Grace’s Cricket Club was founded in April 1996 at Central Station in King’s Cross. The aim was the same as it is today – to promote enjoyment of the game of cricket amongst the LGBT community. Originally set up as a supporters’ group, it soon became apparent that we could gather enough players to form a team. In 1997 we played our first-ever game against Wendover Cricket Club. To the great surprise of both teams, Grace’s won by 6 wickets.
The fixture list grew rapidly over the next few years, as did our achievements – in 1999, we won 9 out of our 10 fixtures. In 2000 the club unwittingly made the national press, including the Guardian and the Independent, when the descendants of the great Victorian cricketer WG Grace made it known they were “horrified” at us “using their family name”, and threatened to complain to Lord’s. Our response to the press was, “He was a pioneering figure in his time, just as we are now,” and we duly kept our name, very grateful for all the free publicity!
Although we had played early ‘home games’ at a variety of venues including Ealing, Barnes and Rectory Park, it was in 2002 that we obtained a regular home ground, sharing with Hendon Edgware CC at Mill Hill Park. By 2005 the playing membership had grown enough to be able to arrange two fixtures in the same weekend on several occasions.
The club has always been generously supported by Central Station. In 2005 we signed a generous five-year sponsorship deal with Pleasuredrome, which has put the club on its firmest-ever financial footing and opened new doors for the club’s development.
Further steps forward in 2005 were the securing of the Rolls Sports Ground in Highams Park as part of a ground share with West Essex CC, the launch of very smart new club shirts and caps, and of this new website. In 2007 the club joined the Middlesex Sunday Cricket League, and secured a promotion from Division two to Division 1.
The club presently plays friendly fixtures based at our Greenford ground- a return to a league is being considered.