This new prosperity was reflected throughout the town with broader, paved streets lined with elegant brick buildings and genteel residences.

Edwardian Leicester

(1901 – 1910) Electric trams came to the streets of Leicester and increased literacy among the citizens led to many becoming politicised. The famous 1905 ‘March of the Unemployed to London’ left from Leicester market when 30,000 people came to witness the historic event.

Modern Leicester

(1973 – present day) Industry was still thriving in the city during the 1970s, with the work opportunities attracting many immigrants from all over the world. While industry has declined in recent years, excellent transport links have made Leicester an attractive centre for many businesses. The City now has much to be proud of including its sporting achievements and the richness of its cultural heritage and diversity.

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