The History of Liverpool Business Houses Cricket League 1972-present


Early in 1972 at the end of a football season the players from two football teams, North West Gas and St Margaret’s Academy (Essemay) were rueing a long summer without sport when someone asked if anyone would like to play cricket?

The idea was popular and phone calls to four other sports mad teams brought a positive response.

At a meeting at North West construction in Aintree in April of 1972 six teams decided to play cricket against each other. They were: - British American Tobacco (BAT), St Margaret’s Academy (Essemay), British Gas, Metal Box Speke, Evans Medical (later Glaxo), and Brooks (a shirt manufacturer in Duke Street).

The inaugural champions were BAT and proved so popular that a committee was formed, and the Liverpool Business Houses sports association was approached with the idea of inviting more clubs to join and expanding the league.

The committee consisted of John McDonald (BAT) who was the first league secretary, David Jones (Evans Medical) the first league chairman. An early treasurer was Peter Lawless (Post Office Engineers)


In 1973 the league had doubled in size and two divisions of six teams competed, new clubs included Giro (later Girobank), Norwest, and Harrison Lines (shipping).

By 1974 a third division was created to accommodate the expanding league and a fourth division was added in 1975 also a knockout competition was added in this year, the senior cup.

The Liverpool Business Houses sports association donated some silver cups to the cricket league and the teams now competed for these.

Fred Snelson (Daily Post and Echo) took over as chairman in the early 1970’s and Geoff Layhe (Singlehurst) as chairman in the late 1970’s. Also by the late 1970’s Frank Short (North West Gas) had been elected league secretary and so began his long association with this organisation.

In 1986 Frank Short was still League Secretary, Paul Foulder (Glaxo) was chairman and George Foster (Liverpool DHA cc) was treasurer.

The number of league teams grew each year and the divisions expanded and then another was added on. By 1980 there were 40 teams playing and a decision was taken to open up the league to teams who were not part of the Liverpool Business Houses Association. This led to even more teams joining from pubs and clubs as well as sports organisations.

The peak for number of clubs was reached in 1990 when there were 68 teams playing in 7 divisions with well over 1,000 people playing midweek cricket regularly.


The number of teams started to dwindle as businesses closed or stopped taking on new (younger) staff and so clubs were struggling to get a team out. Teams folded or some merged and even when new teams were joining the league it seemed like 2 or 3 more were leaving.

By 1990 Frank Short was treasurer and Norman Sneddon was chairman, later chairmen included Jim Moffatt (Brickwall) and from 2005 until 2016 Mike Elson (British Telecom). Frank Short remained as league treasurer throughout until he retired from the league in 2017.

There was a danger that the league could fold as we had only 9 registered teams however by a vote of 8 to 1, it was agreed to continue.

A new committee was formed consisting of Lesley Allars (Chem Path) was as chairperson, Richard Phillip (Chem Path) as treasurer and Shane Byrne (Borderline) as secretary.  

Resurgence and Stability

Since 2017, the league has had a resurgence and begun to expand, consistently adding new clubs to its members for the past 7 years. Despite the loss of the 2020 season due to Covid-19, in 2021 the league membership was 20 clubs.

In 2022, the league celebrated its 50th anniversary, now boasting clubs from all of Liverpool’s major cricket clubs and has benefitted from the surge in junior and women’s cricket.

Going into 2024, the league has 29 clubs registered spread over 4 divisions with two cup competitions. The committee now consists of 5 members including Aaron Doran (Cheshire Lines) and Stuart Smith (Newsham Park).