Roger Tanner reflects on end of historic Saddleworth and District Cricket League

IT’S THE end of an era with the Saddleworth and District Cricket League no longer is existence.

And it has been met with sadness by Roger Tanner who had been president of the league for a remarkable 58 years.

Indeed, the Tanner family’s connections with the league go back to possibly when it was founded in 1899.

roger tanner headshot
Roger Tanner

“I have a picture of my father John Tanner – he was known as Jack – playing for Greenfield in 1911 and my family have been connected with the league for over 100 years,” explained Roger.

And it was Roger’s uncles, Harold and Gilbert Tanner, who gave the Tanner Cup to the league with the knockout launched in 1925.

The brothers played at Saddleworth and later Greenfield and were heavily involved in the running of the league.

Trevor Harrison, the Saddleworth League’s last secretary, also reveals a story of a Flowery Field cricketer being badly injured playing against Greenfield.

He said: “The player’s life was in danger and the Tanner family arranged a game against the full Yorkshire side as a benefit to help him and his family.

“Thankfully the player recovered, but the game became an annual fixture in the 1930s and the full county side played including the great Len Hutton.”

Roger, whose family were mill owners in Greenfield, was so revered that he was invited to become the first president of the new Pennine League following the merger of the Saddleworth League and CLL.

But Roger declined the offer saying he did not feel he would be able to fulfil the commitments given he celebrated his 94th birthday earlier this year.

“It was a great honour to be president of the Saddleworth League for so many years and also asked to be president of the new league, but I am a bit too old,” he said.

Roger, who played second-team cricket for Greenfield, is still an avid follower of league cricket attending games at his beloved Ladd Hill Lane club.

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