Chapter 8 Sports & Pastimes

Sport, was and still is an important part of the life of Denaby. Football and cricket are played, as well as bowls, tennis and athletics. The area boasts one of the best sporting complexes at Tickhill Square, near the swimming baths.

In the early 1920´s there was a rifle club, beside the Comrades Club, probably started by ex·-servicemen from the First World War A rowing club formed in 1895 by a local clergyman appears to have been short lived as was the gymnasium housed in the old school by the railway, on Doncaster Road.

Denaby United Football Club was first recorded in 1895, when they used the ground on Denaby Lane, at the rear of the Reresby Arms. The club moved from there in 1902 when it joined the Midland League. Many other football teams have represented the local churches, chapels, public houses, and social clubs over the ensuing years, and it is rare on Saturdays and Sundays not to see many enthusiastic footballers playing in matches on their different grounds around the village.

The Denaby & Cadeby Cricket club, founded in the village in 1878 is the oldest surviving one, and has played with credit and honour in the Yorkshire Council League. Its most famous son, Ellis Robinson, played many times for his county between the wars.

As well as outdoor sporting activities, the miner is noted for his skill in local panel games. Billiards, snooker; darts, dominoes and card games formed the basis of the panel games leagues which are still popular today.

Boxing has always been a feature of local sport, with training facilities beneath the Comrades Club, and later at the Tom Hill Youth Centre from the late 1940´s to the present day. Denaby boxers have also successfully represented their country.

The cycling club mot in a wooden shed on the allotments behind the Northcliffe Club. Much of the miner´s leisure time was spent on his allotment, of which there were many around the village. 0fton ho had a pigeon shod and took part in pigeon racing some had a few fowls, kept for frosh eggs, others occasionally had pigs. Many is the pig killed illegally for its meat during the war years, and transported under cover of darkness on a wheelbarrow from allotment to home.

Fishing is high on the sporting list, with many teams travelling to rivers and ponds in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire as well as to the East coast for sea fishing.

As early as 1889 the colliery organised an annual outing to Blackpool when upwards of 1,000 miners, wives and children set out at 5am and did not return until 12.45am the next morning.

Unfortunately, the report states that on that occasion Mr. Chambers had to stay behind, to supervise the sinking of Cadeby pit.

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