Ratby Sports Club
Ratby is a small village in Leicestershire and has long been associated with a variety of different sports. Cricket has been played in the village since the mid 1800s. It was through the vision of a few local people that Ratby has sports and social facilities it can be proud of.
The place where the cricket ground now stands was originally owned by The Ratby Co-operative Society, it was sold in 1952 to Ratby Town Cricket Club, who built a small pavilion on the site, locally known as either 'The Shed' or 'The Tardis'.
In the late 1970s the Cricket Club were struggling to raise money to develop. Meanwhile, up the road, Ratby Rovers Football Club – who based themselves at the Bulls Head public house in the village and played games at various fields around the Ratby area – were organising frequent social events and raising extra money for their club, but without a home to call their own they started to talk to the village cricket club about merging the two clubs and in 1979 Ratby Town Cricket Club and Ratby Rover Football Club merged to form Ratby Sports Club.
The club became a place for families to go and it quickly became apparent that a new clubhouse would be needed. A social committee was formed by local volunteers and a drinks licence was applied for. It was from this time the club then went from strength to strength with money being raised by organising events such as galas and treasure hunts. With additional funding from a brewery, the club had enough money to build a new clubhouse. It was built within eight months purely by volunteers and the skills of local tradesmen. It opened in 1984 and still stands today.
Although both sports were based in one location, no football pitches existed at the cricket ground until the early 1990s. All games had to be played either at the Ferndale Drive Sports field in Ratby or at another pitch known locally as 'Ben's Hut' on Desford Lane, Ratby.
By 1989 the club had raised enough money to purchase 13 acres of farmland the other side of the stream at the bottom of the cricket ground. This was a major expansion of the club and was not a simple extension of the sports ground, as the additional land was on a hill and needed major landscaping. The club now has two full sized football pitches and 4 junior pitches on this extra land.
Text supplied by third party.
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