History of Old Wilsonians’ Cricket Club
The Old Wilsonians’ Cricket Club was formed in 1886 and, appropriately, its first game was against the School which, embarrassingly, it lost by an inning and 42 runs, certainly the first, and possibly the last, occasion on which they were engaged in a two innings encounter.
A ground adjoining the school playing fields was, and for several years, the home of the Old Wilsonians’ Association where, as well as cricket, the Old Boys also played football and lawn tennis. Eventually the OWCC began playing its fixtures on the school ground in Dulwich Common before moving to Hayes Hill in 1959, where it has been based ever since.
As the name implies, the Club was set up for former members of the School, although school teachers were also eligible to wear their colours.
When the Club first moved to Hayes there were just three sides, two on a Saturday and one on a Sunday, with the latter being of an all day variety. Games were played against local sides and it was ‘the duty’ of players to entertain the visiting side in the bar after each game in order to ensure that they renewed the fixture for the following season, or ‘drinking back the fixture’, as it was known in common parlance, particularly if the opposition were paying their first visit to the Club or the OW’s had suffered a heavy defeat.
But things changed in the 1970’s with the advent of league cricket and we joined the North Kent League, in which we played for over 20 years before becoming part of the Kent League for the 1st and 2nd Xl, and the Kent Regional Cricket League (West) with regard to the 3rd, 4th and 5th Xl’s, whilst, in 2011, the Club fielded its first ever 6th Xl.
The Club still plays friendly games on a Sunday but also participates in the Kent Sunday Development League.
In 1997 the Club formed a colts section, which has six sides participating in the North Kent Junior league on a regular basis.
Although there are now only a handful of members who went to the school, it has had to change and adapt to both its location and the needs of the modern game, the Club maintains its original name and feels it is making a constructive contribution to the local community and gives everyone the opportunity to play cricket, whatever their ability.