From the Yorkshire County Cricket Supporters Association
Many Yorkshire supporters will have passed our brightly coloured Kabin, currently situated behind the North-East scoreboard, but how many have paused to wonder who are the Supporters and what do they do? Very simply, the Association exists to support the Yorkshire County Cricket Club.
Our aims are to support YCCC, to provide our members and others with opportunities to meet socially and build a community of friends with a common interest, and to raise funds to that purpose. Our main fund-raising effort is focused on the Kabin, where our volunteers are always happy to chat and to pass on details of forthcoming events and sell a wide range of Yorkshire cricket souvenirs. We began life in 1981 following the years of unrest of the late 1970s, when a group of YCCC members decided something was needed with a common goal to pull the membership together.
Over £50,000 has been donated to the Club since the Association came into being. These donations have been spent in a variety of ways. An important focus is on enabling and encouraging the development of our young up-and-coming players. We regularly have contributed funds to support our young players to spend time overseas during the winter to broaden their playing experience in different conditions and improve their skills. Players recently helped have included Matthew Waite, Harry Brook and Jordan Thompson. We have responded to requests from the Club by purchasing bowling machines for the cricket school and in 2018 an interactive screen to enhance coaching. Each year we donate £500 towards the cost of cricket balls for the Academy, a significant sum which helps to fund their matches.
We present annual awards to highlight and reward performance, voted for by Association members or nominated by the Club coaches. Currently we have awards for Player of the Year, Young Player of the Year and Emerging Player of the Year (under 18). There are many now famous names among the past winners of these awards, several are now internationals (Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow to name but two). In 2018 the awards went to Jack Brooks, Tom Loten and George Hill. There is also a Performance of the Year award – in 2018 awarded to Tom Kohler-Cadmore; occasionally we present a Champagne Moment of the Year Award when something unusually outstanding has occurred – for example Jack Leaning’s amazing catch in a T20 game at Headingley. In addition to a small trophy the winners of Young Player and Emerging Player receive a small financial award.
Funds have also been used to benefit the wider YCCC club membership, in particular improvements in the Members’ Long Room area – such as the purchase of the televisions there, and more recently the funding of the display of the 2014 and 2015 Championship pennants.
All these funds have to come from somewhere. Sales at the Kabin are one source, but there are others. The social side of the Association is key to this as we combine social events with fundraising activities. We host three lunches a year at Headingley – pre- and post- season and at Christmas – and in recent years an additional lunch at a venue away from Leeds has become popular. In 2018 it was held in Tong at the Greyhound pub. Raffles, generously supported by members’ donations of prizes help to swell the coffers. Other events have included brass band concerts and film evenings, the latter supported by the Yorkshire Film Archive, with some wonderful films of cricket and everyday life in Yorkshire. Early in the season we hold a “coffee and cake” event before play. Our members and friends provide the cakes and the event is always very well attended and very popular – and many would like to see it occur more frequently.
Both the fixtures at Scarborough are marked by an evening social event. At the first fixture we get together for a quiz and a meal at the Bowls Centre; several players usually come along and form a team to join us in this light hearted but fiercely fought contest. For the second fixture we hold a dinner (most recently at the Opera House Casino) after which we are joined by a couple of players who indulge us with a short question and answer session.
Throughout the winter our members have opportunities to come together at our Sunday afternoon meetings to which we invite a wide range of speakers from the Club and from the wider cricket world. Regular speakers have included Martyn Moxon (Director of Cricket ) and Mark Arthur (Chief Executive), always informative these also provide opportunities to feed back to the Club; former players such as Matthew Wood and Ian Fisher have talked about their current roles beyond playing. The January meeting is a popular regular event when Ian Dews ( Second Eleven Coach) comes along accompanied by a group of the young players from the Academy. In talking about their experiences with the club and their hopes for their future careers as cricketers, they get an opportunity to develop their own public speaking skills to a friendly and supportive audience. We have also had talks from authors, the cricket press and those involved with the history and archives of the Club. In 2017 we hosted a performance of a play which focused on Hedley Verity, his last match at Hove in 1939 , and his death in Italy in 1943 as a result of wounds sustained fighting in Sicily.
In recent years we have ventured into publication. Every home Championship match is celebrated with a copy of Down the Decades, compiled by one of our members, which describes previous games between the two teams. This popular leaflet is sold through the Kabin on match days – a bargain at 50p and real collectors’ item! A more ambitious project was a booklet locating and describing every ground on which Yorkshire has played home matches since 1863. Several members toured Yorkshire to take photographs of the grounds as they now are in the early 21st century and compile this permanent tribute to the past – not always straightforward as some grounds are now under motorways (a Leeds ground) or supermarkets (Hull). We have also published a short booklet on the Yorkshire player Major Booth who was killed in action in World War One. Ideas for future publications are always welcomed by the committee.
For the Association to continue to develop its role as both a social and fundraising group we are always looking to recruit and welcome new members with new ideas and new energy. In particular we look to reach out to younger Club members to join us and enhance and diversify our areas of interest and activities.
The Association can be contacted on match days at the Kabin, or on www.yccsupporters.org or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The annual subscription is just £6 (£3 under 16). All are welcome to join a friendly, sociable group who love their cricket and want to support the greatest cricket club in the world.
Autumn meetings in the Long Room at 2.30pm
Sunday November 15th: Martyn Moxon
Sunday December 1st: AGM and Mick Cadmore
Christmas lunch: Friday December 6th , 12.00 for 12.30pm
Executive suite, Rugby pavilion Tickets £23 Menu (to be chosen when booking)
Starters: EITHER tomato & basil soup OR goats cheese & red onion cheesecake
Main : Roast turkey (vegetarian option – baked aubergine steak)
Desserts : EITHER Christmas pudding OR baked st honore (pastry) with cream & raspberry gel.
Book at the November meeting OR on 0113 2575229 (last date for booking Monday November 25th)