Kettering - Cricket Field
Lake Avenue : NN15 7EP
Kettering - Cricket Field : Map credit National Library of Scotland Kettering Town Cricket Club started in 1885 and held athletics and bicycle races on the grass cricket pitch from 1890. The first bicycle race meeting at the ground was on May 24th 1890, when Kettering Amateur Cyclists' Club held one and two miles handicap races and a one mile novices handicap. The timekeeper at the meeting was William Cattell, who would open his own track the following year at North Park in Kettering and many of the bicycle races would move from the cricket ground to cinder track at North Park.

The Kettering Amateur Cyclists' Club held their 3rd annual meeting on August 1st 1892, with handicap races over one and two miles and a one mile novices race. It was reported that there were very few spectators at the meeting and presumably as a consequence of this, the following year, the club moved back to the cinder track at North Park.

There does not seem to have been any bicycle racing at the cricket club for the next ten years or so, as North Park cinder track was the preferred local venue. When the North Park track eventually stopped being used, bicycle racing returned to the cricket club on July 3rd 1905, with the 9th annual Hospital Sports. The meeting included half and one mile bicycle handicap races and a one mile novices handicap. The main event was the five miles scratch race, won by Ernie Payne of Worcester St John's CC, who was known as the Worcester Wonder. Payne won an Olympic gold medal in the 1908 team pursuit event and went on to play high level amateur football, including two games for Manchester United.

The Kettering Hospital Sports meetings ran for the next two decades, along with other annual events including the Police Sports. Interest in athletics and cycling events at the cricket club declined in the late 1920s and the opening of Wicksteed Park in 1930 meant the end of cycle racing at the cricket club. The last bicycle racing there was probably at the Police Sports meeting on June 7th 1927.

Northamptonshire County Cricket Club used to occasionally play at the cricket ground up to the 1970's. The old cricket field is now the home of Kettering Sports Club, which is an umbrella organisation catering for the following sports - cricket, football, archery, hockey, tennis and the rifle club.

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