Bradford - Park Avenue Cricket Ground
Canterbury Avenue : BD5 0PY
Bradford - Park Avenue Cricket Ground : Map credit National Library of Scotland The Bradford Cricket, Football and Athletics Club was re-formed around 1879 and acquired a lease on Park Avenue ground from Mr FS Powell MP to run until 1893. Bradford FC played rugby at the ground from 1880 and switched to football in 1907.

The Bradford Cricket, Football and Athletics Club held their athletics festival at Park Avenue on July 23rd 1881 with 15 events and over 5,000 spectators. A two miles bicycle handicap race was included, won by JE Tolson, from Huddersfield, off scratch. The sports were held again in the following year and the cricket pitch was enlarged in 1883 by removing the track in front of the pavilion. The ground was a regular venue for Yorkshire cricket matches.

There were no bicycle races at the ground for some time, but they resumed on June 20th 1898 with the Club Evening sports meeting, which included half and one mile bicycle handicap races.

After another quiet period, Bradford City police sports held their 3rd annual athletics meeting at the track on July 8th 1922 and with half and one mile cycle handicap races on a "Splendid grass track and specially prepared for cyclists." The police sports were held there until the outbreak of the Second World War and usually included cycle races. The annual police sports were very popular, often attracting 10,000 people.

Bradford Amateur Sports Association was formed in 1929 and held their first charity meeting that year, at Valley Parade. On August 6th 1930, the BASA sports were held at Park Avenue and included quarter and half mile cycle handicap races. These sports continued throughout the 1930s and Bradford RC held their half mile championship race there.

The police sports in 1939 was probably the last time that cycle racing took place at Park Avenue. Bradford FC sold the ground in 1973 and the council demolished the stadium in 1980. An indoor cricket centre was built on the football pitch in 1988. The original cricket ground still exists and is operated by Park Avenue Bradford Charity.

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Maps    : National Library of Scotland