Leeds nostalgia: This sporting life... and history

Headingley cricket ground 1953
CRICKET 106A
Headingley cricket ground 1953 CRICKET 106A
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It’s fair to say Leeds United put Elland Road on the international map. While some might argue that map has since been re-drawn (i.e.: without it), the achievement of the club in its heyday is not one to be sniffed at...

The first soccer was played there by Leeds AFC from 1904 until the club was expelled from the Football Association in 1919. This came about following a dispute between the club and one of its players, Charlie Copeland, who reported them to the FA over his contract. The subsequent investigation, however, uncovered illegal payments which had been made to others and although this practise was widespread at the time, the FA decided to crack down on Leeds.

Old picture of Headingley Cricket Club, found in possessions of late William Peniket.

Old picture of Headingley Cricket Club, found in possessions of late William Peniket.

The cloud had a silver lining, however. Such was the strength of feeling in Leeds among supporters that a new club rose from the ashes, becoming the first professional club in the city.

Meanwhile, another sporting club - Headingley - can trace its roots back to 1890. It opened on Whit-Tuesday of that year with a Leeds v Scarborough cricket match. The first rugby match was Leeds v Manningham on September 20, 1890. The first Yorkshire County crciket match at Headingley was against Kent in 1891 and the first Test was against Australia in 1899.

In 1967, matches there were played behind barbed wire after demonstrations against matches with South Africa.

However, another nearby sporting ground can trace its roots back even further, to 1857. Kirkstall Educational Cricket Club on Queenswood Drive, Headingley, was originally an offshoot to St Stephen’s Church, Kirkstall and an education society which happened to have a sports ground.

England v Pakistan at Headingley, July 1971
CRICKET 193D

England v Pakistan at Headingley, July 1971 CRICKET 193D

It dropped the word ‘society’ from its title in 1878.

HISTORIC ARCHIVE FEATURE
Leeds, Elland Road, 7th April 1970

West Stand Ticket Office

Queuing for Cup Tickets?

HISTORIC ARCHIVE FEATURE Leeds, Elland Road, 7th April 1970 West Stand Ticket Office Queuing for Cup Tickets?

Leeds, Elland Road, 6th September 1967

Inter Cities Fairs Cup Final

Leeds United v Dynamo  Zagreb.

An all too familiar sight for Leeds United as Skoric, the Zagreb goalkeeper, punches the ball over thebar to foil Belfitt and Greenhoff.

Leeds, Elland Road, 6th September 1967 Inter Cities Fairs Cup Final Leeds United v Dynamo Zagreb. An all too familiar sight for Leeds United as Skoric, the Zagreb goalkeeper, punches the ball over thebar to foil Belfitt and Greenhoff.

Leeds, Elland Road, 3rd June 1971

Inter Cities Fairs Cup Final

Leeds United v Juventus

Billy Bremner Holds the trophy aloft.

Leeds, Elland Road, 3rd June 1971 Inter Cities Fairs Cup Final Leeds United v Juventus Billy Bremner Holds the trophy aloft.

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