Cricket has flourished in Guildford for many hundreds of years. The earliest known reference to cricket in the English language described a game played at the Royal Grammar School, and the town and its club have excelled in the modern era, producing a number of first class and international cricketers.
1598: John Derrick testifies in court that while a scholar at the free schoole of Guldeford he did runne and play there at creckett half a century earlier. This is the earliest known reference to cricket in the English language. The ground is believed to have been somewhere at the top of North Street. Gentlemen of Chertsey beat the side from Guildford on Merrow Downs.
1769: Hambledon XI play Catterham in Guildford over two days, watched by around 20,000 spectators.
1866: Guildford Cricket Club formed by brothers W and J Stevens, using a ground around the current law courts.
1911: Woodbridge Road given to the town by Sir Harry Waechter, Bart. It is held under a trust and administered by the borough council.
1914: Cricket interrupted by the outbreak of First World War.
1922: GCC re-formed.
1937: Decision taken that Surrey will play the following summer at Woodbridge Road for the first time. New pavilion begins construction in preparation for the inaugural Guildford Festival.
1938: First-class cricket comes to Guildford when Surrey play Hampshire in the County Championship on July 13, beating the visitors by an innings and 71 runs.
1939: Derbyshire, the second visitors, beat Surrey by an innings and 43 runs. First-class cricket ended early though by the outbreak of Second World War although cricket continues in the town this time, players appearing including the Bedser twins and George (later Sir George) Edwards, who had joined in 1935 and whose knowledge of the intricacies of leg-spin comes in useful in helping Barnes Wallis designing the bouncing bomb.
1946: Peacetime cricket resumes, the new Flora Doris Cup being won for the first time by Guildford, led by Henry Hall on the first Sunday of October at Cranleigh as they beat the home side.
1954: Jim Stallibrass takes over as Guildford captain, opening a decade in which Guildford were known as one of the strongest sides in the south-east. Guildford City beaten in the FD final.
1968: Surrey Championship formed, Guildford finishing second in the opening season. Sutton are champions.
1972: Guildford win the Surrey Championship for the first time, led by brilliant new-ball pairing David Sydenham and Eric Neller.
1977: Guildford finish third but, more significantly for the long-term, Brian Ruby joins the club and forms the colts section.
1983: Andy Collier breaks the league highest score record by hammering 183 against Honor Oak. But as in 1979, the first team finish bottom of the league as it proves difficult for a group of talented but inexperienced youngsters to attune to first team cricket.
1984: Charles Woodhouse returns to captain for a second spell and leads side to eighth, helped by former Surrey and England batsman Graham Roope. Martin Bicknell makes his first team debut, aged 15.
1985: Guildford beat Send in the final of the Flora Doris Cup, winning by one run at Normandy under the captaincy of Tim Walter.
1986: Guildford win the National Indoor 6-a-side competition at Lord’s, having progressed all the way from their qualifying group at Yeoman’s Bridge. Bicknell makes his first-class debut for Surrey at The Oval. Tim Walter becomes captain for the first time but is restricted to a handful of appearances by a broken arm.
1987: With promotion and relegation introduced, Guildford win the Surrey Championship first division under Walter. Darren Bicknell joins his younger brother on the Surrey staff and makes his first-class debut alongside him against Warwickshire at Edgbaston. Ashley Giles makes his first team debut for Guildford, aged 14.
1988: Nick Peters becomes the third Guildford player in as many seasons to make his first-class debut for Surrey. Nick played first class cricket for Surrey CCC. He opened the bowling as a fast right arm bowler on and off for three years. Also Adam Hollioake, Surrey and England, played for Guildford Colts when he was 12 and 13 years old. His brother Ben, Surrey and England, also played for Guildford when he was 10 and 11 years old. Ian Ward, Surrey and Sussex CCC’s, played for Guildford Colts from the age of 10 to 15 years old. He also played for England briefly. GCC win the Admiral Dunlop Cup after early exit from FD. Darren Bicknell’s 188 not out against Old Whitgiftians at Woodbridge Road sees him set a new league highest score record. Woodbridge Road celebrates 50th anniversary of county cricket. Retiring groundsman Norman Pratt awarded the BEM.
1990: Guildford finish runners-up in the Surrey Championship first division.
1991: Walter leads the side to the Flora Doris Cup again, standing down at the end of the season. Having switched from seam to spin, Giles claims 56 league wickets and impresses Warwickshire sufficiently to be given a two-year contract.
1993: Guildford take third spot in the Surrey Championship under Mark Lane, in his second season as captain. Martin Bicknell makes Test debut for England against Australia at Headingley. Giles makes his first-class debut for Warwickshire.
1996: After two heavy FD final defeats against Liphook, Guildford get their revenge by beating them in the final.
1999: Surrey Championship changes format with Guildford, led by Graham Crawford, finishing eighth in the 10-team Premier Division.
2001: Having taken charge again the previous season, Walter leads Guildford to the Premier Division title, snatching the title from under Banstead’s nose. Victory over Sunbury, with six minutes remaining, is the first time the side have gone top all season. They are helped by the arrival of Sri Lankan all-rounder Carman Mapatuna, forming a fine spin partnership with Noel Brett. He helps Guildford win the Flora Doris Cup, the first time such a double has been achieved, beating Normandy in the final.
2002: Despite recording more wins and more points, Guildford finish runners-up to a fine Wimbledon side. Walter steps down as captain. Another product of the Guildford side, Rikki Clarke, establishes himself as a regular Surrey player.
2003: Darren & Martin Bicknell, Dean & Ross Skidmore and Andy & Simon Hollingsworth all appear in the Guildford side in the Premier Division match against Malden Wanderers at Woodbridge Road, won by the home side despite having to chase 375 for victory. Martin Bicknell returns to England side after 10 years and, alongside Giles, plays pivotal role in helping England to draw series against South Africa 2-2 in tumultuous victory at The Oval.
2004: For the first time since league cricket started in Surrey, Guildford drop out of the top division as they finish bottom although victory in the FD final over Godalming gives some better news.
2005: Walter returns as captain and leads Guildford to the first division title. Giles helps England reclaim the Ashes with first series win over Australia since 1986-87.
2006: Darren (now at Nottinghamshire) and Martin Bicknell both retire from first-class cricket
2007: Guildford battle against relegation all season but finally save themselves in the final over of the last match, against champions Reigate Priory, with a thrilling victory. Walter steps down as Saturday first time for third and – he claims – final time. Giles forced to retire from first-class cricket because of hip injury.
2008: Under new captain Julian Hare Guildford stay up, finishing seventh. Mark Lane, who had returned to the club as coach, is appointed manager of the England Women. Normandy are beaten in the final of the Admiral Dunlop Cup under Walter’s captaincy.
2009: For Guildford player, captain and coach, Mark Lane, guides England Women to victory in the Ashes down under and the Twenty20 World Cup final at Lords. Mark’s squad then regained Ashes at home in July.
2010: Carman Mapatuna departs from the Club after 10 remarkably successful seasons as our Overseas Cricket Professional. He is elected a Life Member.
2011: 21 year old Matt Teale from Christchurch, New Zealand is engaged as our Overseas Cricket Professional and enjoys a successful first season, taking 35 League wickets. Guildford finish 7th in the Premier Division. The Surrey Trust League Academy XI (U-21) win the Surrey Trust League for the first time, and the Development League (U18) finish Runners Up.
2013: This was the 75th Anniversary of the Guildford Cricket Club